Downtown Crossing in Boston, the Best Bits to Explore

The historic district of Downtown Crossing in Boston caters to foot traffic along its picturesque streets. A plethora of businesses blanket the area and serve as a casual locale to dine, shop, or simply stroll. The area is home to a blend of chain stores, specialty shops, street vendors, jewelry stores, department stores, and historic sites.

As Dentists in Downtown Crossing (located in Chauncy St) we love the area in which we live and work and wanted to showcase this beautiful part of Boston to our patients who may not have fully explored downtown Boston.

Exploring Downtown Crossing in Boston

Downtown Crossing offers exceptional shopping opportunities. Fill an unhurried afternoon going from one of 200 retail stores to another. Any type of jewels can be found at the 300 jewelers in the area. The art deco Jeweler’s Exchange Building is one of the most popular places to shop for all kinds of jewels. Find unique gifts at the various specialty stores. The plethora of restaurants will meet any gastronomic requirement. Start the day with breakfast at one of the many restaurants and coffee shops before beginning your exploration of the Crossing.

Some of the oldest establishments in the country are found along the Freedom Trail. For those who care to walk it, it takes about three hours and begins at Boston Common, where visitors can observe 250 years of history. One interesting aspect about these sites is that they are intermingled among the modern buildings and attractions.

The Freedom Trail is comprised of 16 historical sites starting at Boston Common and ending at the Bunker Hill monument. The important landmarks along the trail are a feast for the historian. Discover its rich history independently or take one of several tours in which the Freedom Trail is included. The two-and-one- half mile red brick path of the Freedom Trail will take you back in history. Stop at the Old State House. Built in 1713, it houses the quintessential collection of artifacts from the American Revolution that allows visitors to relive that period in our history. Continue on to assorted historical documents in the Library and Archives.

The interactive exhibits in the galleries are sure to provide a noteworthy history lesson for adults, as well as children. Especially engaging is the sound and light demonstration of the “Boston Massacre” from 1770. Another exhibit that is particularly enlightening is the re-creation of Boston’s colonial past and the depiction of what life was like during that time in history.

After the State House, continue along the Trail to Old South Meeting House, which stands as a testament to the fight for freedom from British rule. Today it is heralded as a place for free speech, and its history is vivid through the unusual artifacts and 3-D model of early Boston.

One of the sites along the Freedom Trail is the Granary Burying Ground, which was founded in 1660, and holds the remains of many distinguished loyalists, such as Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock. Benjamin Franklin’s parents are also buried there. Some of the tours that include this site are the Walk into History Tour, The Historic Holiday Stroll, and the African-American Patriots Tour. Of course, once again, you can do an independent excursion.

Some historic sites are merely inscriptions on walls, but the significance of the locations is compelling. The off-the-beaten-path explorations are valuable for history buffs who want to feel the presence of figures from a bygone era. Especially significant is the commemoration of the original site of the Puritans, who were Boston’s first pioneers. View the commemorative plaque that designates the residence of the British authorities who ruled the colony.

The bust of Benjamin Franklin stands at the site of his birthplace. See the statue of Robert Burns, who favored us with “Auld Lang Syne.” Many hidden treasures are scattered throughout the area, so, unless you are hale and hearty, you might want to divide your walking tour into more than one day.

When you think you have had enough history for the day, return to the center of the Crossing and shop until you drop. Macy’s is the anchor store and is well worth a stop if you love shopping. From there, meander throughout the area and delight in the numerous book stores, offering both contemporary and vintage selections. If you grow weary of walking, take in a movie at the delightful AMC Loews Boston Common, which showcases an IMAX and nineteen other screens.

Visitors enjoy a fascinating day wandering in and through the district. They can stop at any of the numerous restaurants for a quick bite or experience a more upscale establishment. The Crossing is beautified with lights, flowers and banners to enhance the whole experience of the area. The visual feel of the streetscape, as people stroll through the region, gives them a sense of enchantment that will be remembered long after they have gone.

Downtown is a stroller’s paradise. This New England gem is condensed and has several subway stops that allow riders to get to and from downtown easily and inexpensively. Its small scale has an intimate quality and makes the environment calming and unrushed. Even though the streets are bustling, you do not feel cramped or crowded. Its walkability rivals La Rambla in Barcelona.

