This is the capital of the State of Massachusetts and the 22th city with more population in the USA. An historic city, founded by the British in 1630, is today one of the major educational centres in the United States, with a special emphasis on Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge.
The city had a famous role in the formation of what today are the United States of America due to the event named “Boston Tea Party,” on December 16, 1773, when British settlers – disguised as Indians – launched to the waters of the Port of Boston the cargo of three ships of the British East India Company. After that, the city attracted large communities of emigrants, especially from Ireland giving origin to families like the Kennedy family, which is part of the History of the USA since John F. Kennedy became President of the United States of America and also other members of the family had a nationwide role. The Portuguese community in the city is also very important, in particular those originating from the Azores.
From the beginning of the century and until mid-20th century Boston started to decline. Its factories became old and obsolete and businesses moved out of the region. But the city didn’t lay down its arms and responded by initiating various urban renewal projects, under the direction of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), established in 1957. In 1958, BRA initiated a project to improve the historic West End neighborhood. By the 1970s, the city’s economy had rebounded after 30 years of economic crisis. Several skyscrapers were constructed in the Financial District and in Back Bay. This boom continued into the mid-1980s and resumed after a few pauses. Hospitals such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital lead the nation in the areas of medical innovation and patient care. Schools such as Boston College, Boston University, the Harvard Medical School, Tufts University School of Medicine, Northeastern University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Berklee College of Music, and Boston Conservatory attracted students to this region of the USA.
Boston became an intellectual, technological, and political centre and in 2016, the city even submitted a proposal as host city of the 2024 Summer Olympics. The USOC decided however to select Los Angeles to be the American candidate and suceeded in securing the right to host the 2028 Summer Olympics.
The city has a humid subtropical climate. Summers are typically warm and humid, while winters are cold and stormy, with occasional periods of heavy snow. Spring and Fall are usually cool to mild, with varying conditions dependent on wind direction. The hottest month is July, with an average temperature of 73.4 °F (23.0 °C). The coldest month is January, with an average of 29.0 °F (−1.7 °C). Periods exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) in Summer and below zero in the Winter are not uncommon.
What to do
Boston is a city full of life and with plenty to discover. And these are some of the events that we highlight for the beginning of 2019.
Red Sox Opening Day
The local nine take the field in early April at America’s oldest ballpark, Fenway Park, as the city shakes off Winter and welcomes the promise of another beautiful Spring and Summer. The Boston Red Sox, 8 times World Series Champs, have enjoyed a great run of success in the 21st century. The “Home Opener”starts on April 9 vs Toronto Blue Jays.
Cambridge Science Festival
The Cambridge Science Festival, the first of its kind in the United States, happens over April School Vacation. It is a celebration showcasing the leading edge in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. A multi-faceted, multi-cultural event every Spring, the Cambridge Science Festival makes science accessible, interactive and fun! Dates: April 12-21.
Commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Patriots’ Day is a state holiday in Massachusetts and involves a number of events and re-enactments, including those of the Lexington Green and the Old North Bridge, in Concord. The Patriots’ Day occurs on the third Monday in April, which this year will be April 15.
The Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest and most famous annual marathon, dates back to 1897 and is a Patriots’ Day tradition in Boston. Passing through Hopkinton, Natick, Wellesley, and Brookline – before culminating in Boston’s Back Bay – the Boston Marathon route includes many great areas the spectator can cheer the race and is among the city’s proudest traditions. Date: April 15.
ArtWeek Boston is an initiative of the City Performing Arts Center, whose mission is to be a champion for non-profit innovation in Boston and provide arts and entertainment to the greater community. ArtWeek Boston is presently an annual event happening over 10 days and featuring unexpected and creative experiences that are interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process. Dates: April 26-May 5.
Boston Calling is the eclectic festival debuted in 2013 and has welcomed more than 150 artists including Mumford & Sons, Beck, Vampire Weekend, Jack Johnson, The Pixies, The Avett Brothers, Alabama Shakes and many others. In 2017, the event debuted in Allston at the Harvard Athletic Complex and featured an expanded line up including comedy. This year’s edition includes, among others, Twenty One Pilots, Tame Impala and Travis Scott. Dates: May 24-26.
Cambridge Arts River Festival
Six dynamic festival stages showcase local music, theatre and dance. Community tables, poetry and storytelling tents, interactive areas (including a chalk art tribute to beloved icon Sidewalk Sam), roving performances, and the revival of Peoples Sculpture Racing combine to make the Cambridge Arts River Festival a vibrant celebration of the arts in Cambridge. Date: June 1. www.cambridgema.gov
Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl
The Scooper Bowl is a three-day event in early June that dishes out 20 tons of the Summer finest ice cream to more than 50,000 ice cream lovers from across the nation. Made possible by the generous contributions of the industry’s largest ice cream companies, the Scooper Bowl has raised more than $4.5 million in the past 32 years for cancer research and patient care at the world-renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dates: June 4-6.
Boston Pride Week happens in early June and creates change and progress in society by embracing the diversity regarding the community’s history, culture, and identity through the promotion of community engagement and inclusivity, and striving for visibility and respect in union. Boston Pride produces events and activities to achieve inclusivity, equality, respect, and awareness in Great Boston and beyond. Annual events of the Pride Week include the Flag raising ceremony, the Pride Parade, and the Pride Festival. Date: June 8.
Dragon Boat Festival
30-40 teams from the USA and Canada compete over a 500 meter course in an energetic race to the finish line. The teams paddle in sleek, colourful 30 meter Hong Kong-style dragon boats. Along with dragon boat races, the festival also presents performances from various Asian cultures, Asian food, and arts and crafts representing traditions of this ancient Chinese celebration. Dates: June 8-9.
North End Feasts and Festivals
Boston’s oldest neighbourhood, the North End, almost every weekend and starting in early June until the end of the Summer, hosts feasts and processions. Highlights include the Madonna Della Cava Feast, St. Anthony’s Feast, and the Fisherman’s Feast.
If you don’t know what to take with you, read our post What to pack for… Boston!
Check our flights to Boston on www.azoresairlines.pt.