It’s finally gorgeous out in Boston, but sadly, it’s Monday. That means many of us are trapped at our offices, left to only gaze upon the sunny day from the inside looking out. Sigh, but such is life.
However, if you aren’t stuck indoors all day long, or you can sneak away for a long (late) lunch, or head out just a bit early, we have some ideas about where you should be going. Whether you bring a book, some work that’s left to do, or just your thoughts, these pretty landscapes found in and around Boston will provide you with some much-needed fresh air and, hopefully, inspiration.
If you can’t sneak away today, don’t worry. Just because rain is in the forecast doesn’t mean you can’t keep these parks in mind next time you find yourself with some time off. You might just want to prepare to never want to go back to your fluorescent-lit desk again.
Located on the Boston Harborwalk (a prime destination in itself for springtime) in East Boston, Piers Park is a waterfront destination somewhat off the beaten path, complete with a great view of the city and lots of salty air. There’s also green space and a fountain area for kids to play. To get there, take the Blue Line to Maverick Square.
Image via Frogs on Ice
This National Historic Landmark was the first “garden” cemetery to be built in 1831, and notable people like Isabella Stewart Gardner and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow are buried in the grounds. The sprawling landscape is also home to massive trees, hills and grassy areas that serve as a way to get away it all and bask in the sun (as long as the idea of relaxing in a graveyard doesn’t get to you). There’s also Washington Tower, which stands at the highest point of the cemetery, and when you climb it, you get an awesome view of Boston. The cemetery is available by the 71 and 73 bus routes.
The largest park in Brookline, Larz Anderson is a prime destination for both a day spent outdoors and a quick afternoon trip. In addition sprawling fields, awesome views and open space, Larz Anderson provides picnic areas for outdoor grilling and celebrations. The park is available on the Green Line’s D train at the Reservoir station.
Also in Brookline, Amory Park is nestled conveniently between Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street for easy access. With a field in the center, Amory’s standout destination for those seeking a quiet, shady spot is Hall’s Pond Sanctuary, a trail in the woods around a pond that leads to a public garden with trees, flowers and benches. There are also tennis courts and picnic tables on the grounds. The park is accessible by the Green Line’s B train at BU West, or the C train at Kent and Hawes Street.
Part of the Emerald Necklace, The Fens is a sprawling space located right in the Fenway area that features gardens, fields, ponds and historic landmarks like the Japanese Temple Bell, all within its borders. Come to jog the trails, set up a picnic or go bird watching – The Fens is easy to get to from the Green Line (Hynes Convention Center, Kenmore) and the Orange (Ruggles).
Image via Wiki
Jamaica Pond, located in Jamaica Plain and also part of the Emerald Necklace, is a gorgeous place to go for a great outdoorsy feel right in the city. The 1.5 mile trail along the pond allows for running, walking or just sitting and relaxing along the banks, and fishing is open for those with an MA license. There’s also the Courageous Sailing Center located on the pond for those who want to get out on the water. The pond is accessible on the Orange Line at the Green Street station.
Also on the Emerald Necklace is the Arnold Arboretum (pictured), a beautiful destination to take in the trees in bloom this season, and also watch for birds as they return for spring. Guided tours are available starting this weekend, on April 19. To get to the arboretum, head to the Forest Hills T stop on the Orange Line.
If you don’t have a whole afternoon to venture to one of these outdoorsy destinations, the Rose Kennedy Greenway might just be the best place to spend your lunch break for a little open air and green grass. Located along Atlantic Avenue, the greenway is adjacent to the Boston Harbor and provides great space for an outdoor lunch or afternoon stroll. Plus, with their Mobile Eats program, expect to see lots of food truck options dotting the green space. Accessible most closely by the Blue Line Aquarium stop.
Image via Yelp
This hidden, not-so-secret garden in Cambridge’s Kendall Square is a perfect way to take a break from work, for those on the other side of the river. Complete with an excellent view of the city, the rooftop garden is lined with real, green grass and dotted with trees, flowers and benches. To get there, just go to the parking garage of 4 Cambridge Center and follow the signs to the urban oasis.
Located on the Boston Harborwalk in South Boston, Castle Island is a popular summer destination for picnics, parties and swimming at Pleasure Bay. If you need to get away for a day, head there to take in the atmosphere and walk through Fort Independence, a National Historic Landmark you can explore yourself. To get to Castle Island, take bus lines 5, 7, 9, 10 or 11.
It wouldn’t be a complete list of pretty parks in Boston without mentioning the Public Garden. And although its grounds may be inundated with tourists during the warmer seasons, the picturesque garden with drooping Willows and a swan boat-dotted pond is never too overrated to pass up.
Featured Image via National Geographic
Where do you find green refuge in the city?