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Boston's Best Historic Landmarks

When it comes to historic landmarks, Boston is special because of its place in America's military, religious and settlement history. It is one of the oldest European settlements in the country and the starting place of the American Revolution. As the city grew, landmarks popped up everywhere. From churches to places of learning, Bostonians never stopped adding to their rich heritage. Today, it is one of the best cities to tour for its history and culture, especially on foot.
Longfellow National Historic Site
105 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 876-4491

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the most famous writers and educators in Boston during the 19th century. His works and life are part of the city's charm with places related to him being found everywhere from Beacon Hill to Harvard College. One of the most interesting of these places is the Longfellow National Historical Site or "Craigie House." This is where Longfellow spent his life after his marriage to Fanny Appleton until his death. It also headquartered George Washington for a short while during the American Revolution.

Related: Boston's Best Literary Landmarks

Faneuil Hall Boston
Faneuil Hall (Image: iStockphoto)

Faneuil Hall
1 Faneuil Hall Square
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 635-4500

Faneuil Hall is a marketplace in Boston that has stood for more than 200 years. It now faces another historical marketplace, but is the older of the two. The second floor is mostly a large meeting room where the people of Boston once congregated to discuss issues of the day, such as the Boston Massacre. Several presidents have spoken within its walls, giving it significance to the American people as well as to the people of Boston.

cathedral of holy cross
Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston (Image: Cathedral of the Holy Cross)

Cathedral Of The Holy Cross
1400 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 542-5682

To many people, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross holds religious significance, as it is a Catholic Church and the archdiocese of Boston. However, that is not all the cathedral has to offer. Visitors will first notice the gorgeous 19th century Gothic Revival architecture of Patrick Keely. There is also the imposing size that makes it the largest Roman Catholic church in New England to this day. Finally, the Hook and Hasting pipe organ will interest music lovers, as it is the largest ever built by the famous company.

Boston Athenaeum
(Image: Boston Athenaeum)

Boston Athenæum
10 1/2 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-0270

What place could hold more history than a library? The Boston Athenæum is not only one of the oldest private book collections in the United States, but is also home to an impressive art collection. It has been at its current home on Beacon Street since 1849, but was established several decades earlier. The building itself is worth visiting even for those uninterested in browsing its collections.

Related: Guide To Movies Filmed In Boston

Public Garden
(Photo from Friends of Public Garden)

Boston Public Garden
69 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 635-4505

Boston Public Garden is the oldest public garden in the United States and it sits adjacent to the older Boston Common. It wins out over the Common as one of the best historic landmarks because it is simply more enjoyable by a small margin. It is home to numerous statues, such as the equestrian statue of George Washington that faces one of the entrances. It also has an array of colorful flowers and water features.

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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