Boston is a city of true Americana; it’s here, after all, where most of American history began and evolved! As such, you’d think it’s a straightforward kind of Middle Atlantic city that has developed into one of the most historically rich capitals of the world. And you’d be right. But, as it usually happens, Boston can also show you a quirky and delightfully odd side of the city. Check these unique places and you’ll find plenty of unexpected things to do in Boston!

The Million Year Picnic


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Ever wanted to please the inner geek inside of you? Look no further than The Million Year Picnic, home to Boston’s comic book fans! This store is jam-packed with classic comic books from powerhouses like DC/Marvel, but you can also find selections from international comic book shops as well. Pay them a visit and enjoy…you’ll definitely want to come back soon!

The Mapparium

The Mapparium is a three-story glass globe in the Mary Baker Eddy Library visitors can go inside. Created in 1935 by architect Chester Lindsay Churchill. Visitors can take a guided walk through to learn about the world as it was and experiment with its quirky acoustics. It’s open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day and admission is $6.00.

Colonial Drug

Colonial Drug” by Mel is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Some say a good perfume is like an intoxicating drug, one that gets you instantly hooked on and can’t resist. Perhaps this is how Colonial Drug, a fragrance specialist store, got its name. Truth is, big-time firms have nothing on this quaint venue when it comes to finding scents. It features hard-to-find fragrances featuring both international hits and limited editions. Take a good look — or should we say whiff? — and don’t forget to take some soap and other beauty items while at it.

Forest Hills Cemetery

Forest Hills Cemetery is a historic cemetery in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1848 as a rural cemetery and is the final resting place of many famous Bostonians. Some of the notable people buried at Forest Hills Cemetery include abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, poet E.E. Cummings, suffragette Lucy Stone, and many others. Forest Hills Cemetery is also a park and public green space. Visitors will find sculpture throughout, but one of the more intriguing installations is a village of tiny houses, entitled Neighbors, by artist Christopher Frost. According to Frost, each mini-house is a representation of a famous person buried in the cemetery.

Boston Neck

If you take a trip down memory lane and remember your history class, you’ll recall that witch trials were held in Massachusetts during the early colonization of America. While Salem is famous for its witch trials, there were also executions in Boston. That’s right, Boston Neck was named for the place where Anne Hibbons was hung for –supposedly– being a witch in 1656. There’s no special memorial to mark this spot, but it’s eerily fascinating to know that such a macabre piece of history took place right here.

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Museum of Modern Renaissance

The Museum of Modern Renaissance is actually the home of artists Nicholas Shaplyko and Ekaterina Sorokina. Since the early 2000s, the two have been turning the house in the city’s Somerville neighborhood into a colorful and vibrant work of art, covered in murals, mosaics, and sculptures. You can see it for yourself by making an advanced appointment for a tour or attending any one of the many events hosted there.

Profile Rock

Profile Rock” by Adam Rose is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Do you believe in paranormal phenomena? The folks who visit Profile Rock in Freetown, just 1-hour-drive away from Boston, sure do! This 50-foot granite rock formation is a popular area due to its unusual number of ghost and UFO sightings. Legend has it, there was once upon a time a village thief that would steal people’s personal belongings and hide them in a cave near Profile Rock. When this stash was discovered, the area was destroyed, creating the image profile of a man. If you believe in paranormal activity, just look for some cheap flights in April to Massachusetts and enjoy the scenic area where Profile Rock is located!

Scarlett O’Hara House

If you’re walking around the Beacon Hill neighborhood, you’re bound to notice plenty of public art, But a small gated court known as Rollins Place features something truly unique — a 3D painting that creates an optical illusion of Scarlett O’Hara’s house from the film Gone with the Wind in the midst of Boston row houses. Because it’s gated off, you can only see the painting from the street. But it’s worth catching a glimpse of a Bostonian legend.

All Saints Way

Located in the North End, off of Battery Street All Saints Way is a hidden alley that’s like a shrine. There are hundreds of images, figurines, and representations of saints. A section of private property, but if the door to the alley is open one can step into to take a look.

The Ether Dome

The Ether Dome is the historic operating amphitheater in the Bulfinch Building at Massachusetts General Hospital. Beautifully preserved, the room features a copper dome top and was the first public demonstration of inhaled ether for surgical anesthetic in 1846, which is memorialized in a massive painting depicting the event.

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