Photos: Bustling 'Beantown'

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  1. Boston skyline

    A view of the Boston skyline. Founded on Sept. 17, 1630 by Puritan colonists from England on a peninsula called Shawmut by its original Native American inhabitants, it is one of the oldest and most culturally significant cities in the United States. (Bob Krist / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Faneuil Hall

    Located near the waterfront and today's Government Center in Boston, Faneuil Hall, has been a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis and others encouraging independence from Great Britain, and is now part of Boston National Historical Park and a well-known stop on the Freedom Trail. It is sometimes known as "The Cradle of Liberty." (Charles Krupa / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Get your clam chowder!

    Clam chowder and other seafood dishes fill the bars and tables of popular eateries like the Union Oyster House, established in 1826. (Karen Kasmauski / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Paul Revere statue and Old North Church

    This Paul Revere Statue in North End, Boston was made by Cyrus Dallin and unveiled on Sept. 22, 1940. In the background the Old North Church, officially called Christ Church, is the location of the famed "one if by land, and two if by sea" phrase related to Paul Revere's midnight ride on April 18, 1775 that preceded the Battles of Lexington and Concord. (Julia Malakie / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Old Granary Burying Ground

    A marker, part of which reads "Paul Revere buried in this ground," is seen on the fence at the Old Granary Burying Ground in Boston. Founded in 1660, the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street is the city's third oldest cemetery, and serves as the final resting place for many notable Revolutionary War-era patriots, including three signers of the Declaration of Independence and many victims of the Boston Massacre. (Chitose Suzuki / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Paul Revere House

    The Paul Revere House (1680), was the colonial home of American patriot Paul Revere during the time of the American Revolution. It is now operated as a nonprofit museum by the Paul Revere Memorial Association. (Chitose Suzuki / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Old Ironsides

    USS Constitution, known as "Old Ironsides," is a wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate of the United States Navy. Named after the United States Constitution, she is the oldest commissioned ship afloat in the world and is still in service in the U.S. Navy. The USS Constitution is one of the sites along the Freedom Trail and is part of Boston National Historical Park, better known as the Charlestown Navy Yard. (Lisa Poole / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Bunker Hill Monument

    The Bunker Hill Monument, commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill, is the first public obelisk erected in the United States. The 221 foot granite obelisk was erected between 1827 and 1842 in Charlestown, Mass. with granite quarried in Quincy, Mass. and conveyed to the site by the first railway in the United States, built specially for that purpose. There are 294 steps to the top. (Chitose Suzuki / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Boston Duck Tours

    A red Boston Duck Tours boat cruises the Charles River with the city skyline in the background. (Kevin Fleming / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Fenway Park

    Steven Tyler of Aerosmith sings the National Anthem before game one of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals on Oct. 23, 2004 at Fenway Park. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. New England Aquarium

    Located by the Boston Harbor, the New England Aquarium's colorful & educational exhibits feature more than 8,000 aquatic creatures, a four-story glass ocean tank housing a coral reef display with an outstanding variety of fishes, sharks & sea turtles. The Aquarium's mission: "To present, promote and protect the world of water." The New England Aquarium is also home to the Simons IMAX Theatre. (New England Aquarium ) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. The Museum of Science

    The Museum of Science is a Boston landmark, with over 500 interactive exhibits; the Museum features a number of live presentations throughout the building everyday, along with shows at the Charles Hayden Planetarium and the Mugar Omni IMAX Theater, the only domed IMAX screen in New England. (Darren McCollester / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

    The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library is the presidential library and museum of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. It was designed by the architect I.M. Pei. The building is the official repository for original papers and correspondence of the Kennedy Administration. The library and museum were dedicated in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and members of the Kennedy family. (Michael Springer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Franklin Park Zoo

    Patrons view giraffes at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. The 72-acre site nestled in Boston's historic Franklin Park, is the largest zoo in New England. (Winslow Townson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 9/6/2006 8:37:28 PM ET 2006-09-07T00:37:28

A Visit to Faneuil Hall Marketplace: Kids can't decide where to look first. Street performers, crowds from all over the world, an enormous food court, restaurants, bars, and shops make Faneuil Hall Marketplace (you'll also hear it called Quincy Market) Boston's most popular destination. It's conveniently located across the street from the harbor, where a stroll along the water can help your crew decompress.

An Exploration of the Museum of Science: Children's natural curiosity takes over as they troll the displays and exhibits that cram this enormous institution. Every branch of science and field of inquiry comes into play, but always in the most accessible way imaginable. It's so much fun that your youngsters probably won't even notice it's (shh!) educational.

An Excursion to the Public Garden: Low-tech pleasures abound in this lovely park, the perfect retreat during or after a busy day of sightseeing. Ride a Swan Boat, feed the birds, and visit with the Mallard family of Make Way for Ducklings fame. Marvel as the whole family starts to unwind.

A Trip to the Children's Museum: Younger kids (under 10 or so) practically vibrate with excitement as they approach Museum Wharf. The hands-on exhibits, noisy galleries, and overall air of discovery and excitement make the Children's Museum catnip for the elementary-school set.

A Thrill "Ride": The Mugar Omni Theater (at the Museum of Science) and the 3-D Simons IMAX Theatre (at the New England Aquarium) offer intrepid visitors hair-raising experiences in the safety of a comfortable auditorium. Most of the large-format films concentrate on the natural world.

FROMMER'S BEST FREE THINGS TO DO IN BOSTON

Picnic by the Water. Head for the harbor or river, perch on a park bench or patch of grass, put away your watch, relax, and enjoy the spectacular scene. Whether it's sailboats or ocean liners, seagulls or scullers, there's always something worth watching. My favorite spot is the end of Long Wharf, not far from Faneuil Hall Marketplace, but it's just one of thousands of pleasant spots.

Visit a Museum: Schedule your visit to take advantage of free or reduced admission at certain times. The USS Constitution Museum is free all the time; the Children's Museum costs just $1 after 5 p.m. on Friday; the Institute of Contemporary Art is free after 5 p.m. Wednesday; the Harvard University Art Museums are free before noon Saturday; and the Harvard Natural History Museums are free on Sunday morning year-round and from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday during the academic year. The Museum of Fine Arts "suggests" that you pay the regular $15 admission after 4 p.m. Wednesday, but you don't have to.

Relish a Vicarious Thrill: Without so much as lacing up a sneaker, you can participate in the world-famous Boston Marathon. Stretch a little. Drink plenty of fluids. Stake out a slice of sidewalk on Commonwealth Avenue and cheer as the runners thunder past. Then put your feet up -- you must be exhausted.

Prowl Newbury Street: From the genteel Arlington Street end to the cutting-edge Mass. Avenue end, Newbury Street -- Boston's legendary shopping destination -- is 8 blocks of pure temptation: galleries, boutiques, jewelry and gift shops, bookstores, and more. Fortunately, window-shopping is free.

Check Out a College Concert or Show: Countless local student groups just want an attentive audience, and the free or minimal admission can pay off in the long run. Imagine the credit card commercial: "Ability to say you recognized the talent of [insert name of big star] in a student production? Priceless."

For a complete listing of what to see and do in Boston, visit the online attractions index at Frommers.com.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.

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