Boston Journals

Boston's Best Views

An April 2002 trip to Boston by Cimarron

Great Blue Hill Hike Photo, Boston, Massachusetts More Photos
Quote: Whenever I visit a new area, I like to get the "bird's eye view". The Bunker Hill Monument is a "historical" way to get a good city view. The nearby Blue Hills Reservation provides great hiking, plus the highest point in the area for a panorama of Boston. Walking along the Charles River (Boston or Cambridge side) is always nice, especially in good weather. Unfortunately, the Hancock Tower (with the highest building in Boston) shut down their viewing platform soon after 9/11.

Boston's Best Views

Overview

View of Boston from Cambridge Photo, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote:
Blue Hills Reservation provides great hiking and vistas of Boston. At 635 feet above sea level it may not sound high by Western US standards, but it's actually the highest point along the Atlantic coast south of Maine. Going to the top from the Trailside Museum or Park Headquarters is a very reasonable day hike, and can be done with children (I've gone with 4 year olds - just take it slow). Bunker Hill Monument is in Charlestown, at the end of the "Freedom Trail". Make sure you have enough energy left to climb to the top for the view! The Esplanade is one of my favorite places to walk, hang out, and play ultimate. All season round excellent. Across the river, wa...Read More

Great Blue Hill Hike

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Attraction

Great Blue Hill Hike Photo, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote:
Great day hike - pack a lunch. Start, if you can, at the Trailside Museum, and ascend to the Eliot Observation Tower. It was constructed in the 1930s by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) of local stone, and provides really spectacular views of Boston. About 1/2 mile further up the trail is the Blue Hill Weather Observatory (http://www.bluehill.org). Originally built in 1885, it's the oldest American weather observatory in continuous use. There are now more formal tours of the library and roof deck during daylight hours, Saturdays and Sundays (Adults: $3, Children 5-17: $1.50, Under 5: free). If you go on a windy or rainy day you can usually get to it you...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

Great Blue Hill Hike
Trailside Museum
Boston, Massachusetts 02186
617-333-0690

Bunker Hill Monument Photo, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote:
It sounds strange, climbing a 221-foot granite obelisk... But it's actually fun, and there's even a bit of history in it, as it marks the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution. You're rewarded at the top with some narrow windows and views of the new "Big Dig" Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge.

The visitor lodge and exhibits are open daily, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

The monument is open to climb from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Best of all, admission is Free.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

Bunker Hill Monument
Monument Square
Charlestown, Massachusetts

Hancock Tower

Attraction

Hancock Tower Photo, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote:
The John Hancock Tower is the tallest building in New England, however, the 60th floor observatory that used to be open to the public has been closed since 9/11. It's still worth going, as this I.M. Pei designed building is still awe-inspiring, even from ground level. When you're close to the building, you get some great reflections of the nearby historical buildings, and are steps away from Copley Square and Trinity Church.

To see if there are any changes in the status of the observatory, call 1-617-572-6425. I hope that they re-open soon!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

Hancock Tower
200 Clarendon Street
Boston, Massachusetts

Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston Photo, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote:
If you happen to be walking on the "Cambridge" side of the Charles River, check out the Royal Sonesta Hotel "Boston" (actually, on Memorial Drive in Cambridge!). It provides some nice views of Boston from any rooms on the river side. Pop into an unused conference room if you need to.

NOTE: If you're visiting the Museum of Science, it's just about 1/4 mile walk.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston
5 Cambridge Parkway
Boston, Massachusetts 02142
(617) 806-4200

Charles River Esplanade

Attraction | "The Esplanade"

Charles River Esplanade Photo, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote:
Located along the Charles River from the Museum of Science to Massachusetts Ave, The Esplanade is a great place for nice views, exercise, people-watching and reflection.

Free music and movies are available throughout the summer at the Hatch Shell. Check the MDC web site at http://www.state.ma.us/mdc/HatchShellEvents.htm for the latest on events.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

Charles River Esplanade
Storrow Drive
Boston, Massachusetts 02116