Staying in a Boston vacation rental in the heart of the city provides you with the time and convenience to explore lots of different parts of town. Boston and Cambridge are home to a wide range of historic sites around New England, famous universities, and fantastic museums. Pack your schedule with places to visit in Boston and the surrounding area, but don’t forget to give yourself a break with a leisurely park visit, or a trip to a ball game. Here are 10 staple sites to check out next time you take a trip to the East Coast.

  1. The Freedom Trail
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    Take a step back in time and experience the pivotal moments in the founding of our nation. The Freedom Trail passes by historic sites like Paul Revere’s house, the Old State House, and the Old North Church. Visit each site on your own with a map to guide your way, or take a guided tour for an in-depth perspective on America’s history.

  2. Harvard Museum of Natural History

    From stunning glass replicas of hundreds of flower species to climate change simulations, Harvard Museum of Natural History has a wide variety of unique exhibits. It’s also a great place to learn about Cenozoic mammals, present-day plants, insects, and animals around the world.

  3. Boston Common
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    Take a break after wandering the city in the country’s oldest public park. This former cow pasture is one of the best places to visit in Boston, and has plenty of green space for picnics. It’s home to features such as playgrounds, a spray pool, a skating rink, and stunning gardens. If you’re there in the summer, don’t miss the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s free “dramedy” productions.

  4. Harvard Art Museums
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    The Harvard Art Museums are a network of three fantastic art museums, giving you plenty of outlets for art appreciation. The Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum cover colonial art, religious art, antiquities, digital art, photography, sculpture, and other creative outlets in both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

  5. Fenway Park
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    You can’t miss Fenway Park – it’s home to the Boston Red Sox and located in the middle of the city. If you’re in town on a game day, it’s best to just go with the crowd, check out a game, and see what all the fuss is about. If there’s no game in town or you can’t get tickets, you can still get in on the Fenway Park fun with a stadium tour.

  6. MIT Campus
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology is home to a fascinating campus packed with building designs from the likes of Frank Gehry, I.M. Pei, and Alvar Aalto. Take a tour or get the full student experience and wander around on your own. When you’re done, be sure to head over to the MIT Museum to check out the fascinating works of Arthur Ganson.

  7. Boston Public Library
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    A visit to the Boston Public Library almost feels like a visit to a gallery. This historic building dates back to 1895, and it’s packed with murals and architectural features that will get your creative juices flowing. As you explore, give yourself some downtime in the famous reading room, which will whisk you back in time to a quieter era.

  8. Harvard Square
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    Harvard Square is a popular student hangout, and it’s also the bustling cultural center of Cambridge. Take a walk around, buy yourself a book to read, or enjoy a coffee with a a meal in one of the many establishments scattered around the area. One spot in Harvard Square with a terrific ambiance and delicious cocktails is Park Restaurant & Bar.

  9. Samuel Adams Brewery
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    If you love beer, you can’t miss the Samuel Adams Brewery, where you can see how the beer-brewing magic happens in person. Go on a tour of the facilities learn how grains become bottles of beer. If you’re over 21, you can taste the ales for yourself.

  10. Longfellow House
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    The Longfellow House was an 18th-century home that served as George Washington’s base during the Revolutionary War, but its history doesn’t end there. The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow moved in in 1843 and remained there until his death. Today, the house offers historic reenactments, poetry readings, tours and concerts.