A cow pasture for much of its life, Boston Common is now the oldest park in America. The British then used it as a camp before they were turfed out by the Revolutionaries. It was also used for public hangings, notoriously for witches and even a Quaker. Only around 1830 did it become a true park.
Today it's open, unstructured expanse of grass, paths, a few trees, a Frog Pond, and a few memorials and monuments. It's popular place to stroll, but it's also a place where people gather, to demonstrate, to play music or to make speeches, with both Martin Luther King and Pope John Paul II speaking here.
It's also popular with bums, especially around the edges and near the metro station. They weren't any trouble on my visit, but reading the warnings on this site suggests that they sometimes can be.
Boston Common is the oldest park in the United States. It is a wonderful place to walk around, jog, or just relax and read a book on a nice day. In the middle of the city, it is full of green grass and large shade trees. Although, in earlier times, it wasn’t so pleasant since this is where the cows grazed, the British camped out, and the public hangings occurred. But today, it is quieter and very pleasant.
The Commons is almost 50 acres large and is connected to the Public Gardens so it seems pretty big. I recommend you grab some take-away lunch and have a picnic in the Commons on a warm, sunny day (if it is raining when you are there, then you may not want to do this!).
The Freedom Trail begins in the Commons and you can stop by the Visitor Information Center to pick up your map that takes you on the trail to the 16 historical sites of Boston that make up the Freedom Trail, marked by the red brick line.
The park is open every day of the year, all day long and is free to enjoy.
I love Boston in the springtime... Okay, so I love Boston all the time, but especially in the spring. When spring hits Boston, I love taking a walk in Boston Common. It's absolutely gorgeous. So many beautiful flowers, all the grass and if you're a people watcher like I am, it's a great place to go. A nice little escape from the city itself. I love all of the musicians you find busking around the gardens, and the collection of artists doing their own thing. On a beautiful day there is always something to see! The best part is it doesn't cost a thing! ;)
Besides George Washington statue, the lagoon is what makes the Public Garden more desirable than the nearby Boston Common. Within the lagoon are several sights including the Swan Boats, which have been a favorite ride since 1877 (although they only operate during the warmer months), and the 1869 bridge by William Preston, which gives New York Central Park's Bow Bridge a run for its dime.
The area surrounding the lagoon is perfect to while away at least two hours taking photos, admiring the picture perfect landscaping and the people watching.
Autumn is one of the best times to explore New England and you don't have to go far from downtown Boston to do some leaf peeping. Right smack in the middle of the city - in Boston Common and the Public Garden - New England's gorgeous fall foliage are there for everyone to admire.
Enjoy the photos...
The Parkman Bandstand is a tribute to one of Boston Common's most generous benefactors, George Parkman who bequeathed five million dollars to the park's coffers in 1912.
With a 'Parkman' name, such act of generosity and selflessness must had not come as a surprise?
Just across the State House in Boston Common is a relief that pays tribute to America's progress in its racial history. The Shaw Memorial commemorates the Civil War's 5th regiment that was the first regiment in the Union Army to be consisted of free black men. The memorial is named after its white colonel, Robert Shaw.
Boston Comon is always a hub of activity with musical performances, protestors, children playing, bikes, skaters and people out enjoying the day. Boston Common is the country's oldest park; the land was set aside in 1640 as public land.
There are several monuments throughout the park and some nice benches to sit and relax. In the winter there is ice skating at the Frog Pond with many kids enjoying the winter sport.
My wife and I recently visited Boston over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend. Although it was cold it was considerably warmer than it had been in the past week. We enjoyed walking around the park and people watching; one of our favorite activities.
The Frog Pond was new to me during this trip. When I lived in Boston back in the early 1990s the Frog Pond was not here. It was a nice surprise to see dozens of children splashing around in the water on a hot summer day. We didn't have any swimming gear for the boys and we weren't able to talk them into taking off their shoes and wading on in, but I did. I'm not sure if I would let them swim in there or not, it looks harmless enough but I would have to know more about some safety and sanitary issues before I let them. I was told by one of the locals that people can skate on the Frog Pond during the winter months. That's awesome since the college rinks are often very busy during their free skate times.
