A few years ago the Boston Globe published a story in their Sunday magazine called 18 Great Walks which described short walking trips in and around Boston. They ranged from less than a mile to about 6 miles. The areas included urban, suburban, beach and forest. Margaret and I have been following these walks occasionally on Sundays. We haven't done them all yet but we have found a few others on our own. (The Globe walks are indicated with an *).
Saint Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston
Probably one of the biggest events in Boston is the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade. The parade route is about 2 miles long down Broadway and Dorchester Streets in South Boston. It's the second largest parade in the county and is viewed every year by nearly a million people. These photos are from 2013. Photos
The obvious place to start is Beacon Hill. The Globe described Beacon Hill as "Old-school Brahmins and just-out-of-school 20-somethings". Home to Boston's well-to-do citizens since the early 1800's, its narrow gas-lit streets with brick sidewalks are lined with Federal style row houses. Residents have included many famous people from John Hancock and Daniel Webster to Ted Kennedy and Jack Welch. We did this walk on August 31, 2008. Photos
Commonwealth Avenue Mall*
The end of the Emerald Necklace, the park system designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in the 1880's. When Commonwealth Avenue was built, 1885-1888, the Brighton Item (newspaper in Brighton, MA) had this to say about it, "It is no wonder that Bostonians are proud of the avenue, or that [President Benjamin Harrison] on Wednesday last should have been driven over it as Boston's most finished, and it might be added polished, driveway." Photos
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Only just over an hour's drive from Boston, Portsmouth is a nice city with a compact downtown/waterfront where there's lots going on. Prescott Park on the water front has gardens, people picnicing and regular concerts in the summer. There are a lot of nice restaurant. For an idea of what's happening right now, there's a harbor cam. First incorporated in 1653, it was named Portsmouth after the town founder, John Mason, who had been captain of the Port of Portsmouth, England in the county of Hampshire. For a while it was the colonial captial of New Hampshire and a refuge for exiles from Puritan Massachusetts. Not far from downtown is the USS Albacore Museum & Park where the USS Albacore, a Navy test submaine on display. Photos
A quiet residential neighborhood in Cambridge, away from the chaos of the squares (Harvard, Inman, Central, etc.). It's full of beautiful Victorian homes, quirky shops (Jeana's Dirty Dog Saloon) and gourmet food restaurants (Hi-Rise Bread Co.). We did this 2 mile walk on September 7, 2008. Photos
Revere Beach, six miles north of downtown Boston, is a natural mudflat with a wide sandy knoll along its three-mile length. For nearly 70 years, until 1975, a popular amusement park was there, that was often called Boston's Coney Island. During its hey-day in the 1920s, it was not unusual for 100,000 people to visit Revere Beach to swim, ride an amusement, or go to one of the famous dance halls. Today it's been revitalized and is home to the Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival which attracts sculpturers from around the world. We were there in July of 2008. Photos
The Globe called their walk through Boston's famous Italian neighborhood the Bakery Tour. The North End is evolving today and has 20-something professionals living in condos along side 2nd and 3rd generation Italian families. It's congested and full of great Italian restaurants and coffee shops in addition to the bakeries. We've been to the North End many times and I'm sure that we followed the Globe route, but I don't seem to have an photos.
Boston Harbor Walk South Boston*
This is a pedestrian path that follows the Harborwalk along the Boston Harbor waterfront from Columbia point in the south to Castle Island, home of Fort Independence, in South Boston (across the harbor from Logan Airport. Most of the over 3 mile (6 miles round trip) distance is quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The northern end of the walk is along Carson's Beach, only about 2 miles from downtown Boston. There are views of the Boston Harbor Islands, the skyline of Boston across and Dorcester Heights where George Washington and the Continental Army conducted the siege of Boston.
Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea is America's leading maritime museum is located in a re-created 19th century coastal village. Exhibits include a restored whaling ship, a restored fishing schooner, a ropewalk (building for making rope) and a maritime Art Gallery. There are several ships undergoing restoration. We were there on a quiet Monday in August 2009. Photos
Historic Rockport on Cape Ann, about an hours drive north of Boston is both a vacation destination and a popular day trip for Bostonians. The habor was originally built to support the timber and fishing industry and beginning in the early 1800's the granite quarries. Now it is home to artists, unique shops and restaurants. We spent a sunner September day there in 2007.
I'll be adding more walks as I find the time.