by Noemi Arellano-Summer
photography courtesy of Ariana Quihuiz
Cities can start to look the same after a while. Large and full of buildings and people, they have the same basic components as any other metropolitan area. The only part that’s different from place to place is how each component is made up, and how they relate to each other. Then, for travelers, what makes Boston a unique city that’s worth visiting?
Boston’s historical nature ensures it a spot on most people’s lists of places to visit in their lifetimes. As one of the oldest ‘big cities’ in the United States, as well as the site of many historical events important to our country’s founding, Boston is an attractive city for tourists.
Of course, the city’s residents are well aware of that and have amassed a multitude of tours, museums and monuments to show off Boston’s historical prowess. Who hasn’t heard of the Freedom Trail? The Boston Common? Or, of course, the Old North Church? Boston’s age gave rise to interesting architecture and city design, as well as the general feeling as you walk through the streets that you are stepping through history and time.
Boston also has easy access to its sister city of Cambridge, which only adds to the appeal of the area. Cambridge is most famous for its higher education than for any historical events, and its close proximity makes the general area of Boston and Cambridge very exciting to visit.
These cities contain a combined number of 66 schools for higher education, ranging from community colleges to the likes of Harvard and MIT. Visiting these famous college campuses is obviously a reason for tourism. These schools also attract high school seniors applying to colleges in Boston and Cambridge. Since the two cities have so many schools, it’s convenient that they are so close together, so students can easily visit several schools in one visit.
Again considering the age of the city, visiting universities also ties in with visiting historical landmarks. When visiting newly matriculated students in the greater Boston area, family members also join in on the Beantown activities. Considering exactly how many schools the two cities has entails that education has a large role in this area, through tuition as well as tourism.
Since Boston is known for its overly exuberant drivers, the fact that the MBTA is a generally efficient transportation system is an immense help for out of town guests. It is also a fairly small city compared to its more populous sister-city, New York. This makes walking a viable option when traveling throughout its neighborhoods and across the Charles River.
The fact that Boston is navigable is great for most tourists. You can pick up the Green Line, and 20 minutes later, you’re at Faneuil Hall. After some more quick navigation, you can make your way to MIT. Boston’s navigability is an essential trait for a tourism-driven city to have.
Boston is definitely unique to travelers. Its historical sites, higher education campuses, and navigability all combine to ensure that Boston is a necessary city to be visited at least once.