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10 Reasons To Visit Boston This Fall

Packed with architecture, culture and entertainment, alongside a beautiful cityscape steeped in nearly 400 years of history, Boston makes the perfect fall road trip destination. From visiting Harvard to exploring The Freedom Trail, here are 10 things you absolutely have to do in Boston.

1 / 10

Harvard University

America’s most prestigious university – named in honour of its principal benefactor, John Harvard, in 1638 – has nurtured, tortured and tickled some of the greatest minds of the past 350 years. It has hosted everything from global economic summits to kool-aid acid tests, and educated everyone from future US presidents to late-night talk show hosts. Visitors craving contact with the Harvard mystique are in luck, since much of the university is open to the public.

2 / 10

Boston Common & Public Garden

Verdant Boston Common has hosted auctions, cattle grazing and public hangings over its 350-year history, in addition to festivals and the requisite Frisbee tosses. The adjacent Public Garden, opened in 1839, was the USA’s first botanical garden. Its swan boats, weeping willows and bridge are emblematic of Boston at its most enchanting. The French-style flowerbeds may only bloom in warmer months, but the garden exudes old-world charm year round.

(Photo courtesy of iStock)

3 / 10

The Freedom Trail

Snaking through 2.5 miles of city streets, the Freedom Trail creates a living link to Boston’s key revolutionary and colonial-era sites. Stroll from highlight to highlight and you’ll see history adopt a vibrancy, palpability and relevance unparalleled among US cities. Some of Boston’s most unique shops, restaurants and attractions are also located along the trail.

(Photo courtesy of iStock)

4 / 10

Trinity Church

Boston has a knack for creating curious visual juxtapositions, and one of the most remarkable is in Copley Square, where H.H. Richardson’s 19th-century Romanesque Trinity Church reflects in the blue-tinted glass of the decidedly 20th century John Hancock Tower. The breathtakingly beautiful church was named a National Historic Landmark in 1971 and has earned the American Institute of Architects’ distinction among the ten greatest buildings in the country.

(Photo courtesy of iStock)

5 / 10

Charlestown Navy Yard

Some of the most storied battleships in American naval history began life at Charlestown Navy Yard. Established in 1800 as one of the country’s first naval yards, Charlestown remained vital to US security until its decommissioning in 1974. From the 200-year-old wooden-hulled USS Constitution to the World War II-era steel destroyer USS Cassin Young, the yard gives visitors an all-hands-on-deck historical experience unparalleled in America.

(Photo courtesy of iStock)

6 / 10

Museum of Fine Arts

Over its 130 year-plus history, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) has collected some 450,000 pieces from an array of cultures and civilizations, ranging from ancient Egyptian tomb treasures to stylish modern artworks. In 2010, the museum opened its long-anticipated Art of the Americas wing, designed by Norman Foster, that displays works created in North, Central and South America.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr/Angela N.)

7 / 10

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Bostonians may bemoan its popularity with tourists, but this market completely deserves all the attention and accolades it has received since its revitalization in the mid-1970s. Once the pulsing center of Boston mercantile activity, the area fell into disrepair in the 1930s. Today, however, millions of visitors are testimony to its newfound vitality as a shopping and dining destination.

(Photo courtesy of iStock)

8 / 10

Newbury Street

Don’t let the profusion of Prada-clad shoppers fool you: there’s more to Newbury Street than world-class retail, people watching, and al fresco dining. One of the first streets created on the marshland known as Back Bay, Newbury has seen a myriad of tenants and uses over the past 150 years. Look closely and you’ll catch glimpse a historical side to Newbury Street all but unseen by the fashionistas.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr/Newbury R H)

9 / 10

New England Aquarium

The sea pervades nearly every aspect of Boston life, so it’s appropriate that the New England Aquarium is one of the city’s most popular attractions. What sets this aquarium apart from similar institutions is its commitment to presenting not only an exciting environment to learn about marine life, but also to conserving the natural habitats of its gilled, feathered and whiskered inhabitants.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr/Angela N.)

10 / 10

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

One needn’t be a fervent patron of the arts to be wowed by the Gardner Museum. Its namesake, who travelled tirelessly to acquire the pieces now housed here, opened the museum in 1903 to befit (some would say to rival) her staggering collection. The 15th-century, Venetian-style palazzo is a veritable feast of artifacts, art, and architecture in which flowers bloom, sculpted nudes pose in hidden corners, and entire ceilings reveal their European origins.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr/Smart Destinations)