Founded in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest settlements in the country and has preserved its past better than any other city. Walking the streets of Boston you will find 18th-century churches, redbrick meeting houses, and even the nation's oldest continuously-operated watering hole, the Bell-in-Hand Tavern.
You've heard the stories, from theMidnight Ride of Paul Revere to the "Shot heard 'round the world". They're still very much alive here - a walk along the Boston's Freedom Trail tells all the tales. The city's many historic museums detail every significant period in the country's history, as well as the history of the world.
If you're a History Lover visiting Boston, start your journey to the past walking the Freedom Trail and the Black Heritage Trail to really get a sense of the struggles of this country. The Irish Heritage Trail offers a self-guided tour to landmarks of Irish-American artists and heroes from past to present. The Walk to the Seaencompasses four centuries of Boston history and is latest addition to the walking history of Boston.
Be sure to stop at Louisburg Square and remember to pronounce the "s"- Bostonians do not say"Louie-burg." The small fenced park, a symbol of exclusivity, is the last private square in the city of Boston.
Duck into the Omni Parker House Hotel, America's longest continuously operating hotel. The legendary Saturday Club (Emerson, Thoreau, Longfellow and Hawthorne) held their meetings here as did many local and national politicians. Boston Cream Pie and the Parker House roll were concocted here and at one time the hotel's kitchen and dining room employed Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X.
Spend time reflecting at the Holocaust Memorial outside of Faneuil Hall, the six glass towers represent the 6 major Nazi death camps. The glass towers have the numbers one to six million (one for each victim) as well as survivor stories are etched in the panels.
Cross Union Street and order up a cup or bowl of clam chowder at the Union Oyster House Boston's oldest restaurant where legend has it that Daniel Webster would consume a half dozen oysters and a tumbler of brandy and water -usually six times per seating.
You might want to have a chat with one of two bronze statutes of Mayor Curley who served four terms as Mayor - one from a federal penitentiary. Edwin O'Connor's Frank Skeffington of The Last Hurrah is based on James Michael Curley.
Look for the Boston Stone at the corner of Marshall and Salt Lane. In the 1700s this was the zero point from which all distances were measured.
Visiting on a Friday or Saturday? You're in for a real treat. While Farmer's Markets are all the rage today-Boston also has The Haymarket - an open air market from the 1830s, with dozens of pushcart vendors selling vegetables, fruit and fish just off the boat. Meats, cheeses and other products are also available from longtime purveyors. The prices are cheap, the voices are loud, and the vendors can border on being rude - it's always an adventure!
An admirer of Rose Kennedy? Take a look at 4 Garden Court (North Square, near the Paul Revere House) she was born here. While strolling the North End, stop in any café, ristorante or enoteca for a quick snack or a full meal. Real history buffs will emulate Paul Revere's ride (sans horseback) out to Lexingtonand Concord. Stop in at Buckman Tavern where the minutemen were waiting that fateful day and at the nearby Hancock-Clarke House where John Hancock and Samuel Adams slept on that same historical day. Monroe Tavern, used by the British as a field hospital after the Battle is filled with fascinating artifacts. Continuing on to Concord, stop in the Concord Museum, and also be sure to pay a visit to the homes of Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. And you will want to pay your respects to Walden Pond's Henry David Thoreau - whether you consider him a very early hippie or the first environmentalist. A little farther west you will encounter Old Sturbridge Village, a historically accurate re-creation of a 1830s rural New England village where early nineteenth-century life is faithfully reproduced and re-enacted by guides dressed in period costumes.
Just south of the city Plimoth Plantation beckons and brings history to life. Visitors can journey to the Wampanog Homesite where Native people thrived for over 12,000 years and where the 102 English colonists, "Pilgrims" landed in 1620. No visit is complete until you climb onboard and go ‘tween decks of the full-scale replica of the Mayflower II.