Boston's history recalls revolution and transformation, and today the city is still among the country’s most forward-thinking and barrier-breaking cities.
Art & Music
The arts have thrived in Boston ever since the 19th century, when this cultural capital was dubbed the Athens of America. Certainly, the intellectual elite appreciated their fine paintings and classical music, but they were also dedicated to spreading the cultural wealth, establishing museums, libraries and symphony orchestras for all to enjoy. Today the lucky residents of (and visitors to) Boston benefit from their largesse. These venerable institutions play an integral role on Boston's cultural stage, which has significantly expanded to include dynamic contemporary art, music and theater scenes.
'Fanatic' is no idle word here. Boston fans are passionate about sports. And with the five-time world-champion Patriots, the long-overdue World Series–winning Red Sox, the winningest basketball team in history, the Celtics, and the highly successful and historic hockey team, the Bruins, there is a lot to be passionate about. Boston's college teams also inspire fierce loyalties and staunch rivalries. No less spirited is the country's oldest and most celebrated running event, the world-famous Boston Marathon, and the world's largest two-day rowing event, the Head of the Charles Regatta.
A word of advice: when in Boston, eat as much seafood as possible. Local specialties include the 'sacred cod,' fresh steamed lobster, oysters on the half-shell and thick, creamy chowder. You can eat seafood around the city, but especially in the fish-centered Seaport District, where it's accompanied by spectacular harbor views. The creatures of the sea are your top priority, but don't miss the chance to devour delectable pasta in the North End and to sample diverse Asian dishes in Chinatown. Trendy fusion restaurants draw on all of these eclectic influences to present contemporary cuisine that is uniquely Boston.
For all intents and purposes, Boston is the oldest city in America. And you can hardly walk a step over its cobblestone streets without running into some historic site. The Freedom Trail winds its way around the city center, connecting 16 historically significant sites, from the country's oldest public park to a Revolutionary War battle site. These are the very places where history unfolded, especially the events leading to the American fight for independence from Britain. Other sites remember the city's role in the abolition movement, its cultural contributions and more. In effect, Boston is one fantastic outdoor history museum.