It is also bike-friendly, offering numerous bike racks and bike-sharing stations. The Boston Bike program has all of the information for full enjoyment of this trail blazing activity. For those who prefer to drive, the area has 13 conveniently located parking garages with over 6,300 spaces.

Nightlife includes theaters, night clubs, bars and restaurants. Seven different venues for concerts, opera, cinemas and art comprise the belly of the area. Eleven night clubs provide entertainment and social gathering places for those who want to enjoy evenings out. Twenty-seven different bars and restaurants round out the fun which makes it a rich entertainment magnet for pleasurable activities. Teeming with life, downtown offers exciting, adventurous evenings.

Flourishing Downtown Crossing has something for both daytime and nighttime visitors. The many hotels offer restaurants and bars ranging from inexpensive to ritzy. If you enjoy playing pool, Felt is a favorite nighttime destination where you can have a meal or a drink as well as play a sporting game of billiards.

Exploring this iconic heart of the city brings visitors into contact with some of the most beautiful parks in New England. Visitors can skate on the Common’s Frog Pond in winter and swim there during the summer. The kids will love the playground, and parents can enjoy free presentations of Shakespeare in the summer. Ride around the lagoon in a Swan Boat, observe the beautiful gardens from the footbridge, or enjoy a romantic picnic.

The upscale hotels are meccas for the discerning guests from all over the world. Surrounding the Common and Public Garden, the hotels are centrally located so guests have the best of both worlds. Small nooks and crannies house some of the cozy shops that visitors are sure to find appealing. Dancing, dining, drinking and sightseeing are all reasons to check out Downtown Crossing.

The annual Taste of Downtown Crossing showcases the various cultures and foods of the region. The festival features cooking demonstrations, artists, games and music. All of the restaurants in the district participate with samples of their cuisine.

Guests, who visit downtown Boston in March, can register for the Irish Pub Challenge or the annual Evacuation Day Party, an all day party that takes on two floors of food and music and more beer types than you will probably see in one place at any other time.

Though the Crossing is only a small portion of the downtown area, it is packed with an assortment of shopping, dining, and sightseeing pleasures that will impress the most discerning visitors. Its location is generally closed to vehicles, so pedestrians can walk easily and can go back and forth without restrictions. It is one of the most ingenious uses of downtown spaces in the country. For nonstop action and stimulating experiences, feel the character of the busy streets with al fresco cafes and street vendors selling everything from souvenirs to clothing.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is home to 40 businesses selling a cornucopia of items that are locally sourced. See street performers delight the crowds and take advantage of free tours that describe its rich history. Enjoy the festive ambience of nighttime strolling in the marketplace, and, in February, enjoy free family movies in this historic landmark.

The celebrated Boston Opera House first opened in 1928. It presents such productions as The Nutcracker, The Lion King, and other performances that originate on Broadway. For a fun activity, try Escape the Room Boston on 3rd Street or one of the other nearby Escape Rooms, where you can stretch your mental muscles as you attempt to “escape” within the allotted time.

This grand promenade, along with its many historical sites, continues to entice visitors to the area. New businesses are opening every month, and the downtown area is abuzz with excitement. Numerous events take place throughout the year that keep residents and visitors busy with things to do. The pedestrian traffic gives it an active feel and offers the delightful ambiance of a city that never sleeps.

Visitors Guide to Government Center in Boston, MA

Located in City Hall Plaza, Government Center in Boston is exactly what it sounds like – the center of government! Boston City Hall is in this square and many other federal and state government buildings are located on the plaza or very close by. Government Center is also a popular hub for people visiting Boston, as there are many fun things to do within walking distance of the Government Center T stop.

As Dentists in Government Center (located in Court St) we love the area in which we live and work and wanted to showcase this beautiful part of Boston to our patients who may not have fully explored this part of the city. So we created a list of 10 things to see and do in and around Government Center.

Walk the Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile walking tour that takes you past 16 historic sites that played a part in the American Revolution. It begins at Boston Common, only a short walk from Government Center, and winds its way through the city. Daily tours are available, but you can also choose to follow the Freedom Trail on your own – it’s laid out in red bricks on the city sidewalks, so you can’t miss it. At each stop, a plaque offers information about the historic location, and about the events that occurred and the people who were involved. For those interested in learning about some of Boston’s rich history, a trip along the Freedom Trail is a must-do.


Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market

Just across the street from Government Center lie the duo of Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. For those interested in following the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall is one of the later stops on the trail. When heading on foot from Government Center, Quincy Market lies just behind Faneuil Hall. These two historic buildings are within a larger concourse offering a plethora of shopping and dining options, so it’s an ideal stop for when you’re feeling hungry!

Quincy Market offers a huge range of food court options with interior and exterior seating, and there are often special exhibitions to see as well. Nearby are many famous restaurants, including the restaurant from the television show Cheers! and Durgin Park, which is located in Faneuil Hall and was established pre-Revolutionary War, making it one of the oldest restaurants in the country. It’s slogan? “Established Before You Were Born.”


The New England Aquarium

Whether you have kids in tow or you’re just interested in marine life, the Boston Aquarium has something for everyone. It’s within walking distance from Government Center and the Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market Area, making it an easy activity to include in a larger day of sightseeing and shopping. A sea lion pup named Ron was born on July 2, 2017, and has now been introduced to the main pool, so be sure you catch a glimpse of him before you leave!

The towering building is built around a central cylindrical tank, the bottom of which comprises the penguin habitat. A spiral ramp curves around it; as you make your way up or down, you can look below at the penguins hopping and swimming through their habitat. Start at the top and work your way down or work your way up as you go – this unique architecture adds something special to any visit. Interactive tablets placed at regular intervals allow you to identify the dozens of different species of marine life happily swimming through the water. Touch pools offer kids and adults alike the chance to get hands-on with a number of species, and the daily sea lion shows are exciting for all.


Boston Common and Boston Public Gardens

No trip to Boston would be complete without a visit to the Boston Common and the Boston Public Gardens. These two massive parks are divided by Charles Street, and each offers a great range of sights to see and activities to explore. It’s just a few blocks walking from Government Center, or you can take the T to Park Street Station.

Boston Common is the larger of the two parks. During the summer, many free outdoor concerts are held and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company puts on free, open-air Shakespeare plays. There are also rolling hills and wide expanses of grass that are perfect for relaxing out on with a book, a picnic, and a game of catch or Frisbee. Here, you’ll also find the Frog Pond, a splash pond for kids in the summer and a frozen ice rink in the winter, along with a concession stand and a playground.

Across Charles Street lies the Boston Public Gardens. Here, the swan boats are a major attraction, and a quiet paddle across the swan pond is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Kids will love seeing the swans and ducks wander around near the water’s edge. Head to the northeast corner of the Gardens to witness the famous Make Way for Ducklings statues – you can purchase a copy of the book at the swan boat house. Casually exploring the Boston Common and Boston Public Gardens is one of the best ways to spend a summer afternoon.


The Dreamland Wax Museum

Within walking distance of Government Center lies the Dreamland Wax Museum. This unique attraction features over 100 wax statues of celebrities, historical figures, and local Boston icons. More than a dozen themed galleries are open for your perusal. Take a selfie with your favorite stars while you learn about their individual contributions to the city, the country, and the world. Dreamland Wax Museum is open daily and is a great place to wander through for an afternoon. This Boston landmark can be a fun diversion from other activities.


Visit Chinatown

Boston’s Chinatown is one of the coolest places to wander around for an afternoon. Packed with open-air stalls selling foods you’ve heard of and foods you haven’t, this bustling center of commerce is perfect for the adventurous foodie. Restaurants galore line the streets, and this is your chance to try out some of Boston’s best cuisine. Whether you’re looking for fine dining or grab-and-go, you’re certain to find a number of tasty options to enjoy, as well as some unique souvenirs to take with you when you go. And make sure you stop to check out the golden arch that marks the entrance to the area, as It’s the perfect photo op to savor the memories.


Visit the Site of the First Public School

It’s impossible to avoid the history of Boson, and within walking distance of Government Center, you can visit the site of the country’s first public school: on School Street, of course! Established in 1635, the Boston Latin School still makes up a central hub of Boston’s public school system today (although it is no longer in its original location). In the sidewalk there is a mosaic commemorating this historic location. It is believed that one building of this original school house stood where the statue of Benjamin Franklin stands now, and the second building was across the street, occupying part of what is now Parker House. As public schooling now makes up such a large part of American culture, it is an enlightening experience to see the spot where it all began.


