Visiting Boston? Lucky you. The capital of Massachusetts sits on the New England Coast and is one of the best-known destinations in the US. Despite its long and illustrious history, the city has a trendy, youthful atmosphere. And Boston’s attractions are second to none – you’ll find historic sites, art galleries, and great restaurants.
Boston was a significant city in the American Revolution, so you’ll find lots of political history dotted around the city. With its close proximity to Harvard University, it is no wonder you will find plenty of museums and galleries, many of which are founded, owned, and run by the university. It isn’t just academia, though; Boston also has more sporting attractions than you can count. With National hockey, basketball, and baseball teams it is definitely a sports lovers’ town.
Top Things to do in Boston
There are so many things to do in Boston that it is definitely one of the coolest cities in North America. With that in mind here are our recommendations for the 34 best things to add to your Boston bucket list. Buckle up and get ready for some fantastic things to do.
Go-City Boston Explorer Pass
If you plan on taking a lot of Boston attractions, the Go City Boston Explorer Pass lets you choose admission 2,3,4, or 5 Boston attractions bundled into one low price. This offers excellent flexibility as you can choose from what suits your travel style. From a Boston Sunset Cruise to the Fenway Park Tour or Museum of Science. Check it out and make your picks.
1. See the Boston Skyline from Long Wharf
One of the best things to do in Boston is to admire its skyline, and why wouldn’t you? The Boston skyline is gorgeous, especially at sunset. If you want a beautiful sunset skyline spot, we recommend heading to Long Wharf. The views of the financial district are incredible.
Long Wharf is located in Boston Harbor, just a short walk from the Downtown and North End of Boston. The wharf is an old-school American pier, originally built in the early 18th century. Now, it is an exclusive area in Boston – perfect for safely exploring photo opportunities before dark.
You can sit and relax while listening to the gentle lapping of water and watching the yachts come in. The sun sets perfectly behind the city skyline too, which makes Long Wharf one of the best places for sunset in Boston. Even if you are only visiting for a weekend, we recommend finding a pretty spot like this one. It is a great way to get a taste and appreciation of the city.
Take this sunset sailing cruise to really take in the views of the Boston Skyline. Departing from Central Wharf you’ll board the historic tall ship, The Liberty Star. You can relax or help the cruise hoist the sails as you enjoy views of East Boston, Fort Independence, The Charleston Navy Yard, and the skyline.
2. Have afternoon tea at Boston Public Library
Yes, you really can have afternoon tea at a public library. Located in the Courtyard Tea Room, it is one of the most elegant and the most popular things to do in Boston. The experience is the epitome of elegance and refined culture. If you’ve never been to a formal afternoon tea before, it is definitely something to try. Be sure to make reservations in advance because this is popular.
Boston Public Library has a designated room for afternoon tea. Titled ‘Courtyard Tea Room’, the space is tucked away in the library’s historic Mckim Building. You can spend the morning reading books and finish the afternoon with delicious sandwiches, cakes, scones and of course tea. They serve your choice of black, green, and herbal teas. Afternoon tea in Boston is not a culinary or cultural experience you should miss.
3. Go shopping on Newbury Street
Once known as one of the most expensive streets in the US, Newbury Street is much more suited to shoppers of all budgets these days. You’ll still find chic boutiques and upscale shopping centers, but there are plenty of high street brands and budget-friendly stores as well.
In our opinion, Newbury Street’s shift has made it an even better place to visit in Boston. You can treat yourself to a souvenir – be it a new dress, accessory, or a funky pair of shoes. The 19th-century buildings are also stunning retail and hospitality venues. Walking along the treelined street is sure to get you feeling the big city mood.
Shopping on Newbury Street is just one of the fun things to do in Boston. If you like retail therapy, it should absolutely be added to your itinerary. Shop till you drop, and when you drop, head to a hip café for a caffeine pick-me-up.
Not sure where to start? Get this Hop-on-Hop-Off Trolley tour to discover Boston when you first arrive. We love doing a hop on hop off bus whenever we arrive in a new city to see the highlights and help get our bearings.
4. Visit Chinatown
When you think of Chinatown, what comes to mind? Delicious food? Fantastic decorations? A buzzing atmosphere after dark? Well, Boston’s Chinatown has all of the above. If you want somewhere to eat, drink, or be entertained, visiting the city’s Chinatown is one thing you cannot miss.
