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A Day in Boston

The Institute of Contemporary Art

Courtesy of The Institute of Contemporary Art

The building of The Institute of Contemporary Art is just as contemporary as the pieces that reside inside.

Historic landmarks and colonial facades continue to draw devoted history buffs, but between the classic brownstones and famous clam chowder, new icons are revolutionizing the cityscape.

In post-curse Red Sox Nation, there’s modern architecture, a renovated waterfront and haute couture. Savor contemporary twists on fresh seafood at Boston Harbor, or classic Italian cuisine in the North End. Stay in a trendy new boutique hotel or check in to the country’s longest continuously operating hotel.

Start the day like a local with a cup of coffee at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop, which are as abundant as Starbucks in this city.

Step into some comfy kicks and hit the Freedom Trail, the best and least expensive way to see the sights (it’s free). Begin at Boston Common and follow the two-and-a-half-mile, red-brick road—or stripe, depending on your route. Make a morning out of touring the trail’s historic landmarks.

To start, admire the gold-domed “new” Massachusetts State House, built in 1798. The gleaming building sits high on Beacon Hill. The Old State House, built in 1713, lies just down the trail, overlooking the site of the Boston Massacre. Nearby, visit the Granary Burying Ground, where Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and John Hancock rest.

Stop for tea off the trail at the Omni Parker House Hotel, America’s longest continuously operating hotel. The timeless, wood-paneled lobby remains as regal as the presidents who stayed here, including JFK, who proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier in the restaurant. Take in the splendor over a slice of Boston Cream Pie, which made its debut at the Parker House.

Head down to Faneuil Hall, where a statue of Samuel Adams presides over the meeting hall where he once spoke. Behind the building, grab some lunch at Quincy Market, which is a grazer’s dream. Kiosks from restaurants throughout the city offer small portions of clam chowder, pizza, sausage, ice cream and much more.

After lunch, sport the official Boston look with a Red Sox hat, and take a tour of storied Fenway Park. Check out the looming left-field wall, the “Green Monster,” and pay homage to the home of baseball greats such as Ted Williams and Cy Young.

Or, if you’re more into art and architecture than sports, Boston’s renovated waterfront is packed with shiny new buildings, such as The Institute of Contemporary Art. The glass and metal museum, which hangs over a public walkway, is as striking as the art inside.

After checking out the cantilevered galleries, steal a few minutes out on the deck before hopping in a water taxi nearby and crossing Boston Harbor to the New England Aquarium. Home to sharks, penguins and sea turtles, families flock to the aquarium for the hands-on exhibits.

If all that marine life has worked up your appetite for fish, it’s time to hit Legal Sea Foods for dinner. Next door to the aquarium, this chain is famous for its chowder, which is usually full of Cape Cod clams and a longtime staple at presidential inaugurations.

Run back to your hotel to don a sports coat or stilettos. Make your way to The Oak Room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza for some classy evening cocktails, including one of the meanest martinis in town. Check out the lavish lobby of the hotel, a Boston landmark since 1912.

If you have some energy left, head down to the Hatch Memorial Shell for music in the park. This acoustic bandshell on the bank of the Charles is a summer evening hotspot, with plenty of outdoor concerts. Sit back and watch the sunset, and let the summer heat roll off your shoulders. Soon you’ll be planning your return trip to Boston…but this time for a full weekend.

This article has been adapted from the original, which was published by MSP Communications.

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