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Walking Boston
Cover of Walking Boston
Walking Boston
34 Tours Through Beantown's Cobblestone Streets, Historic Districts, Ivory Towers and Bustling Waterfront
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Boston is a walker's town. It's as clear as the brick red path marking the Freedom Trail, the bright blue signs of the Harborwalk, and the green of the Emerald Necklace series of parks. Boston's nearly...
Boston is a walker's town. It's as clear as the brick red path marking the Freedom Trail, the bright blue signs of the Harborwalk, and the green of the Emerald Necklace series of parks. Boston's nearly...
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  • Boston is a walker's town. It's as clear as the brick red path marking the Freedom Trail, the bright blue signs of the Harborwalk, and the green of the Emerald Necklace series of parks. Boston's nearly 400-year history has led to the development of hidden neighborhoods, historic sites, and iconic parks that tempt both Bostonians and visitors out onto the sidewalks, paths, and trails lacing this close-knit city. In addition, the Big Dig project, which helped revive downtown and the waterfront by moving Interstate 93 underground, has created an energy and excitement that has driven projects like the Harborwalk and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Walking Boston offers the best of Boston's new and old rambles. This portable guide features detailed maps, original photos, and public transportation information for every trip. Route summaries make each walk easy to follow, and a “Points of Interest" section summarizes each walk's highlights.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Walk 1
    Beacon Hill: Cobblestones and Gaslights


    Boundaries: Charles St., Beacon St., Joy St., Cambridge St.
    Distance: Approx. 2 miles
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Parking: Charles St. Parking Garage at 144 Charles St.; Boston Common Parking Garage on Charles St.
    Public Transit: Charles St./MGH T Station on the Red Line; busses 43 and 55

    San Francisco has Nob Hill, Manhattan has Park Avenue, and London has Belgravia—neighborhoods where heritage, architecture, and money are inextricably linked. For Boston, it's Beacon Hill, a maze of cobblestone streets and well-kept row houses arranged along Beacon Hill between Storrow Drive and the State House. The neighborhood is a National Historic District, an elite enclave of privilege, and a vibrant community—all in one. It's the type of place where you can live just down the street from both the Museum of African American History and John Kerry.

    Beacon Hill comes alive in early spring when window boxes and flowering pear trees explode into color. And if a passing thundershower forces you to duck into one of the many good cafes or shops along Charles St., so much the better. If you take this walk at dusk, you'll appreciate the gas lamps throughout Beacon Hill that still burn 24 hours a day. The lamps are just one of the many details, like brass door knockers and ornate ironwork, which give Beacon Hill its considerable charm.

    Begin at the Charles St./MGH T Station and head south on Charles St., toward the Boston Common. Charles St. is Beacon Hill's town square. Pass through here on any evening and enjoy the jostling camaraderie of residents picking up dinner or dry cleaning. The mix of stores is wonderfully eclectic, with trendy clothing boutiques and hardware shops standing cheek by jowl with important historical sites.

    One of those sites was on the right, at 148 Charles St., the former site of the James T. Fields House, home to renowned 19th-century publisher and literary icon,which was torn down and replaced with a parking garage in the early 20th century. It's a shame to think that cars are now parked on the site where Fields, gathered many of America's most famous writers, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for dinner parties.

    A short bit down Charles St. is the Charles Street Meeting House on the right, at 70 Charles St. (the corner of Charles and Mt. Vernon St.). Built in 1804, this former white Baptist church became the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1876 and echoed with the voices of important abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass. In 1920, the church was saved from the wrecking ball by being relocated 10 feet toward the river to make room for an expanded Charles St. Note the cupola that is in place of the traditional steeple often used for New England churches; it seemed to foreshadow its current, more secular use as a cafe and stores.

    Continue on Charles St. If you're in the mood to stop, try one of the sandwiches on freshly baked baguettes or a great salad from Cafe Bella Vita, on the right at 30 Charles St. Alternatively, you can a grab a few groceries and a good bottle of wine for a picnic from DeLuca's Market, on the left at 11 Charles St. These cafes and markets, along with their quaint store signs and the cobblestone street, give Charles St. a European feel. Walking past DeLuca's brings you to the corner of Charles and Beacon streets (there's a Starbucks here). From here, you can see the Boston Common stretching out to the left and up the hill, and the Public Garden on the right side of Charles St.

    Turn left at the corner with the Starbucks...

About the Author-

  • Robert Todd Felton has been writing about literary and adventure travel for nearly ten years. His previous works include A Journey into the Transcendentalists' New England, A Journey into the Irish Literary Revival, and articles so National Geographic Traveler, Skiing, Backpacker, Draft, and Automotive Traveler. Todd lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife and two sons.

Table of Contents-

  • Table of Contents
    Acknowledgments
    Author's Note
    Introduction
    1 Beacon Hill
    2 North End
    3 Haymarket, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and Government Center
    4 Financial District
    5 Downtown
    6 Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and the Waterfront
    7 Chinatown
    8 Bay Village
    9 Public Garden and Boston Common
    10 Commonwealth Avenue
    11 Back Bay
    12 Copley Square
    13 South End
    14 South Boston
    15 Castle Island
    16 Columbia Point
    17 Brook Farm
    18 Roslindale and the Arnold Arboretum
    19 Jamaica Plain
    20 Newton Centre
    21 Boston College and Chestnut Hill
    22 Back Bay Fens
    23 Fenway Park
    24 Charles River Basin
    25 Charlestown
    26 East Boston
    27 Belle Isle Marsh and Suffolk Downs
    28 Spectacle Island
    29 Deer Isle
    30 Charles River Reservation
    31 Fresh Pond
    32 Belmont Hill
    33 Harvard Square and University
    34 MIT
    APPENDIX 1: Walks by Theme
    APPENDIX 2: Points of Interest
    Index
    About the Author

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    Wilderness Press
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Walking Boston
Walking Boston
34 Tours Through Beantown's Cobblestone Streets, Historic Districts, Ivory Towers and Bustling Waterfront
Robert Todd Felton
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34 Tours Through Beantown's Cobblestone Streets, Historic Districts, Ivory Towers and Bustling Waterfront
Robert Todd Felton
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