Imagine strolling through the historical streets of Boston, surrounded by picturesque buildings and charming cobblestone pathways. While many tourists flock to the well-known sights such as Fenway Park and Freedom Trail, there are hidden gems scattered throughout the city that only the locals seem to know about. From hidden rooftop gardens with breathtaking city views to serene waterfront parks perfect for a peaceful escape, this article will guide you to the most scenic spots in Boston that most tourists don’t know about. Grab your camera and get ready to discover a side of Boston that will leave you breathless.

Boston Common

Overview

Boston Common is a beautiful public park located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts. It is the oldest public park in the United States and has been a gathering place for locals and visitors alike for over 380 years. Spanning 50 acres, this urban oasis offers a variety of recreational activities, historic landmarks, and stunning natural scenery.

History

The history of Boston Common dates back to 1634 when it was first established as a common grazing area for cattle and a training ground for the town’s militia. Over the years, it has served as a site for public executions, military encampments during the Revolutionary War, and even a campground for British troops during the occupation of Boston. Today, it stands as a symbol of Boston’s rich history and continues to be an important gathering place for community events and celebrations.

Scenic Features

Boston Common is dotted with picturesque features that make it a truly scenic spot. One of the most iconic attractions is the Frog Pond, a man-made pool that transforms into an ice rink during the winter months. The surrounding area is adorned with beautiful statues and sculptures, creating a tranquil and artistic atmosphere. The park is also home to lovely gardens, vibrant flower beds, and towering trees that provide shade and serenity. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the meandering paths or enjoy a picnic on the open grassy areas, all while soaking in the natural beauty of the park.

Arnold Arboretum

Overview

The Arnold Arboretum is a stunning botanical garden located in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Spanning 281 acres, it is managed by Harvard University and serves as a research and educational institution as well as a beloved public green space. The arboretum is renowned for its extensive collection of trees, shrubs, and plants from around the world, making it a truly unique and scenic destination.

History

The history of the Arnold Arboretum can be traced back to 1872 when it was established through a generous donation by James Arnold, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist. Frederick Law Olmsted, the renowned landscape architect who designed Central Park in New York City, was enlisted to create a master plan for the arboretum. Since then, it has been a hub for scientific research, horticultural education, and public enjoyment.

The Most Scenic Spots In Boston Most Tourists Dont Know About

Scenic Features

The Arnold Arboretum boasts a wide range of scenic features that captivate visitors. The highlights include the stunning vistas of the Peters Hill and Bussey Hill, where panoramic views of the surrounding landscape can be enjoyed. The arboretum is also home to several serene ponds and gardens, including the Japanese Garden and the Lilac Collection. Walking through the arboretum’s well-maintained paths, visitors will encounter unique and rare plant species, each contributing to the overall beauty and diversity of the landscape.

Museum of Fine Arts Courtyard

Overview

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston is renowned for its impressive collection of art from around the world. In addition to its stunning exhibits, the museum boasts a captivating courtyard that offers a peaceful sanctuary amidst the bustling city. The MFA courtyard is a hidden gem that provides visitors with a serene oasis and a unique outdoor art experience.

History

The MFA courtyard was designed by the legendary architect I.M. Pei and was completed in 1981. Its purpose was to create a harmonious connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces of the museum. The courtyard features a delightful blend of contemporary and traditional elements, with sleek architectural lines, soothing water features, and lush greenery. It has become a beloved spot for visitors to relax and recharge while surrounded by beautiful sculptures and artwork.

Scenic Features

The MFA courtyard offers a multitude of scenic features that make it a must-visit destination. The centerpiece of the courtyard is a stunning glass-enclosed garden, which houses a diverse collection of plants and flowers throughout the year. Visitors can also admire the intricate sculptures and unique installations scattered throughout the space. The combination of natural elements, architectural beauty, and artistic expressions creates a serene and visually striking environment that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Overview

Nestled along the Boston Harbor, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park is a hidden gem that offers breathtaking views and a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. This six-acre park provides a perfect blend of scenic beauty and recreational amenities, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors seeking a peaceful waterfront experience.

The Most Scenic Spots In Boston Most Tourists Dont Know About

History

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park was first opened in 1976 to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the United States. It was designed to honor Christopher Columbus and his historic voyage to the Americas. Over the years, the park has undergone several renovations and improvements, including the addition of beautiful rose gardens and a picturesque pavilion. Today, it stands as a testament to the city’s maritime heritage and offers a serene respite for those seeking tranquility by the water.

Scenic Features

This waterfront park is blessed with a plethora of scenic features that make it a truly enchanting destination. The park is adorned with colorful flowers, manicured lawns, and shady trees, creating a picturesque setting for picnics, leisurely walks, or simply enjoying the stunning waterfront views. The park’s central feature is a beautiful fountain, which adds a touch of elegance to the surroundings. Visitors can also take advantage of the park’s benches and waterfront promenades to relax and take in the soothing sights and sounds of the harbor.

Castle Island

Overview

Castle Island, located in South Boston, is a historic and picturesque destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and fascinating history. It is home to Fort Independence, a 19th-century granite fortress, and serves as a recreational area for locals and tourists alike.

History

Castle Island has a rich history that dates back to the 1600s when it was used to defend the city against enemy attacks. Fort Independence, the main attraction on the island, was first constructed in 1634 and has played a vital role in various conflicts throughout American history. Today, visitors can explore the fort’s imposing walls, cannons, and underground passages, gaining insight into Boston’s military past while enjoying stunning views of the Boston Harbor.

