Brick-lined streets. Old-school pubs. Steepled churches set against glassy skyscrapers. It's easy to fall under the spell of Boston, where world-class cultural institutions mingle with 400 years' worth of historic landmarks.
Boston is also compact and walkable, making it perfect for curious travelers with sturdy shoes. The haphazard layout is nerve-wracking to drive, but Beantown's bite-sized neighborhoods are a pleasure to explore on foot. You can also zip around town on the nation's oldest subway system.
Not sure where to start? Here are some classic constitutionals around town.
Time Travel Along the Freedom Trail
To really understand Boston, the Freedom Trail cuts a 2.5-mile cross section through both the urban landscape and the city's colonial past. The trail connects 16 important landmarks, from Boston Common — the country's very first public park — to the still-standing home of Paul Revere. Millions of people walk the trail each year, either on their own or as part of a guided tour. Highlights include the USS Constitution, a magnificent naval frigate, and the indoor market stalls of Faneuil Hall, a nexus of civic life since 1742.
Browse Boutiques in Back Bay
One of the most beautiful corridors in America is the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, a 1.5-mile linear park filled with monuments and flanked by handsome brownstones. Running parallel is Newbury Street, a shopping district that's as picturesque as it is chic. The Back Bay neighborhood is one of the most fashionable places to live in the Boston area, and a major train station provides easy access and a point of reference.
Stroll Museums (and Catch a Fly Ball) on the Fenway
Most baseball fans are familiar with Fenway Park, storied home of the Red Sox, and its forest-toned left-field wall nicknamed “The Green Monster." Fewer visitors know The Fenway, a parkway that curves through the Kenmore neighborhood and connects several major institutions: the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Fenway Garden Society, and a whole queue of colleges. This tree-lined promenade is beautiful in all seasons, and it's right around the corner from the commercial hubbub of Boylston Street.
Explore Along the Charles River
Boston boasts more than 500 miles of non-motorized trails, which branch off in all directions. The Charles River Bike Path is scenic and easy to find; the trail system skirts both riverbanks and spans several beautiful bridges. Runners and cyclists can take in the skyline, explore a network of parks, and watch sculling teams row their shells down the glassy water.
Get Schooled in Harvard Square
Once you have “parked your car in Harvard yard” — or, more likely, several blocks away — the Ivy League school is best enjoyed on foot. Harvard Square is a storybook neighborhood with brick walkways, quaint shops, and elegant architecture. From here, you can explore the webbed streets of Cambridge, one of the most vibrant communities in New England. While Cambridge is technically considered a separate city from Boston, you can easily get there by subway, taxi, or rideshare. In warmer weather, walk across the Harvard Bridge around sunset when the 360-degree views of the river are most jaw-dropping.
Kyle Klein/Meet Boston
Soak in the Seaport
The city's most amazing Cinderella story is the Seaport District, which has transformed from a derelict industrial site to a glittering cultural hotspot. The Boston Convention Center has served as an anchor point since 2004, and the neighborhood is now recognized for its luxury hotels and cutting-edge restaurants. This swath of South Boston was once infamous for its mobsters — today, walkways and photo-ready views of the harbor make it a favorite destination for visitors.
Want To Go?
Welcome to the heart of Boston and the heart of American history. As an original customs building that welcomed travelers to America, Marriott Vacation Club Pulse® at Custom House, Boston, is the starting point for your East Coast adventures. Your room, updated with modern conveniences, serves as your home base as you explore this historic metropolis.
Just outside your room are popular landmarks like the waterfront, Quincy Market, Prudential Center, Boston Opera House, Freedom Trail, and more. After exploring the city, return to Custom House and explore all the building has to offer. Relax in your spacious room with separate living and sleeping areas. Have your own private Boston tea party in your room’s kitchenette. And don’t forget to get a spectacular view of the city with a visit to the open-air observation deck on the 26th floor.
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