We’ve all been there: Someone’s trying to give you directions by describing 10 lefts, 20 rights, and a jumble of cardinal directions. Isn’t it easier to just point out a landmark?
That’s exactly what we’re doing. We have 12 of the most recognizable Boston landmarks — from Fenway Park to the Pru. Not only are these local icons easy to remember, but they’ll also get you where you need to go in a jiffy.
Address: 660 Beacon St.
Nearby: Fenway Park and the Green Line’s Kenmore stop
The “Northern Star” of the Kenmore neighborhood, the sign stands at 60 by 60 ft and shines bright with new LED lights. Fun fact: When Boston Marathon runners can see this sign, they know they are just one mile away from the finish line.
Custom House Tower
Address: 3 McKinley Sq.
Nearby: Downtown Boston in the Financial District
The original building dates back to 1837 and is part of the Custom House District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Fun fact: The Greek Revival structure resembles a four-faced Greek temple and features 36 fluted columns that are each carved from granite from Quincy.
Address: 4 Jersey St.
Nearby: House of Blues and MGM Music Hall in the Kenmore neighborhood
Also known as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark,” Fenway is easily one of the top landmarks in our city. The iconic MLB park is home to the “Green Monster” — a popular nickname for the 37-ft-2-inch-high left field wall, which is 310 ft from home plate.
Old State House
Address: 206 Washington St.
Nearby: Downtown Boston
Dating back to 1713, the landmark served as a merchant’s exchange on the first floor and the seat of state government on the second floor. Steps outside this landmark, visitors can see the site of the 1770 Boston Massacre.
George Washington Statue
Address: Arlington Street entrance
Nearby: Boston Public Garden
It’s hard to miss the bronze statue of the country’s first president on horseback. Washington spent time in Boston during the early months of the Revolutionary War and the work by Thomas Ball in 1869 is considered one of the best equestrian statues in the US.
Address: Monument Square
This monument opened to the public on June 17, 1843 after taking 15 years to build and costing $120,000+ at the time. Today, visitors can explore the Bunker Hill Museum, the Lodge, and the base of the monument. Bonus: Check out the view from the top of Bunker Hill Monument by climbing up 294 stairs in the spiral stairway.
Address: 800 Boylston St.
Nearby: Back Bay
The landmark is a 3.6 million-sqft mixed-use urban center made office space and retail space. The 52-story tower was built in 1965, and recently View Boston has opened to allow visitors a 360-degree view of the city from the top.
Address: 110 Atlantic Ave.
Nearby: Christopher Columbus Park and Long wharves
Just steps away from Faneuil Hall, the trellis is known for its proximity to the waterfront and for the signature blue lights at the holidays.
John Hancock Tower
Address: 200 Clarendon St.
Nearby: Back Bay
Bostonians will always know 200 Clarendon as the John Hancock Tower. This 60-story, 790-ft skyscraper is the tallest building in New England. Bonus: The former Hancock building has the beacon lights on the top will signal the weather forecast: Steady blue for a clear day, flashing blue means cloudy weather, the steady red light calls for rain + flashing red is for snow.
Massachusetts State House
Address: 24 Beacon St.
Nearby: Boston Common and Beacon Hill
It’s hard to miss the iconic gold dome atop the Commonwealth’s capitol building. The historic building sees over 90,000 visitors each year. Pro tip: Tours are free and last about 40 minutes.
Boston University Bridge
Nearby: Boston University campus and Cambridge
Originally known as the Cottage Farm Bridge, the steel truss arch bridge connects the Boston University campus to Cambridge.
Make Way for Ducklings
Address: 4 Charles St.
Nearby: Charles and Beacon Streets
The “Make Way for Ducklings” statue is one of the most popular sights in the Public Garden. Local sculptor Nancy Schön designed the bronze duck sculpture that is inspired by Robert McCluskey’s book about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their adventures.
What did we miss? If you know a landmark that’s not on the list, let us know using this survey.