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    Boston Public Garden: strolling among swan ponds and weeping willows

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    Joel Fulleda

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    Il Boston Public Garden is a large park that borders the more famous Boston Common and is the first botanical park in the United States. Founded in 1837, this green area sees as its main attraction a large lake in which ducks and elegant swans swim, but also a series of statues and plants that vary according to the seasons.

    Stroll through its paths, Victorian flower beds and weeping willows, not missing the opportunity to take a ride on the swan-shaped boats; whether you are surrounded by autumn foliage or by the green of summer, the park will give you pleasant moments of quiet and tranquility in contact with nature.


    • What to see in the Boston Public Garden
      • Make Way of Ducklings
      • George Washington statue
      • A ride on a Swan Boat
      • Ether Monument
      • Other places of interest:
    • How to get to the Boston Public Garden: nearest stops and parking
    • What to see in the surroundings
    • Find accommodation in the area

    What to see in the Boston Public Garden

    Make Way of Ducklings

    It is perhaps the most famous attraction in the park (and one of the most popular statues in Boston) and depicts little ducks lined up behind their mom. Nancy Schön's work is inspired by Robert McCloskey's book "Make Way for Ducklings", published in 1941 and which tells the story of two ducks (actually they are mallards) who decide to raise their family on an island in the lake of the Boston Public Garden.

    George Washington statue

    Not to be missed in the Boston Public Garden is the statue of George Washington sculpted by Thomas Ball in 1869. The first American president spent the initial months of the War of Independence in Boston and devised a strategy to end the year-long siege of Boston. Made of bronze, it is considered one of the best equestrian sculptures in the United States. During the spring, approximately from May, more than 26000 tulips bloom right in front of it.

    A ride on a Swan Boat

    The boat ride in the lake was popular in the 70s, when Robert Paget he rented them out to citizens during the summer. In 1877 some were then introduced swan-shaped pedal boats which had a great success, so much so that even today the fourth generation of the Paget family continues to hand down the tradition, which has become a symbol of the city of Boston.

    Taking a swan boat is possible from April 14th to June 20th at 10 am-16pm and from June 21st at 10 am-17pm. Tickets can be purchased on the pier and the tour of about a quarter of an hour is guided. Tickets cost $ 4 for adults, $ 2,50 for children (2-15), $ 3,50 for seniors and free for children under 2.

    Tickets to this attraction are also included with some city sightseeing passes, for more information check out our guide on how to choose a pass for Boston.

    Ether Monument

    Near Arlington Street and Beacon Street (bordering the quaint Beacon Hill neighborhood), the Ether Monument recalls the first successful use of ether as an anesthetic in nearby Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846. The monument portrays a Samaritan who comforts a child in severe pain. In fact, before the ether, patients were in danger of dying from pain due to complications during surgery.

    Other places of interest:

    Scena da Good Will Hunting
    • Garden of Remembrance 9/11 Memorial, a memorial created on July 12, 2004 by the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund to remember the New England victims involved in the 11/XNUMX attack;
    • the bench of the movie Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon and Robin Williams shot a scene, which today has become a place to remember the actor who died in 2014. It is located between the Ether Monument and the Washington statue, near the lake.
    • Among other statues we find that of William Ellery Channing, an important preacher of Unitarianism, erected in 1903; that of Senator Charles Summer dating back to 1878; that of Tedeusz Kościuszko, a Polish military genius, and those of American colonel Thomas Cass and abolitionist Wendell Phillips.

    How to get to the Boston Public Garden: nearest stops and parking

    The Arlington stop on the MBTA Green Line is closest to the Boston Public Garden. From here, just cross the road to enter the park. If you're driving, consider the Boston Common Garage on Charles Street, between Boston Public Garden and Boston Common.

    However, the prices are very high, in general I do not recommend traveling around the city by car (take a look at our article on how to get around Boston); if you want to explore the surroundings by taking a tour of New England, collect the car on the last day of your stay (perhaps by reading our tips on how to rent a car in the USA).

    What to see in the surroundings

    The Boston Public Garden enjoys a decidedly fortunate location: it borders Boston Common to the east (starting point of the Freedom Trail), and Downtown, the Theater District to the south and the picturesque Beacon Hill neighborhood to the north. Since you will have to walk quite a bit to fully explore these neighborhoods, the Public Garden is the best place to stop for a moment to catch your breath. If you are looking for somewhere to refresh yourself there are 2 places in particular that I would like to recommend:

    • Scollay Square (21 Beacon St # 1): Great seafood and amazing coffee
    • Cheers (84 Beacon St): famous for being the set of the homonymous television series. Typical American cuisine.

    For more culinary tips, be sure to read our article on where to eat in Boston.

    Find accommodation in the area

    If you want to sleep nearby, the closest areas to look for are Boston Downtown (downtown) and Beacon Hill, but Chinatown and North End are fine too. However, the effectiveness of the subway service means that other areas are also excellent for visiting all of Boston's attractions (including the Public Garden). Find all the recommended neighborhoods for sleeping in the city in our guide dedicated to the topic, by clicking on the button below:

    Our tips on where to sleep in Boston

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