Top 5 Places to People Watch in Boston (2012)

Raise your hand if you have ever spent a day people watching.

Okay, good, we're not alone. In a city with distinct neighborhood dynamics, beautiful outdoor spaces and a diverse people, there is no shortage of great places to see and be seen. Whether you are out for a stroll through the Back Bay, bar-hopping in Harvard Square or playing tour guide for out-of-town guests, keep your eyes peeled - you never know who might walk by.

This year Boston A-List voters had 16 nominees to choose from. In the end, there was only one winner. So put on your sunglasses and stare. Here are the Top 5 Best Places to People Watch for 2012 as determined by the voters of the Boston A-List.

5. Castle Island Beach

Castle Island [anali02170 on Flickr]

South Boston's Castle Island is a 22-acre site nestled in Boston Harbor that offers residents and tourists a mix of history and recreation. The park includes Fort Independence and ample beach space. Valerie S. is a huge fan: "beautiful scenery, a place to walk and exercise in safety and meet new and old friends!" Manda C. has "done many a photoshoot here... I love Castle Island and just sitting and watching people and planes flying over head!" Rob G. saved the best tip for last: "it's not as good as it used to be since they caught Whitey ;)"

Castle Island; 100 William T Morrissey Blvd Boston, MA 02125; (617) 727-5290

4. Boston Public Garden

Boston - Public Garden [Nina^ on Flickr]

The Public Garden is considered the "jewel of the Emerald Necklace." With more ornate decorations and a greater emphasis on natural beauty, the Public Garden is a popular spot for an afternoon stroll and is a popular spot for photo shoots. Maggie M. believes the Garden is "picturesque in all seasons" and Sarah M. agrees noting that the Public Garden is "gorgeous in the spring/summer, but in the winter it's so much fun to slide around on the ice!" According to Kristin P., you may even "get lucky and watch beautiful wedding photos being taken."

Boston Public Garden; Public Garden Boston, MA 02108; (617) 927-7444

3. The Boston Common

Boston Common in the spring [Ned Raggett on Flickr]

For over 350 years, Boston Common has served as a central point for Boston residents and visitors alike. Home to the Frog Pond / skating rink, ballfields and more, there are always plenty of activity. Mike H. loves the variety: "what a mix of college kids, professionals and tourists" and Amy D. suggests getting "a blanked and a picnic and camp out."

The Boston Common; Boston Common Boston, MA 02108

2. Faneuil Hall Market Place

BOS_030 Faneuil Hall [thoth188 on Flickr]

Whether you refer to it as Faneuil Hall or Quincy Market, we all know that it's one of the prime tourist destinations in the City of Boston. Between the street performers, abundant restaurant patios and the raucous bar scene, "Fan Hall" is never lacking for entertainment. James B. describes the melting pot of people: "locals, tourists, preppies, punks, massholes, they all go through here." Nancy S. echos that adding "people from around the world are here and you don't have to be an international traveler to soak in the cultures."

Faneuil Hall Market Place; 1 Faneuil Hall Market Pl Boston, MA 02109; (617) 723-9109

1. Newbury Street

Newbury Street [dockleaf on Flickr]

Sure there is Downtown Crossing and Kenmore Square, but Bostonians consider Newbury Street to be the commercial heart of the city. With boutiques, restaurants, cafes and more crammed into every corner of this Back Bay thoroughfare, it's not hard to see why. Greg C. is obviously a frequent customer: "walking down the street and you see people from all over the world and some great fashion. And some bad fashion..." Andre H. thinks we've got some even more special in our backyard: "On a nice summer day there may be no better people watching anywhere in the country."

Newbury Street; Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116

Honorable Mention: Cask n' Flagon, Davis Square, Copley Square, The Esplanade, Harvard Square

What do you think, did voters get all the right spots? Add a comment below.

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