Even if it is mainly residential, Beacon Hill, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Boston, is a must for anyone who wants to capture the essence of the city. Start with a stroll past the antique shops on Charles, the main street. The storefronts look just like they did in yesteryear. The same is true of the cobblestone streets winding up the hill, which concentrates the bulk of the district. Lined with impeccably well-kept Victorian houses and antique gaslights, they have resisted the wear and tear of the decades with imperturbable charm.
The quiet that reigns today was not always the case. Beacon Hill was a battleground for civil rights. Visit the museum devoted to this tumultuous period of African-American history, before catching the Freedom Trail, which will take you past ochre facades topped by the gilded dome of the Massachusetts State House.
Boston, MA 02114