Scenic Features

Castle Island is known for its breathtaking views of the Boston skyline and the surrounding waterfront. The island offers a scenic walking path that encircles its perimeter, allowing visitors to take in the beauty of the harbor, watch boats sailing by, and even spot planes taking off and landing at the nearby Logan Airport. The island’s sandy beaches are perfect for sunbathing or picnicking, while grassy areas provide a serene spot for relaxation. Whether exploring the historic fort or simply enjoying the natural beauty, Castle Island offers a truly enchanting and scenic experience.

Fenway Victory Gardens

The Most Scenic Spots In Boston Most Tourists Dont Know About

Overview

Tucked away in the bustling Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood, Fenway Victory Gardens is a hidden oasis that offers a peaceful retreat amidst the urban landscape. This community garden is not only a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts but also holds historical significance as a symbol of resilience and victory during times of war.

History

Fenway Victory Gardens were first established in 1942 as a response to the food shortages during World War II. The gardens served as a way for citizens to contribute to the war effort by growing their own produce. Today, the gardens remain a testament to the city’s determination and community spirit. Walking through the garden’s winding paths, visitors can still witness the beauty of the carefully tended plots and the sense of camaraderie that exists among the gardeners.

Scenic Features

Fenway Victory Gardens are a feast for the eyes, boasting an array of vibrant flowers, lush greenery, and meticulously cultivated plots. The garden’s charming pathways are lined with benches, inviting visitors to relax and soak in the natural beauty. Each plot is unique, showcasing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowering plants. From the scent of blooming roses to the sight of freshly harvested produce, Fenway Victory Gardens provide a sensory experience that is both tranquil and visually captivating.

Skywalk Observatory

Overview

For breathtaking panoramic views of the city, the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center is an unparalleled destination. Situated on the 50th floor, this observation deck provides an unparalleled vantage point to admire Boston’s iconic skyline, harbor, and surrounding landmarks.

History

The Skywalk Observatory was first opened to the public in 1965 and has since become one of Boston’s top tourist attractions. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to see the city from a different perspective, providing them with a deep appreciation for its architectural beauty and rich history. From the observatory, visitors can spot famous landmarks such as Fenway Park, the Charles River, and even the distant Blue Hills.

Scenic Features

The main feature of the Skywalk Observatory is, of course, the stunning panoramic views it provides. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer an unobstructed sight of the city in all its glory, allowing visitors to capture breathtaking photographs and soak in the beauty of their surroundings. The observatory also provides interactive exhibits and informative displays that delve into Boston’s history, architecture, and culture, further enhancing the overall experience. Whether during the day or at night when the city is illuminated, the Skywalk Observatory offers a truly unforgettable and scenic experience.

Jamaica Pond

Overview

Jamaica Pond, located in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood, is a picturesque body of water surrounded by lush greenery, tranquil walking paths, and beautiful wildlife. It offers a serene retreat from the busy city streets, making it a favorite spot for locals and visitors seeking a peaceful escape.

History

Jamaica Pond has a long history that dates back to the early colonial period. Originally used for fishing and farming, it has since become a beloved recreational area for Bostonians. In the 19th century, the pond was a popular destination for boating and ice skating, and these activities continue to this day. The pond’s natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere continue to enchant visitors, providing a serene respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Scenic Features

Jamaica Pond boasts a variety of scenic features that make it a true gem within the city. Walking or cycling along the pond’s perimeter, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the shimmering water, framed by towering trees and colorful shrubs. The path is lined with benches, inviting people to sit and take in the serenity or engage in birdwatching as various species of waterfowl make their homes in and around the pond. Whether picnicking on the grassy shores, enjoying a leisurely boat ride, or simply embarking on a peaceful walk, Jamaica Pond offers a truly scenic and rejuvenating experience.

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Overview

The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a vibrant and dynamic public park that spans through several neighborhoods in downtown Boston. Created in 2008, it offers a unique urban green space that combines art, horticulture, and community events, making it a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.

History

The Rose Kennedy Greenway was created as a result of the “Big Dig” project, which replaced an elevated highway with an underground tunnel system. The park’s name honors Rose Kennedy, the matriarch of the Kennedy family, and symbolizes her commitment to community beautification and public spaces. Today, the Greenway is a testament to urban revitalization, showcasing a harmonious blend of nature, art, and cultural engagement.

Scenic Features

The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a visual feast, offering a diverse range of scenic features that cater to all interests. The park is adorned with lush lawns, vibrant flower beds, and carefully manicured gardens, creating a breathtaking landscape throughout the seasons. One of the highlights is the Wharf District Parks, which features a variety of public art installations and stunning views of Boston Harbor. The Greenway also hosts various community events, including food markets, live performances, and art exhibitions, adding to its vibrant and ever-changing atmosphere. Whether seeking a relaxing stroll, cultural enrichment, or a lively gathering, the Rose Kennedy Greenway is a must-visit destination for those seeking a scenic and engaging experience in the heart of Boston.

In conclusion, Boston is filled with hidden gems and scenic spots that offer a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. From the historic Boston Common to the serene Jamaica Pond, each destination boasts its own unique blend of natural beauty and fascinating history. Whether you are a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply in search of a peaceful retreat, these scenic spots in Boston are sure to leave a lasting impression. So, the next time you find yourself in this vibrant city, be sure to explore these hidden gems and uncover the beauty that lies beyond the well-trodden tourist path.