Archive for the ‘Parks and Recreation’ Category

The Swan Boats of Boston

Written by admin
Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013

boston-public-garden-and-swan-boats-juergen-rothSince 1877, the Swan Boats have been an iconic feature of the Public Garden in Boston. The boats were designed by Robert Paget after seeing Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, in which a heroic knight rides a swan across a lake to rescue a damsel in distress. This romantic notion is echoed in the dramatic design of the boats themselves, featuring a large white swan. Paget himself died only a year after the initial launch of the boats, but the business was carried on by his wife, Julia, and youngest son, John, who in turn turned the business over to his son Paul in 1969.

Although the boats have been replaced over the years, the design has changed very little, and the current fleet features one boat built in 1918 by John Paget himself. The pedal-powered boats can be seen on the pond in the Public Garden seven days a week from April through September and are a welcome sign of warm weather to Bostonians beleaguered by the long cold winter. During your visit to our Boston bed and breakfast this summer, we recommend you bring the family down to the Public Garden and take a peaceful ride on one of these beautiful and historic Swan Boats!

Explore the Boston Harbor Islands

Written by admin
Thursday, 27 Jun 2013

boston-harbor-islands-2If you’re looking for a slightly different experience in Boston this summer, one of our greatest hidden treasures is only a short ferry ride from downtown Boston. When you visit the Boston Harbor Islands, you can explore a Civil War-era fort, enjoy nature trails, get some sun on the beach, and more! There are several islands accessible either by bridge from the mainland or by ferry. Here are three of our favorites:

Spectacle Island: This island offers a series of nature trails and a beautiful sandy beach. Swimming in New England waters can sometimes be a bracing experience, but here you’ll find some of the warmest water in New England, reaching the high 60s in the middle of summer. Spectacle Island also features the highest point in the harbor, offering gorgeous panoramic views of the city skyline.

Georges Island: Fort Warren, a historic Civil War-era fort, dominates most of this island. You can explore on your own or take a ranger-guided tour of the stunning granite architecture of the fort. Watch out for the island’s ghost, the the Lady in Black! Also, as a primary destination for the harbor ferries, Georges Island is the perfect place to stop to catch the smaller boats between islands.

Peddocks Island: The largest island in Boston Harbor also sits close to the mainland. Featuring several historic buildings, nature trails, and an unsupervised beach, this is one of the most diverse islands and gives you a taste of everything Boston Harbor has to offer.

There are several other islands in the Harbor accessible via ferry and water shuttle and we encourage our guests to visit! Although they are a popular destination in the summer, there are still many locals who have never taken the ferry trip to the islands. When you visit our Boston bed and breakfast, consider exploring one of the best hidden treasures our city has to offer with a trip to the Boston Harbor Islands!

Hall’s Pond Sanctuary

Written by admin
Monday, 3 Jun 2013

The greater Boston area is home to many fantastic public parks and green spaces and the town of Brookline is no exception. If you’re looking for a brief respite from the city, the Hall’s Pond Sanctuary (located practically across the street from the Beacon Inn at 1087 Beacon Street) is worth a visit.

Hall’s Pond is one of two natural ponds remaining in Brookline and the grounds include a boardwalk wetland trail and a small formal garden. Although located just steps from a busy section of Beacon Street, you might spot a variety of birds including great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, kingfishers, and red-winged blackbirds during your visit.

While the Hall’s Pond Sanctuary might be a tiny park compared to the sprawling Boston Common and Public Gardens, this natural preserve in the heart of Brookline offers a welcome change of pace to local residents and tourists alike. If you’re staying at our 1087 bed and breakfast location, we recommend taking a stroll across the street to see what Hall’s Pond has to offer.

Take a Walk in the Park

Written by admin
Saturday, 1 Jun 2013

Before 20-theater cineplex pilgrimages, motorboat outings, and gas grill BBQs, one of the most popular summer pastimes was… wait for it… walking in the park! As incredible as it may seem in the distraction-abundant, air-conditioned urban playground of Boston, not even 100 years ago, a favorite pastime entailed only fresh air, good conversation, natural views, and walking. Lots of walking.

Taking a walk is a favorite activity of our front desk staff, and it can be sweet relief for long-distance travelers. As it happens, nearly the whole town of Brookline is a walkers’ paradise, full of gorgeous old homes along winding streets. Boston is much the same, and since between the two there are so many places to enjoy a long and scenic walk, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite parks easily accessible from our two Boston bed and breakfast locations—one obvious and the others less so:

Jamaica Way: According to Wikipedia, Jamaica Way “is a four-lane, undivided parkway in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston near the border of Brookline. The Jamaicaway was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as part of Emerald Necklace. Many of the houses which line the Jamaicaway are large and of architectural interest. The oldest houses were created by elite Bostonians for year-round or seasonal use.”

Emerson Park: Emerson Park is a small, leafy, and secluded park amid a wealthy Brookline neighborhood. It’s a great spot to sit on a bench and read a book while getting some sun. Not to mention the best egg salad sandwich in Boston can be found up the street at Cutty’s. On summer evenings, the park hosts a concert series including pop, folk, oldies, bluegrass, country and rock.  It’s a great place to chill out after a day touring downtown and you can bring your kids.

Corey Hill Outlook Park: Once a park frequented by patients recovering from stays at the hospital atop the hill (now condos), the Corey Hill outlook is a quiet spot to have a picnic while enjoying views of Cambridge and Harvard’s church steeples. Or, if you’re feeling restless, there’s a kids’ playground across the street and hundreds of steps leading up the hill, to the park, that are great for jogging.