Few historical events are as synonymous with Boston as the Boston Tea Party. It was during this 1773 demonstration that revolutionaries threw entire cases of British tea into Boston harbor in protest of the Tea Act, quickly evolving into the American Revolution.
Today, this iconic act of defiance has come to symbolize not only the resolve and persistence of the American people as a whole, but of Boston in particular. Nowhere is it more celebrated or better explained than at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. This floating museum prides itself on stepping well beyond the typical, staid museum experience. Visitors are treated to a fully engaging display, complete with live actors, ship restoration displays and interactive exhibits.
Visitors can even join in a mock "tea dumping" protest if they like. The goal is to accurately transport visitors back in time to fully experience the Tea Party as it happened more than 230 years ago.
Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood, the North End has been inhabited since the 1630s. Here you’ll find a large variety of historical and culturally attractions. There’s the Paul Revere House, the oldest building in downtown Boston built around 1680 and the place from which he left for his famous “midnight ride” in 1775. Some other historic stops in the North End include Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burial Ground, Union Wharf, Ozias Goodwin House and Mariner’s House, allowing you to explore the city’s rich heritage as well as old world architecture.
Walking around the area, you’ll notice the smell of fresh baked bread and biscotti permeates the air. Because it has a large community of Italian Americans, the North End is also known as Boston’s Little Italy. Visitors are transported to Italy as they walk the neighbourhood’s narrow streets, full of attached brick buildings housing small shops, delis, butchers, salumerias, bakers, and wine bars.
Located in the North End and built around 1680, the Paul Revere House is the oldest building in downtown Boston. It is famous for being the house Revere left from the night of his famous “midnight ride” to warn his compatriots that the British were coming to arrest them. He lived there with his family from 1770 to 1800.
Through the years it has been lived in by many other families and served various purposes, for example, a bank, grocery store and a cigar factory; however, the building was purchased by Revere’s grandson in 1902 and restored by the Paul Revere Memorial Association from 1907 to 1908, allowing it to now serve as a house museum along with the adjacent Pierce-Hitchborn House. Walking inside, visitors are able to appreciate the 17th century appearance and original artifacts like historic documents and Paul Revere’s silverware. Knowledgeable staff and information panels are there to help answer any questions you may have.
True, Beacon Hill may be home to the Massachusetts State House, the crown jewel of the neighbourhood and focal point of politics in the Commonwealth, but the real appeal of this prestigious neighbourhood lies in its beauty. Gas lanterns illuminate the cobblestone streets, while distinguished brick town houses come decked with purple windowpanes and blooming flowerboxes.
Beacon Hill’s residential streets are reminiscent of London, and streets such as stately Louisburg Square indeed capture the grandeur that was intended. Charles Street, Beacon Hill’s charming commercial thoroughfare, is Boston’s most enchanting spot for browsing boutiques, haggling over antiques, or sipping a steaming cappuccino at one of the European-styled cafes. Stay for a fine dinner, made all the more romantic when it is enjoyed in such a delightful setting.
If you’re looking to visit the most exclusive neighborhood in Boston, you’ll want to stop by Louisburg Square in Beacon Hill. The townhouses lining the square have an average value of over $6.7 million, with many selling for well over $10 million.
The houses on Louisburg Square were built primarily in the 1840s, but the area was first settled back in the 1600’s. Rev. William Blaxton moved to this part of Beacon Hill from Charlestown, where the Puritans had settled, to enjoy more peace and quiet. From the time of the first house, the neighborhood was the most fashionable address in Boston. Famous names from shipping and merchant banking, such as Cabot and Appleton, used to call the square home, as well as some famous artistic figures. Charles Bulfinch, the architect of the Massachusetts State House and portions of the US Capital Building, lived in the square.
The Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library is a stunning, three-story, stained-glass globe that reflects a 3D representation of how the world was laid out in 1935.
Visitors pass through the globe on a 30-foot glass bridge, surrounded by a seven-minute audio-visual show of words, music, and LED lights to show how the world and ideas have changed over time. The Mapparium was originally built as part of the Christian Science Publishing Society building, and opened on June 1, 1935. Due to the size, concave, spherical walls, and hard surface, the Mapparium has unique acoustics that turn the room into a whispering gallery, where you can hear others across the room no matter which direction you are talking.
Harvard University in Cambridge, located just north of Boston, is synonymous with prestige and accomplishment. This Ivy League university accepts only the best and provides a curriculum to students that challenges and inspires them to succeed (faculty and alumni hold over 45 Nobel Prizes!). The country’s first institution of higher learning ever established, Harvard University is a historical school that is also constantly looking toward the future and creating new innovations in education, science, technology, the arts and beyond. Looking at a list of notable graduates of Harvard University -- some of which include Barack Obama, Theodore Roosevelt, Rashida Jones, Norman Mailer, Helen Keller and John Quincy Adams -- it’s easy to see that the school has a rich and diverse heritage.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a straight A student to explore the campus, which is full of historic buildings, monuments, beautiful architecture and scenic green spaces.
The Hard Rock Café Boston has been providing good food and music in Boston’s Faneuil Hall entertainment district since its debut in 2003. Faneuil Hall is Boston’s premier entertainment district, close to popular sites such as Paul Revere’s house, the New England Holocaust Museum, and the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
Be sure to enjoy the Hard Rock’s signature food offerings, found at cafes around the globe. The cafes feature classic American fare, for which prix-fixe options are also available. The Hard Rock Café in Boston has over 16,000-square feet of space, with 514 seats in the restaurant area. The Cavern Club features live music and holds special events. Like other Hard Rock Cafes around the world, the Hard Rock Café Boston features music memorabilia on the walls. Be sure to tour the restaurant and see the unique guitars, platinum records, and more.
With a history spanning 350 years, Boston is one of the most influential and interesting cities in the United States, welcoming over 12 million visitors a year. The city was home to the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, while several Revolutionary War battles were fought nearby. Today, the largest city in New England is known for its fine cultural institutions, world class universities and champion sports franchises in addition to its significant role in American history.
Your cruise ship will dock at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal on the South Boston waterfront. Many cruise lines offer shuttles into the city center, but taxis are readily available as well. You can also catch Silver Line bus SL2 or SL3 to the South Station of the Boston T (subway). Another option is to head into the center on foot, about a 30-minute walk along Northern Avenue.
The iconic building blocks of childhood are now more than just an afternoon activity, thanks to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center of Boston. Families with children between the ages of 3 and 10 will find even more of what they love at this popular themed destination that’s dedicated to the colorful blocks that have been inspiring youth to create for decades.
Whether it’s touring the LEGOLAND Factory to learn how this American favorite is made, experiencing the multi-sensory wonder of a 4-D film or building a car to race at the LEGO Racers: Build and Test site, there’s plenty to keep kids busy and entertained. The jaw-dropping Master Builder Academy will also inspire youth to imagine and create thanks to impressive examples of LEGO construction at its finest!