If there was ever an area in Boston with a long and varied history, it would have to be the Boston Common. The Common was established in 1634 to be used as a public green. Each household was charged 6 scillings to purchase the land. The area was used for grazing, offical functions including hanging, parades and drills. British troops even camped there. Check out the website for some interesting facts regarding the Common. The Common is enclosed by 5 streets, Tremont, Park, Beacon, Charles, and Boylston. The Common hosts a wide variety of functions including concerts, games, speeches and protests. Some famous people to appear here include Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II and Judy Garland (her largest concert ever was her in 1967). During the winter months, the frog pond is used as an ice skating rink.
Richie and I brought his boys here this past summer. It was their first trip here so we had to make sure it was memorable. The boys were absolutely thrilled about the frog pond as well as the numerous food and beverage vendors that have now set up shop here. We let them take a break from the walking and play on the playground located next to the frog pond. It was also a good break for me and Richie.
Boston Common is a large green space in the centre of the city that, while not being Central Park, still helps to add a bit of nature and serenity to an otherwise busy downtown and financial hub. The Common is an old, established part of the city: it was first founded in 1634, when Boston was a British “city” (more of a large town, given that British population in Massachusetts didn’t rival those in the England). The Commons are the first stop on the city’s Freedom Trail, which is the sightseeing itinerary that is designed to highlight Boston’s role as a hotbed of Revolutionary activity. The Commons is likely a lot more appealing in the summer than it is in early spring, but it is still a pretty site on a sunny day, when the gold dome of the Massachusetts State House (to the north) is glistening in the sun. The Commons is also a gathering place for large protests, although you’re unlikely to be able to witness one like the gathering that converged here in 1965 to protest the Vietnam War.
There are few public parks in the world as famous as Boston Common and The Public Gardens....So, uh yeah, this tip is practically useless; because any visitor to Boston invariably falls upon these public spaces with no help from a guidebook.
The two parks are separated by Charles Street, but have vastly different characters. The Common is a little rougher around the edges, a little more casual, and the site of concerts, festivals and a lovely swimming hole that becomes an ice skating rink during the winter. The Gardens, by contrast, are impeccably manicured with tidy flower beds, pedestrian bridges and the iconic swan boats.
When in Boston, I approach The Common via Downtown Crossing and pass through both parks on the way to Newbury Street. Or, I'll come down off Beacon Hill, visiting the State House before crossing the Common and on to Newbury.
One warning: You'll think I'm kidding, but the squirrels in these two parks are notoriously agressive. Get too close, and you might lose a finger or two.
Boston Commons is a green oasis in the middle of the city. Well-manicured grass areas, clean paths and some water elements help stressed city dwellers and tourists alike to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Boston downtown. There are benches here and there, and a lot of trees to provide shadow from the blazing sun in the summer. The park is surprisingly void of services, there are a few stalls selling drinks and ice cream, but nothing else. Which is good.
Besides being an oasis, Boston Commons is the oldest park in the United States, dating back to the times before independence.
Boston Common is the hub of action in the downtown area. Life for Bostonians will be different without this park. It is where people go to spend time with family, friends and colleagues. It is a place where people congregate to satisfy the longing for solitude, the desire to be out in nature, the wish to be with others in a wonderful setting and the need to enjoy life's simple pleasures (e.g., spending time with family & friends, reading a good book, watching a Shakespeare play in the summer, enjoying the foliage, throwing coins in the fountain, etc.).
Enjoy Boston Common!
Nice Place to walk around, but be aware of the surroundings. There are homeless and drunk people in the park and taking up a lot of benches. They do have propeller boats on the water and a pavilion for concerts. It is a big park at 44 acres of grounds. It was the grazing farm of William Blackstone, one the the first to be involved in the city growth and was a clergyman.