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A lofty, peaceful place to see the city

arboretumPhoto: Les Wood

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et a great free view of Boston’s skyline in a bucolic setting far away from honking cars and rushing crowds. Just bike, jog, or stroll along the tree-lined paths of the Arnold Arboretum up to 240-foot-high Peters Hill, where you can plop down on the grass and just enjoy the tranquility that’s just minutes from downtown, but feels like it’s miles away. Geiger

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Harvard built the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain because there was no room for a botanical garden in Cambridge. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow offered his property off Brattle Street, but that’s because there were plans to build a slaughterhouse that would have spoiled his view of the Charles.

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