Staircases can be so much more than a transition between places. When a truly extraordinary view or attraction awaits you at the top, climbing one becomes an exercise in anticipation. That’s certainly the case with these 8 staircases in Boston, which lead to a variety of magical destinations.
1. Boston Public Library
The Boston Public Library contains one of the most stately and stunning marble staircases in the city - it's a destination in its own right. Twin lions flank the steps; they were carved in honor of the Massachusetts Civil War infantries.
At the top, marvel at the 50-foot ceilings of Bates Hall. Anything you do here feels impressive, even if it's just reading for a little while.
2. Bunker Hill Monument
These 294 steps inside the Bunker Hill Monument lead to the pinnacle of this 220-foot obelisk.
From the top, savor an aerial view over Charlestown, towards Zakim Bridge. If you're looking for a great photo op, it's worth braving this spiraling staircase.
3. Washington Tower
Mount Auburn Cemetery is also an arboretum, which makes it an unexpectedly beautiful place to visit.
Washington Tower is one of the cemetery's highlights. Standing 62 feet tall, it affords sweeping vistas of Boston. Climb the tower in autumn to fully appreciate the colorful foliage.
4. Boston Opera House
From the moment you enter the lobby of the Boston Opera House, you'll be wowed by the saturated hues and ornate glamour of this building. Your sense of awe only increases as you ascend the grand staircase...
…to the performance space itself. Previously known as the B.F. Keith Memorial Theatre, this Boston gem showcases luxe French and Italian styles, truly creating a vaudeville palace.
5. King's Chapel
On the Bells and Bones Tour of Kings’s Chapel, you have the opportunity to climb the bell tower.
At the top, you can see the largest bell that Paul Revere ever crafted. It weighs a whopping 2,437 pounds. To put that in perspective, the average adult rhino weighs 1,500 pounds!
6. Wright's Tower
Inside Middlesex Fells Reservation lies Wright’s Tower, a Works Progress Administration Project. It honors Elizur Wright, who was instrumental in saving this land for the public.
The tower is open in good weather and the green vistas from the top are a highlight on any hike.
Marliave, which was established 1875, bills itself "oldest chef-owned restaurant in Boston."
The lower level boasts an espresso bar, but for a full meal with plenty of atmosphere and lovely architectural views, head upstairs.
8. Massachusetts State House
Our "new" state house, designed by Charles Bulfinch, was built in 1798. Scaling the front steps gives you time to absorb the building’s dramatic Federal architecture.
Once inside, you can take a self-guided tour or (if you call ahead for a reservation - their number is 617-727-3676) a free, conducted tour of the building. View the Sacred Cod in the House of Representatives chamber and the Holy Mackerel in the State Senate! Then spend a little time soaking in the grandeur of our State House.
How many of these staircases have you climbed? Would you add any to this list? Let us know in the comments below!