Beyond the Freedom Trail: Other great walks in Boston
Once you’ve conquered Boston’s famed Freedom Trail – and you should – it’s time to be awed by stunning scenery and get some holiday exercise on these special Beantown walks. Millennium Hotels and Resorts leads the way.
South Boston, or “Southie” as Bostonians know it, is a Boston neighbourhood steeped in history and local character. The neighbourhood’s Castle Island, with its misleading name as it is no longer technically an island, is no exception. A stroll around this 8.9-hectare urban state park, which is open to the public year-round, introduces you to spectacular views of Boston Harbor and its islands, historic Fort Independence and some must-have local fare. Do a simple loop of the island, stopping for a break at Pleasure Bay Beach or the close-to-the-beach fenced-in playground for the kids. Or take a volunteer-led or self-guided tour of the pentagon-shaped granite fort, which was erected from 1834 to 1851. (Check opening hours, as the fort is closed for part of the year and hours vary when it is open.) Finish your walk and satisfy your tastebuds with an essential stop at local institution Sullivan’s for some local fried clams or a succulent lobster roll.
The Commonwealth Avenue Mall
Step back in time with a walk along Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue Mall, which also runs through the city’s Back Bay neighbourhood, connecting the Fens area with the Boston Public Garden. This pretty, 13-hectare promenade aims to emulate the boulevards of Paris in the 19th century. Walk along the tree-lined avenue under the shade of sweet gum, green ash, linden, maple, elm and various other trees. Stop for a break on one of the 57 benches that line the walk. Or pause to read up on history at the numerous monuments and statues that dot the trail, such as memorials to Scandinavian explorer Leif Eriksson, prominent abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, one of America’s founding fathers and statesmen, Alexander Hamilton, and the Boston Women’s Memorial. As if this isn’t all impressive enough, wait until you see the elegant and stately Victorian brownstone homes that flank both sides of Commonwealth Avenue.
Charles River Esplanade
Stretching nearly five kilometres from the Boston University Bridge to the Boston Museum of Science, the city’s Charles River Esplanade runs scenically along the Boston (versus the Cambridge) side of the river. Join the joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers, picnickers and fellow walkers in this 26-hectare state-owned park in Boston’s Back Bay neighbourhood, which features walking paths, sporting fields, tennis courts, several playgrounds, docks, a community boathouse and more. You’ll pass the impressive Hatch Memorial Shell, a concert stage where the world-renowned Boston Pops Orchestra, among other entertainers, perform free concerts in the warmer months. Also, don’t miss the unique tribute to Arthur Fiedler, the long-time conductor of the Boston Pops; his head has been recreated in large statue form, using layers of aluminium.
Extend your walk just a little farther – about two kilometres – and stop for a bite to eat at North 26 Restaurant and Bar at the Millennium Bostonian Hotel Boston. Rest your weary feet as you enjoy a cup or bowl of lobster bisque or New England clam chowder, for which the region is famous – both are creamy and delicious!
Love the outdoors? Here are other amazing adventures you can enjoy in Millennium destinations.