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There’s so much to see and do in Boston that it can be overwhelming, but we can help. Here’s your guide for one day in Boston.
Boston is rich in historical sites. The city of Boston predates the formation of the United States with its founding in 1630 on the Shawmut Peninsula. Simply touring the city could supplement the first critical years of any American History textbook.
One of America’s first neighborhoods, Beacon Hill (started on Beacon and Spruce streets) was established by William Blackstone (also: Blaxton) who first placed an orchard and a home there.
Through the revolutionary war and throughout the 18th century, the area became less than desirable for its frequent visits from both American and British soldiers. The area predates the official founding of Boston, established in 1624.
Today, Beacon Hill is one of the most vibrant areas in the city and most expensive. Beacon Hill is also where the Massachusetts State House is located, often substituted for the state government much like Capitol Hill in Washington DC. The State House is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM and the historic building that holds it was constructed in 1787. Both the State House and neighborhood National Historic Landmarks.
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Named for the eponymous painter, John Singleton Copley is also known as Art Square for its proximity to the surrounding cultural institutions. Located in the Back Bay neighborhood, the historic site is surrounded by quintessential Boston, like Trinity Church, John Hancock Tower, and the Boston Public Library. Copley Square is also the former site of the Museum of Fine Art.
Paul Revere’s House
“The British are coming! The British are coming!” Paul Revere shouted from his horse during his midnight ride through the city of Boston to warn of the start of the American revolution. One day in Boston would not be complete without a visit here. Kept intact from the 1700s, his home has been converted to a museum reflecting on Revere’s life, contributions to the American Revolution, and the early development of the United States.
The oldest of any warship still afloat throughout the world, the Constitution was originally commissioned by George Washington and set sail in 1798. The ship played a major part in several conflicts and was ultimately retired in the late 1800s in Charlestown Navy Yard. The vessel is now a museum in the harbor.
North End/Little Italy
East of Beacon Hill and south of Bunker Hill is the famous North End of Boston. This section of Little Italy is home to tight streets in a walkable
There’s no better way to explore Boston than through its unique markets. Chief among them is Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Inside, visitors will find a mix of retailers specializing in tourist merchandise but also excellent local fare. Do not miss a true lobster roll served on a buttered, toasted bun with heaping lobster claw pieces and more butter over the top.
Next door to Fanueil is Quincy Market, another Boston landmark. This market was built without using tax dollars in 1826 and is a historic monument to the city itself and the independent spirit of the city.
America’s oldest higher education institution is Harvard, founded in 1636 and chartered in 1650. There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than walking along Harvard yard in the fall. The iconic campus gives an excellent perspective on where America started and where it’s still headed today.
Boston Tea Party
One of the most significant stories in the history of the United States is the Boston Tea Party where Americans protested a tax on tea by the British by destroying all of the imports and depositing the contents into the Charles River. While the tea is long gone, you can still visit the Boston Tea Party Ships Museum, east of Boston Common.
Put this near the top of your one day in Boston schedule, you wont regret it.
Museum of Fine Arts
Originally built in Copley Square, the current museum is located in Fenway and is one of the largest in the world. Home to more than 450,000 pieces of art, and more than 8,000 paintings, it’s second only to MOMA in New York City and is the 14th largest museum in the world.
The collection includes a stunning array spanning from ancient Egyptian sarcophagi to some of the most important artists of the modern era. Guests will enjoy Degas, Renoir, Monet, and Van Gough.
The museum is one of the finest ways to spend a day in Boston. The venue offers adult tickets for $25, children for $10; add $7 each for the Monet exhibit. It’s open 10-5pm every day except for January 1st, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25th.
Waterways, peninsulas, and islands are all part of the Boston Harbor landscape – what better way to see it all than with a Duck Tour? The tour features an amphibious vehicle (Duck) that takes tourists on an open-air ride through the streets of Boston to some of its most famous sites and then right onto the waterways like the Charles River. This approach is not only fun but one of the best ways to see the city from a number of viewpoints.
You can see the entire 80-minute tour in just 4.5 minutes here:
The Duck Tour offers three departure points from the Museum of Science, The Prudential Center, and the New England Aquarium. Here are some of the sites that are visited on a Duck Tour:
- Quincy Market
- Post Office Square
- Long Wharf
- Custom House
- Boston Public Library
- Boston Public Garden
- Bull & Finch Pub (“Cheers” bar)
- Granary Burying Ground
- Old State House
- Faneuil Hall
- Holocaust Memorial
- And more than a dozen more locations
Adults tickets cost $45.99, Seniors and Active Military member tickets cost $36.99, children tickets are available for $30.99, and children two and under are free. https://bostonducktours.com
Perhaps the most iconic baseball stadium in the country is home to the Red Sox, Fenway Park. Built in 1912, Fenway is known for its unique features like the one red seat (signifying the longest home run hit in the park) and including the Green Monster, a greenery-lined wall in the outfield that makes the stadium imposing for visiting teams.
Even for fans of other teams (though perhaps not the New York Yankees) the ballpark is a sight to behold and a memorable part of any trip. In the event that the Red Sox are out of town or not playing, fans can tour the stadium, or catch another event – live music, religious events, and even NFL football games have been played in the country’s second-smallest park by attendance.
One Day In Boston
While not all of these sites can be visited on the same day, there is an abundance of choices suitable for just about every visitor to Bean Town. Whether it’s history at North Church, and Paul Revere’s house, a stroll through the picturesque Acorn Street in Beacon Hill, a Duck Tour on the Charles River, or catching a game at Fenway – there’s something for everyone.