Aerial view of Boston, Massachusetts (Corbis)

July 4 at the Hatchshell on the Esplanade in Boston, Massachusetts (Mary Giordono/B4 Productions)

Aerial view of Boston, Massachusetts (Corbis)

Museum of Science. Boston, Massachusetts (Museum of Science)

Boston Harbor and skyline, Boston, Massachusetts (Digital Vision)

Tidepool Touchtank at the New England Aquarium, Boston, Massachusetts (New England Aquarium)

Sailboats in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts (Photodisc)

Bluefish at New England Aquarium, Boston, Massachusetts (New England Aquarium)

July 4 fireworks over Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts (Jay Connor/B4 Productions)

Biking in Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts (Kindra Clineff/Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism)

Night view of Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts (Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Skyline of Boston, Massachusetts (Digital Vision)

Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts (Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism)

Newbury Street in Boston, Massachusetts (Tim Grafft/Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism)

Swan Boat in the Public Garden, Boston, Massachusetts (Sarah Musumeci/Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism)

Aerial view of Boston, Massachusetts (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Boston (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Boston

Boston has never taken proper advantage of its ocean setting. Sure, there was the Boston Tea Party and the launching of the USS Constitution , but for the past two centuries, life has retreated to the interior neighborhoods of Beacon Hill and Back Bay, not to mention the Boston Common. It wasn’t until the completion of the infamous Big Dig, connecting the harbor and downtown, that Boston rediscovered its waterfront. And with the debut of Boston’s waterfront convention center in 2004, a somewhat seedy corner of South Boston came into its own. Notable restaurants are staking a claim on Liberty Wharf, and, in 2006, Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art opened in a gem of a building. From ICA’s glass-enclosed fourth-floor atrium, peering at the boats slicing through the Atlantic, even Bostonians may thank the Big Dig for reviving the coast.

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Traveler Reviews of Boston


Alistair rates Boston
I feel like I've been doing something wrong, but Boston has never really done it for me as a place to visit. I find the downtown area to be a grimy and grey and missing a lot of the historic charm for which Beantown is always lauded. OK, the neighborhoods around Cambridge, Somerville, and Back Bay have their charm, but as an out-of-towner I've never really found it a welcoming place to visit. Faneuil Hall just seemed crowded and over-touristy, an East Coast version of Fisherman's Wharf.
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