John Adams Courthouse

Beacon Hill & Boston Common

Peek inside the impressive courthouse on Pemberton Sq, which is home of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the oldest appellate court in the country), as well as the Appeals Court and the Social Law Library. You can't enter the courtrooms, but you can admire the barrel-vaulted ceiling in the Great Hall and peruse the small exhibits – one on John Adams and the other on the Sacco & Vanzetti trial.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Beacon Hill & Boston Common attractions

1. Boston Athenaeum

0.09 MILES

Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenaeum is an old and distinguished private library, having hosted the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne…

2. Steaming Kettle


The steaming kettle on Sears Crescent has been a Boston landmark since 1873, when it was hung over the door of the Oriental Tea Co at 57 Court St. The…

3. King's Chapel & Burying Ground


Puritan Bostonians were not pleased when the original Anglican church was erected on this site in 1688. The granite chapel standing today – built in 1754 …

4. Old City Hall

0.11 MILES

This monumental French Second Empire building occupies a historic spot. Out front, a plaque commemorates the site of the country's first public school,…

5. Granary Burying Ground

0.12 MILES

Dating from 1660, this atmospheric atoll is crammed with historic headstones, many with evocative (and creepy) carvings. This is the final resting place…

6. Massachusetts State House

0.14 MILES

High atop Beacon Hill, Massachusetts’ leaders and legislators attempt to turn their ideas into concrete policies and practices within the State House…

7. City Hall Plaza

0.15 MILES

City Hall Plaza is a cold, windy, 56-acre concrete plaza, surrounded by government office buildings. Occupying the site of the former Scollay Sq, the…

8. Robert Gould Shaw Memorial

0.16 MILES

The magnificent bas-relief memorial opposite the State House was sculpted by Augustus St Gaudens. It honors the 54th Massachusetts Regiment of the Union…