“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
Swampland on the Charles River was Boston's best investment. Native Americans fished Back Bay mudflats for 5,000 years before 19th century developers lined it with landfill and plotted tree-lined avenues to rival Paris. Two hundred years later, Back Bay's stately brownstones are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the upper-crust Boston Brahmins who inhabit them have cultivated a distinctive accent ("Hahvahd Yahd"). In Copley Square, the 1852 Boston Public Library showcases John Adams' private library, mural-lined John Singer Sargent Gallery, and elegant Map Room Caf. To see how the world looked circa 1935, step inside the Mapparium's dazzling stained glass globe at the neighboring Christian Science library. Bland modern skyscrapers now overlook Back Bay's oxidized copper roofs, but Hynes Convention Center hosts the annual Anime Boston and Prudential Center's Top of the Hub piano bar offers panoramic views over Boston Marathon's finish line. Boston Duck Tours depart near Prudential Center on vintage WWII amphibious boats. Newbury Street is lined with retail temptations, including indie music at Newbury Comics and Massachusetts' own Madewell jeans. Sonsie is a must for happy hour with a side of Newbury street fashion, while dinner is a tossup between The Salty Pig's charcuterie and classic Boston "chowdah" at Atlantic Fish Company.