A Place I’d Like to Visit

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The Sights and Smells of Amsterdam

Amsterdam sure is a place to stimulate all of your senses, from the beautiful river canals, the whirring of bike wheels and bike bells and the smells of…well I’ll let you figure that one out.

Amsterdam sure is a place to check out and I was fortunate enough to visit it this year.

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Visiting Cambridge and Boston

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Home of Harvard University

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Cambridge is a city in the U.S. state of Massachusetts right across the Charles River from the capital Boston. It is home to Harvard University.

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The Harvard Art Museum on the campus of Harvard University consists of three museums of which the first opened in 1896. The Fogg Museum is the oldest of the three and is famous for its eclectic exhibits, including Western artwork like paintings, print work, photographs, and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the present.

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The Busch-Reisinger Museum opened to the public in 1903 and is a wonderful place to see German artwork.

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The Arthur M. Sackler Museum opened its doors in 1985 and displays Asian artwork such as Chinese, Japanese, and Chinese pieces.

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The Harvard Museum of Natural History is known for being the most visited museum in Cambridge. It has more than 12,000 different natural specimens. You can find dinosaurs, meteorites, gems, and fossils.

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The Kronosaurus is a marine animal dating from the dinosaur age and measures 42 feet.

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The Blaschka “Glass Flowers’ is a world-famous collection of glass flowers. Children can enjoy interactive exhibits for a hands-on experience.

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The Fresh Pond Reservation is a park and a local reservoir. There are trails around a 155-acre lake for hiking, running, or cycling. You’ll also find a golf course for a 9-hole round of golf.

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The Longfellow House is the former home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a famous American poet. This house is also known as Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site. It was built in 1759 and was the headquarters of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. There are guided tours available and you can walk in the lovely gardens. Special events are hosted here that include reenactments of historical scenes, musical concerts, and poetry readings.

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The Charles Riverboat Company began in 1990 offering visitors a wonderful way to travel on the Charles River and see Cambridge from the riverside. Tours will take you around the Charles River Basin to the Boston Harbor. As you travel you can find out about the history of the Cambridge area.

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Harvard Square is known as the historic center of Cambridge. It is a plaza located next to Harvard Yard. It is a popular place with university students. Here you can find coffee shops, bookstores, shops, and restaurants. A great part of this area is pedestrian so you can walk about and enjoy street performers and musicians. In the evenings there is live music and other events taking place.

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On the Harvard University campus, the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology is known for being one of the largest museums that is dedicated to anthropology in the world. It was established in 1866 and has an incredible 1.5 million objects on display. Visitors can see maps, photos, and other important artifacts taking them way back into history more than 10,000 years ago.

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Central Square is part of the Central Square Historic District of Cambridge. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Here you can find amazing period architecture and exciting places to go like live music venues, theaters, and bars. During the day there are many lovely churches to visit and you can enjoy ethnic restaurants.

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The Sanders Theater is well-known in Cambridge for being a historical location. It is part of the High Victorian Gothic Memorial Hall. The theater was completed in 1875. The events here include concerts, live music performances, and lectures. Here you can see busts of famous past speakers, statues, and lovely stained glass windows.

Beautiful and Historic Boston

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The Longfellow Bridge spans the Charles River. It is a steel rib arch bridge that connects the Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston with the Kendall Square area in Cambridge.

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Boston is the capital and largest city in Massachusetts. It was founded in 1630 and is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. It played a major role in the American Revolution.

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In the very heart of Boston, you’ll find Boston Common. This is the oldest park in America and the start of the Freedom Trail. It is a large green space visited year round.

There are monuments and the Central Burying Ground of 1756.

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From November to mid-March you can rent skates and skate on the Frog Pond. In the spring there are lovely blossoms to enjoy and in the fall the colors are amazing. In the summer it is a joy to watch children splash in the wading pool.

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Adjoining Boston Common is the 24-acre Public Garden the oldest botanical garden in America. It has Victorian-style monuments and statues among them

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an equestrian statue of George Washington and

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a popular bronze statue of a family of ducks from the children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey. One of the city’s most iconic experiences is riding around the lake in the center of the garden on the famous Swan Boats which were first launched in the 1870s.

