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Boston is a city that lives and breathes American history, and no visit to the city would be complete without immersing yourself in all of the sights and sites to behold.
However, this isn't a place to simply bask in the past. Boston also has a world-class offering of food, music and culture with which to broaden your palate.
Here are a few of the can't-miss items for your itinerary:
Boston's Freedom Trail
A red line connects the 2.5-mile trek past almost 20 sites representing 250 years of American history.
Walk from Boston Common-America's oldest public park-past the Massachusetts State House all the way to the Old Corner Bookstore, which was built in 1718 and published such works as Walden and Little Women.
Along the way, stop at Faneuil Hall, known as "the home of free speech" and an early venue for public meetings. Today, the Boston National Historical Park's rangers lead daily tours through the Great Hall where taxation issues were debated originating the doctrine, "no taxation without representation."
Continuing to the Charlestown Navy Yard, the USS Constitution "Old Ironsides" is in the middle of a multi-year restoration but is still open for tours. These are but a few of the experiences you'll enjoy while walking the trail.
The Hilton Boston Downtown/Faneuil Hall is housed in the city's first Art Deco skyscraper, built in 1928. Originally known as The Batterymarch Building, it sits in the middle of Faneuil Hall, within steps of Boston Waterfront, historic Freedom Trail and Quincy Marketplace.
Now an AAA Four Diamond hotel, the 15-story structure retains much of its early ambiance.
A member of Historic Hotels of America since 2015, this architectural landmark was originally constructed as the Public Services Building-the largest office building in downtown Boston. Today, it's truly modernized as a luxury hotel; Hilton has obviously respected the history of this structure and turned it into a beautiful and comfortable spot to stay while enjoying the Faneuil Hall section of the city.
At every turn, you'll find a historical, architectural wonder in this section of Boston.
[READMORE]READ MORE: Touring America's Historic Hotels and Sites[/READMORE]
Boston's Public Parks
From Boston Common and The Public Garden to Franklin Park lies the Emerald Necklace, a system of parks that measures more than seven miles long and covers 1,200 acres in the middle of the city. (A map rendering resembles an emerald necklace, thus the moniker.)
The Norman B. Leventhal Park within the heart of the Financial District provides more than one and a half acres of serene beauty including the Great Lawn, a walk-through sculpture fountain and a 143-foot-long garden trellis.
You'll find a bronze and granite "Creature Pond" in Post Office Square Park-a whimsical sculpture pond, sans water, with crafted figures of ducks, frogs and dragonflies. The engraved art piece sits adjacent to the George Thorndike Angell fountain and was built to commemorate the founder of the Massachusetts SPCA.
You won't just find Boston Baked Beans on the menu at The Union Oyster House.
Located on the Freedom Trail, near Faneuil Hall, this eatery enjoys the unique distinction of being America's oldest restaurant dating back to Pre-Revolutionary days. From Daniel Webster to JFK, famous politicians have visited this establishment which, since 1826, has only had three owners.
In 2003 the Union Oyster House was named as a National Historic Landmark, being not only the oldest continually-opening restaurant and oyster bar in the U.S. but the oldest standing brick building in Boston's Georgian architecture.
The city's oldest residential community, the North End, was settled in 1630 and is known for its Italian restaurants. Dubbed Little Italy, this area includes a portion of the Freedom Trail and the Paul Revere House.
Pizzeria Regina offers brick-oven pizza in a variety of combinations. Three generations of family members have kept this Boston staple a local favorite. Every August, the streets of the North End are filled with authentic Italian food pushcarts and live entertainment during Saint Anthony's Feast; a ten-hour procession of the statue of Saint Anthony with marching bands and floats is a highlight.
These are just two of the many dining spots in the city and around the harbor. Check out Boston Magazine's top fifty restaurants for a more detailed list.
As with most world-class museums, to fully experience the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, you'll need more than one visit. Filled with Early American, European, Asian and African art-both contemporary and ancient-the array can be overwhelming.
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum might be more kid-friendly with its interactive experiences of colonial town meetings and the throwing of the tea into the harbor.
Located on Columbia Point, a peninsula jutting into the bay, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is another must-see while in Boston. Permanent exhibits showcase events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Peace Corps and Space Programs. The I.M. Pei architecture and park-like setting on the water provide a peaceful experience with flora reminiscent of the landscape of the Kennedy's Cape Cod homes.
Add the New England Holocaust Memorial, Museum of Science, Boston Children's Museum and USS Constitution Museum to your list. Suddenly, you have a week's worth of Boston culture in which to become immersed.
[READMORE]READ MORE: 4 Places to See in Manchester-by-the-Sea[/READMORE]
Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO)
One cannot talk about Boston without mentioning the BSO. Listed among the "Big Five" orchestras in the United States-along with New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland-The Boston Symphony Orchestra performs in Symphony Hall and, during the summers, Tanglewood.
Perhaps best known for its Boston Pops Orchestra ensemble and their Fourth of July extravaganzas, the BSO was founded in 1881 and led by a diverse group of conductors over the years.
Free symphony hall tours are conducted in the Fall as well as Friday Previews, which are half hour talks about the music to be performed that season. If you cannot attend in person, you can find podcasts and concert streams on their website.
Susan Young is a travel and lifestyles freelance writer, currently creating for TravelPulse.com. Susan has previously written...
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