No matter what you may say, it is always a good day when it snows in Boston. The city looks pretty darn good when it’s blanketed in white—so good, in fact, that it tends to resemble a snowglobe. Beacon Hill is perhaps best known for its snowglobe-like features (see: gas lamps, smoking chimneys, church steeples, etc.) but there are other scenic spots to take a wintertime walk, too. If you’ve already paraded up and down Comm. Ave., try one of these winter wanders.
One Very Specific Path in the Boston Common
You’re certainly already aware that the Common is a beautiful place for a stroll in every season. But there’s one stretch of path that is the most photogenic place in all of Boston on a snowy winter’s eve. To get there, enter the Common from the central gates along Charles Street (just across from the Public Garden). Stroll past the elevators for the Boston Common Garage, and then instead of taking the path toward the Parkman Bandstand, veer left. When you meet the next intersection, bear left again toward the townhouses lining Beacon Street. Walk along the edge of the off-leash dog area (watching dogs in the snow is an added bonus), then turn around. You should see a white expanse, with the glittering Back Bay skyline behind it. (Here’s a glimpse on Google Street View.) Note the gently falling snowflakes and enjoy.
Highland Park, Roxbury
Snow globes offer a bird’s eye view of a place in miniature. Highland Park in the Fort Hill neighborhood of Roxbury does that, too. Climb up to this small greenspace; it holds the title of the highest point in Roxbury and is topped with a brick tower called the Standpipe. From the tower’s base, you can clearly see the surrounding neighborhoods: Back Bay, the Fenway, Mission Hill, and JP. And if you’re the type who likes to read plaques on your walks, there are signs that can provide a Revolutionary War history lesson.
Pinckney Street, Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill is the iconic choice for a snow day stroll, but you’ll be missing out if you don’t glide down Pinckney Street. Turn onto this picturesque ave from Joy Street, over by the State House. Note the wreaths and holly, then pause to make a special stop at Louisburg Square, one of the most expensive pockets of Boston. Continue downhill, but not before admiring the striped awning and glowing windows of Rouvalis Flowers. Pick up walking again, and look left before reaching Charles Street. You should be able to peek down Cedar Lane Way, a charming little alley with gas lamps that rivals Acorn Street. You have no choice but to end with a stop at Beacon Hill Chocolates.
Southwest Corridor Park, Back Bay
The Southwest Corridor stretches just over four miles, from Back Bay to Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain. Its northernmost end, though, is where you’ll want to spend some time after a snowfall. Begin at the entrance across from the Massachusetts Avenue T Station, and walk past the butterfly meadow and community gardens until you reach Titus Sparrow Park. You should’ve already been admiring the rowhouses, but here is a good place to stop and notice the Hancock Tower peaking out above them all. Continue on all the way to Dartmouth Street, and close out your walk with a warm drink in Copley Square.
Pope John Paul II Park, Dorchester
Some of the best snow globes have tiny people in them—carolers, townsfolk, shopkeepers, and the like. Pope John Paul II Park is where you’ll want to go if you’d like to see tiny humans and animals. Human parents and pet parents love to go for invigorating winter walks here, so expect to see cute babies in strollers and dogs wearing sweaters on the park’s paths. You’ll also glimpse wide-open snowy expanses and the Red Line chugging over the Neponset River—juuuust like the Polar Express.
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