Enjoying Boston

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Founded in 1870, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest museums in the United States, containing over 450,000 works of art. Some highlights of the MFA’s collection include:

  • Egyptian artifacts including sculptures, sarcophagi, and jewelry
  • French impressionist and post-impressionist works
  • 18th and 19th century American art, including many works by John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent
  • Extensive collection of Chinese painting, calligraphy and imperial Chinese art
  • The largest museum collection of Japanese works under one roof in the world outside of Japan

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum


The Gardner Museum has remained virtually unchanged since its founder’s death in 1924. Three floors of galleries surround a garden courtyard blooming with life in all seasons. The galleries are filled with paintings, sculpture, tapestries, furniture, and decorative arts from cultures spanning thirty centuries.

Boston’s Freedom Trail


The Freedom Trail is a red (mostly brick) path through downtown Boston that leads to 16 significant historic sites. It is a 2.5-mile self-guided walk from Boston Common to Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown with simple ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and other buildings, and a historic naval frigate along the way. Most sites are free; three, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House, have small admission fees, while others suggest donations.

New England Aquarium


With a mission “to present, promote and protect the world of water,” the New England Aquarium remains one of the few such institutions with commitments to research and conservation as well as education and entertainment. In addition to the main aquarium building, attractions include the Simons IMAX Theatre and the New England Aquarium Whale Watch, which operates from April through November.

Boston Public Garden


Together with the Boston Common, these two parks form the northern terminus of the Emerald Necklace, a long string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. While the Common is primarily unstructured open space, the Public Garden contains a lake and a large series of formal plantings that are maintained by the city and others and vary from season to season. During the warmer seasons, the 4-acre lagoon in the Garden is usually the home of one or more swans and is always the site of the Swan Boats, a famous Boston tourist attraction dating from 1877.

Newbury Street, Boston


East of Massachusetts Avenue, Newbury Street is lined with historic 19th-century brownstones that contain hundreds of shops and restaurants, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals. The most expensive boutiques are located near the Boston Public Garden end of Newbury Street. The shops gradually become slightly less expensive and more bohemian toward Massachusetts Avenue.

Harvard Square, Cambridge


At the historic center of Cambridge (northbound from Boston on the MBTA Red Line), and adjacent to Harvard University, the Square features numerous shops, restaurants, and historic monuments. It is also home to many new and used bookstores, including Schoenhof’s, a mecca for books on languages and linguistics.

Arnold Arboretum


The Arnold Arboretum, maintained by Harvard University and located south of Boston down the MBTA Green Line, is the oldest public arboretum in North America and one of the world’s leading centers for the study of plants and trees. A link in Boston’s Emerald Necklace of parks, the Arboretum is a unique blend of respected research institution and beautiful public landscape.