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Sightseeing and landmarks in Boston

Art museums

Art Museum
“One of the most highly regarded museums in the world, the massive Museum of Fine Arts boasts about half a million objects spanning the centuries from ancient Egypt to present-day artwork. The museum officially opened its doors in 1876, with a little over 5,500 objects. What a difference a century-plus makes! It’s best to make a game plan of what you want to see because tackling the museum in a few hours, or even a day, is impossible. Highlights include more than 70 works by John Singleton Copley and major paintings by Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent and Edward Hopper. Paintings aren’t your thing? African masks, Native American pottery, mummies, musical instruments, and practically any other media you can think of have a home at the museum. Daily free one-hour guided tours give a good overview.”
  • 285 locals recommend
Art Museum
“One of the city’s most charming attractions is the small but lovely Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Isabella Stewart, a New York socialite, came to Boston in 1860 to marry John Lowell Gardner, one of Boston’s prominent citizens. In short order, Isabella set to building herself a Venetian palazzo to hold her extensive art collection. Just like she was, the collection is eclectic, with masterpieces by Titian (Europa), Giotto (Presentation of Christ in the Temple) and John Singer Sargent (El Jaleo), to name a few. Isabella left strict instructions in her will that the building remain exactly as she left it, so visitors today can almost picture her enjoying the gorgeous gardens in her Venetian courtyard or warming her hands by one of the Renaissance hooded fireplaces.”
  • 198 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Along with the cutting-edge art inside its walls, the museum’s building itself can be considered a work of art in its own right. The gorgeous glass-walled cantilevered building sits right on the edge of the Boston waterfront, offering breathtaking views both inside and out. Since its inception in 1936, the ICA has been instrumental in identifying or showcasing the most important artists of the day, such as Edvard Munch, Andy Warhol, Laurie Anderson, and Roy Lichtenstein. Works by artists like Bill Viola, Kara Walker, Cindy Sherman, Shepard Fairey, and Rashaun Mitchell have been on view more recently. The museum offers a roster of changing exhibitions, live music and dance performances, film and digital media selections, talks, tours, family activities and teen programming.”
  • 115 locals recommend
Art Museum
“The Harvard Art Museum is not the size of the Museum of Fine Arts or Gardner Museum in Boston (both of which are amazing), but has a very impressive collection, is housed in a gorgeous, recently gut-renovated building, and is large enough that you undoubtedly will be unable to see the whole thing in one visit. There is also currently (through July 28) a special exhibit called The Bauhaus and Harvard that is quite good and showcases the University’s Bauhaus collection, which is the largest in the world outside of Germany.”
  • 79 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Basement exhibition of paintings & sculptures that do not conform to conventional aesthetics.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Library
“The Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States. It is also one of a number of membership libraries, for which patrons pay a yearly subscription fee to use Athenæum services. The institution was founded in 1807 by the Anthology Club of Boston, Massachusetts. It is located at 10 1/2 Beacon Street on Beacon Hill. Resources of the Boston Athenæum include a large circulating book collection; a public gallery; a rare books collection of over 100,000 volumes; an art collection of 100,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts; research collections including one of the world's most important collections of primary materials on the American Civil War; and a public forum offering lectures, readings, concerts, and other events.”
  • 12 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Always a great spot for art lovers, especially when the weather is bad. Check out the Chihuly sculptures in the courtyard. ”
  • 6 locals recommend
Art Museum
“a seasonally changing art installation created by the institute of contemporary art - take the free ferry from the watershed to the rest of the museum”
  • 8 locals recommend

History museums

Science Museum
“Wonderful intimate museum with a hand-pulled glass botany exhibit that will blow your mind, minerals exhibited in beautiful wood and glass display cases, a variety of dinosaur, bird and animal exhibits. ”
  • 75 locals recommend
History Museum
“This museum depicts the famous leadership and legacy of JFK and the nature of a president's office.”
  • 45 locals recommend
History Museum
“As the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution, the USS Constitution Museum preserves, displays, and interprets artifacts and archival material related to the Ship and her crew through interactive exhibitions, compelling programs, and engaging outreach initiatives. The Museum was incorporated in 1972 as a private, non-profit and non-government funded interpretive complement to USS Constitution, an active-duty US Navy vessel and the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. This allowed the Navy to clear Constitution’s decks of display cases so that visitors could see the Ship as a sailing vessel, rather than as a floating museum, and for artifacts to be cared for in proper environmental conditions.”
  • 42 locals recommend
History Museum
“a multi-sensory experience that includes live actors, interactive exhibits, and full-scale replica 18th-century sailing vessels. ”
  • 19 locals recommend
Church
“"One if by land, two if by sea." The famous two lanterns were hung from the tower of Old North Church to alert Paul Revere of the means of the British Army Regulars' arrival.”
  • 23 locals recommend
Church
“This is the oldest surviving church in Boston. It was founded in 1722. It's an awesome church to see!”
  • 17 locals recommend
History Museum
“Take time to enjoy the displays of this amazing institution - the Glass Flowers, the mineral room, the preserved animals from every continent, artifacts from indigenous peoples, so many things are housed here. It's a large museum, with a small, often old-fashioned feel. It is a gem of a museum. ”
  • 12 locals recommend
History Museum
“Boston is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and played a pivotal role in African American Histiry ”
  • 8 locals recommend

