Boston Museums & History

Boston Museums & HistorySettled in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Beantown's age makes it one of the most historically significant and interesting cities in the country, and through all of the city's museums and historic attractions you can learn a great deal about America and Boston, too.

Bunker Hill Monument
While in Boston, be sure to visit the Bunker Hill Monument, one of America's oldest standing monuments. This impressive landmark was constructed in the mid 1800s to commemorate the first battle of the American Revolution. The monument is accompanied by an exhibit hall and a museum located across the street.

Address: 43 Monument Sq., Boston, MA 02129 - MAP
Phone: (617) 242-5641
Web: www.nps.gov

Beacon Hill
Explore the sights of Beacon Hill, a neighborhood that is an important part of the city's history. This area of town is identified by its narrow streets and brick sidewalks illuminated by gas lights. The Massachusetts State House is also located in the neighborhood, perched on top of the hill.

Web: www.beacon-hill-boston.com

Boston Public Library
The Boston Public Library is home to over 8.9 million books and even more history. The library opened as one of America's first free municipal libraries in 1848, and features dozens of rarities in its collection. Rare collection pieces include some of Shakespeare's first edition folios, original scores by Mozart, and the personal library of John Adams. The BPL also boasts several art works and galleries throughout its buildings; you may need to sign up for a tour to make sure you see it all.

Address: 700 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116 - MAP
Phone: (617) 536-5400
Web: www.bpl.org

USS Constitution Museum
Learn about an important piece of United States history at the USS Constitution Museum. The museum showcases the career and importance of the USS Constitution, also known as “Old Ironsides”, our nation's oldest commissioned ship. You'll learn the stories of the ship as you explore exhibits like All Hands on Deck: A Soldier's Life in 1812, and Old Ironsides in War and Peace.

Address: Bldg. 5 Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA 02129 - MAP
Phone: (617) 426-1812
Web: www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org

John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library
The life and legacy of America's 35th president is the central focus at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library. This institution offers visitors an inside look at Kennedy's life, from his childhood to the campaign trail, his presidency, his tragic death in 1963, and his impact on our nation. Exhibits offer insight to mid-20th century politics, the Kennedy administration, the beautiful Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and her role as First Lady, the Kennedy family and their legacy, and much more.

Address: Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125 - MAP
Phone: (617) 514-1600
Web: www.jfklibrary.org

The Sports Museum
Boston sports history is on display at The Sports Museum, located in the TD Garden arena. As you tour the museum, you'll see features on teams like the Celtics, the Bruins, the Patriots, and the Red Sox. Interesting items featured include a replica of Larry Bird's locker, the ice skates and a performance outfit belonging to Nancy Kerrigan, and memorabilia from when the city's NFL franchise was known as the Boston Redskins.

Address: 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114 - MAP
Phone: (617) 624-1234
Web: www.sportsmuseum.org

Paul Revere House Museum
A small and significant piece of American history is preserved at The Paul Revere House. The home was built in 1680 but it wasn't until 1770 that Paul Revere and his family lived here. Restored and opened in 1908 as one of the country's first house museums, the Paul Revere House is furnished like a classic 17th century dwelling, offering a glimpse of the living conditions of early America.

Address: 19 North Sq., Boston, MA 02113 - MAP
Phone: (617) 523-2338
Web: www.paulreverehouse.org

Gibson House Museum
The Gibson House Museum is a landmark that serves as a perfect example of an early American home. The house was built in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood in 1860 and was home to three generations of the Gibson family. The Victorian-era home is complete with furnishings that echo the time period of its occupation.

Address: 137 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02116 - MAP
Phone: (617) 267-6338
Web: www.thegibsonhouse.org

African Meeting House
Learn about the important contributions made to Boston and our nation by the African American community at The Museum of African American History. This institution offers insight to the struggles, the triumphs and the stories of African Americans from the Colonial Period and throughout the 19th century. Exhibits feature important African American figures like Colin Powell, Barack Obama, and Nelson Mandela, and also showcase art works and artifacts.

Address: 14 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108 - MAP
Phone: (617) 725-0022
Web: www.afroammuseum.org

Museum of Science Boston
Science comes to life through the exhibits and attractions at the Museum of Science Boston. Throughout the museum, there are over 500 interactive exhibits explaining all kinds of science-related subjects like nature, technology, evolution, the environment, outer space, electricity, and more. While you're there exploring, be sure to check out a presentation at the IMAX or the Charles Hayden Planetarium.

Address: 1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114 - MAP
Phone: (617) 723-2500
Web: www.mos.org

Otis House Museum
Step into the opulence of yesteryear and tour the Otis House Museum. The house is the last surviving mansion in what used to be Boston's most affluent neighborhood in the 18th century; the man who owned the home, Harrison Gray Otis, was a lawyer who served in Congress and was mayor of the city at one time. The Otis House is still decorated with furnishings that were the best of their time period, including fine furniture pieces and art work.

