Congratulations to the class of 2015! We all remember when we found out we had been accepted to Harvard, and we know you have a big decision ahead of you. I hope many of you were able to get some of your questions answered during out Phone-a-thon this past weekend, when dozens of undergraduates got together to call every admitted student. Of course, we all hope you are also coming to Visitas (in less than two weeks!) and we have lots of exciting things planned for you!
Since Kate talked about the top 10 things to do when visiting Harvard, I am going to talk about the top 10 things to do in Boston. It is often said that undergraduates get caught up in the “Harvard bubble” and don’t head out into Boston as often as they would like, but when you do get a chance to cross the Charles, it is well worth it! There are still so many things I hope to do before graduation, and here are some of my favorites:
1. Take a walk around Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden! Depending on the season, you can take a romantic ride on a Swan Boat or go ice-skating at Frog Pond. During the sunny months, vendors selling Italian ices, hot dogs, and pretzels, and groups of street performers, line the paths and create a great atmosphere.
2. North End: The North End and surrounding area include historical points of interest like Faneuil Hall and the Old North church, as well as many yummy Italian restaurants and the famous Mike’s Pastries, which has *the* best cannolis.
3. Theater District: Just next to the Commons, the Boylston Theater District features typical movie theaters as well as Broadway-like shows (The Lion King, my favorite, visited last year!) and special shows like The Blue Man Group.
4. Restaurant Week: Twice a year, Boston restaurants participate in restaurant week, a week when lots of fancy restaurants feature fixed price lunch and dinner menus. My favorite is Top of the Hub, a restaurant located on the top floor of The Prudential Center, with amazing views of Boston and Cambridge.
5. Visit the wharf and harbor: During the summer, friends and families have picnics on the grassy lawns in front of the Ocean, visit the New England Aquarium (where you can see really cute penguins!), or take a whale-watching trip.
6. Museums! Take advantage of the many museums in Boston, several of which you can get into free with your Harvard ID. A hidden treasure within Harvard is the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and there are many other art and history museums on campus. In Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Science are must-sees!
7. Newbury Street: Essentially the 5th Avenue of Boston, Newbury street features everything from a four floor Forever 21 (I was a little too excited when it opened a few months ago) to big names like Prada, Marc Jacobs, Hermes, and Vera Wang. The street also features dozens of wonderful restaurants, including a Pinkberry and soon to open Berryline (we all love our froyo!)
8. Boston played a large role in American Independence, and one of the best ways to take in all the main historical points is to walk along The Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile brick trail that winds throughout Boston and stops at locations like the site of the Boston Massacre.
9. Duck Duck…Tour! Duck Tours are a classic Boston tour in WWII amphibious landing vehicles – in other words, the tour starts on lands and then takes you into the water. These tour are great for when your family visits!
10. 4th of July: If you plan to spend any of your summers at Harvard, 4th of July fireworks are one event you don’t want to miss. Spots are staked out on the Esplanade hours and hours in advance, and barges set off fireworks while the Boston Pops perform. It is a great time to hand out with friends and celebrate America.
Of course, there are lots of other things to do in Boston, but I hope this gives you a taste! I look forward to seeing many of you next weekend!!!