Jamaica Plain is a fun neighborhood that not enough BU students visit. PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Boston is an amazing place to go to college. Thousands of students from every corner of the world come here to experience all the city has to offer every year. BU students especially love to frequent Boston’s famous North End, Newbury Street and Boston Common, but there are many parts of the city that go unseen by the vast majority of students and visitors. Many of the culturally rich neighborhoods of Boston can be accessed quickly by public transportation, making it easy to get out and experience new places every day.

Jamaica Plain is one such neighborhood with a variety of fun things to do waiting to be experienced by anyone who passes through. Annexed by Boston in 1874, Jamaica Plain was one of the country’s first streetcar suburbs. Today, both the Green Line and Orange Line offer quick access to JP. In recent years, Jamaica Plain has become a center for artists, musicians, and people young and old looking to come together and create a culture of creativity. Here are just some of the things to see and do in one of Boston’s great neighborhoods.

Take a stroll down Jamaica Plain’s famous Centre Street and you will get a feel for what this neighborhood is all about. There are many restaurants and stores to choose from, like the original J.P. Licks or Tres Gatos, a bookstore/cafe turned tapas bar. There is a lot of diversity in Jamaica Plain, and Centre Street reflects that. There is food and shopping from all different cultures up and down the street, making this a great place to go and experience something new. Try some Ethiopian food at the Blue Nile, or some Cuban food at The Old Havana.

Jamaica Plain is also home to a ton of green spaces. Jamaica Pond is the largest body of fresh water in Boston, making it a great spot to relax and get some fresh air. JP is also home to the Arnold Arboretum, a 281-acre tract of land maintained by Harvard University that is home to a world-renowned collection of plant life. Franklin Park is the largest public park in Boston, and like the Arnold Arboretum, is part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, which is a series of parks within the city that forms a sort of half-moon like a necklace around the city. Both the arboretum and Franklin Park are open to the public year-round free of charge.

These are just some ideas to get you thinking about and visiting Jamaica Plain. Get out there and explore all Boston has to offer, not just the areas closest to BU or the neighborhoods most Boston visitors talk about.