Address: 141 Cambridge St., Boston, MA 02114 - MAP
Phone: (617) 227-3956
Web: www.historicnewengland.org

Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Check out the works on display at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. From sculpture to paintings, the museum has amassed a large collection of works, including pieces by artists like Vincent van Gogh, John Singleton Copley, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The MFA is also known for its large collection of Egyptian artifacts and European arts.

Address: 100 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02116 - MAP
Phone: (617) 369-6500
Web: www.mfa.org

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum
Remember an event that forever changed the course of American history at the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum. Here at the museum, you'll witness a reenactment of the event, and you'll be able to tour the Tea Party ships and see things like the captain's cabin and the crew's quarters. Most of the exhibits include interactive fun, making learning about our nation's history fun!

Address: Congress Street Bridge, Boston, MA 02127 - MAP
Phone: (617) 592-0422
Web: www.bostonteapartyship.com

Boston Children's Museum
Imagination and education go hand-in-hand at the Boston Children's Museum. The museum is the second oldest children's museum in the nation, housing exhibits that explain science, nature, art, history and more. A few of the engaging exhibitions include Kid Power, Science Playground, Global Gallery, and Countdown to Kindergarten.

Address: 308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210 - MAP
Phone: (617) 426-6500
Web: www.bostonkids.org

Boston Athenaeum
Discover yet another piece of the city's history when you visit the Boston Athenaeum. The Athenaeum was founded in 1807 and is one of the oldest independent libraries in the nation, meaning that you've got to be an exclusive member to borrow books here. The historic library is housed in an architecturally significant building that was built in 1847 and still retains a large portion of its original features. Along with the beautiful architecture to see, the Athenaeum houses a nice collection of 19th century paintings and sculptures for you to feast your eyes on.

Address: 10 ½ Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108 - MAP
Phone: (617) 227-0270
Web: www.bostonathenaeum.org

Fort Warren on Georges Island
Spend some time exploring Georges Island and its main inhabitant Fort Warren. Along with the impressive historic fort, there are several buildings that helped to aid the military, including a granite powder magazine, a searchlight station, a generator building, an electrical communications building and a few other types of structures. This destination offers an inside look at our military's past, and a sweeping view of Boston's beauty.

Web: www.nps.gov

Granary Burying Ground
Pay your respects to some of the people who helped to build and define our nation at the Granary Burying Ground. Referred to as “the resting place of Boston's most famous sons”, this burial ground is where the bodies of people like John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and the victims of the Boston Massacre have been interred.

Address: Tremont Street - MAP
Phone: (617) 635-4505
Web: www.cityofboston.gov

Old State House
The Old State House is where The Declaration of Independence was born – the stand for American freedom began here. This important civic building was used as the first state house for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts after the American Revolution was won, and was later utilized as the home for a number of other services like city hall and post office. The Old State House has been a museum dedicated to early Boston and American history since 1881.

Web: www.bostonhistory.org

Commonwealth Museum
The history of Massachusetts is explored at The Commonwealth Museum. Exhibits here explore everything that has happened in the state from the Colonial Period to the American Revolution, Civil War and beyond. Important events and people are presented through artifacts and documentation, serving as an effective lesson of American history.

Address: 220 William T Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester, MA 02125 - MAP
Phone: (617) 727-9268
Web: www.sec.state.ma.us

The Site of the Boston Massacre
Visit a place where an important event took place. The Boston Massacre site is where the legendary conflict between the colonists and British soldiers took place; some would even say that this event was one of the many catalysts to the American Revolution.

Phone: (617) 357-8300
Web: www.cityofboston.gov

Minute Man National Historical Park
Explore the history of Minute Man National Historical Park. The park marks where several important American Revolution battles took place, including the April 19, 1775 that launched the war. There are two historic homes within the park, and there's also a visitors center with interesting exhibits, including one that details “The Road to Revolution,” which features the story of Paul Revere's ride, The Battle of Lexington and more.

Phone: (978) 369-6993
Web: www.nps.gov

Harvard Museum of Natural History
“Look closer, dig deeper” at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. The museum showcases several exhibits that have to do with natural history, including Arthropods: Creatures that Rule, Fossil Mammals, New England Forests, and Minerals, Gems, & Meteorites. You'll learn so much about the world around us through the fun sights here.

Address: 26 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138 MAP
Phone: (617) 495-3045
Web: www.hmnh.harvard.edu

New England Holocaust Memorial
Reflect on a global tragedy at the New England Holocaust Memorial. The memorial is a testament to the victims of the Holocaust and to those who survived through it. You'll find the memorial in downtown Boston near Faneuil Hall, identified by its unique design. The memorial is comprised of six glass towers, illuminated from the bottom by charred embers. The towers are each named for one of the principal Nazi death camps and are etched with six million numbers to symbolize the Holocaust victims' tattooed numbers and ledgers of the Nazi authority. Since 1995, the New England Holocaust Memorial has presented its visitors with a place to reflect on their freedoms and the importance of human rights.

Phone: (617) 457-8698
Web: www.nehm.org