Tour the Massachusetts State House

With its gleaming gold dome, the State House is identifiable from a mile away. Located at the corner of the Boston Common, this touring this historical building is a perfect way to learn about the history of the state and of the government. The building has some architectural secrets as well! When you enter the Visitor’s Galley, you will be greeted by the Sacred Cod: a large sculpture of a codfish, representing its importance to the people of Massachusetts. This same cod originally hung in the Old State House before Revolutionary War and was transferred to the current State House when it was built.


Explore the Old Corner Bookstore

The Old Corner Bookstore occupies one of the oldest buildings in the city. Built in 1712 by Thomas Crease, this historical Boston landmark is a must-visit for literary folk. The building has hosted a number of different shops across a wide range of interests. Before it was built, a different building in the same location was used to host séances and the building that stands now was first a residence for several families and then an apothecary shop. It has been a bookstore for nearly two centuries, being first used for this purpose in 1828. Many famous authors have visited this hallowed ground, including Massachusetts natives Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathanial Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and myriad others.

Tour the Old South Meeting House

History buffs will not want to miss out on this opportunity! The Old South Meeting House (known to locals as “Old South” was the location of dozens of vital conversations that ultimately lead to the Revolutionary War. This building was built in 1729, replacing an earlier meeting house on the same location that had been in use since 1669. Old South served as a place for civilians to wait for information following the Boston Massacre (the site of which also lies nearby) and the Boston Tea Party was likely planned within these walls. In 1776, George Washington himself even stopped at the very same building that stands on the location today.


So there you have it – ten exciting adventures, all within walking distance of Government Center. Visit one or two and spend an afternoon, or combine several shorter visits – it’s up to you. If you must limit your time in Boston, centering yourself around Government Center is a great choice as there are so many different options and types of activities nearby.

Last Minute Gifts for Everyone on your List

Your smile is the best way to greet the world. Smile and others will smile back. While you have many options for whitening your teeth, at Boston Dental our professional dental staff is the best resource for your whitening treatments; ensuring your treatment is safe and your results are outstanding. 

This holiday season, unleash a whiter, brighter smile with Philips Zoom – available at Boston Dental. With Philips Zoom, our professional staff will work with you to help you achieve outstanding results of up to 8 shades whiter, with just one in-office chairside visit.

Whether you have a special occasion this holiday or simply want to reduce discoloration and stains, Philips Zoom at Boston Dental gives you professional results with little or no sensitivity.

Make that dazzling smile last by adding a Sonicare toothbrush to your list. Zoom and Sonicare together for the holidays.

Chocolate for Better Mouth Health? Yes, That’s Right!

Latest studies support the fact that chocolate is efficient at fighting plaque, cavities, and tooth decay in the mouth. In fact dark chocolate may actually help avert cavities!

It’s hard to believe, but compounds in chocolate may be more effective at fighting tooth decay than fluoride! Researchers are predicting that one day, the compound found in chocolate called CBH will be used in mouthwashes and toothpaste.

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acids, which eat away at the tooth’s surface and create cavities. Compounds in the cocoa bean have an anti-bacterial effect and also fight against plaque. This makes chocolate less harmful than many other sweet foods your dentist might warn you against because the antibacterial agents in cocoa beans offset its high sugar levels. Sugar is the main cause of dental decay when there are bacteria present. Be aware that more significant than the amount of sugar you eat is the frequency of consumption.


4 Simple Steps to Effective Teeth Care

Fours simple steps to effective teeth care and a healthier mouth.

Brush And Floss Two Times a Day

Teeth brushing is necessary for removing nasty plaque that has built up on your teeth over the day. If it stays in your mouth for too long, you could be looking at possible gum recession, and even tooth loss. Even though a lot of neglect the floss all together, this is not a good practice because there are several benefits to daily flossing. Floss gets rid of food particles that get stuck in the spaces between your teeth, which are otherwise impossible to remove with just your toothbrush. If left for too long, these food particles invite bacteria which form cavities in your teeth. The frequency of flossing is like brushing and ideally after each meal, though one time a day (before going to bed) is the minimum necessary.

