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BY JESSICA TOMER
Where to Go and What to Do Between Campus Visits in Downtown Boston
Christian Science Plaza, a Boston must-visit

Visiting colleges and universities in downtown Boston? You’re sure to have a busy day (or weekend) ahead of you. But in between all the lecture halls and libraries, you’re going to want to take a break! Not to mention check out the area around the schools you’re considering.

Whether you’re visiting graduate or undergrad schools, you owe it to yourself to check out these Boston landmarks in between your campus tours. You’ll find a list of nearby—about half a mile or less—colleges and universities with each one. (And you’ll find many more schools if you venture a mile or more. Keep in mind Boston is extremely walkable!) 

Reflect at the Christian Science Plaza

With its giant reflecting pool and stunning cathedral, Christian Science Plaza is a Boston must-visit. And the view is equally stunning at night, so if you don’t have time to check it out between your afternoon college visits, you can end your busy day with a quiet moment here.

Nearby schools:

  • Berklee College of Music
  • New England Conservatory
  • Northeastern University

Check out Boston Common and the Public Garden

If you’re visiting Boston for the first time, make sure you visit the Public Garden to see the famous Swan Boats and Make Way for Ducklings statue. (Even the locals can agree that it’s adorable.) On Boston Common, you can see the old—and haunted, of course—Central Burial Ground. They’re great to visit any time of year, but when the leaves are changing in the fall, they’re both picture-perfect examples of autumn in the city.

Nearby schools:

  • Emerson College
  • Fisher College
  • New England Law | Boston
  • Suffolk University
  • Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

Stroll down the Esplanade

No matter what time of year you visit campuses, the views from Boston’s Charles River Esplanade are sure to impress—and they’ll only be partially obscured by locals jogging, biking, or sailing along the Charles River. This scenic stroll runs for about three miles, so you can spend a few minutes on a park bench, people-watching and catching your breath between college visits.

Nearby schools:

  • Boston Architectural College
  • Boston University
  • Fisher College
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New England College of Optometry

Grab lunch in Chinatown

You’re going to need to need your strength for that afternoon information session! Head to Chinatown for a great meal or snack, whether you’re into sushi, pho, bubble tea, dim sum, or something else entirely. And Chinatown isn’t just food; there’s lots of culture to take in too, from the Rose Kennedy Greenway to festivals held throughout the year. Plus, the Theater District and bustling Downtown Crossing are just a few steps away.

Nearby schools:

  • Babson College
  • Emerson College
  • New England Law | Boston
  • Suffolk University
  • Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

Visit the Boston Public Library

Seriously, the Boston Public Library is one of the coolest spaces in the city. It’s got high-tech reference resources, a snazzy news studio, and a great new cafe. And it’s got a beautiful courtyard, old-timey study halls, and magnificent architecture. Oh yes, and 23 million books, manuscripts, and other items in its collection. Don’t forget: you can get a Boston Public Library card even as an out-of-towner if you’re a graduate or undergrad student in the city.

Nearby schools:

  • Boston Architectural College

Go to the top of the Prudential Tower

From the top of the Prudential, on a clear day, you can see nearly 80 miles away and virtually every Boston neighborhood down below. It does cost money to visit the Observation Deck, but—pro tip—your best bet is sitting in the lounge at The Top of the Hub restaurant, where you can take in all those beautiful views while eating a plate of fresh-baked cookies.

Nearby schools:

  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boston Architectural College
  • New England College of Optometry

Check out Fenway Park

You probably don’t have time to catch a game at Fenway Park if you’re visiting colleges, universities, or grad schools in Boston. But you may be able to swing by to see what the surrounding area (Lansdowne Street) is all about. There’s usually a crackle of excitement in the air around the park—especially if it’s October and the Red Sox are doing well.

Nearby schools:

  • Berklee College of Music
  • Emmanuel College
  • Wheelock College
  • Simmons College

These landmarks and hotspots just scratch the surface of everything there is to see and do as a (visiting) student in Boston. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out this Guide to Visiting Boston or this list of 101 Things to Do in Boston Before You Graduate.

Jessica Tomer is the Web Content Manager at New England Law | Boston.

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