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Boston Uncommon: Discover Our City’s Secrets

How well do you know Boston? If you’ve spent any time here, you’ve probably visited spots like Faneuil Hall and heard about the city’s history (yeah Boston Tea Party!). While most people learned the basics in school, there’s a lot about this city many people still don’t know. Boston has its secrets. Here are a few of our favorites.

Sure, Boston is famous for its skating bears (a.k.a. the Boston Bruins), but do you know about its lions, tigers, and gorillas? All these animals and many more exotic creatures can be seen at the city’s Franklin Park Zoo for less than $10 per guest. Located in Jamaica Plain, the Franklin Park Zoo is open year-round and home to animals hailing from the Serengeti to the tropics.

The Public Garden is one of Boston’s jewels. Every day, thousands of people seek refuge there amidst its flowers, trees, and swirling swan boats. Believe it or not, the Cambridge Center Roof Garden near Kendall Square offers a similar experience. Located on the top of a 6-floor parking garage, it’s just as peaceful and relaxing. But because it’s a little harder to find, it’s a lot less full of tourists.

Banking is big in Boston. So is innovation. When the two come together, you get a truly unique experience. Even though First Trade Union Bankisn’t the city’s largest financial institution, it is a favorite of the people who live here. Known for its leading-edge technology with a personalized, community bank feel, First Trade offers products and services that truly fit the lifestyle of a Bostonian. With an FT Checking account at First Trade, they will never charge you a pesky ATM fee and they’ll even rebate all foreign ATM fees when you use any ATM in and around the city. Plus, their FT High-Yield Savings account lets you earn more interest on your money. What’s more, with the bank’s FT Pay mobile payment app powered by LevelUp, you can save money and earn cash bonuses while using your phone to pay for food and other must-haves at any business that accepts LevelUp.

Boston is full of museums. But while everyone knows about the Museum of Fine Arts and The Museum of Science, far fewer people know about The Museum of African American History. Open year-round on Beacon Hill and found on the Black Heritage Trail walking tour, it gives visitors a unique look into the city’s past with access to the original African Meeting House and the Abiel Smith School, built in the early 1800’s.

These days, everyone loves to shop and eat local, and the epitome of this movement is found in Boston each Sunday at the SOWA Open Market. Located in the South End and running through October, this year’s SOWA’s ramped up offerings include additional parking and a food truck count in the 30’s. Best of all, it whole-heartedly embodies a spirited mix of local farm stands, vintage vendors, and handmade products.

Whether you have lived in Boston your entire life or you are a recent transplant, be sure to explore new neighborhoods and traditions while you’re here. Whether simplifying your banking or learning a new angle on the city’s history, Boston offers surprises and inspiration all around.