Historic Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s smallest suburbs, but it sure packs in a lot of charm. Streets are lined with cobblestone sidewalks and flickering gas lamps. Federal-style row houses are dressed with pretty flower boxes and wrought iron fences.
The Beacon Hill area was settled in 1625. Most homes were built in the 18th and 19th centuries and are lovingly preserved. They range from narrow row houses to grand family residences. Look for polished brass door knockers, which have become the unofficial symbol of the suburb. Don’t be content just to browse the exteriors of Beacon Hill’s stately homes; pay a visit to the Nichols House Museum. Built in 1804, this four-story town house showcases the original furnishings, crafts and day-to-day objects of the early 1900s.
Delve deeper into Beacon Hill’s history and join one of the many paid or free walking tours offered by local tourist agencies. You can even take an online tour before going. The suburb is also a wonderful place to discover on your own. Pick up a coffee from one of many cafés and wander the cobblestone streets at your leisure. Acorn Street is one of the area’s most picturesque and frequently photographed streets. Additionally, look out for Mount Vernon Street and Louisburg Square, two of the most exclusive addresses in Boston.
Pick up that perfect Boston memento from one of the many antique and craft shops on Charles Street, Beacon Hill’s main thoroughfare. Pull up a bar stool in Cheers Beacon Hill, the pub that provided the inspiration for the hit 1980s TV show “Cheers.” Bibliophiles will want to check out the Boston Athenaeum, an exquisitely decorated and furnished private library that overlooks the Granary Burying Grounds. Just across Beacon Street is the domed State House, the home of Massachusetts state politics.
Christmas is considered one of the loveliest times to visit Beacon Hill. Just when you think the neighborhood can’t get any prettier, a thick blanket of snow covers the cobblestones and adds another layer of magic.
The Beacon Hill area is located just north of Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden. You can get there by subway, bus or car.