Your Destination Guide to Boston

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Boston Public Garden

Boston Public Garden
Boston Public Garden

© Rick Harris

The minute you see the Boston Public Garden, you will know that this is not just a place to smell the flowers. Don't let the swans gliding indifferently across the pond fool you— it is a stage, a classroom and, above all, a 173 year-old botanical masterpiece.

Established in 1837, the Boston Public Garden was the first of its kind to open in the United States. The rich history of the park is entwined into the soil and though it has changed throughout the years, much of its original integrity remains intact. An 1869 iconic sculpture of George Washington serenely stands watch over the hundreds of visitors who enter the park's Commonwealth Avenue entrance daily, and even the self-peddled, postcard-perfect swan boats have been carrying passengers for over 130 years.

Today, the picturesque weeping birches play lazily with the edge of Swan Pond. The park's appearance changes depending on the season – even in the spring, the colors shift as new stunningly vivid flowers are planted and replaced monthly. The many statues punctuating the flowery walkways are inspired by history or, in some cases, have inspired literature, such as Robert Lowell's poem, "The Public Garden". Hidden in the park is the Make Way for Ducklings scuplture, a tribute to the children's picture book. Kids are welcome to climb the bronze ducklings who will forever be following their mother. If you're feeling collegiate and want to learn more about the garden's sculptures, listen in on one of the many college classes that take advantage of the lovely weather at the end of the school year, or enjoy the shoppers as they leave the nearby Newbury Street district, flaunting their inner fashionistas as they walk to the music of the park's street performers.

From inside the garden, the city of Boston spreads out like spokes of a wheel. It provides the starting point to wonderful opportunities just outside the garden, or you can simply succumb to a leisurely day exploring the garden's history and many rooted wonders.

Attraction Information

  • Hours:
  • Daily: 6am to 11:30pm
  • Admission:
  • Free
  • Subway Stop:
  • Green line to Arlington station
  • Contact:
  • Location: Boylston Street (between the crosses of Charles and Arlington Street), Boston, MA
  • Phone: 617-635-4505
  • Website: www.cityofboston.gov/parks/emerald/public_garden.asp
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