Even though the 2013 NCTE Annual Convention is full of great learning opportunities, social events, and chances to meet with fellow educators, authors, and education specialists, it’s possible you’ll want to venture out to take in the history and culture of Boston.
Boston Public Garden
The Boston Public Garden was established in 1837 and was the first botanical garden in the United States. The Public Garden is home to Boston’s famous Swan Boats and the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture, designed by Nancy Schön in 1987. The sculpture commemorates Robert McCloskey’s 1941 beloved children’s classic, Make Way for Ducklings.
Boston’s Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile brick-lined path that leads to sixteen historically significant sites offering a unique experience where visitors can learn about the city where the American Revolution began. One end of the Freedom Trail is located in Boston Common, just down the street from the Omni Parker House.
“America’s Most Beloved Ballpark” celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. See the home of Red Sox legends, visit Pesky’s Polem and sit atop the famous Green Monster overlooking left field. Fenway Park is within walking distance of the Hynes Convention Center and most of the NCTE convention hotels.
Boston Public Library
Founded in 1848, the Boston Public Library was the first large free municipal library in the United States. The present Copley Square location has been home to the library since 1895, when architect Charles Follen McKim completed his “palace for the people.” The library offers tours highlighting the building’s architecture and many works of famed sculptors and painters. For a list of currently scheduled tours visit http://bpl.org.
Boston and the surrounding area has been the hometown of well-known authors since its earliest days. Many of their residences have been restored and are now open to the public for ours.
Louisa May Alcott Orchard House
Visit the historic house in Concord where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women. Since nearly 80 percent of the furnishings were owned by the Alcotts, the rooms look very much as they did when the Alcott’s lived there. Orchard House is an approximately twenty-minute walk from the MBTA Commuter Rail (Purple Line to Fitchburg) located on Thoreau Street, Concord.
There are two historic homes associated with Nathaniel Hawthorne in the Boston area. Old Manse was home to Hawthorne and his wife Sofia during their early married life. Old Manse is an approximately twenty-minute walk from the MBTA Commuter Rail (Purple Line to Fitchburg) at 269 Monument Street, Concord. In addition, you can visit the actual House of the Seven Gables at 54 Turner Street in Salem. The house is accessible by the Newburyport / Rockport Commuter Rail Line from Boston’s North Station. At the Salem Depot, exit up the stairs. It is a 15-minute walk to The House of the Seven Gables.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The former home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow also served as headquarters for General George Washington during the Siege of Boston, July 1775 to April. Longfellow —Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site is located at 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge and accessible by public transportation. Take Red Line train outbound to the Harvard Square Station and follow signs for Church Street. At the intersection of Church and Brattle Streets, turn right onto Brattle and walk for 7–10 minutes. Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters NHS is on the right.
Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond
Although it may be too cold in November to hike the grounds at Walden Pond, the visitor’s center at Walden Pond is open year round. Walden Pond Reservation is located at 915 Walden Street in Concord and is a five-minute cab ride from the MBTA Commuter Rail (Purple Line to Fitchburg).
For additional information on Boston, be sure to visit the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.