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Boston's Best 5 Things That Exist Nowhere Else In The US

Most cities have some claim to fame, such as Boston with its walkability, historical sites and beautiful parks. However, most things you can do or see in one city, you can do or see to some degree or another somewhere else. That is not true for these locations around Boston. They are unique to the land of baked beans and Boston cream pie.

Mary Baker Eddy Library
The Mapparium. (Photo Credit: Mary Baker Eddy Library)

The Mapparium
Mary Baker Eddy Library
200 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 450-7000

Located within Northeastern University is the historic Mary Baker Eddy Library, home to an unusual and intriguing exhibit. The Mapparium is a three-story tall hollow glass globe with a bridge running through it. The map, which was designed by architect Chester Lindsay Churchill, shows the world as it was in the early 1930s. He designed it so that people in the future could change the globe as borders changed across the world. No one has made any changes, so it remains a global perspective of the early 21st century that visitors can experience.

Related: Boston's Best Historical Sites

Mass General
(Photo by Jodi Hilton/Getty Images)

The Ether Dome
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit St.
Bulfinch Building, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 726-2000

The Ether Dome is not only interesting from a medical perspective, but may also pique the interest of those who enjoy a bit of creepy history. This surgical amphitheater was the location of the world's first surgery performed using ether as an anesthetic. During the mid-19th century, surgeons performed thousands of operations at this site. Today, it is used as a place to teach, but visitors are welcome during designated hours. Visitors can tour the amphitheater and view artifacts, such as a mummy, historic surgical tools and a painting of the surgical event that made the location famous.

Children's Museum
(Photo Credit: Boston Children's Museum)

Hood Milk Bottle
Children's Wharf
308 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 426-6500

Just outside of Boston's Children's Museum is a giant version of a Hood Milk Bottle. It's not just there for bizarre decoration, but is actually a building that houses an ice cream and lunch stand when the weather is favorable. This interesting food establishment is one of Boston's many unique landmarks, and definitely one of the most popular. The Hood Milk Bottle is certainly special among the city's sites.

Boston Skinny House
The Skinny House in Boston. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Skinny House
44 Hull St.
Boston, MA 02114

The Skinny House is not something visitors can go inside, nor is it possible to call and arrange a visit, because this location is actually a home rented out to tenants. However, that cannot stop people from coming to check out this strange architectural mystery for themselves. The Skinny House is extraordinarily skinny and has only one room per floor. Legend has it that a man came back from war to find that his brother had taken over their father's property. Out of spite, he built the Skinny House on what was left of the land, blocking the windows of his brother's house next door.

All Saints Way
North End
Boston, MA 02109

All Saints Way is a Boston legend tucked away in an alley in the bustling North End. As a largely Catholic neighborhood, it's not surprising that someone would pay tribute to the Catholic saints there, but Peter Baldassari has taken his worship to another level. Built over the decades, people can enter his shrine through a little black door, and will experience quite a unique display once inside. Here you'll find paintings on the brick facades of the neighboring buildings, a collection of figurines he has been collecting since he was a child and gifts left by strangers to the devout man. It is important to remember that it is private property, and while Baldassari will let people in, do not go inside if the gate is locked. If unable to enter, you can still view a lot of the display from the street.

Related: Best Historic Sites On The North Shore

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at

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