Attractions & Culture

On every block of Boston’s Back Bay, you’ll find Boston’s most compelling cultural institutions and libraries and most charming outdoor attractions. The Back Bay Association is at the center of this thriving cultural scene, encompassing the dynamism and heart of a world class city.

The Hatch Shell on the Esplanade

Attractions&Culture_AccordionTN_HatchShell_01The Hatch Memorial Shell is an iconic outdoor concert venue located on the Charles River Esplanade.  It is most widely known for hosting the Fourth of July Celebration and concerts from the Boston Pops and Boston Landmarks Orchestra.

Prudential Center Skywalk

Attractions&Culture_AccordionTN_PruCenter_01Visit the Skywalk Observatory at the top of the Prudential Center, Boston’s only sky-high vantage point for sweeping 360 degree views of Greater Boston and beyond. Let your eyes and ears do the walking as you experience the exclusive state-of-the-art Acoustiguide audio tour, available in English, Spanish, Dutch, French, Japanese and Mandarin.

Boston Public Library

Attractions&Culture_AccordionTN_BostonPublicLibrary_01The Boston Public Library or “BPL”, was the first free public library in the United States. Originally located on Mason Street, the Central Library now sits at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth Streets.. Offering something for everyone, the BPL holds an impressive 6.1 million books, offers 1.2 million rare manuscripts and rare books, and attracts over 2.2 million visitors every year. Experience the Abbey Room, the Sargent Gallery, the Chavannes Gallery, Bates Hall, or opt for an interactive experience with a library tour guide.

French Cultural Center
Attractions&Culture_AccordionTN_FrenchCulturalCenter_01The French Cultural Center of Boston is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure the vibrant growth of French language and Francophone cultures in New England. Its library houses the second largest private collection of French books, periodicals, DVDs, and audio and video cassettes available in the United States. The Center also hosts numerous lectures, concerts, cooking demonstrations, wine-tastings, art exhibitions, and holiday celebrations throughout the year.
Trinity Church
Attractions&Culture_AccordionTN_TrinityChurch_01A National Historic landmark in the heart of Back Bay, Trinity Church has consistently been chosen as one of the ten most important buildings in America by the American Institute of Architects for more than a century. With one of the finest collections of stained glass in the nation, spectacular murals, and soaring architecture by the legendary architect H. H. Richardson, Trinity Church attracts over 100,000 visitors a year. The church also remains a vibrant parish of approximately 4,000 households hosting a full program of worship, service to the community, pastoral care, music and education for all.
Christian Science Center
Attractions&Culture_AccordionTN_ChristianScienceCenter_01Founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879, the Christian Science Center has some of the most unique architecture in the Back Bay.  Relax by the fountains and reflecting pool, visit the Mary Baker Eddy Library, and make sure to check out the renowned Mapparium.
New England Historic Genealogical Society
Attractions&Culture_AccordionTN_NEHistGenealSoc_01The NEHGS library, located at 99 Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, is one of the nation’s leading research centers for genealogists of every skill level.   Housing millions of documents, manuscripts, records, books, microfilms, photographs, artifacts, electronic resources, and other items, the Genealogical Society both preserves and reveals our history. These records, collected over the span of 165 years, have been accessed by 25,000 members.
Map of Architectural Landmarks
Attractions&Culture_AccordionTN_MapOfArchitLandmarks_01In just a half of a square mile, the Back Bay is home to Boston’s most interesting historical landmarks, delicious cuisine, and must-visit shopping and salons. WalkBoston is an excellent source for experiencing the Back Bay, highlighting some of the best the neighborhood has to offer.