One of the joys of staying at Taylor House is experiencing one of the distinct neighborhoods of the City of Boston. Called the “Eden of America,” Jamaica Plain abounds with beautiful public parks that combine to form a major portion of Boston’s famous “Emerald Necklace,” a string of connected parks designed in the nineteenth century by Frederick Law Olmsted to ring Boston. Many of our guests enjoy cross-country skiing, walking, jogging, and riding bicycles in our beautiful surrounds. There are interesting shops and restaurants as well, and a brewery that can be toured. If you enjoy architecture, there are many historic buildings to enjoy, all within walking distance.
- Olmsted Park
Incorporates Leverett Pond and Ward Pond into a sweeping meadow and heavily wooded areas criss-crossed by Olmsted’s own walkways and bridges. Daisy Field, a baseball diamond, hosts many spirited neighborhood ball games. Each turn of the path rewards one with vistas of great beauty, courtesy of both the natural features of the area and Olmsted’s design genius.
- Jamaica Pond Park
Features a roughly circular pond surrounded by a beautiful path, and is only one block from Taylor House. It is truly a community gathering place, and events ranging from outdoor concerts and theatre to the annual lantern parade are featured. A kettle hole formed by a glacier and fed by natural springs, Jamaica Pond was the first reservoir in America and is the largest body of water in Boston. It once hosted a commercial ice-cutting operation, and its banks held the country estates of prominent Bostonians. Boats and sail boats are available in season. Stocked annually with fish, one daily observes fishing on its banks.
- The Arnold Arboretum
A beautifully landscaped 265 acre botanical garden that contains over 14,000 woody plants, flowers, and trees from all over the world and particularly from Asia. Established in 1872, it is America's oldest university botanical garden, administered by Harvard University and the Boston Public Parks System, and the primary American venue for the study of woody plants. Visitors are allowed to use the Arboretum from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year at no cost, and biking and cross-country skiing are allowed. Lilac Sunday, always held on the Sunday closest to Mother's Day, is a popular event. The noteworthy Bonsai collection contains some plants that are several centuries old. The Arboretum has great beauty and diversity to offer all four seasons of the year. Classes, exhibits, walks, and other activities are available.
- Forest Hills Cemetary
Designed after a European burial park, is considered to be one of the most beautiful spots in Boston, with sculpture by famous artists and a multitude of Victorian tombstones and mausoleums. Tours and events are sponsored by the Forest Hills Educational Trust: Interesting and famous people were laid to rest there, such as e. e. cummings, Anne Sexton, Eugene O'Neill, industrialist Francis Cabot Lowell, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, and some Massachusetts governors.
- The Franklin Park Zoo
The largest park in the Emerald Necklace and considered by Olmsted as the crowning jewel of his achievements in Boston. This 527 acre country site of rolling hills and broad meadows offers the Franklin Park Zoo, hiking, picnicking, and an 18-hole public golf course. The zoo features a large African tropical forest exhibit which is home to more than 150 animals, an outdoor bird aviary and flight cage, a waterfowl pond, and a wetland pond. The gorillas, leopards, pygmy hippos, and talpoin monkeys are some of the most popular animals. A petting zoo is available for children. The lion exhibit lets you get as close as possible to these beautiful animals.
- The Sam Adams Brewery
Where this beer first originated in a brewery built in 1880 along the Stony Brook in Jamaica Plain by the Haffenerffer family (who owned Taylor House for 40 years). They offer a great tour year around. A large portion of the brewery complex has been converted into use for restaurants, a gym, dance studios, offices and other organizations.
- The Loring-Greeough House
A three-story Colonial structure built in 1760, is one of the few pre-Revolutionary War homes still standing in the country and its current presence provides a rare glimpse of the architecture, design, general history of America's early beginnings. Tours of the Loring-Greenough House are offered to the public on Sundays from 1-3 PM April through December or by special arrangement at other times.
- The Eliot School
Founded in 1676 as a grammar school, turned its focus in the late 19th century to the manual arts. Known for the charm of its historic site, today The Eliot School inspires lifelong learning in craftsmanship and creativity for adults and children. Classes and workshops are offered in woodworking, sewing and fiber arts, painting, drawing, photography and other crafts.
- The Footlight Club
Nestled in a residential area near Jamaica Pond, is America's oldest
community theatre, having offered the best in non-professional performances since 1877. Founded by young socialites, wealthy aristocrats once arrived in coaches to enjoy the society of their own kind in an atmosphere of gentility and wealth. Today doctors and lawyers, waiters and cooks, husbands and wives, parents and children come together to perform, enjoy, and support the exciting amateur productions and activities that make up live theater.
- First Thursday
Organized by JP/Centre South Main Streets, recognizes the importance of the arts within the Jamaica Plain community. Held the first Thursday of every month, it is a favorite evening for local residents to stroll the business districts and enjoy the combination of art, music, and shopping offered especially for that evening.
- Shops and Restaurants
in Jamaica Plain prove that B&B guests do not need to wander far upon their arrival here to find good restaurants and interesting small shops. There are many restaurants, pubs, sandwich shops and bakeries, with a variety of ethnic foods represented. Not to be missed is JP Licks, or "The Licks" as locals call it, where the best ice cream and frozen yogurt ever is available. For shopping there are small antique stores, a rare book store, and other specialty shops and several unique thrift shops, one being Boomerangs. The Jamaica Plain community has long shunned big box stores, and you will not find those represented in the mix here.