Boston's Intriguing Diversity on Display

April 1, 2001
FROM the downtown core to the outlying neighborhoods, Boston, Massachusetts, is a city of intriguing diversity. That's what members and spouses of the

FROM the downtown core to the outlying neighborhoods, Boston, Massachusetts, is a city of intriguing diversity. That's what members and spouses of the National Tank Truck Carriers will find when they attend the annual meeting May 6-8 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel.

Boston has history and hi-technology, academic excellence and vibrant neighborhoods, financial prominence and hometown sports enthusiasm, scientific achievements, and a thriving cultural scene.

The best part is that a majority of the city's features are within walking distance. If visitors get tired, they can hop on the rapid transit system that connects all major downtown points of interest, as well as areas beyond the city's central district.

Boston's Freedom Trail is a three-mile walking tour of 16 historic sites from the Colonial and Revolutionary eras. A red brick trail on the streets and sidewalks connects the sites and begins at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center. The trail wanders through the downtown financial and shopping district to Faneuil Hall, through the North End, and finally into Charlestown.

Historic sites on the trail include Boston Common, America's oldest public park; Granary Burying Ground, final resting place of Samuel Adams, Peter Faneuil, Paul Revere, and John Hancock; and Old North Church, where two lanterns were placed in the steeple to signal the British were advancing. The Old State House, built in 1713, has the honor of being the site where the Declaration of Independence was first proclaimed to the city's citizens.

Off the trail is Beacon Hill, a delightful maze of red bricked sidewalks and cobblestone streets. Townhouses from the 18th and 19th century reflect the city's historic roots. The area was settled by elite Boston Brahmins and is still one of the city's more desirable addresses.

Another “B” word for Boston is Back Bay. As the name implies, the Back Bay was originally under water, a part of the Charles River. It was filled in and developed over a 30-year period, beginning in 1856.

Today, Back Bay's high-style Copley Place with the John Hancock Tower, Prudential Tower, and Trinity Church is a popular visitor destination. Back Bay provides a rich mix of graceful Victorian townhouses and brownstone residences, shopping areas, trendy restaurants, and office complexes.

Visitors can make their way to South Boston Waterfront District to find marinas, artists' lofts, and restaurants. Museums at the waterfront include The Children's Museum and Boston Tea Party Ship.

Drama, comedy, ballet, opera, Broadway shows, home-grown talent, and restaurants are all part of Boston's Theater District. Bordering the district is Bay Village, noted for narrow streets, brick townhouses, and gas lamps.

The Fenway area is home to the Boston Red Sox, Museum of Fine Arts, Symphony Hall, and Harvard Medical School.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a lively, colorful market area featuring restaurants and shops housed in three restored buildings dating from the 1800s. Street entertainers often perform outside the complex. The Quincy Market building is filled with food stalls, offering everything from international delicacies to fast food.

Just across the river from Boston, Cambridge offers an exciting, multicultural setting where visitors mingle in the shadow of two of the world's premier education institutions — Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Teeming with cafes, bookstores, and boutiques, Cambridge is often referred to as Boston's Left Bank.

This is a city of squares, in the European tradition. Each square serves as an independent center of residences, restaurants, markets, and merchants. From Boston, each of the squares can be reached by crossing one of the many bridges spanning the river.

Venturing further from Boston finds Plymouth, where the Pilgrim era is alive and well. Visit the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, and Plimoth Plantation. The Mayflower is a full-scale replica of the original vessel. Plimoth Plantation is a reconstruction of the original Pilgrim village.

Quincy, south of Boston and near Plymouth, was home to the second and sixth presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams. The Adams National Historic Site, USS Salem, the US Naval Shipbuilding Museum, and the Marina Bay waterfront are on the Quincy tourist route.

If further exploration is on the agenda, head for the towns of Concord and Lexington. The American Revolution began on the Village Green in Lexington, where Minutemen battled the Redcoats. Next door at Concord is the Old North Bridge, part of the Minuteman National Park.

North of Boston is Salem, famous for its witchcraft hysteria in 1692. The Salem Witch Museum captures the times.

In Gloucester, the bronze statue of the Gloucester Fisherman overlooks the ocean in memory of more than 10,000 fishermen who never returned from sea. It is also home to the Rocky Neck Art Colony, one of the oldest established art colonies on the East Coast.