Boston Public Garden
The Boston Public Garden is one of the most popular tourist attractions in downtown Boston, for more reasons than just offering free admission to the public. It is a family and couple friendly park that allows visitors to absorb the rich history in one of America's first great cities. Located in the heart of Boston, the Public Garden is an ideal tranquil getaway from the surrounding hustle and bustle of the busy downtown streets. There are dozens of restaurants surrounding the park which offer great take out options for enjoyable picnics.
Bound by Beacon, Boylston, Arlington, and Charles Streets, the Boston Public Garden is accessible from all parts of downtown by walking and public transportation. Visitors coming into the park from the western part of downtown Boston enjoy a walk along the unique tree lined Commonwealth Avenue. Charles Street separates the Boston Public Garden from the Boston Common, another major park in the city which offers a similar environment but has more open space. The MBTA Green Line streetcars make two stops near the parks, at Boylston and Arlington stations.
Built in 1837 as the first botanical garden open to the public in the United States, the Boston Public Garden has gradually been filled with several statues commemorating the city's and nation's history. Of course, carefully selected trees such as weeping willows and Elms have been added to beautify the park. Erected in 1869, the bronze equestrian statue of George Washington dominates the western side of the park, allowing visitors to sit on benches on open space lawns and reflect. The walkways of the Public Garden are lined up with other statues such as of Boston politician Charles Sumner and the Ether monument.
The focal point of the park is the small pond, which can be crossed over on a pedestrian bridge. The Swan boat rides on the pond, which have been offered since the 19th century, have become trademark activities of Boston. For a small fee, visitors can ride along floating swans, which make the Public Garden their seasonal home in spring and summer.
The nearby Boston Common is essentially an extension of the Boston Public Garden. The Boston Common offers entertainment at the Parkman Bandstand, and has several notable statues such as the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The Frog Pond welcomes ice skaters in the winter as well as guests who don't mind wading and getting soaked in the summer. Both parks are only steps away from the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, the Massachusetts State House, Gibson House Museum, Boston Opera House, and much more.