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Seven Magical Places in Boston

Written by Matthew Dickey.

Just because you didn't receive your Hogwarts letter in the mail (we're still waiting on ours) doesn't mean you can't experience a little magic. With a flick of a wand, we Boston muggles can be whisked away to Hogsmeade or strolling along Diagon Alley. In honor of Harry Potter's birthday (he'd be 39!), get out your Marauder's map and join us on this spell-binding tour of Boston. Hold on to your broomstick. 

1. Hogsmeade Village - Boston's Historic Blackstone Block 
Blackstone Block
Marshal Street - Photo by Matthew Dickey

Strolling along the 17th-century warren of streets it's easy to imagine yourself walking past Honeydukes or into the Three Broomsticks Inn. The streets were laid in the 17-century and contain such famed establishments as the Union Square Oyster House and Bell in Hand Tavern. The 1770's Ebenezer Hancock house was owned by John Hancock. The building's first-floor shop was the former site of the longest continuously operating shoe store in the country, from 1798 to 1963. Like Honeydukes, it might just have a secret entryway into Hogwarts. Just lookout for the Welsh Green Dragon (Tavern) that rests outside. 

2. Hogwarts Castle - Boston Public Library

 

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library Bates Hall - Photo by Matthew Dickey

Few libraries of the world look as enchanting as Boston's Public Library. Walking up the marble stairs, past giant lions (maybe they guard the entryway to the Gryffindor Commonroom?) and into the 50-foot-tall barrel-vaulted Bates Hall is an experience of architectural astonishment. It was built in 1895 and like Hogwarts, it is a palace for knowledge. It is a true ornament for the city  Just don't get caught in the restricted section! 

3. The Quidditch Pitch - Harvard Stadium 
Harvard Stadium
Harvard Stadium - Photo by Matthew Dickey

This hallowed Quidditch pitch was built in 1903 and is a designated National Historic Landmark. The horseshoe shape inspired several other stadiums after it. When the Harvard Crimson is not using the field, it plays host to the Boston Night Riders Major League Quidditch team. Remember to keep your eyes on the bludgers. They can be sneaky. 

4. Diagon Alley - Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill
Charles Street - Photo by Matthew Dickey

Lost your Time-Turner? No worries, walking the narrow streets of Beacon Hill transports you back in time. Visit the Muggle version of Florean Fortescue's on Charles Street (they call it J.P. Licks) and walk across the street. Just as the Leaky Cauldon hides a secret brick to Diagon Alley, the building across from J.P. Licks hides a secret entrance to Beacon Hill. Walk up Putnam Ave to W Cedar St and take a right. Rouvalis Flowers even sounds magical. They will be able to help you with all your potion needs just as well as Mr Mulpepper's Apothecary. 

5. The Forbidden Forest - Franklin Park
Franklin Park - Photo by Evan Bradley

Franklin Park - Photo by Evan Bradley

 

No, Franklin Park is not some sort of illusion. It really is a country park in the middle of the city. It was created by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1885 and is considered the crown jewel of his Emerald Necklace park system for Boston. The park is even full of magical creatures that reside in the Franklin Park Zoo and some familiar names from the wizarding world. Those aren't trolls turned to stone you see in the Long Crouch Woods, but rather a sculpture of two bears marking the former 1912 Bear Pits. As for Crouch? We do not believe there is any relation to the Bartemius Crouch family. 

6. Azkaban - Georges Island/Historic Fort Warren
Georges Island
Georges Island - Photo by Matthew Dickey

Luckily you won't find any dark wizards or Death Eaters on Georges Island. Equally lucky that it's Dementor free and just a short boat ride away from the city. However, it did serve as a prison for Confederate officers and government officials. Fort Warren was built between 1833-1860 and remained active as a fort until it was decommissioned in 1947. Today, visitors can explore the fort's bakery, parade ground, and Dark Tunnel. 

7. 12 Grimmauld Place - Gibson House Museum
Gibson House Museum
Gibson House Museum - Photo by Matthew Dickey

When you walk inside the Gibson House Museum you expect to see Kreacher lurking around a corner. The 1860 townhouse is nearly a twin to that of the Black family residence, except there is no Fidelius cham so it's easy to find. The townhouse was well preserved by Charles Gibson, Jr. and is a unique and unspoiled single-family residence. He was inspired by his cousin Henry Francis du Pont who turned his family estate into the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library. Charlie roped off his furniture and preserved the house, inviting guests to tea on the stairs. He was a bit of a potion master himself, crafting martinis from his very own bathtub gin. 

Have a magical location to share in Boston? Let us know! 

Other Magical Places:

Bears
Bears turned to stone - a marker of the former 1912 Bear Pits.

 

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