500px Photo ID: 142624811 - BOSTON - JUNE 06: George Washington riding a horse Statue in Boston Commons Public Garden in Central Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Photo taken on June 30, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

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Boston Common

Top choice in Beacon Hill & Boston Common

America's oldest public park, Boston Common has a long and storied history, serving as a campground for British troops during the Revolutionary War and as green grass for cattle grazing until the 1830s. Nowadays, the Common is a place for picnicking and people-watching. In winter, the Frog Pond attracts ice-skaters, while summer draws theater lovers for Shakespeare on the Common. This is also the starting point for the Freedom Trail.

The on-site information kiosk is a great source of information, maps and tour guides. Otherwise, wander freely about this 50-acre green, crisscrossed with walking paths and dotted with monuments. Bostonians hustle to and from the nearby T (subway) stations; others stroll leisurely, enjoying the fresh air or engaging in any number of Common activities, from free concerts to playground shenanigans to seasonal festivities.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Beacon Hill & Boston Common attractions

1. Soldiers & Sailors Monument

0.04 MILES

This massive monument is dedicated to the namesake soldiers and sailors who died in the Civil War. The four bronze statues represent Peace, History, the…

2. Parkman Bandstand

0.05 MILES

Dating to 1912, Parkman Bandstand is now used for concerts, rallies and other events.

3. Great Elm Site

0.08 MILES

Now marked by a plaque, the Great Elm stood on this site for more than 200 years. History has it that the tree was used for public executions in the 17th…

4. Boston Massacre Monument


Paying tribute to the five victims of the Boston Massacre, this 25ft memorial replicates Paul Revere’s famous engraving of the tragic event.

5. Central Burying Ground

0.15 MILES

The Central Burying Ground is one of the city's oldest cemeteries, but it was a less prestigious resting place, used for Catholics, outsiders and British…

6. Brewer Fountain

0.17 MILES

Dating to 1868, this lovely bronze fountain depicts four aquatic deities from antiquity.

7. Make Way for Ducklings Statue

0.19 MILES

The most endearing of the Public Garden monuments is Make Way for Ducklings, always a favorite with kids. The sculpture depicts the characters in Robert…

8. Public Garden


Adjoining Boston Common, the Public Garden is a 24-acre botanical oasis of Victorian flower beds, verdant grass and weeping willow trees shading a…