Last Updated: August 8, 2022

What Is Boston Known For?

The city of Boston in Eastern Massachusetts is one of the most famous cities in the United States, and while it might not be your first choice of US cities to visit, maybe you’ll think again after reading this article.

Sitting on the east coast right on the Atlantic Ocean, Boston is easily accessible from pretty much every country in the world, and with lovely sea views and the shores of Cape Cod down the road, it’s a beautiful city.

But, what is Boston known for? You’re probably thinking of Harvard University, or that Boston’s history included important events in American History such as the American Revolution but there is a lot more to discover.

Join me as we take a look at the best things about Boston that you should explore when you visit this lovely city.

New England Aquarium

New England Aquarium

A place you kind of have to visit while you’re in Boston is the New England Aquarium as, as far as aquariums go, this one is off the charts. One of the city’s famous landmarks, the aquarium is home to so many different marine species and the scale of it is pretty mind-blowing.

As you enter the aquarium you’ll be greeted by a bunch of harbor seals merrily swimming around a large tank and as you go further you’ll discover the cute penguins enjoying their enclosure.

With over 1.3 million visitors a year, it’s not just the seals and penguins drawing this big crowd. Inside the aquarium, you’ll find a huge 760,000-liter tank that is home to a fake coral reel and packed with an amazing diversity of marine life. You’ll see sharks, stingrays, turtles, and lots more in this incredible aquarium.

Boston Marathon

Every year on the third Monday in April, the entire city of Boston plays host to the Boston Marathon which starts outside the city limits in the town of Hopkinton.

It’s known are one of the toughest marathons in the country as the route covers 26.2 miles of downward slopes and intense uphill sections. If you’re thinking about running in this marathon, you’ll need to have run a different marathon within a qualifying time to even enter, so only the best runners can take part.

If you’re not a runner you can still enjoy the Boston marathon from the sidelines. The city comes alive and everyone is out watching the runners as they go through this immense challenge. The vibe is excellent with smiles, cheers, and the whole city uniting together to support the competitors coming over the finish line.

Quincy Market

Quincy Market

No visit to Boston would be complete without spending some time at the Boston public market called Quincy Market. One of Boston’s historical landmarks, Quincy Market has been in business since the 1800s when grocers would sell fresh produce like eggs and vegetables, and today it still sells food, just a different kind.

The market is lined with food vendors selling every kind of food you could want to try in New England, and one you have to try is the Clam Chowder, as there is nothing link a New England or Boston clam chowder.

As well as food stalls, you’ll also find cafes, sit-down restaurants in this downtown Boston market plus the streets are filled with street performers, and there are plenty of shops around to enjoy shopping at.

Baked Beans

If there is one food Boston is known for and one you have to try it’s Boston Baked Beans. The famous baked beans of Boston are a little different from your average version as they are flavored with bacon or cured pork and sweetened with molasses.

The history of Boston’s beans dates back to the 1600s when the Pilgrims of Plymouth add molasses to the beans and they only did this because Boston exported a lot of rum which is made from fermented molasses.

The bean recipe stuck, so much so, that it was improved and resulted in the city being called by its famous nickname – Beantown.

Make sure to pop into a cafe or two and try these delicious baked beans with some brown bread, eggs for breakfast, you won’t be disappointed!

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Something Boston is known for around the world is the Boston Symphony Orchestra which is one of the oldest orchestras in the United States. It was founded in 1881 by a man called Henry Lee Higginson and they have been playing ever since.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is a part of the “Big Five” which is a group of the five best symphony orchestras in the United States. While in Boston you kind of have to go and see this amazing orchestra play, and you’ll leave the venue astounded.

The orchestra plays at Boston Symphony Hall most of the year and seeing the hall itself is quite an experience too. The concert hall hosts many special events, is a national historic landmark and one of the most notable things about it is that it’s home to the best acoustics on the planet, so if there is a great spot to see a concert, it’s here.

During the summer, the orchestra plays at Tanglewood, an outdoor music venue in Western Massachusetts.

Chinatown in Boston

Sitting in East Boston, not far from the banks of the Charles River is Boston’s Chinatown and it’s one of the things Boston is known for across the United States. While Chinatown in the Boston area is very similar to other Chinatowns in other cities with numerous restaurants serving up delicious food from across Asia, it has a lot more to offer.

This Chinatown is home to a strong Asian culture and you’ll be able to experience sides of it while you’re there. On New Year the streets of Chinatown are full of performers dressed up in traditional costumes that form a huge parade filled with red and gold dragons and lions that take over the streets.

You can also attend the Moon festival in August where the streets come alive with traditional Asian fold dancing and super cold martial arts demonstrations.

Boston Harborwalk

Boston Harborwalk

If you really want to get to know one of the oldest cities in America and love Boston as much as a local, take a stroll down the Boston Harborwalk. Boston is a city built on the water, and the Boston Harborwalk is a 40-mile path that follows Boston’s harbor which runs around the Charles River and into the Atlantic.

The walk begins at Chelsea Creek, ends at the Neponset River, and takes you through some of the most iconic parts of Boston including the east end, North End Charlestown, and more. You’ll also find a lot of things Boston is famous for along the way such as a museum and public part of two to hang out in. There are also informative exhibitions and art installations along the way.

Fenway Park

One of the things that makes Boston the city it is and somewhere you have to visit is Fenway Park, the home of sports in Boston. Fenway Park is the home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team and whether you know baseball or not, you have heard of the Red Sox as they are one of the top sports teams in the USA.

If you are in Boston during baseball season, make sure to book some tickets to Fenway to see them play. The atmosphere is off the charts and you’ll also be sitting in the oldest active ballpark in the league, as it’s been around since 1912, so there is also a dash of history to experience. You can also grab some souvenirs to take home, always a plus if you have family, friends of kids to impress!

Boston as Capital of Learning

Boston as Capital of Learning

Boston is packed full of educational institutions and is a center of learning in the US and the world. There are tons of schools and universities in the Boston Metropolitan area and more than 35 universities within the city itself.

Some of the most famous institutions in the world are in Boston including Harvard, MIT, the Boston Latin School, as well as more artsy colleges including MassArt and Berklee College of Music.

With so many educational establishments, Boston is packed full of college students which gives it an air of ideas and fun. You’ll find students enjoying the many performance venues, chatting at cool bars, and all this adds a great dimension to the city.

Boston Common

Probably the most important piece of history in Boston can be found at Boston Common. Boston Common is the oldest public park in the US and it dates back to 1634. This is the park where the Redcoats camped before fighting the British Army, it’s also where the Founding Fathers came together to celebrate America’s independence.

The common is drenched in history and while you walk around its 50 acres you find monuments from history sitting next to ancient elm and willow trees plus a host of fun things to do. You can use the Frog Pond for ice skating in winter, or as a pool in summer, see the George Washington statue, and lots more.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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