Scenic lookouts

Monument / Landmark
“Walk around this tiny park, bring a snack and have a picnic on the green and if you're up for it climb to the top for the best views of the city. ”
  • 58 locals recommend
Scenic Lookout
“Stunning views from this 365 degree tower in Boston's Back Bay. In Boston proper so will need an Ubber or subway ride to get there.”
  • 29 locals recommend
Scenic Lookout
“The views from up on high!!! An old fort protected Boston from the oncoming British. ”
  • 5 locals recommend
Scenic Lookout
“Stunning view of the city and the Charles River. Must see, but bring warm clothes!”
  • 2 locals recommend
Scenic Lookout
“Fort Revere is an 8-acre historic site contains the remains of two seacoast fortifications, a water tower with an observation deck, and one from the American Revolution and one that served 1898-1947. Fort Revere was called Fort Independence and later named in honor of Paul Revere. It was used to protect Boston Harbor dating from the American Revolution. Fort Independence on Telegraph Hill presumably is the grave site of nearly 200 French soldiers who died here while fighting for America in the Revolutionary War.”
  • 3 locals recommend
State / Provincial Park
“Great place for a walk around....see some of the ferry traffic in the harbor..picnic tables and grills avail, public bathroom...once around the park is about a mile....so do it a few times...about 10-15 min from house”
  • 1 local recommends
Scenic Lookout
“Lots of History, Breathtaking views, so worth seeing.... Fort Revere Park is a state-owned historic site and public recreation area situated on a small peninsula in the town of Hull, Massachusetts. The park occupies 6 acres on Telegraph Hill in Hull Village and houses the remains of two seacoast fortifications, including former Fort Revere.”
  • 2 locals recommend

Historic sites

Park
“If you're walking through the streets of Beacon Hill or the pathways of the Boston Common, you'll notice a building with a golden dome, made from copper and topped with gold. That's the Massachusetts State House, which has been there since 1798 and houses the state's government. There's plenty of Massachusetts history to take in if you visit for a free tour.”
  • 225 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Great shopping and food places. A must visit for a new visitor to Boston. A short train ride away it's worth it and very close to the historic site in Boston too.”
  • 193 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“Walk around this tiny park, bring a snack and have a picnic on the green and if you're up for it climb to the top for the best views of the city. ”
  • 58 locals recommend
History Museum
“a multi-sensory experience that includes live actors, interactive exhibits, and full-scale replica 18th-century sailing vessels. ”
  • 19 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Huge food hall in a historic building with 50+ eateries, vendors & kiosks with diverse offerings.”
  • 17 locals recommend
Outdoor Sculpture
“Rub the left foot of John Harvard and you will have good fortune or something like that. After you visit the statue let me know so I can ask you a very important fact about it.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Historic Site
“If you like local and national history and historic houses, this is a pleasant historic house maintained by the national parks service, which is open seasonally late May through the fall, and has grounds that are open year-round.”
  • 10 locals recommend
History Museum
“Boston is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and played a pivotal role in African American Histiry ”
  • 8 locals recommend

Libraries

Library
“One of the most spectacular libraries in the country. Come be inspired and also check out the new wing and see tapings of NPR!”
  • 123 locals recommend
History Museum
“This museum depicts the famous leadership and legacy of JFK and the nature of a president's office.”
  • 45 locals recommend
Library
“A must check out Library. Its our pride. Take your laptop and spend a few hours working from here. You will be refreshed. ”
  • 28 locals recommend
Library
“The Mary Baker Eddy Library is a research library, museum, and repository for the papers of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science”
  • 22 locals recommend
Library
“The Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States. It is also one of a number of membership libraries, for which patrons pay a yearly subscription fee to use Athenæum services. The institution was founded in 1807 by the Anthology Club of Boston, Massachusetts. It is located at 10 1/2 Beacon Street on Beacon Hill. Resources of the Boston Athenæum include a large circulating book collection; a public gallery; a rare books collection of over 100,000 volumes; an art collection of 100,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts; research collections including one of the world's most important collections of primary materials on the American Civil War; and a public forum offering lectures, readings, concerts, and other events.”
  • 12 locals recommend
College Library
“Great place to start your Harvard University tour. This is the main library with iconic views of Harvard Yard. This is where commencement takes place as well as other big events throughout the school year.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Library
“A great local secret! There is a branch library right around the corner a few blocks from our location. Do check out the Cambridge Collins Branch Library on Aberdeen Ave. Then hop onto the NO 72 electric trolley bus for a direct ride to Harvard Square for more bookstores and the main Cambridge Library!”
  • 2 locals recommend
Library
“It is right down the street and renovated last year. There is a great children's area as well as areas to work or hold a conference.”
  • 6 locals recommend
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