This week we wrap up our holiday travel series in Boston. Blog contributor Martha Thomas walks you through its liveliest, brightest attractions.
Boston is a city designed for ambling, whether you’re following the Freedom Trail from the Common, or strolling boutique- and gallery-laden Newbury Street. During the holidays, just about any path you take charges with light, energy and festivity.
For starters, you’ll fall under the spell of thousands of dramatic lights draping Faneuil Hall, a marketplace and meeting spot since 1742. Another bright spot is upscale shopping hub Prudential Center, which glows a new hue every night in December. And who could miss the 50-foot-tall fir tree anchored in Boston Common? Witness it in its twinkling majesty while you ice-skate on Frog Pond (pictured above).
The largely walk-able city is also known for its inviting neighborhoods, where tree-lined streets harbor grand homes embellished with wreaths, garlands and blinking lights. Of particular note is Back Bay along Commonwealth Avenue, where glimmering white tree bulbs give the impression of an illuminated tunnel.
Along with being the “Cradle of Liberty,” Boston nurtures a New Year’s Eve tradition called First Night. The city started First Night 36 years ago as an arts festival featuring a parade, street music and fireworks display over the harbor.
These days, the renowned celebration has blossomed to showcase more than 1,000 artists and performance groups at 35 indoor and outdoor venues – all within walking distance of Kimpton’s Nine Zero Hotel and Onyx Hotel. With that come colossal ice sculptures, a family festival at the Hynes Convention Center, a parade down Boylston Street and, of course, fireworks. Talk about a blast.
Photos: Courtesy of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau