The Public Garden is the city’s heart. History stands on the park’s perimeters; statues to the great and the godly document the importance Boston played in creating modern arts and sciences. Bostonians know the long hard winter is over when the Swan Boats are dusted off for another season, and Romeo and Juliet leave their winter home in Franklin Park Zoo to create the next generation of actual swans along the pond’s banks. Perhaps one of the most recognizable of Boston’s statues is that of General George Washington on his noble steed, forever leading the charge through America’s first botanical garden. Across Charles Street, the Boston Common—the country’s first public park—was once common land used for sheep and livestock grazing, but today it finds families picnicking, students studying on blankets, people tossing balls to their pups, festivals, and rallies. It’s also the site of the city’s annual holiday tree lighting, as well as the home of Frog Pond, where ice skating is a time-honored winter ritual and April turns it into a lovely reflection pool.
With Boston holding court as a walking city, our beautiful parks serve as the perfect destinations to enjoy nature within our urban environs. The Emerald Necklace—the nation’s oldest linear park system—links together several of the best parks in Boston, while other options like the celebrated Arnold Arboretum and the multi-use Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald Greenway give you space to unwind. Wherever you choose to frolic, fuel up for the experience with bites at one of the best restaurants in Boston or leave the city behind with one of the best hikes near Boston. Need to cool off after too much walkabout? Check out one of the best pools or best beaches near Boston.
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