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Towers, Rooftops, Restaurants: A Guide To The Best Views Of Boston

Looking for a glimpse of the Boston skyline? We’ve put together this collection of nearly 30 spots with stellar views of the city’s defining features, from hills and rooftops to restaurants and towers, stretching around the city and as far as Hingham.

Did we leave out your favorite view? Leave the details and a photo if you have one in the comments.



Map Key:


Yellow: Buildings

The view from a window seat of a plane flying out of Logan might give you a true bird’s-eye view, but tops of buildings are second best, and closer to home.

The points in yellow highlight structures that offer great views of the city. There’s the well-known Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center, and the more hidden places like the roof of the Tisch Library at Tufts University in Medford.

Green: Nature

Green pins mark natural landmarks and parks that are open to the public and offer great views and an escape to quieter surroundings.

A simple activity like climbing to the top of Peters Hill at the Arnold Arboretum is an accomplishment, and your efforts will be rewarded by a great view of the city. And rumor has it the sledding there is a blast. Many of the parks on our map, like Prospect Hill in Somerville, have towers to commemorate events dating back to the American Revolution.

Blue: Restaurants

If you’re looking for a meal, a drink and a dazzling view, look for the points on the map in blue. Some of Boston’s finest restaurants offer spectacular views of the city.

Legal Harborside, which opened in 2011 the as the flagship property of the Legal Sea Foods restaurant chain, offers three floors of a dining experience with view.

Orange: Bridges

Whether you’re walking across Mass Ave’s Harvard Bridge or taking the Red Line over the Longfellow, don’t miss the scenes that help you remember why this city is home.

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  • Mark

    On a clear evening, when the sky is more dark than light, the view of the city from the Tobin Bridge inbound is spectacular. Too bad there’s no way to stop and savor it from up there.

    • brucegirl

      Yes! That was one I left out! You can always fix the image in your mind to enjoy over and over later!

  • brucegirl

    I LOVE THIS! And I miss Boston!

    LOCATIONS TO CONSIDER
    ADDING

    Yellow

    The view from the JFK Library in Dorchester.

    Green

    The view from the lookout tower on Chickatawbut Hill in Milton.

    The view from the top of the front side of Mission Hill.

    The view from the top of Larz Anderson Park in Brookline.

    The view from Corey Hill Outlook Park on Summit Ave in
    Brookline.

    The views from several of the Harbor Islands.

    Blue

    The view from the restaurant at the top of the ‘step-pyramid’ Hyatt along Mem
    Drive, across from BU.

    The view from the Fish Pier at the No Name Restaurant.

    Orange

    The view from the Zakim Bridge.

    The view from the

    Add a category of
    flags (black?) for views from incoming routes:

    The view coming S on Route 2 when you’ve been away and you
    get the first glimpse of the city you love.

    Ditto for the Mass Pike, coming East.

    LOCATIONS NEEDING
    IMPROVEMENT

    (green) Fort Hill image shows the tower, not the view of the city.

    (yellow) Cambridge Center Rooftop Garden shows garden, not
    view.

    Ditto for the restaurants – need images of views.

    USER FRIENDLINESS

    Make the pop-up windows that describe each view moveable.
    The way it is now is probably great for smart phones, but not so good on a full
    screen where the windows obliterate the most data-dense part of the map.

    Let the viewer print a pdf list of the locations.

  • KsK Photo Gallery
  • http://cdevers.posterous.com Chris Devers

    I thought the top of Bellevue Hill was MWRA property (giant water tank), and closed to the public. Is there a legal way to get up there to see the view of the city? I tried once but didn’t see an obvious way to approach the summit.

    There’s also a good view of the skyline from Larz Anderson Park in Brookline.

    (And nice photo you have there from Washington Tower in Mt Auburn Cemetery :-)

  • Nate Goldman

    Great suggestions.

  • Ditte S.

    Cambridge from the Esplanade (taken July 4, 2013 waiting for the fireworks to start) http://ninaitwa.tumblr.com/post/57374949950/cambridge-skyline-across-the-charles-river-in-the

  • Ditte S.

    Boston’s financial District from the HarborWalk by the Federal Court House: http://ninaitwa.tumblr.com/post/58828160753/the-skyline-of-bostons-financial-district

  • Ditte S.

    Boston’s financial District from the Seaport end of Northern Avenue Bridge: http://ninaitwa.tumblr.com/post/59436769013/architecture-in-motion-the-northern-avenue

  • Ditte S.

    Zakim Bridge, viewed under the Lechmere Viaduct beyond Cabridge’s North Point Park. http://ninaitwa.tumblr.com/post/60700928782/yesterday-i-hit-the-town-and-spent-a-few-hours

  • Jennifer Jones

    Horn Pond in Woburn needs to be on your map (though I do see a little unlabeled peak in Woburn on your map)- there is a large hill and the view is incredible on a clear day. You can see the entire skyline. Even on foggy days the City can be seen. And the spot is a bit hard to get too, but worth the climb up to the old City of Woburn Reservoir. The attached photo is more of my dog than the skyline, but you get the point. You can also see Boston from the top of Blueberry Hill in Woburn, from near Sylvanus Wood Road in Woburn near the water tower, and you can catch the faintest glimpse from the flyover ramp leading from 93 N to Commerce Way.

  • Jess McCormick

    I’m glad World’s End is on here. It is an amazing place.

  • Anthony Frank Lacina

    Quincy Quarry!

  • Cassie Bosco

    Mayor Menino Park in Charlestown Navy Yard!

  • Hitched

    In fact, many of collectivism’s erroneous arguments are based upon the untenable illusion that private property and free enterprise are responsible for human discontent.

  • Mark Williams

    You left out Top of the Hub?

  • toocooleds

    Wright’s Tower atop Pine Hill in the Medford section of the Middlesex Fells also offers a good view of the city. Sometimes the tower is locked, but there’s still a good view from the hilltop.