If you come across Peruvian panpipe players, rows and rows of delectable food stalls, and cobblestone walkways, you have found the Faneuil Hall area. Walk down the stairs from Government Center, and from here, you have only a ten-minute walk to the North End and Downtown Crossing.
The actual Faneuil Hall building was a meeting house in the mid 1700s, and many well-known government officials, patriots, and statesmen have spoken here throughout the years, including Samuel Adams, Bill Clinton, Susan B. Anthony, John Kerry and Edward Kennedy. A well-off merchant named Peter Faneuil served as the financier for its construction, even providing the funds to a local artist to craft an elegant gold-plated grasshopper weathervane for the top of the building.Today, Faneuil Hall is home to the Boston Classical Orchestra. In 2008, Forbes Traveler rated it number four in the Most Visited Sites in the United States.
After a walk down history lane, enjoy a wide variety of shopping, eating, and entertainment options. Check out Quincy Market for every cuisine choice you could possibly imagine, set up in long rows to provide visitors with a quick, delicious meal or snack. Choices range from a piping hot dish of pasta to a fruity smoothie, and everything in between. Be sure to follow your nose to the Chipyard stand for some mouthwatering, homemade chocolate chip cookies. For a sit-down dinner, the legendary Cheers of Boston is right here. If you are looking for a traditional Yankee meal, head over to Durgin Park, for a old-world atmosphere, fun waitstaff, and cornbread that is to die for.
Shops appealing to all consumers line the outside of this area. Favorite clothes stores include GAP, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, and Victoria's Secret. Or go for something more unique, like the Boston Pewter Company, where visitors can choose from hand-crafted pewter goods for souvenirs, home decorations, and kitchenware. Even if you aren't looking to purchase, you have to walk through Exotic Flowers, where the sweet scent alone merits the visit. Inside Quincy Market, a variety of pushcart shops sell one-of-a-kind jewelry, head-bands, belts, and beads. One pushcart is dedicated to music alone, where shoppers can pick out a G-clef tie, or maybe some musical note boxer shorts.
While exploring all Faneuil Hall has to offer, keep your ear open for some live street entertainment. If you go on the weekend, you are certain to catch breakdancers who wow the crowd with flips and headstands. Other favorites include jugglers, kids shows, and musicians. This is the kind of area where you can spend a whole day and want to come back again.