While I was casting about to decide what I wanted to do while I was in Boston, I stumbled on the Walk to the Sea. It’s a one mile walk from the Massachusetts State House to the aquarium. Since there’s a convenient train stop near the State House, and I was going to the aquarium for a whale watch anyway, my friend and I decided to do the walk one morning.
What we didn’t realize is that Boston doesn’t wake up until at least 9:00 in the morning, so we didn’t see many other people out. It wasn’t too hard to get our bearings, though, because it’s kind of hard to miss the giant golden dome through the trees around Boston Common, and the walk was pretty straightforward.
The reason it starts at the State House isn’t actually because of the fact that it’s the capitol at all; instead, it’s because the building sits on top of what’s left of Beacon Hill, which was part of John Hancock’s estate and bordered Boston Common. Beacon Hill became one of the centers around which the colony’s leaders gathered. And Boston Common was an important gathering place for their sheep, which is also historically important if you like sheep.
The next stop on our walk was King’s Chapel, which looks really out of place and boxy compared to all the skyscrapers next to it. The chapel is extremely old and extremely cool to walk through (which I did at a later time because King’s Chapel doesn’t like to wake up before 9:00, either).
After we left the chapel, the walk took us down a very wide avenue toward another building that looks very out of place, the old State House.
Okay, I cheated and took this picture before our walk because I couldn’t figure out what the funny-looking building at the end of the street was. Either way, it’s a very old public building that looks more like a tiny church than a government house.
We continued our walk after a brief detour to take a picture for a Brazilian guy in front of the building. (For the record, he agreed with me that my picture-taking skill isn’t the best. Teach him to ask for portraits from strangers.)
After this segment, it was pretty much a straight shot to the harbor, and you could see the ocean from the street half a mile back. I know, large body of water, hard to miss.
Something else that’s hard to miss while you’re walking by is this aptly named steakhouse:
Boston: The City of Creative Restaurant Names.
Anyway, there’s a giant clock tower on a building known as the Custom House nearby. It’s almost 500 feet tall and looks just as out of place as all the other historic buildings in Boston. The building that actually says ‘Custom House’ on the side is located on the wharf. But don’t be fooled by its clever disguise: it’s actually condos owned by a hotel chain. Go figure.
For a brief jaunt in the morning, the Walk the the Sea was actually fairly fun and amusing. Stay tuned for far more interesting posts over the next few weeks as I try to gloss over all the random mis-adventures I had by labeling them as ‘awesome’ and ‘cool.’