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From Our Blog

Boston’s National Parks

Boston is a city rich with history and culture. It’s also rich with National Parks to explore. These cherished Boston tourist attractions offer a wealth of opportunities to discover more about the places and people who helped shape our country.

Boston Harbor Islands

Looking to see our city from a new perspective? Boston Harbor Islands is a great day trip. The national park consists of 34 islands and peninsulas, and more than half a dozen of the islands are accessible by the park ferry. Explore the historic sites on the islands or pack a picnic and relax with the expansive views. The park ferries depart Boston Long Wharf on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through mid-June, then daily through Labor Day weekend.

Boston African American National Historic Site

About 1.5 miles from Boston Park Plaza, across the Common and behind the Massachusetts State House is a site vital to our nation’s history and culture. On the north side of Beacon Hill, the African American Community led the city and the country in the fight against slavery and injustice. The building that was the center of the community is the African American Meeting House built in 1806. The Meeting House is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10:00am – 4:00pm.

This site is also the start of the Black Heritage Trail. This 1.5 mile long trail takes visitors to sites that defined the trials of the free black community here in the late 18th century through the 19th century. Tours are available Wednesdays through Sundays. Reservations are required.

The Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial is located at the edge of the Common. This stunning bronze sculpture depicts Colonel Shaw leading the 54th Regiment down Beacon Street on May 28, 1863. Originally unveiled in 1897, it was our city’s first monument to courage of the African American soldiers. Recently rededicated, it forms part of the Boston African American National Historic Site.

Longfellow House

Across the Charles River in Cambridge is Longfellow House, home of the beloved American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Author of “Paul Revere’s Ride,” “The Song of Hiawatha” and “The Arrow and the Song”, his work contributed to an American literary legacy. If that isn’t reason enough to visit, this home was also the headquarters of then-General George Washington during the Siege of Boston, from July 1775 to April 1776. Today this historic home is a destination for those who love history as well as literature. Longfellow House is open for tours Fridays through Mondays, 9:30am – 5:00pm. The gardens are open from dawn to dusk.

Frederick Law Olmsted Site

About a 25-minute drive east is a must-visit destination for garden lovers. Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) is acknowledged as the founder of American landscape architecture. His vision and designs gave us the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and White House, New York’s Central Park, and whole park systems in Boston, Montreal, Seattle and more. The grounds have been restored to reflect much of his original landscaping. Until late June, the site is open for tours on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30am – 4:30pm. Late June through mid-September, the schedule is extended so you can tour the property on Thursdays and Sundays as well.

Adams National Historic Park

Just about 10 miles south of Boston in Quincy, Massachusetts is another national park rich with beauty and history. The Adams National Historic Park preserves and shares the stories of four generations of the family who lived here. It was home to John Adams, the second president of the United States and John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. The home was in the family for more than 200 years, from 1720 to 1927. Visiting this national park brings to life the political, social and cultural history of our country that this site inspired. The park includes three homes surrounded by acres of gardens. These historic homes are open for tours in the spring and summer, Wednesdays through Sundays from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.

Boston is rich in the diversity of our national parks. Whether you’re looking to spend time outside, or explore historic buildings and the lives lived there, there are so many things to see in Boston.


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