Image by Marcio Silva 500px Images

Adjoining Boston Common, the Public Garden is a 24-acre botanical oasis of Victorian flower beds, verdant grass and weeping willow trees shading a tranquil lagoon. The old-fashioned pedal-powered Swan Boats have been delighting children for generations. The most endearing statue in the Public Garden is Make Way for Ducklings, depicting Mrs Mallard and her eight ducklings, the main characters in the beloved book by Robert McCloskey.

Until it was filled in the early 19th century, the Public Garden was (like Back Bay) a tidal salt marsh. Now, at any time of the year, it is an island of loveliness, awash with seasonal blooms, gold-toned leaves or untrammeled snow.