Secret Spots in Boston

April 30, 2020

Boston. I could write forever about Boston. My brother recently relocated to Beantown and I am positively gleeful! I’m pretty sure my new connection gives me “townie” status and therefore lends credence to my rep as an insider. As such, I will share with you some of the secret spots in Boston that I’ve uncovered.

Mapparium

When you visit Boston, a trip to the local library may not top your list of must-dos. However, the Mary Baker Eddy Library may just change your mind! The heart of the library is approximately 3 stories tall and made of stained glass. The Mapparium is a three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935. It features a unique presentation of how humans and geography have been intertwined throughout history.

Museum of Bad Art

This is (literally) the only place in the world where bad art is not only displayed but revered! It’s a secret spot you need to uncover for yourself!

Ancient Crypt at Old North Church

The Old North Church is a standard stop for tour groups. However, what you may not know is that there is an ancient crypt in the basement accessible only by special tour. The crypt was used from 1732-1860 and holds more than 1100 souls. Yikes!

Boston Athenaeum Skin Book

Can we all just stop for a minute and say “eeeewwww?” The Boston Athenaeum houses a collection of 150,000 rare books. Tucked among them in a locked room is one with a morbid history. Its binding is made from the skin of one James Allen, a criminal who spent most of his life in and out of jail.

The Strange Story of the Boston Athenaeum Skin Book

Edgar Allan Poe Square

Continuing with the macabre theme which seems to have emerged, our next point of interest is Edgar Allan Poe Square at the intersection of Boylston and Charles Streets. Poe was born in the area January 19, 1809, although his home no longer exists. The plaza boasts a statue of Poe with symbols from some of his best-known works.

Hood Milk Bottle

A forty-foot milk bottle is probably not the first thing you look for when searching for secret spots! Built in 1930 by Arthur Gagner to sell ice cream, the giant bottle stood empty for years until H.P. Hood and Sons, Inc. bought it and donated it to the Boston Children’s Museum in 1977. The dairy company is now given billing on the side of the bottle that sells snacks and ice cream in the summer.

Great Molasses Flood

On January 15, 1919, a fifteen-foot wall of molasses flooded Commercial Street at 35 miles per hour. It wiped out everything in its path and took the lives of 21 bystanders. There’s a plaque commemorating this horrific disaster at the intersection of Commercial Street and Copps Hill Terrace.

Why the Great Molasses Flood Was So Deadly

I’ve had such a good time sharing these secret spots in Boston with you- I think I may continue to pop up some hidden gems from time to time! Travelers love finding treasures tucked away where they are least expected. If you’re looking for one more, check out the Destinations Beyond Expectations podcast.  It’s filled with great ideas and destination secrets!  Happy hunting!

Make Way for Students in Boston

By: Michelle Geissler

Michelle Geissler headshot

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