5 Best Photo Opportunities in Boston

Photo Opportunities Boston

Lee Van Grack

A central player in America's quest for independence and a frequent meeting place for founding fathers like Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, Boston is rich with history and boasts many well-known historic spots. The famous Freedom Trail guides visitors (you can walk, drive or take a bus ride) to more than a dozen historic sights, including Bunker Hill and the U.S.S. Constitution, as well as a number of the city's best photo opportunities. Boston has served as the backdrop for a number of TV shows and movies, and photographers can also get snapshots of some famous pop culture locales. Having visited the city and its neighborhoods, here are my choices for some of the best Boston photo opportunities:

Scenic Boston Photo Opportunity:Skywalk Observatory at Prudential Center

The Skywalk Observatory is located on the 50th floor of the Boston Prudential Center and offers a 360° panoramic view of Boston. From here, you can see the famous Fenway Park baseball stadium, historic residential districts like Beacon Hill, and many sights on the Freedom Trail. Use your zoom and wide-angle lens for some great photos.

Hours: Mon-Sun 10AM-8PM from November 1-March 28, Mon-Sun 10AM-10PM from March 29-October 31 (last elevator leaves at 9:30PM)
Admission: Adults $12, Seniors $10, Children under 12 $8, Student with college ID $10

The Shops at Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199, (617) 859-3066

Classic Boston Photo Opportunity:Paul Revere House

The American patriot and silversmith Paul Revere is best known for his "midnight ride" in April 1775, warning patriots of the arrival of British troops. There were actually three riders that night, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott being the other two, but Revere is credited with shouting the famous warning, "The British are coming!"

The outside of the home is restored to its appearance at the turn of the 18th century, but inside - and this is exciting - it's furnished as it would have been when Revere himself lived there, with many original Revere family pieces.

The full tour includes a climb up creaky stairs to the modestly appointed bedrooms. Take all the photos you want of the outside of the house with its famous gray paint and wavy glass windows. Photography isn't allowed inside the home in order to protect historic items, but there are plenty of post cards available.

Hours: 9:30AM-5:15PM daily from April 15-October 31, 9:30AM-4:15PM daily from Nov 1-April 14, closed Mondays in January, February and March
Admission: Adults $3.50, Seniors and College Students $3.00, Children ages 5-17 $1.00

The Paul Revere House, 19 North Square, Boston, MA 02113, (617) 523-2338

Romantic Boston Photo Opportunity: Newbury Street's restaurant row

Newbury Street is part of Boston's scenic Back Bay shopping and residential district. It is home to numerous outdoor cafés with flower-filled front entrances and wrought-iron banisters climbing up to the residential floors of historic brownstone buildings.

Stand on one of the ornate stairways, or head down to the end of the block and take a lengthwise photo of the colorful buildings. Have a server snap your picture at Stephanie's on Newbury. This restaurant is a romantic place to eat lunch or dinner or even pop "the big question." You can also do some people watching from the outdoor patio during the warmer months.

Hours: Vary depending on restaurant

Stephanie's on Newbury, 190 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, (617) 236-0990

Family Fun Boston Photo Opportunity:Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market

Hone your travel photography skills at Faneuil Hall, once a meeting place for patriots advocating independence from Britain. In operation for over 250 years, it still houses a bustling marketplace. Stroll through the shops and take a photo of the kids with the costumed town crier who stands outside the Old State House.

Hours: Mon-Sat 10AM-9PM, Sundays 12PM-6PM

Parking garage located at 75 State St., Boston, MA 02109, (617) 523-1300

Quirky Boston Photo Opportunity: The Original Cheers

Yes, Norm, there really is a Cheers! The original name was the Bull & Finch Pub, and the sign still remains on a stairway below street level. Head downstairs and pose next to the Bull & Finch sign, or take a photo with the big Cheers sign on the white stone Hampshire House, often photographed for the filming of Cheers.

One of the best photo opportunities in Boston, the gift shop at Cheers is actually a replica of the TV set, and you can take your picture there. Plus, it's a real restaurant. Expect a long wait for a table, though. There are over half a million visitors each year and many want to dine here.

Hours: Open daily at 11AM (closed Christmas Day)

The Original Cheers, 84 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108, (617) 227-9605

Creepy Photo Opportunity near Boston:Salem

If time allows, take a day trip to Salem, located less than an hour outside of Boston. Snap some creepy photos of the Jonathan Corwin House, popularly known as the Witch House. Built in 1675, Judge Corwin's family home is open for tours. Or, take a photo of the commemorative stones comprising the Salem Witch Trial Memorial.

Hours: Open daily 10AM-5PM from May through early November
Admission: Guided House Tour Adult $10.25, Senior $8.25, Child (7-14) $6.25;
Self-guided House Tour Adult $8.25, Senior $6.25, Child (6-14) $4.25, Children under 6 are free

The Jonathan Corwin House, 310 ½ Essex St., Salem, MA 01970, (978) 744-8815

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