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Heading to Boston on your next trip? Between the glittering city skyline and outdoor-friendly areas like Boston Harbor and Harvard Yard, tourists can enjoy a variety of activities. If the idea of a booming metropolis sounds daunting at first, here are a few quintessential Beantown sights to get you started. Here are our picks for the most Insta-worthy places in Boston. 

1. Harvard Square

Famed and historical Harvard Square is the place where leisure meets academia. Enjoy a stroll around Harvard Yard or take a break in one of the many quirky cafés and restaurants like Koko Bakery, which is chock-full of homemade savory and sweet treats. Home to a variety of festivals and parties, you may just find yourself in the middle of a celebration; if you’re around, check out the Winter Carnival in January, the Chili Tasting Contest in February, or the Arts First Festival in late April. Don’t forget to bring your camera and snap some photos; this area has grown and evolved over decades of development by scholars and entrepreneurs.

2. Acorn Street

Located just west of the Massachusetts State House is Acorn Street, Boston’s favorite narrow alleyway. Reminiscent of colonial times, this cobblestone street offers a picturesque, quiet escape from the surrounding metropolis as it bisects the high-end neighborhood Beacon Hill. This gorgeous alley used to serve as a home to artisans and employees of the neighboring mansions, but today it serves as a quiet dwelling place and is often regarded as “the most photographed street in the United States.” Take a trip down Acorn Street and see for yourself; your followers will appreciate it.

3. Boston Public Library

Known for its dedication to scholarly excellence, the greater Boston area stands as a monument to the pursuit of knowledge. Because of this, there is no better place to study than the Boston Public Library. Established in 1848, this visually stunning building is sure to impress. Check out the reading room in the McKim Building at the Central branch for some quiet time — and a great photo op.

4. Charles River Esplanade

Located in Boston’s Back Bay, the Charles River Esplanade is a three mile path where many people like to walk, run, or simply enjoy the sunshine. The area begins near the Museum of Science and heads toward the Boston University Bridge, separating Boston from the town of Cambridge. This park also features a band shell which hosts performances from time to time; often during the summer months, visitors can enjoy concerts for free. For travelers who are looking for a place to stroll or relax on a sunny day, Charles River Esplanade is the perfect spot.

5. The Reflecting Pool

For tourists who like to snap those artsy photos, the Reflecting Pool is a perfect place to stop. Located between the Christian Science Center and the Prudential Center, it offers a lovely (albeit upside down) view of the area buildings. The main attraction of the Reflection Point is the Christian Science Center, with its classical architecture and towering dome. 

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6. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardener was a wealthy intellect who found solace and pleasure in the collection and appreciation of artwork and manuscripts. With a whirlwind of inspiration and drive, she created her own museum which would house her collections, some of which are the most famous and rare in the world and include Vermeer’s The Concert and Rembrandt’s Self Portrait. When the museum opened in 1903, it was heralded by the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the interior gardens were unveiled, and the collections became available “for the education and enjoyment of the public forever.” Today, her vast and inspiring collection still remains open and the museum plays host to community events such as concerts, gallery events, and family nights; this hub for the arts was still remains a place with a strong community vibe. 

7. Fenway Park

Even for tourists who do not consider themselves baseball fans, Fenway Park is iconic. Opened in April of 1912, the home of the Boston Red Sox is still known as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.” Schedule a tour and learn about the storied grounds, which have been known to make baseball fans out of even the most stubborn visitors. Plus, the Green Monster is perfect for the ‘gram. 

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8. Boston Public Garden

For a welcome reprieve from the busy streets of the city, Boston Public Garden is a city park directly in the heart of Boston. Established in 1837, this park was the first public botanical garden in the United States. Explore the many Victorian gardens and statues that adorn the park and learn about the history of the area by joining one of the free mid-week walking tours offered in the summertime. Also, don’t miss a ride through the marshland in a Swan Boat; this is arguably the most fun way to traverse the lagoon for travelers visiting the park between April and September. This park combines fresh garden air with an impressive city skyline in the background, perfect for a great photo. 

Featured image by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images.

What are your favorite Boston sights? Let us know in the comments below. 

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