Sure, you can walk the Freedom Trail ’till your feet are blistered or wander around Quincy Market to see the street performers. Or if you’re mildly adventurous, you could revel in the traditions of America’s pastime at Fenway Park, reliving the creaky memories of millions of baseball fans. But what if you want a real sense for what gives Boston its character — and not just a visit to the typical tourist sites your cousin thinks you need to hit to complete your travel photo checklist? The Rentenna team has assembled a list of the best unique places to visit in Boston, with our notes on why these attractions are worth your precious time (and instagram stream).
5. Boston Harbor Islands
If you’re looking for a fun, creative, and romantic day trip to take in the Boston area, ride the ferry to some of the Boston Harbor Islands. There are a good number of unique and historical destinations right off the coast of Boston, ranging from the Civil War Era forts of Georges Island to the beautiful lighthouse of Little Brewster Island. You’ll find a breed of Boston sites that you’ve never seen before, and learn something in the process! The ferries leave from Long Wharf and Fan Piers for only about $10 each, but keep note of the time: you don’t want to be stuck on the islands for the night.
4. Longyear Museum
Longyear Museum, in Brookline, Boston, is a beautiful classic stone mansion formerly owned by the Longyears and one of the top Boston sites to visit off the beaten path. Philanthropists Mary Longyear and her husband John amassed a wide collection of documents, furniture, artifacts, and paintings when they were threatened by urban development, and stored them in their enormous mansion to be saved for the public following their deaths. Visit it for a taste of true Boston culture. Is this what you’re looking for? For more interesting places to visit, give us a “Like” on Facebook or a +1 on Google Plus and we’ll keep you updated with travel news, apartment rental listings in Boston, and more!
And no, I don’t mean to follow the massive crowds that pile into Harvard and MIT every summer. Cambridge is a city full of beautiful riches such as Mount Auburn Cemetery, Kendall Square, and the Longfellow National Historic Site. You’ll find beautiful parks, a thriving unique culture, and a city you’ll want to walk around and enjoy for days without the packed hustle and bustle of Boston.
2. The Emerald Necklace
The Emerald Necklace Conservancy is a park system stretching from the Charles River to Dorchester, and consists of some of the most beautiful parkland in the United States. It’s comprised of six different smaller parks: Back Bay Fens, The Arnold Arboretum, the Riverway, Olmsted Park, Jamaica Pond, and Franklin Park. In each of these paradises, you’ll find a unique blend of marshland, walking roads, and beautifully tended gardens, offering perhaps the most relaxing Boston sites to visit.
Take the Boston-Salem ferry up to Salem and experience hard-hitting, realistic American history at its finest. You’ll find a beautiful town that bears no resemblance to its angsty, violent past in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, but you can re-experience the town’s darkest hour at The Witch House or the Gedney House, a historic house museum featuring relics from the town’s sordid past. Beyond the witch trials, Salem also offers a historic replica of the Friendship, a Salem-based ship that traveled the world in the 19th century, and the Peabody Essex Museum of Maritime Trade and Whaling. Still looking for more great places to visit along the east coast? When you’re done with Boston, head down to check out the best New York City Sites at Rentenna!