Brief Overview of City:
Boston is one of the most storied cities in the United States. Originally founded in 1630 by English Puritans, the city is known as the “Birthplace of the American Revolution” for its early role in the war for independence, which includes the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill.
The subsequent decades saw Boston grow through waves of industrialization and immigration. Starting in the 1820s, Irish immigrants began arriving in large numbers and have since left Boston with a distinct cultural heritage. The city earned a reputation as a maritime powerhouse, acting as the primary port for New England’s burgeoning textile industry while developing strong ship building and fishing communities.
Today, Boston is known for being a center of learning and innovation. With over 52 institutions of higher learning in the Boston area, including the prestigious universities of Harvard and MIT, the city has seen explosive growth in the technology, biotechnology and financial services industries. Unsurprisingly however, tourism remains an important part of Boston’s economy as hundreds of thousands of visitors arrive each year to visit one of America’s oldest cities.
Located outside of Boston and down the Charles River, Brighton has recently become an in-demand neighborhood for college students as well as young families. Washington Street forms the heart of a vibrant commercial zone, while nearby Boston College and Boston University contribute to a diverse local culture.
North of Downtown Boston and across the Charles River, Charlestown is a hardworking community founded predominantly by Irish immigrants. The neighborhood is also home to several historical sites, including the Bunker Hill Monument. Due to its proximity to downtown Boston, increasing numbers young professionals have moved into the area recently.
The center of the peninsula is full of large skyscrapers inhabited by financial services and technology corporations. It is also home to several administrative buildings belonging to the city and state governments. The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway winds through Boston’s downtown, a long park space left over from the previous highway that went through the middle of the city.
- Jamaica Plain
One of Boston’s most diverse communities, Jamaica Plain is a popular neighborhood for Latin and African American immigrants. Many small, immigrant-owned businesses can be found in this area, though gentrification has led to an increase in housing prices over the last few years.
- North End
The North End is the oldest neighborhood in Boston and the heart of the city’s Italian immigrant population. The streets here are frequently narrow and cobblestoned; here visitors can see Paul Revere’s house as well as the Old North Church.
As a city dependent upon its port and maritime industries, Boston’s cuisine has always maintained excellent seafood – but that’s hardly the only thing on the menu. Here are a few dishes not to miss out on:
- Boston Cream Pie
Originally created in 1856 by Parker House Hotel, the Cream Pie is a cake filled with custard or cream wrapped up in a delicious chocolate glaze. It is the official dessert of Massachusetts, and a truly decadent choice.
- Dim Sum
Available throughout Boston’s Chinatown District, Dim Sum is a Hong Kong style of dining which focuses on small dumplings, noodle dishes and more delivered via carts to your table. Some of the city’s largest Dim Sum restaurants include Empire Garden, China Pearl and Hei La Moon.
- Lobster Roll
One of New England’s most famous culinary exports, lobster rolls are a treat – tender lobster meat tossed with butter and sometimes with a little lemon vinaigrette inside a toasted brioche roll. Eventide in Fenway serves up one of the best in the city.
- Saltie Girl
Located in Boston’s classy Back Bay neighborhood, Saltie Girl offers fresh and modern seafood dishes created at a price that won’t break the bank. Furnished with an intimate, cozy décor, Saltie Girl is a perfect date night choice. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so get there early to get on the list.
Boston is a densely-populated city which allows for a more efficient public transportation system. Many residents rely on the city’s extensive light rail system to get around, usually referred to as the Boston T. The system has four main lines that extend outwards from downtown Boston to reach the surrounding suburbs as well as the adjacent cities of Chelsea and Cambridge. A one-way trip will cost $2.25, while a monthly LinkPass allows unlimited trips and costs $84.50 per month. Trains typically run from 5am to 1am.
Boston is full of impressive sights that chronicle its history, from a fiery center of the American Revolution to a commercial and industrial powerhouse.
- Boston Common
This is the largest park in downtown Boston and the oldest city park in the United States. There are a few points of interest here; the Oneida Football Monument shows where the first organized game of football took place in the U.S. in 1862, while at the corner of Beacon and Park Street stands a memorial to the first African American military unit in the Civil War. In the northern portion of the park, the Frog Pond ice skating rink is used during the winter.
- Fanueil Hall
Originally built in 1742, this imposing brick building became Boston’s first communal meeting space and hosted famous orators such as Samuel Adams and James Otis. Today, the building hosts numerous restaurants and small shops. Located in downtown Boston, Fanueil Hall is a must-see when visiting the city.
- Old North Church
Located in Boston’s North End, the Old North Church was forever enshrined in American history in 1775 when Paul Revere looked for lanterns hung from its steeple – “one if by land, two if by sea” – to signal the direction of British invasion during the Revolutionary War.
- Old State House
This building was in built in 1713, making it the oldest public building in Boston. The Old State House was previously the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798. Notable events that took place at and around the Old State House include the Boston Massacre in 1770, as well as the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.