Beacon Hill is undoubtedly one of the most affleuntial addresses in all of Boston, currently home to Senator and former presidential candidate, John Kerry. However it was settled in the early 19th century by free African-Americans who led early civil rights battles and had a hand in the abolition of slavery in the mid-1800s. It was one of the northern stops on the infamous Underground Railroad by which slaves escaped from the south to be free in the north. It is now the home to many beautiful brick townhomes and tree-lined streets.
Take a stroll through the residential streets on a spring day and relax. Be sure to walk down one of the most scenic streets, cobblestoned Acorn Street and stop to admire the townhomes surrounding Louisburg Square including a former residence of American author Louisa May Alcott and the current residence of the aforementioned senator. Visit the Museum of African American History and get a self-guided walking map of the Black Freedom Trail. End your walk amongst the shops and restaurants along Charles Street.
Beacon Hill is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Boston, known for its architecture and lay-out. Here you will find brick row houses with beautiful doors and decorative iron work. Many notable Americans have once lived here and it is still a place for the upper class. It's a nice area to stroll along the narrow streets with brick sidewalks and gas lamps. Don't miss Acorn street and Louisburg Square. However, I must admit that the homogenous buildings bored me after a while.
Think of a street scene in Boston, and the image that will probably come to mind is narrow, gas lit, cobblestone streets, full of historic brick buildings. That describes Beacon Hill perfectly. It is without a doubt the most historic and visually pleasing neighborhood in Boston. It is also the most exclusive and upscale, which carries with it a certain snobbyness. I find the North End to be a more interesting neighborhood. But Beacon Hill has plenty going for it and definately deserves a look.
The best thing you can do is pick up the Black Heritage Trail brochure from the National Park Visitor Center along the Freedom Trail. It outlines a walking tour that showcases the major historic buildings in Beacon Hill. It was the first neighborhood in America that was predominantly occupied by middle class Blacks, going back to the 1790's. The Abolitionist Movement in the decades before the Civil War was especially strong here.
There are a number of other sites besides the Black Heritage Trail that are worth seeing. Mt. Vernon Street is an interesting street to walk along. It will take you to Louisburg Square, the most expensive homes in Boston are here. Just south of there is Acorn Street. It bills itself as the most photographed street in America. It is a pretty looking narrow cobblestoned lane. But I think there are other streets that are just as interesting. Cedar Lane Way is one of them.
When you're done exploring head to Charles Street. It is the main shopping drag in Beacon Hill. Many of the businesses along Charles Street have interesting signs hanging outside their door. It's a quaint reminder when the shoemaker would have a shoe hanging outside his shop.
With some of the most beautiful row homes in all of Boston, I am sure this is the vision you have when you think of Boston (it should be anyway).
Beacon Hill is loaded with quaint little shops and some fantastic restaurants. You can also find fruit and vegtable stands and many specialty shops.
Wander around on a beautiful Sunday and find yourself by Boston Gardens.
As Boston is a city to simply walk round, one of the nicest areas is Beacon Hill. It's certainly one of the most affluent and prestigious addresses in the city - and amazingly, it's only a couple of miles from the Downtown area. Heaps of distinguished 19th century town houses, narrow streets (head for Acorn St, Boston's most photographed strteet), window boxes, ivy-clad brickwork and little cafes. As it's just north of Boston Common and close to the Freedom Trail, easily reachable for a little wander.
Beacon Hill is a 19th-century downtown Boston residential neighborhood situated directly north of the Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden. Most people think of city living as anonymous and isolating. But this cozy enclave, filled with nearly 10,000 people, is more like a village than an anonymous city. It has a rich community life, with neighbors knowing neighbors and everyone meeting on the Hill's commercial streets and at its myriad activities.
Approximately one mile square, Beacon Hill is bounded by Beacon Street, Bowdoin Street, Cambridge Street and Storrow Drive. It is known for its beautiful doors and door surrounds, brass door knockers, decorative iron work, brick sidewalks, perpetually-burning gas lights, flowering pear trees, window boxes, and hidden gardens. Its architecture, mostly brick row houses, includes the Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian periods, as well as early 20th-century colonial revival homes and tenements. The architecture is protected by restrictive regulations that allow no changes to any visible part of a structure without the approval of an architectural commission.
Beacon Hill contains a South Slope, a North Slope and a Flat of the Hill. Charles Street is the neighborhood's main street and is filled with antique shops and neighborhood services. The Massachusetts State House is at the top of the Hill overlooking Boston Common.
Charles and Cambridge Streets are Beacon Hill's commercial streets. Charles Street is known for 40 antique shops, home decorating shops, delectable food shops and several good restaurants. Cambridge Street offers good restaurants, as well as two gas stations and a supermarket, now undergoing construction in Charles River Plaza. Both streets offer many unique neighborhood service shops, including one of the few independent pharmacies - Gary Drug - left in America. Cambridge Street is also the home of the venerable Massachusetts General Hospital.
As everyone else has written I too have read that Acorn Street is the most photographed street in the USA and yet we stll came across it by accident. Acorn Street is on the Hill behand Charles Street. When we arrived dusk was falling and the gas lights had come on. As it is not mentioned in many of the guide books it is not surprising that so few touristt were around when we were there.
This is a memorial designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in honor of teh Union Army's 54th Massachusetts Colored Regiment and Col. Robert Gould Shaw. This unit was the 1st made up of free African American soldiers as depicted in the movie Glory.
Before you ever come to Boston, I'm betting that Beacon Hill is how you picture the whole place to look. It's really just the most beautiful neighborhood in the city.
However, I'd like to throw my 2 cents in and criticize it for being too homogenous. Again, typical Boston!
I love Beacon Hill. As a matter of fact, just as soon as I finish my stint in Europe I plan on relocating there for half of the year while I do my writing. It dates back to the early 19th century and nearly all of the houses are either Federal, Victorian or Georgian styles. It is a National Historic District and extraordinarily quiet to be in downtown Boston. As you can see from my front page, I have an entire album dedicated to the area. I love to just walk around and take pictures. If you walk slowly and look hard you can see tiny little gardens stuck here and there throughout the neighborhood. This is my favorite part. Some are no bigger than the interior of my car and some are in obscure places, like balconies, but they all fascinate me.
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