Photograph by Lisa Seaman/Aurora Photos
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America’s oldest major-league baseball stadium that’s still in continuous use, Fenway Park has hosted eight World Series, most recently in 2007.

Photograph by Lisa Seaman/Aurora Photos

Boston Must-Dos

Our experts recommend the top attractions in and around Boston—with advice on how to get the most out of your visit.

Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area
“Wonderful way to tie in the urban experience with a nature experience, or even if you just want to get out on the water.”—Ethan Gilsdorf, “10 Things Not to Miss” columnist, The Boston Globe’s Travel section. Ferries leave from Boston’s Long Wharf by Christopher Columbus Park to many of the islands, where hiking, picnicking, camping, swimming, and fishing opportunities abound. On Spectacle Island, start with the eco-friendly visitors center and then explore the five miles (eight kilometers) of gravel paths; only 10-15 minutes by ferry from Boston’s Long Wharf. tel. +1 617 223 8666; fee.

Thirty-nine miles (62.8 kilometers) of walkways and boardwalks lining Boston Harbor; features interpretive displays, art installations, and signs. Eventually, the Harborwalk will stretch 46.9 linear miles (75.4 kilometers). The downtown section winds along the water offering stunning views of the Boston Harbor and the luxury boats tied up to the piers. Be sure to download the accompanying MP3 files for free from the Harborwalk website to get the full experience. tel. +1 617 482 1722.

Fenway Park
Nearly a century of Boston Red Sox baseball has been played here; games typically sell out, but limited same-day tickets are available at the box office; guided tours available seven days a week, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., except on or around major holidays; buy tour tickets at the box office or, if the box office is closed, the souvenir stand at 19 Yawkey Way. tel. +1 617 226 6666; fee.

The Institute of Contemporary Art
“Worth seeing for the art—but also for the ultramodern building in a neighborhood that is seeing tremendous rebirth.”—Ethan Gilsdorf. Works from artists such as photographer Nan Goldin and sculptor Louise Bourgeois make it an important contemporary art collection. Free on Thursday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. 100 Northern Avenue; tel. +1 617 478 3100; fee.

Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory and Top of the Hub
“The best view of the city in the city”—Ethan Gilsdorf. A restaurant above the Skywalk, the Top of the Hub Restaurant & Lounge, is a great place for a drink while the sun goes down; or just take in the view from the Skywalk. 800 Boylston Street; tel. +1 617 859 0648; fee.

Charles River Basin
Jog, stroll, rollerblade, bike, fish, or paddle your way around the Charles River Esplanade; check out the Hatch Shell, location of the legendary Fourth of July Boston Pops Concerts; Sunday mornings are car-free on some streets from the last Sunday in April through the second Sunday in November. tel. +1 617 626 4973.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
“One of the most unique museums in the city if not in the country; the collection, the building, and the story of her life are all fascinating”—Ethan Gilsdorf. Friends with John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, and Henry James, Gardner opened her important collection of works by Rembrandt, Titian, Botticelli, Degas, and Sargent in 1903; the museum building, modeled after a 15th-century Venetian palazzo is worth the visit in itself—especially for the interior courtyard garden and its second-century mosaic. 280 The Fenway; tel. 1 617 566 1401 (general info), +1 617 278 5156 (box office); fee.

Boston Duck Tours
“Corny as hell, but very entertaining.”—Ethan Gilsdorf. Driving brightly-colored retrofitted military amphibious vehicles, the larger-than-life tour guides impersonate characters ranging from a police officer to a super hero to a magician; includes a dunk in the Charles River (the vehicle, not you). Tours start at either the Prudential Center or the Museum of Science. tel. +1 617 267 DUCK (3825); fee.

Afternoon Tea at the Bristol in the Four Seasons
“A way to not spend an arm and a leg at the Bristol but enjoy absolutely fantastic tea food (finger sandwiches, pastries, scones, strawberry jam, lemon curd, and Devonshire cream) with a staff making you feel like royalty.”—Marie Morris, author, Frommer’s Boston. $28 per person. Reservations needed; ask for a table near the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Public Garden. 200 Boylston Street; tel. +1 617 351 2037