Commanding court over Boston Common, high up on Beacon Street, the Massachusetts State house is built on a plot of land owned by founding father John Hancock. Walking by, you can see statues of historical figures like Daniel Webster and General Joseph Hooker (the man whose name has become a synonym for “prostitute”)—but one of the coolest things to gawk at is the State House’s incredible dome. During World War II, the copper dome was painted black to keep the city of Boston safe during potential air raids; but, in the late ‘90s, the dome was given a shiny golden upgrade. Yep, that’s real 23-karat gold crowning the building.
Fun fact: Though it was built in 1798, Bostonians refer to this building as the “new” State House; a couple of blocks away—now dwarfed by skyscrapers—stands the old statehouse, built in 1713.