|Faneuil Hall Marketplace
||4 S Market St
||This marketplace was once an important place for political speeches and protests when America was a concept and not yet a nation — historical leaders such as Samuel Adams spoke to crowds in this very spot. Nowadays, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is precisely what its name suggests: It’s a collection of indoor and outdoor markets — Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market — all set along a lively cobblestone promenade.
||Boston Common to Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown
||Boston is a decidedly historical city, and you’d be ill-served if you completely skipped its landmarks. An easy way to get a crash course in Massachusetts history is by walking the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile path that cuts through downtown Boston and passes spots that were important during the revolution. You’ll stop by Faneuil Hall Marketplace (above) and Paul Revere’s house, among others.
||4 Yawkey Way
||Boston is a spirited city, and there’s no other more genuine way to get immersed in its atmosphere than to head to Fenway Park. Grab some snacks and enjoy a baseball game at this cozy stadium, where the fans are diehard, the scene energetic, and all seats relatively close to the action.
|Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
||25 Evans Way
||This art museum not only houses Italian art, but was also modeled after a Venetian Palazzo, which gives the venue a design-oriented, European flair. Head here to enjoy a collection of Italian masterpieces, along with sculpted gardens, a glass atrium and greenhouse. Bonus if your name is Isabella: You get in for free.
|SoWa Open Market
||460 Harrison Ave
||Any vacation or weekend is not complete without a little shopping, and SoWa has it all: Crafts, produce, food, beer, art and music. This market is Boston’s largest collection of local artisans and businesses, so make sure to stop by if you’re in town from April 29-October 29, from 10AM to 4PM. It’s a great way to see local food trucks, farmers’ markets, and artists all in one place.
|South Boston Candlepin
||543 E Broadway
||For casual bowlers, you might be surprised that there are other types of bowling than the basic 10-pin and glow-in-the-dark-kids-party varieties. However, Boston is known for Candlepin bowling, where the pins are smaller and thinner, which (ostensibly) makes knocking them over a bit easier. For a taste of this local sport, go to South Boston Candlepin, an old-school alley with hand scoring and classic décor.
||Around Newbury St
||One of the most charming things about New England is its architecture, which features some of the oldest structures in the country. Head to Boston’s Back Bay area, a wealthy enclave of boutiques, designer stores and upscale restaurants for a thoroughly upscale neighborhood experience, and to see some truly beautiful buildings. Although a shopping spree may not be for everyone, you can certainly splurge and indulge in the calm vibe, and the rows of majestic Victorian town homes.
||Even if you didn’t ace the SATs or want to pursue a PhD in neuroscience, you can still visit one of America’s oldest and most prestigious institutions. Walk around the Harvard campus and take a look at its ancestral beauty, the grand architecture well-manicured open spaces, and the many enjoyable activities you can take part in at Harvard Square.
|Boston Public Library
||OK: So textbooks and reading might not be your ideal way to explore a city, but it’s worth it to at least stop by the Boston Public Library’s central location. The McKim Building’s reading room an opulent space with soaring ceilings, and large, arching windows. The lamps literally illuminate the room with the glow of another century.
||Tours depart from the Museum of Science, Presidential Center, and New England Aquarium
||What better way to experience the city than by land and boat? This family-friendly thing to do will wow kids and parents alike, with tours on vehicles that operate like trucks and then transform into boats for a cruise on the water.