An exciting thing to do in Boston is to take the three-mile Freedom Trail. It will lead you past 16 of the city’s main historic monuments and sites. You just have to follow the line of red bricks in the sidewalk and by footprints at street crossings. At the Visitors Center in the Boston Common, you can pick up brochures.

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You will then head for the State House.

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Old Granary Burying Ground the finals resting place of Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Babcock.

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King’s Chapel Burying Ground the oldest cemetery in the city with the graves of Governor John Winthrop and two Mayflower passengers.

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Old South Meeting House where the speeches of patriots caused upheaval leading to the Boston Tea Party.

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The Old State House is Boston’s oldest public building and the site of the Boston Massacre. Then on through Boston’s North End past the Paul Revere House and Old North Church. The trail ends across the bridge in Charlestown with the 54-gun frigate USS Constitution

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and the 220-foot Bunker Hill Monument.

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The USS Constitution was nicknamed Old Ironsides. It is the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy and is still commanded and crewed by the Navy. The ship is open to visitors. Across the pier, you’ll find the USS Constitution Museum where visitors can learn about its history through interactive displays which illustrate life aboard a naval vessel two centuries ago.

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The Cassin Young, a WW II destroyer is another ship you can tour.

 

The neighborhood known as the North End is one of the oldest in Boston. This is where the silversmith and activist leader Paul Revere lived at the time of the American Revolution.

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It was the Paul Revere House from which he made his famous ride and is the only patriot’s house on the Freedom Trail.

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You can climb up to the tower of the Old North Church, where lanterns were hung in April 1777 to warn Paul Revere that British troops were heading for Lexington to arrest patriot leaders and confiscate the munitions supplies.

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The North End is a favorite with tourists because of its Italian character and flair. Here you can find Italian restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and shops. Visit the North Bennet Street School where skills like bookbinding, cabinet and furniture making, carpentry, silver and gold work, and violin making are taught. The gallery shop is a great place to find one-of-s-kind gifts.

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Faneuil Hall had long been known as the “cradle of liberty”. It was built in 1740 by Peter Faneuil, a Huguenot merchant. It was built as a market hall always to be open to the public. The ground floor has market stalls and on the upper floor is a council chamber used in the 18th and 19th centuries as a meeting place of revolutionaries and later, of abolitionists. On the fourth floor is the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Museum with weaponry, uniforms, and paintings of significant battles.

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Next to it is the Faneuil Hall Marketplace which includes three long halls – Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market. There date back to the early 19th century. Here you can find an assortment of shops, restaurants, and exhibitions. In the square around the market, you can see street performers and buskers putting on shows. There are also many stalls selling food, jewelry, clothing, gifts, and souvenirs. This is also home to Durgin-Park, one of the many historical places to eat in Boston.

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Fenway Park is known as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark”. It is an interesting place to visit for sports fans and even those not interested in sports. It is the home of the Boston Red Sox and looks about the same as it did when it opened back in 1912.

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The most recognizable feature is the Green Monster, the 37-foot green wall in the left field. From the old days, there is a hand-operated scoreboard.

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Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s most beautiful neighborhoods. The south side of this neighborhood has traditionally been the home of Boston’s “old money” families that are locally known as “Brahmins”. There are tree-shaded streets and brick homes in Federal and Greek Revival styles.

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At the very heart is Louisburg Square. Homes here face onto a leafy private park. Author Louisa May Alcott lived here from 1880 to 1888.

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The Nichols House Museum is a Federal-style home which shows how the upper-class residents lived in this neighborhood. It has collections of 16th to 19th-century furnishings and decorative arts.

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Charles Street at the western foot of Beacon Hill is lined with boutiques and ships.

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Facing the Public Garden is the popular The Bull and Finch which was established in 1969 and inspired the TV show Cheers.

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African Meeting House

On the north side of Beacon Hill are homes to immigrants including the African American community since the early 19th century. National Park Rangers offer free guided tours of the Black Heritage Trail from April through November. Self-guided tours are available as well. The Boston African American National Historic Site includes 15 pre-Civil War homes, businesses, schools and churches that show how this community looked in the 19th century.

