More on Senior Travel to Boston

Feb 14th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

A walk along the two-and-a-half-mile Freedom Trail is one of the best ways to get acquainted with Boston and to efficiently visit the city’s bounty of historic landmarks. If you’re in a hurry and in pretty good shape, you can cover the length of the trail in as little as an hour.  A walk along the two-and-a-half-mile Freedom Trail is one of the best ways to get acquainted with Boston and to efficiently visit the city’s bounty of historic landmarks. Boston Common is the first stop on The Freedom Trail and a perfect place to begin your exploration of the city. The 50-acre oasis in the city’s midst is America’s oldest public park. It originally served as common grazing land for cattle owned by Boston farmers. It is is one of the oldest public parks in the U.S. It is the jewel in the “Emerald Necklace,” a name given to the system of parks and open spaces throughout Boston’s neighborhoods. I still love the sign my wife and saw as we came over a hill in a suburb near Hingham in that read “Attn. Thickly Settled.” Great sign huh? We Iowans did know what that meant!
Do plan to visit at least some of the same sites you would if you were chaperoning an 8th-grade civics class. You are, after all, in Boston, the City on the Hill, the Cradle of Liberty, and so on and so forth, thus there’s no point or pride in avoiding historic landmarks. Conveniently, many are nestled among the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods, areas with cobblestone streets and colonial-era architecture that you would want to wander even if you didn’t feel obligated to do so. And third, don’t compare it to New York City, at least not unfavorably. Bostonians spend considerable energy trying to prove their city is not inferior to Manhattan, whether in national influence, cultural offerings or American League baseball franchises. The truth is, Boston is not at all like New York, and that’s a good thing. The largest city in New England is compact, clean and easily navigable. With a population of only 600,000, Boston is best appreciated as a small city with a hyper-educated populace, an astonishing number of Dunkin’ Donuts, and an artistic and historical importance far surpassing its relative size. Here are some ways to weave the past with the present. Oh yes, they do drive a lot differently in Boston.  Beware.
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile stretch hosting 16 sites pertaining to the Revolutionary War. You could take a guided tour or, more appealingly, download a map and follow your own itinerary. If you have limited time, concentrate on those sites in and immediately around the North End, which is also Boston’s Little Italy. Among them are the home of Paul Revere, where you’ll get a good sense of how people lived in 1770s (in a word, closely; the house is really small). You can also drop by the Old North Church, from which that pair of lanterns were hung in 1775. Nearby are the Old State House museum (among the impressive memorabilia is a vial of tea salvaged from the original Tea Partiers), which is worth a visit, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which, unless you enjoy food courts and stores you can find at any mall in America, is not. Opened in December 2006, the Institute of Contemporary Art in South Boston is arguably more interesting for its architecture than its art. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the museum is all glass and sharp angles, a stark departure from the city’s presiding aesthetic. One of the most arresting features is the rear of the museum, a cantilevered glass expanse that hovers vertiginously over Boston Harbor.  Want to enjoy a few photos before you visit Boston?  Check out for starters. Let’s say you have five days to “do in” Boston.  Try these as each is a super site Have super time in “beantown.”  jeb
Here are some of the major highlight not to be missed:
Back Bay | Beacon Hill | Chinatown | Faneuil Hall | Fenway/Kenmore
Fort Point | Harvard Square | South End | North End
A few more attractive links to check out:

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