It seems Boston's on the hearts and minds of every American this week. The Boston marathon bombings that killed three and injured more than 170 others have put a great American city in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. For those who love Boston and those that have never been, here are nine amazing things about Beantown.
1. Fenway Park. You might love the Sawx or love to hate 'em, but either way, Fenway Park is a national treasure, not to mention one of the nation's 10 best ballparks.
2. Clam chowder. Whether you call it Boston clam chowder or New England clam chowder, it's delicious. And sorry NYC, there's no competition here, Manhattan clam chowder doesn't even come close.
3. Swan Boats. The return of the Swan Boats signals the beginning of spring. A 15-minute ride costs $3.
4. Newbury Street. Balancing snooty and charming is hard to do, but the upscale shops on Newbury Street manage to do just that.
5. Modern Pastry. No trip to the North End would be complete without an Italian meal and an after-dinner delight from Modern Pastry. Do yourself a favor and try the ricotta pie.
6. Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings. Even if you've never read the children's book Make Way for Ducklings, the bronze statues that inspired the tale and live in Boston's Public Garden are a photo opp not to be missed.
7. Acorn Street. If Beacon Hill oozes charm, then its cutest street just gushes it.
8. Haymarket. It's a little dirty, sometimes smelly, but this open-air fruit-and-vegetable market is all Boston.
9. The Freedom Trail. The 16 historical sites along the 2.5 mile urban walking trail have no doubt educated throngs of kids who then grew up to use the bricked or painted red line as a road map home.