FORUM/Boston: An Insider’s Guide

FORUM/Boston, our first of two national teacher and administrator hiring conferences, is just one week away.  We’re so excited to welcome you to the best city in the world!

Okay, so we’re a little biased.  But we’re thrilled that you’ll be joining us in our hometown.  While this two-day conference will take up much of your time, we hope you’ll allow yourself a few hours when the work is done to explore the history and culture this very walkable city has to offer.

Here are some local landmarks to check out and Boston “must-dos” — straight from the insiders.

Skate on Frog Pond

The Boston Common, bordered by the State House and the Boston Public Garden (of Make Way for Ducklings fame) is a sprawling, hilly green where people come in the summer and winter alike to get some fresh air in the city.  Frog pond anchors the park, and in winter it becomes a public skating rink.  Rent some blades and do a few figure-eights — making sure to stop for copious cups of hot chocolate, of course.

Not a skater yourself?  Watch Boston’s beloved Bruins take to the ice at the TD Garden.

Image credit: bostonfrogpond.com

Image source: bostonfrogpond.com

Dine at Legal Seafoods

Legal Seafoods is a Boston landmark.  It’s signature slogan (“If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal”) says it all — the restaurant chain serves up only the freshest fish (and New England clam chowder, of course) every day.  Celebrate a successful conference with dinner at one of the city’s ten locations — including two in the Back Bay, near the conference center.

Legal Seafoods

Image source: Legalseafoods.com

Tour the Boston Public Library

Just steps away from the conference center is the historic flagship branch of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.  Founded in 1848, the BPL is the oldest large public library in the country.  Tour the library and marvel at the architectural splendor and rare collections, including John Adams’ personal library.

Boston Public Library

Image source: Time.com

Walking the Freedom Trail

Boston’s history extends to pre-Revolutionary times.  Many of the landmarks that punctuate the history books are still standing and visible today.  If you have time on Sunday, take a tour of the Freedom Trail, a two and a half mile route that connects 16 historic landmarks.  Learn about the origins of American freedom from revolutionary garb-clad guides.

Freedom trail

Image source: cityofboston.gov

 

 

 

 

 

Stroll in Faneuil Hall

One of the stops on the Freedom Trail is Faneuil Hall, a partially outdoor marketplace in the heart of Boston.  It was donated to the city by merchant Peter Faneuil in 1742, and merchants and street performers still line the cobblestone streets.  Come here for a quick bite in one of the many food stands inside Quincy Market, grab a drink at one of the many neighboring restaurants, or do some shopping.  If you’re lucky, a group will be singing or dancing as you stroll by.

Faneuil Hall

Image source: city-data.com

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Mike’s Pastry

A short way past Faneuil Hall, you’ll stumble into the winding streets of the North End, Boston’s Little Italy.  There, you can wander into hole-in-the-wall restaurants with authentic Italian fare and enjoy old-world charm.  A must-stop, though, is Mike’s Pastry, a Boston institution for decades.  They don’t skimp on sugar and butter at Mike’s, and the results are decadent cakes, cookies, and cannoli, packaged in old-fashioned cardboard boxes tied with twine.

Mike's Pastry

Image source: visitingnewengland.com

See a Show in the Omni Theater at the Museum of Science

Boston’s Museum of Science is one of the finest, most fun museums of its kind in the country.  Filled with constantly-changing, interactive exhibits, the Museum is a treat for both kids and kids-at-heart.  Its Omni Theater displays 3-D movies and is definitely worth exploring.

Museum of Science

Image source: mos.org

Peruse the Collections at the Museum of Fine Arts

Science not exactly your thing?  More of a humanities type?  Make your way over to the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses an extensive collection of art from all periods.  Check out current much-hyped exhibits, including a collection of Mario Testino’s British Royals Portraits.

Museum of Fine Arts

Image source: mfa.org

 

Cheer (in spirit) at Fenway Park

Known as America’s most beloved ball park, Fenway is the home of the Boston Red Sox.  Though you can’t catch a game (and munch on a famous Fenway frank), no trip to Boston would be complete without a stop at Fenway.

Fenway Park

Image source: wnst.net

Tour Harvard Square

The greater Boston area is home to over 100 colleges and universities.  Take a day trip to Harvard Square, which houses the nation’s oldest university, Harvard, which was founded in 1636.  Explore the campus, take a walk along the paths and bridges by the Charles River, and explore the quirky shops, bookstores, and restaurants of Harvard Square.

Harvard University

Image source: harvard.edu

Grab Lunch at Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers

If you’ve worked up an appetite from walking around Harvard Square, stop into this famed burger joint, which has been feeding hungry tourists and students since 1960.  Delicious burgers are inspired by celebrities, and old-fashioned frappes and lime rickeys give the restaurant a casual, homey vibe.

Mr. Bartley's

Image source: mrbartley.com

See a Show at the Davis Square Theater

Just a few T stops away from Harvard Square is Davis Square, a spot filled with eclectic eateries and quirky thrift shops.  Catch a show at the Davis Square Theater, an old-fashioned gem that displays movies, music performances, and comedy shows.

Davis Square

Image source: wgbh.org

BONUS 1:  Cape Cod

Planning to stay an extra day or two?  Make a trip out of it.  Go “down the Cape,” either by bus or by car.  Cape Cod is just two hours from Boston and is filled with quaint coastal towns that line the Atlantic ocean.  Though the Cape hosts most of its visitors in summertime, the snow-coated beaches and frigid waters make for a beautiful, calming winter retreat.

Cape Cod

Image source: boston.com

BONUS 2: The Berkshires

Or, travel to Western Massachusetts, where you can enjoy the natural charm and winter fun of the Berkshires.  Ski, snowboard, snowshoe, or sit by the fire — there’s something for everyone in these rustic mountain towns.

The Berkshires

Image source: berkshires.org

 

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