BOSTON PANORAMA MAGAZINE - ATTRACTIONS
ADAMS NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
1250 Hancock St., Quincy, eight miles south of Boston, 617-770-1175. Take the “T” to the Quincy Center stop on the Red Line. Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Trolley tours: depart every 30 minutes from 9:15 a.m.–3:15 p.m. Tickets: $5; children (under 16) free. This oft-overlooked historical gem offers insight into the lives of U.S. presidents John Adams and son John Quincy Adams. Tour the birthplaces of both presidents, as well as “The Old House,” which was home to five generations of the Adams family.
125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, 617-524-1718. Grounds open year-round, sunrise to sunset. Free admission. Visitor Center open Mon–Fri 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun noon–4 p.m. This 265-acre tree sanctuary designed by Emerald Necklace architect Frederick Law Olmsted opened in 1872. Now a National Historic Landmark, the arboretum and its gardens contain more than 7,000 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers for your perusal.
10 ½ Beacon St., 617-227-0270. Member hours: Tue–Fri 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Mon ‘til 8 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Public tours: Tue & Thu at 3 p.m. Reservations required. One of the oldest and most distinguished private libraries in the United States, the Athenaeum was founded in 1807. For nearly half a century, it was the unchallenged center of intellectual life in Boston, and by 1851 it had become one of the five largest libraries in the country.
BOSTON PUBLIC GARDEN
bordered by Arlington, Charles, Beacon and Boylston streets. Open daily dawn to dusk. Swan Boat Rides: Daily (weather permitting) 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tickets: $2.75; children (2–15) $1.25; seniors $2.00. Established in 1837, the Public Garden is the nation’s first public botanical garden. Its 24 acres are filled with scenic and diverse greenery, as well as sculptures, including one that commemorates the popular children’s book Make Way for Ducklings. Other fixtures include the Lagoon—home to the famed Swan Boats from April through Labor Day—and the world’s smallest suspension bridge.
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
700 Boylston St., Copley Square, 617-536-5400. Mon–Thu 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri & Sat ’til 5 p.m. Free admission. Art & Architecture tours offered Mon at 2:30 p.m., Tue & Thu at 6 p.m., Fri & Sat at 11 a.m. The first publicly supported municipal library in the world hosts one million visitors a year, who come to view this architectural masterpiece and its collection of more than five million books. Film festivals, exhibits and children’s programs run throughout the year.
BUNKER HILL PAVILION
Boston National Historical Park Visitors Center, Charlestown, 617-242-5601. Located yards from the U.S.S. Constitution. Visitor center and bookstore open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monument closed through Aug 27 for renovations. Check out “Whites of Their Eyes,” a dramatic multimedia presentation of the Battle of Bunker Hill, one of the first major battles of the Revolution. Or climb the nearby Bunker Hill Monument, a 221-foot granite obelisk.
CHARLES RIVER ESPLANADE
617-727-1188, Ext. 445. This tree-lined park along the Charles River basin is a popular spot for leisurely strolls and picnics as well as recreational activities. Sports enthusiasts are drawn to the 17-mile biking, jogging and walking path between the Museum of Science and Watertown, while others flock to the water to sail, windsurf, canoe or kayak. The nearby DCR Hatch Shell frequently hosts concerts and films, as well as performances by the world-famous Boston Pops.
CUSTOM HOUSE TOWER
3 McKinley Square, 617-310-6300. Free historical tours offered Mon–Thu 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Fri & Sat 4 p.m. Tours may be cancelled due to weather conditions, call ahead. Boston’s first skyscraper, the Custom House stands high over Boston Harbor as one of the city’s most impressive landmarks. Crowned by its distinctive clock tower and restored with modern luxuries, the building epitomizes the preservation of Boston’s historic architecture. Today, the Marriott Corporation operates this landmark.
parks throughout Boston, 617-232-5374. This world-famous string of parks was the brainchild of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and took almost 20 years to complete. The six green spaces—Back Bay Fens, Riverway, Olmsted Park, Jamaica Pond, Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park—stretch five miles from the Charles River to Dorchester and make up over 1,000 acres of parkland. Though not officially part of the Emerald Necklace, Boston Common and the Public Garden are sometimes considered the starting points, and are connected to the Necklace by the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST SCIENTIST
175 Huntington Ave., 617-450-2000. Free tours of The Mother Church Thu–Sat, noon–4 p.m., every half hour; services: Sun at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., Wed at noon and 7:30 p.m. The original Mother Church built in 1894 is at the heart of the Christian Science Center, situated on 14 acres in the Back Bay. The Romanesque structure is made from New Hampshire granite with stained glass windows illustrating Biblical events. Also see listing for the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Museums.
