800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199
Located on the 50th floor of the Prudential Center, the Skywalk Observatory provides visitors with a 360-degree view of Boston. It’s best to visit on a clear day for unlimited visibility! The breathtaking panorama looks over popular city spots including Boston’s Hancock Tower, Fenway Park, the Boston Common and Public Garden, the Esplanade and Hatch Shell, the Charles River, MIT, and Harvard University. The audio guide assists visitors in understanding Boston’s history. Other fun activities on the floor are a photo strip booth, postcard booth, penny smasher, and a souvenir shop. The price is well worth the experience: $15 for adults, $13 for college students, and $10 for children. The observatory is open seven days a week.
Designed by famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the Emerald Necklace is a series of six public parks ranging seven miles, covering over 1,200 acres from Back Bay to Dorchester. The parks offer endless opportunities: running trails, walking and biking paths, children’s parks, sitting benches by the river, basketball courts and more. Visitors can start at any point along the Emerald Necklace and create their own path. The largest body of water in the Emerald Necklace is Jamaica Pond, surrounded by a 1.5-mile path used by many locals. The Arnold Arboretum is a popular destination, its 281 acres full of trees, meadows and ponds. Within the Arboretum is the highest point in the Necklace, Peters Hill. This is a great ending point to look out at the city from a height of 240 feet.
Harvard Street & Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446
Home to small coffee shops, a non-commercialized theatre, Trader Joes and JP Licks, Coolidge Corner is an ideal place to spend a weekend afternoon. The restaurants offer a variety of different cultural food, including Russian, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Israeli. Some popular spots include Jerusalem Pita and Zaftigs. After eating, the independent Coolidge Corner Theatre has reasonably priced tickets to both big title movies and independent films. The theatre transports the audience back in time with its gorgeous architecture and small, but intimate atmosphere. At the end of the day, JP Licks is the best place to get homemade ice cream and fresh roasted coffee.
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215
Even without a ticket to a Red Sox game, walking around Fenway is an exciting experience. Especially on game day, the streets surrounding Fenway Park are full of life. Families, students, couples, locals, visitors, and vendors mob the streets, dressed in red apparel. Scalpers are always ready to support a last-minute decision to go to the game. If not, many people watch the game on a big screen TV in nearby sports bars. Popular bars include Game On, Bleacher Bar, Yard House and Boston Beer Works. Whether you are in a bar, on the field, or wandering the streets, you’ll know when the team scores because everyone will be cheering.
1246 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
With a dorm-like atmosphere, Mr. Bartley’s is a great place to bring parents to give them a little taste of college. The walls are covered with posters and stickers, the noise level is high, and tables are uncomfortably close to each other. This burger chain offers over 20 hamburger choices. The tasty burgers have wacky, Boston-related (and sometimes inappropriate) names such as The Mark Zuckerburg, the iPhone, and the Tom Brady. These names are entertaining, but can make picking a meal very distracting! The taste is great, and the experience is even better. Cash only.
Kaylee Hill is a junior in the College of Communication at Boston University, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Sociology. She is the Digital Media intern for CBS Boston this Fall. Follow Kaylee on Twitter: @KayleeEHill.