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The Museum of Afro-American History runs the African Meeting House which is the country’s oldest church built by and for Black Americans.

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The 1834 Abiel Smith School was the first grammar school for African American children.

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The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is one of the leading art museums in the U.S. It has collections of Impressionist paintings, ancient Egyptian treasures, Asian and Persian fine arts and artworks from ancient Greece and the Middle East. One of the highlights here is the American Wing with amazing collections of American paintings, furniture, decorative arts and so much more.

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The Back Bay area main square is surrounded by old and modern buildings. One side is formed by the Boston Public Library. It has impressive Renaissance Revival architecture and murals by John Singer Sargent and Edwin Abbey. Over the front entrance are granite medallions created by American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

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Facing the library across a grassy lawn is Trinity Church. This red sandstone building was designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson in his distinctive style known as Richardson Romanesque. The murals, frescoes, and painted decoration inside the church were done by John La Farge.

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On the third side of the square is the Fairmont Copley Plaza. These are three buildings that are backed by the sheer glass wall of a skyscraper and together create an amazing cityscape. A block down is the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

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Beyond that is the Prudential Center, a 32-acre complex of apartments, shops, restaurants, and a 52-story tower.

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For amazing views across the city visit the Skywalk Observation on the 50th floor.

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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to the memory of the 35th President of the U.S. John F. Kennedy. The museum stands on the south shore of the city. It features three theaters, personal memorabilia, photos, and historical exhibits documenting the life of JFK and his presidency.

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The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is housed in a building that was created after a 15th-century Venetian palace. The displays of collections are in rooms that are surrounded by a four-story central courtyard with flowering plants and fountains. There is a 2500-piece collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, tapestries, decorative arts, books, and manuscripts that reflect the flamboyant taste of Mrs. Gardner.

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Behind the palazzo is a 70,000-square foot glass-clad building that was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. It is a stunning space for music and visual arts. The amazing Piano wing has transparent walls so you can see the Palazzo and gardens. After the tour, you can walk through the Fens which is a long green space with a lovely rose garden in bloom from June through October.

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An amazing thing to see is the Boston Waterfront.

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It is a mix of residential and commercial space and is connected by the Harbor Walk. This is an attractive walkway with parks, public art, benches, cafes, interpretive signs and access to cruise boats, ferried and water taxis. A shuttle-boat will take you the Charlestown Navy Yard.

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You can enjoy seeing Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Commercial Wharf, India Wharf, Long Wharf, and Rowes Wharf. Leading to the vibrant Seaport District and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Take a look at the Boston Tea Party Ship, a replica of one of the original ships from which the Sons of Liberty dumped tea into Boston Harbor.

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At Rowes Wharf you can take an Odessey Cruise through Boston Harbor

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from Castle Island

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to George’s Island.

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To the Boston Light on Little Brewster Island

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and to the Charlestown Naval Yard and back to the wharf. Watching the Boston skyline from the water you can enjoy lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch. At night you can take a romantic cruise.

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The New England Aquarium on the waterfront has over 20,000 fish and aquatic animals that represent more than 550 species. There is a man-made coral reef with tropical fish and underwater life like sharks, turtles, and moray eels. The Edge of the Sea touch tank lets visitors touch such creatures as crabs, starfish, and urchins.

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Outside of the aquarium, you can watch harbor seals play, perform, and live. There are educational program and whale-watching tours outside of Boston harbor. The adjacent IMAX Theater shows 40-minute films on nature subjects.

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The Boston Symphony Orchestra gave its inaugural concert in 1881 at Symphony Hall. It is also home to the Boston Pops Orchestra.

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On the riverside, you can enjoy outdoor concerts in the Hatch Memorial Shell which is on the Esplanade and has become a Boston Landmark. On the Fourth of July each year the Boston Pops Orchestra plays the 1812 Overture while the audience sits on the lawn.

 

 

https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-things-cambridge-ma/

https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/boston-us-ma-boston.htm

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