With the weather warming around the country, more and more people are using up their valuable vacation days at work to take cross-country (or cross-Earth) trips. For those of us who can’t stand to be away from work but still want to travel, weekend trips are the go-to move.
Having lived in Boston for quite some time now, I’ve had plenty of time to explore the area to its fullest–and even I have not unearthed every interesting sight to see or the aroma of every delicious restaurant that this city has to offer. Because of this, some of my travel adventures don’t require a long layover, hotel stay or a child kicking the back of my plane seat–weekend trips in and around the Boston area offer plenty to do, a myriad of areas to explore and sights to see.
Not all “staycations,” as they’re sometimes called, are created equally, however. There are trips to explore the best in dining that the city has to offer, there are trips to see grandiose sights and get some fresh air. But of the best things to do in a city–and this can be done almost anywhere–is to visit a place where you can walk away not only entertained, but enlightened and just a bit smarter. After all, what’s a vacation without a little bit of learning? Here are five of Boston’s most interesting museums and historical sites.
For a nominal fee, you can tour the burial place of about 1,000 of Boston’s deadest people. The Anglican church used this crypt as a burial spot between 1732 and 1860, stocking it with the remains of those who died from everything from smallpox (about 45 people in the tomb) to British soldiers who were killed at Bunker Hill. Vents were used to dispel some of the obvious odors associated with mass-storage of dead bodies before the use of the crypt was discontinued.
The Museum of Science
Featuring the only domed IMAX theater in New England, the Museum of Science plays home to an incredible array of interactive features sure to delight both you and any children you may or may not have. The Museum of Science also features a planetarium, over 700 exhibits and offers Duck Tours to visitors of the city.
Calling all Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots fans: if you’re interested in learning more about your favorite Boston team and seeing some artifacts from the games you love up close, consider swinging by the sports museum. The museum is located on the fifth and sixth floors of the Celtic’s home, TD Garden, and features memorabilia and statues commemorating the accomplishments and athletes who achieved them in Boston sports–both professional and amateur.
Warren Anatomical Museum
Originally created by Harvard professor John Collins Warren, the Warren Anatomical Museum features thousands of interesting pieces of medical and anatomical odds, ends and interesting pieces of history. Housed within the Harvard medical library, perhaps the most well-known item on display is the skull of Phineas Gage, the man who survived having a long rail lodged through his skull.
Museum of Bad Art
New York may have the Museum of Modern Art, but Boston can do one better. In addition to housing the Museum of Fine Art, Boston is also home to the Museum of Bad Art. Billed as “art too bad to be ignored,” the collection for the MoBA started when one painting was found curbside waiting to be collected by trash collectors, by Scott Wilson. From there, the collection exploded, currently reaching 500 plus pieces. Only works with serious artists intent are considered for the collection, as the curators have declined to feature art that is intentionally poorly-done in their museum.