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Boston, the capital of the North American state of Massachusetts, is a fantastic destination for a city trip. Don't think you're done after three or four days. Boston has so much to offer that, after a short visit you'll definitely want to visit it again. No wonder, because Boston is the cradle of the American Revolution and thus there is a lot to be found about the historic events of that took place here. But if that was all... No, there's a lot more: art museums, architecture, beautifully landscaped parks, a huge array of shops, and a great cuisine.
Where to start when listing the Boston attractions? Well, why not at the American Revolution: the Freedom Trail. This 4 kilometer long route runs past all the historic sites, from Boston Common, via the grounds where the Boston Massacre took place to the Bunker Hill Monument.
Or perhaps it is better to first see Boston from above, in order to get an idea of the city? Then go to the fiftieth floor of the Prudential Center. The Prudential Skywalk Observatory here gives you a fantastic view over Boston (and Cambridge, on the other side of the Charles River). Two stories higher you can enjoy a fine dining experience (with that same amazing view) in the restaurant Top of the Hub. A bit cheaper is the Lounge next door where jazz bands perform nearly every day.
From up top, did you spot the neighborhood with those narrow streets? That is Beacon Hill, where you think you are back in time in Boston over 200 years ago. The history of this part of the city goes even further back, because this is where the first English colonist, reverend William Blaxton, planted an orchard. No, that orchard is no more. You can find the Museum of African-American History in this district. In the time of Slavery in the South of America, Boston served as a safe haven for black slaves. The history of black Americans in Boston comes to life in this museum.
Some say it is a tourist trap, but it can't be denied that Quincy Market is one Boston's most popular attractions. Incidentally, it is officially called Faneuil Hall Marketplace, but whatever you call it, you can shop, eat, or just mosey around and observe the people and street artists.
The Theatre District is absolutely worth a visit too, even if you have no intentions in attending a performance. Because many of the historical theaters have been finely restored, it almost has that 'roaring twenties' feel! Of course the best thing to do is to visit a performance: the theater district has something for everyone, from Broadway musicals to avant-garde theater and stand-up comedians.
Art and culture of a whole different order can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts. This museum houses an enormous collection, from works by old European masters to modern American art, and from Mayan ceramics to Chinese Tang Dynasty vases.
Boston Red Sox fans will want to visit the Fenway Park stadium. This is the oldest baseball stadium in the United States. If you can't obtain a ticket for a game, you can always opt for a guided tour through the stadium.
One of the best ways to discover Boston and its surrounding area is doing a tour with the amphibious vehicles of Duck Tours. After the tour of the city, the riverside dives into the Charles River from which you'll have a beautiful view on Boston and Cambridge.
There are no less than 34 islets in the bay of Boston, which together form the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreational Area. You can swim, snorkel, picnic, hike and practice sports here. Some islands, like Moon Island and Long Island are connected to the mainland via a bridge, but most are only accessible by ferry. Those boats leave from Quincy and the Long Wharf in Boston. On some islands you can find many birds; those islands are off limits for the public in the breeding season (March to July).
Located south east of Boston is Cape Cod, a rugged shaped peninsula which used to be the center of the whaling industry, but nowadays mainly attracts 'celebrities'. In the somewhat sleepy town Brewster stands the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. For a beach day, go to Wellfleet, which also has many art galleries.
Witches and warlocks lived in Salem three hundred years ago. At least, those were the rumors and many residents were hanged for witchcraft. Today, Salem exploits that dubious past: in the Witch House you can see how it used to be determined if someone was a witch and the Witch Museum covers the history of witchcraft. Salem is situated about 30 kilometers northeast of Boston.
The majority of parking on the street is a privilege reserved for residents. If you can find a street park spot, it is often utterly expensive. So choose a parking garage. You will find them at Quincy Market, the Aquarium, the State Street Financial Center and in the Theater District. There is an underground garage under Boston Commons.
Boston airport is called Logan International Airport and is the most important airport of New England. The airport is located in the east of the city, just a few kilometers from the center. The airport is easily accessible with a rental car via the Massachusetts Turnpike (a tollroad).