History Arts and Culture
Boston was founded in 1630 and is central to American history. History buffs can trek the Freedom Trail, which connects many historically important sites, from the Old State House, where the Declaration of Independence was first read, to Paul Revere's House to the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides"). Sites of pivotal battles at Bunker Hill, and in Lexington and Concord, are also national monuments and nearly every town has an historical society. Old Sturbridge Village is an authentic recreation of a colonial village, with historic housing and costumed inhabitants that is located in Sturbridge, an hour west of Boston. Plimoth Plantation is a similar recreation of the original Plymouth Colony just south of Boston. And touristy Salem, home of the infamous witch trials, lies to the north.
Arts and Culture
Boston is a cultural Mecca. The Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops are world-renowned, but there are several other professional symphonies and innumerable civic and college orchestras. In fact, the medical area has its own orchestra, the Longwood Symphony, composed mostly of physicians, that is very high quality. There are also over 150 amateur choral groups (and here), including many outstanding ones: the Cantata Singers, the Boston Cecelia and the Handel and Haydn Society to name just three. The Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum are world-class fine art museums and are only a 3-block walk from Children's Hospital. The Institute of Contemporary Art and the Harvard Art Museums are others of note. The Museum of Science, the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum are also outstanding. The Boston Lyric Opera highlights a growing opera scene, and the Boston Ballet is one of the country's best. There are numerous theater companies including the American Repertory Theater, The Huntington Theater Company and the Lyric Stage of Boston. Plus, Boston is a frequent venue for pre-Broadway tryouts and touring national companies.