FOREST HILLS CEMETERY
95 Forest Hills Ave., 617-524-0128. Open daily from 8:30 a.m. till dusk. Created in 1848, this cemetery serves as the final resting place of Eugene O’Neill, Anne Sexton, e.e. cummings, William Lloyd Garrison and former Boston Celtic Reggie Lewis. The 275 acres of twisting paths also contain sculptural treasures, an arboretum, a “library” of life stories and an open-air museum. Special exhibit: beginning June 24—Dwelling: Memory, Architecture and Place, a sculpture installation dealing with the idea of homes and dwellings. Special event: June 24 from 3–6 p.m.—Opening reception for Dwelling: Memory, Architecture and Place, featuring guided walking tour with artists.
HARRISON GRAY OTIS HOUSE
141 Cambridge St., 617-227-3956. Open Wed–Sun 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m., tours every half hour. Admission: $8; free for kids, Historic New England members and Boston residents. $24 maximum per family. Built in 1796 for Harrison Gray Otis and his wife, this grand mansion is a example of high-style Federal elegance. Tours offer insight into the social, business and family life of the post-Revolution American elite.
JOHN F. KENNEDY NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
83 Beals St., Brookline, 617-566-7937. Open Wed–Sun 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Admission: $3; children (17 and under) free. Guided tours every half-hour ‘til 3. This modest frame house is the well-preserved 1917 birthplace and childhood home of the 35th president of the United States, and also the first home shared by the president’s father and mother, Joseph P. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Includes a collection of household furnishings, photographs and significant mementos personally collected and arranged by the president’s mother.
JOHN HANCOCK TOWER
200 Clarendon St., 617-572-6000. Rising 62 stories into the sky, this I.M. Pei-designed, sliver-of-glass skyscraper is New England’s tallest building and is considered by many to be one of the world’s most beautiful skyscrapers. The building houses the headquarters of its namesake, insurance giant John Hancock Financial. The 60th floor observatory was closed after September 11, 2001.
THE MARY BAKER EDDY LIBRARY
200 Mass. Ave., 617-450-7000. Open Tue–Sun from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission: $6; seniors, students with ID and youth (6–17) $4; children (under 6) and members free. Home to the world-famous Mapparium, a three-story stained-glass globe depicting the world as it existed in 1934, which guests can walk through. Visitors to the library can follow Mary Baker Eddy’s quest for insight and embark on one of their own through interactive exhibits in the Quest Gallery, or try out a “desk job” at the Pulitzer Prize-winning Christian Science Monitor.
MINUTE MAN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
Concord and Lexington, 978-369-6993. Park grounds open sunrise to sunset, North Bridge Visitor Center is at 174 Liberty St., Concord, open 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Created in 1959 to preserve the sites associated with the opening battles of the American Revolution, Minute Man Park consists of over 900 acres of land along original segments of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, including Lexington Green and Concord’s North Bridge. The park also preserves The Wayside, the 19th-century home of literary greats Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Sidney.
NEW ENGLAND HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL
Congress Street near Faneuil Hall. This haunting memorial features six luminous glass towers etched with the six million prisoner numbers of those who perished in the Holocaust. Visitors can walk under the towers and read the dramatic stories of the victims and heroes of this tremendous human tragedy.
THE SKYWALK OBSERVATORY AT THE PRUDENTIAL CENTER
617-859-0648. Open daily 10 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Skywalk kiosk closes at 6 p.m. Admission (including a headset audio tour of points of interest): $10.50; seniors $8.50; children (under 12) $7. Observatory may be closed due to weather conditions, please call ahead. Enjoy spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of Boston and beyond and learn about the city’s 375 years of culture and history on the new Antennae Audio Tour. Displays include “Dreams of Freedom,” about the Boston immigrant experience; an exhibit overlooking Fenway Park dedicated to the legendary Red Sox slugger Ted Williams; and a theater showing “Wings Over Boston,” a spectacular aerial tour of the entire city.
Copley Square, 617-536-0944. Open Sun 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Tue–Sat 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; tours available for $5, children under 12 free. Built in 1877, this house of worship, a combination of Victorian, Gothic and French Romanesque styles, is one of the great masterpieces of American church architecture. The building is located in Copley Square adjacent to the I.M. Pei-designed John Hancock Tower.