Boston Common is the beautiful piece of parkland that is framed by Charles, Tremont, Beacon, and Boylston Streets in the middle of the city. Its 50 acres are beautifully kept and well preserved - especially since this is thought to be one of the oldest public parks in the United States.
Boston Common has served different purposes throughout the centuries. In the beginning of the Revolutionary War, it was used by the British as a campground. In the early 1800s, it was used as the place for mob scenes and hangings. With all the historical turmoil that took place here, it's no wonder that the popular rumor nowadays is that the Common is haunted.
The Common these days is more of a place for a quiet picnic as opposed to a revolution. Walkers and casual lunchers flood the area during sunny afternoons. In the summer, there is a theatre company that puts on "Shakespeare on the Common" shows every evening in the rotunda in the southeast corner. The shows are free and offer an excellent low-budget cultural escape from the everyday.
Those that are athletically inclined are also drawn to the Common to participate in sporting events - both organized and not. The southwest corner is home to a well-lit ballfield for area teams. Some people bring their frisbees to play with their friends or toss to their dogs (which are allowed in the park).
Boston Common lies at the beginning of Beacon Hill, so is set at a higher altitude than the surrounding neighborhoods to the south. This offers an excellent view of the Back Bay area of Boston peeking through the trees on the well-kept paths.
To get to the Common, you can take the red or green subway lines to Park Street. The Common is also the first stop on the Freedom Trail, which is extremely popular for most tourist tours. The Common is a sight in itself, though, so plan to spend some time on a nice day poking around.