One of the oldest cities in the United States and the capital of Massachusetts, Boston is so much more than a city. Almost 20% of its area is covered in parks, making it easy to find your ideal spot. In order to narrow your search, we’ll name just a few of the best Boston parks and hope that they’ll prove to be a valuable source of recreation and amusement for you and your family.
Most popular with the folk
This 50-acre green area holds the title of America’s Oldest Park. Boston Common was once a pasture, as well as a place for public hangings, which were not so rare in the 17th and 18th century. Today, however, it is the heart and the pulse of the city. It connects four different Boston neighborhoods you can choose to move to and serves as a common meeting point. Apart from its natural beauty, Boston Common offers an abundance of activities, attractions, and events, making it one of the best Boston parks. Every July and August you can enjoy Shakespeare on the Common – a free outdoor theater under the stars. If skating is your thing Frog Pond Ice Rink is open from November through early March, depending on the weather. As for the kids, they can have fun on a seasonal carousel, ball fields, a large splash pool, and the ”Tadpole” playground. History enthusiasts can have a wonderful experience with the Freedom Trail, Boston’s famous walk-through.
A park and a garden
Just across the Charles Street, you can find a curated botanical garden, named Public Garden. A place perfect for those peaceful strolls, filled with various types of flowers and flowering trees. You can also take the most relaxing ride in the iconic Swan Boats that take you around the lagoon. Visitors of all ages usually love the Make Way for Duckling statues, an homage to Robert McCloskey’s classic children’s book.
Looking for a promenade
Oceanfront shoreline is not the only place in Boston for water lovers. The Esplanade offers miles of grassy green banks along the Charles River for anyone who likes to walk, run, ride a bike or have a picnic while enjoying this tranquil landscape. Popular trails are surrounded with stunning water views. Quiet folks can enjoy a book, while families can pick any of the various available activities. Sailboats an kayaks are available for rent, so you can always have fun on the water. Check out Hatch Shell for live music performed by classical ensembles and national headliners. Here you can also watch the popular Free Friday Flicks series throughout the summer. Boston Pops July 4th concerts and fireworks are also popular with many of the Esplanades visitors.
A must on the list of best Boston parks
Once a highway and now an urban park, Rose Kennedy Greenway stretches from the North End all the way to Chinatown. This part of Financial District is now a place for anyone looking for peace and quiet. It was built to raise funds for the city and it still does a lot to give back to the community. Following its trail, you can find a variety of food trucks, farmers markets, and even a seasonal beer garden. The most prominent event must be the opening of the custom-built Greenway Carousel in the spring. Splash fountains, revolving art displays, and live music on Thursday nights in Dewey Square are there for your amusement. You can enjoy yourself here anytime from 7 am to 11 pm.
Stop by a park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and find out why it’s called Emerald Necklace. This seven-mile stretch is one of athletics’ favorites because of its wide running tracks and nice biking trails. Guided tours are available for anyone willing to learn more about the park’s rich history. Park is known for Evening Garden Strolls, which are taking place every Tuesday night at six. These will take you through the urban wilderness that is the Black Bay Fens. Park offers many fun activities for all ages, thus ensuring its place on the best Boston parks list.
Hear, hear, zen seekers
Although a part of the previously mentioned park system, Arnold Arboretum deserves a place of its own. It is located in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood and is a property of Harvard University. Its 281 shady acres offer a refuge for anyone escaping the bustle of the city. A true gem for nature lovers, Arnold Arboretum is home to 15,000-plus trees and shrubs, making it perfect for jogging and catching some sun rays. You can also have a guided tour of the place, and make this visit a scientific exploration.
Read on if seeking for something different
This is for those of you that are looking for the lesser-known urban oases.
- Castle Island dates from the mid-19th century. This 22-acre park is popular with the city’s natives and you can get to it by both pedestrian and vehicular roads.
- Pope John Paul II Park is 65-acre park filled with walking and biking trails, that also allows fishing. Don’t miss out on learning something new at the restored salt marsh.
- Federal Reserve Lot is a small alcove in the property of Federal Express. It is located on the South Boston waterfront and has access to secluded beaches.
- Piers Park is a 600-foot pedestrian experience. It will lead you to two pavilions with amazing skyline views. Be sure not to miss the amphitheater, a large playground, and an outdoor fitness system.
From Fenway Victory Gardens all the way to ”secret” parks, Boston offers lots of natures hideouts. Small green pockets are hard to find and are usually known only to locals. However, don’t be discouraged, and start out with these best Boston parks, you’ll be surprised with what you can find along the way.