The big race is upon us.
Here are dozens of things to do and visit in the Boston region in addition to checking out the Boston Marathon itself. Best part: They’re either free or close to it.
A museum off the beaten path
Boston is home to some of the world’s most notable museums.
But the city also hosts some lesser-known institutions of collective preservation, including one of the oldest military museums on the continent and one of the nation’s most prominent repositories of African-American history.
This map pinpoints these and nine others.
Some Irish history
Boston has long been the loci of the Irish in America (and of Irish-Americans).
Not surprisingly, then, the city is awash in memorials, monuments, and other reminders of the influence here of the sons and daughters of Eire.
A little Revolutionary War trivia
No other region in the nation has quite the connection to the Revolutionary War as does Boston and its environs (British-free since March 1776).
Not surprisingly, then, the area also has some of the country’s most notable monuments and memorials commemorating the conflict.
This map marks 11 of the most important ones.
Boston’s two most famous parks
The Public Garden and Boston Common together account for 74 acres of urban escape. The parks are chock-full of things to do and see, some a lot more notable than others.
A lot of people probably know about the Frog Pond or Make Way for Ducklings or the Edgar Allan Poe statue. And the memorial to the 54th Massachusetts is surely one of the world’s best-known military monuments, if for no other reason than the movie Glory.
But there are plenty of hidden gems in the Garden and the Common. If you know where to look...
Cemetery tours are not just for Halloween
The Boston region has some of America’s oldest cemeteries, with a handful stretching back to the early 1600s and a goodly proportion launching well before the 1900s.
The region’s cemeteries, too, contain a veritable village’s worth of notables: presidents, poets, war heroes, jurists, academics, athletes, musicians, Ben Franklin’s mom and dad, you name it.
Got kids? Desperate to keep them occupied? Relax.
Thanks to its compact, historic neighborhoods and pleasant New England waterfronts, Boston is probably America’s greatest walking city. Similarly pedestrian-friendly cities such as Cambridge surround it, too.
This makes the Boston region especially easy to visit with kids. This map of 23 things to do with the wee ones and the adolescents proves it.
Take the ultimate JFK tour
Last year marked the centennial of John F. Kennedy’s birth in the family home in Brookline. From that moment in May 1917, the 35th president’s life was entwined with the Boston region.
He was educated in Brookline, Dedham, and Cambridge; lived and launched his political career in Beacon Hill; and lives on for posterity in institutions in Columbia Point and Harvard Square.
Or check out Boston’s most iconic buildings
Given its age and its history, never mind its place as New England’s most populous city, Boston is one of America’s most iconic cities.
And, within Boston, are a handful of iconic buildings that represent the city to the rest of the world.
When people think of Boston and its physical landscape and architecture, they think of these 15. Check them out around the marathon.
Admire the region’s most beautiful building interiors
That architecture includes striking interiors.
Take a hike
One of the benefits of being in one of the more bucolic regions of the United States is the abundance of hiking venues.
If you still have some energy post-marathon, here are 10 such superb options throughout the Boston region.
They include major state and city parks with miles and miles of scenic trails each as well as smaller, tighter rambles.
Or a stroll instead
You’re in luck: Boston is one of the more beautiful places to be in the spring (trust us—the current weather is literally a freak of nature).
Here are 10 locations for the perfect springtime stroll—parks, squares, streets, and other runs perfectly suited for leisurely ambles amid just a touch of urban bustle.
Or just find yourself a nice bench
Boston has waterfront to spare; and along that waterfront are some fabulous parks. Here is a map of the 11 best.