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Boston Common and Public Garden, Boston

Concierge.com's insider take:

City-center Boston Common is the nation's oldest public park. Cattle grazed here between 1634 and 1830, but today, the rolling green hills and bench-lined paths—which are being spruced up in an ongoing renovation—are populated with sunning and strolling Bostonians of every stripe. Kids frolic in the fountain of the shallow Frog Pond during the summer; in winter it becomes a picturesque ice-skating rink. The adjacent Public Garden is more formally landscaped, with flower plantings, a statue of George Washington on horseback, and a pond where the famous pedal-powered Swan Boats operate from mid-April through mid-September. It's one of America's most scenic public places. A beloved bronze sculpture of baby ducks on parade is in the northeast corner of the park, inspired by Robert McCloskey's children's classic, Make Way for Ducklings. Both parks are good places for a picnic lunch. Cute sandwich shops line Charles Street; local favorite Finagle-a-Bagel is directly across from Boston Common (129 Tremont St.; 617-426-3300), Chacarero, in Downtown Crossing, serves up Chilean sandwiches of chicken or beef with Muenster cheese, string beans, tomato, avocado spread, and hot sauce (426 Washington St.; 617-542-0392; closed weekends), and

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The B Common's connection to Central Park

When I first visited the Boston Common, it felt very familiar. Leaving the park I learned why-- Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux teamed up to... more