Use The Right Tooth Paste For You

Consult Boston Dental about the current state of your oral health and ask your dentist to recommend a toothpaste that can help your oral hygiene get better. For your convenience, we can give you a toothpaste that whitens your teeth if they are getting stained for example.

Get In Control Of Your Habits

If you are a smoker or frequently chew tobacco, your teeth will surely begin to get stained. Smoking also contributes to weaker gums and eventual tooth loss. If you are unable to fight your addiction try to use toothpaste and other mouth hygiene products that are specifically made for smokers and tobacco users. Also, try to stay away from sweet foods as much as possible since they attract bacteria in large numbers and are one of the most common reasons for cavities. It is important to be aware of all the sources of sugar that are out there. It is not just everything that is sweet, but anything that can turn to sugar like pieces of bread. Cutting down your sugar intake is good for cavity prevention, as well as your general health.

Get Regular Dental Checkups

While proper home care is the first step in maintaining proper oral and periodontal (gum) health, it is essential to have professional cleanings every six months, or more frequently depending on the need. These visits, referred to as “dental prophylaxis”, are generally performed by a board-certified dental hygienist trained to help patients maintain optimum oral health. During these visits, a dentist also performs an exam of the entire mouth to insure that oral health is properly maintained. If you avoid seeing your dentist regularly and there are problems in your mouth they will only worsen with lost time which could eventually lead to tooth loss.

All You Need to Know About Toothbrushes

There have been multiple studies comparing the effectiveness of manual brushes as opposed to electric brushes.

Although not all electric brushes are the same, these studies conclude that in general electric brushes are more efficient in controlling plaque than manual brushes. Theoretically, you can do a very good brushing with a regular hand brush, but the movements of an electric brush make the task easier and more effective.

Also, some electric brushes (Sonicare) produce sonic vibrations that are difficult to mimic with a hand brush! Other electric brushes like Oral-B and Rotadent have small heads that help you access hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. This aspect is more important when you are talking about someone with orthodontic braces or a history of gum disease.

Dental Health and Your Diet

Is your diet wrecking your teeth? Although sticking to raw foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, sounds like the healthiest choice, your oral health can suffer greatly. Despite the sugars in fruit being natural, when they make their way into your mouth, there is no difference between the sugars from fruit and the sugars from chocolate or sweets. Sugar is the main cause of dental decay when there are bacteria present. More significant than the amount of sugar you eat is how often you consume it.

The absolute worst thing you can do to your teeth is to drink a soda and have a sip every few minutes over a long period of time; the same is true for snacking. It is recommended that if you want to have a snack or soda or juice it is better to have it after food, as dessert, or have it in one sitting. Drinking or eating something sweet over an extended period of time creates a constant supply of sugar which is fuel for bacteria that causes tooth decay!

If you want your chompers to stay healthy for life it is crucial to be aware of all the sources of sugar that are out there. It is not just everything that is sweet, but anything that can turn to sugar like pieces of bread for example. Cutting down your sugar intake is good for cavity prevention, as well as your overall health.


Preventative Dental Checkups are Essential During Pregnancy

As indicated by the latest survey, a very large percentage of women got no standard dental checkups amid their pregnancies, and half of mothers to-be with evident dental issues, such as pain for example, didn’t seek professional care since they thought that having dental issues amid pregnancy is typical, or that a dental procedure could hurt the infant.

It’s very important to realize that preventive dental checkups are important throughout one’s life and even more essential during pregnancy! All infections in the mother, including tooth decay and gum disease, may pose a risk to the baby’s health as well. Dental care during pregnancy is perfectly safe and critical for your and your baby’s wellbeing. Your dentist will not only take care of your regular dental issues but can also help you with any pregnancy-related dental side effects you may encounter.

The American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics all encourage women to get dental care while pregnant. “It is a crucial period of time in a woman’s life and maintaining oral health is directly related to good overall health,”

All dentists agree, pregnancy is a pivotal timeframe in a woman’s life and keeping up oral wellbeing is specifically identified with great general wellbeing.

Dental health is actually considered so important to a healthy pregnancy that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends an oral exam be incorporated in the first prenatal visit and that caregivers advise future moms to see a dentist.

So don’t hesitate ladies, even if you don’t have any obvious signs of dental discomfort, schedule your checkup today!


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