I've been trying to pop into the Boston Athenaeum for months!
It's certainly a hidden gem of Boston and now that I've had the chance to explore it for myself, I think that it is a 'must' — especially if you're a local.
The confusing bit is that most visitors are actually members of the Athenaeum, one of the oldest independent American libraries.
While I did spy a younger university-aged student, the majority of the 'regulars' are from an older Boston generation.
And the Athenaeum does an impressive job of displaying just how important of a fixture it is in Boston society.
Imagine your Saturday routine — grabbing a coffee from the local shop and ducking into the Athenaeum's Newspaper Room for a quiet few hours before heading off to a lively, family lunch.
And, the old, leather books aren't the only art here!
Statues, paintings, furniture, and special manuscripts are interspersed throughout the book-filled rooms.
Many of the rooms overlook the famous Granary Cemetery, among whose occupants include Sam Adams and John Hancock, filling you with a sense of history and importance.
This book is one of the collection's most famous — the translation of the label on the front board translates to "This book by Walton bound in [his] skin."
Staff offer Architecture Tours of the building and second Saturdays are free — so I highly suggest planning a trip to downtown.
The Athenaeum is near-ish to Beacon Hill so I recommend taking a stroll through the brownstones of Beacon Hill on your way to or from the Athenaeum before following your nose to a bakery.