You can pick up traditional Chinese snacks from the numerous bakeries during the day. By night, there are dumpling houses galore, and you can treat yourself to a sit-down meal or piping hot takeaway. The neighborhood is enormous and packed with action – both food related and recreational. Make sure to check out Shabu-Zen if you love a good hot pot. We loved it.
Chinatown Gate is a popular attraction in the neighborhood and marks its entrance. The gate was gifted to Boston by Taiwan in 1982. It quickly became a symbolic marker of the Asian-American community in the city. The giant chess boards in the middle of Chinatown are also a popular spot to visit. You can challenge a friend (or a stranger) to a game for a bit of fun.
Many Hollywood movies have been set and made in Boston. Take a Boston Movie Tour to see some of the most iconic movie scenes in history. See Jack Nicholson’s mob hangouts from The Departed, have a pint at the original Cheers Bar, sit where Robin Williams sat on the famous park bench from Good Will Hunting, and more!
5. Museum of Science
Every city has a science museum, but not many cities have a science museum of the same caliber as Boston’s. Visiting the Museum of Science is one of the top things to do in Boston, especially if you have kids. The venue has over 7000 exhibits, including daily presentations and even live animals.
The museum spares no expense, and visitors can enjoy top-of-the-range activities. You could watch a 4D film in the IMAX theater one moment and spot stars in the planetarium the next. We love the diversity of the exhibits at the Museum of Science, and the range of things to do makes it great for visitors of all ages and walks of life. It covers everything from biological topics to outer space.
To experience the best, most exciting parts of science, a visit to the Museum of Science is definitely in the cards. Allow at least half a day to experience the best of the museum. You should also check ahead for any one-off events and workshops, as you might want to choose which day you visit accordingly.
6. Museum of African American History
Talk about a unique setting; the Museum of African American History sits in an old 1834 schoolhouse. The building is a fascinating historical venue and a great place to discover more about the history of the African American community in Boston.
The best part about the museum is the variety of exhibits. There is a range of permanent exhibitions and temporary ones that rotate regularly and give the museum a constantly evolving feel. There has been a very popular jazz exhibit in the past, and the museum covers all aspects of African American culture.
Visitors take a partially guided tour, with some sections available for independent exploration. This balance is brilliant for experiencing the museum. It gives plenty of time to ask questions and take in information at your own speed. While the attraction is best suited to adult visitors, it may be suitable for older children. All in all, it takes around an hour to visit.
7. Tour the Boston food trucks
Foodies, listen up. The Boston food trucks are a big deal. In fact, they are so much of a big deal that you can find detailed food truck schedules online – turning the casual eating experience into one you can pick and plan in advance.
Going on a self-guided food truck tour is excellent if you are an adventurous eater and enjoy trying different cuisines. Plus, it is a low-cost way to try different dishes. You could sample tacos, a Belgian waffle, a juicy burger, or even dumplings. Boston’s food truck scene is packed with various delicious comfort foods.
Check online to find your favorite truck or sample dishes from a few different trucks during your stay. Travel is best led by your stomach. If you are a foodie, this Boston Food and History Tour combines food with a tour of the North End into the Freedom Trail.
8. Busch Reisinger Museum
If you know your art, visiting the Busch Reisinger Museum is one of the best things to do in Boston. The museum specializes in German and Northern European artwork – ideal for artists and scholars wanting a niche experience.
The museum was founded by Harvard University in 1901 and is one of three art museums belonging to the university. If possible, visit them all. However, we believe you should prioritize the Busch Reisinger if you just have time for one. The museum is full of fascinating artwork, including works of the Austrian Secession.
Niche, engaging, and beautifully presented, the Busch Reisinger is one of Boston’s best places to visit. If you are an art lover, mark the museum firmly on your Boston bucket list.
9. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
When we say that the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is stunning, we really mean it. While technically an art gallery, the museum is better known for being designed to mirror a 15th-century Venetian palace. The museum has everything from stained glass windows to an Italian courtyard garden.
The courtyard is a highlight of the museum, and even if you don’t see one piece of art, it is well worth visiting to see it. The museum has a personal feel, and it still feels like the ultra-luxurious residence it once was. Ensure a camera is handy, although pictures are restricted in certain rooms.
The pieces themselves are a mixture of artifacts and artwork. You can admire three floors of statues, sculptures, paintings, and features. Allow at least an hour or two to fully appreciate all the museum offers.
Interestingly, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was also targeted by thieves in 1990 in what transpired to be a $500 million art heist. The museum has capitalized on its past victimhood, and now visitors can admire the empty frames – left to commemorate that stolen pieces.
10. Quincy Market
Who doesn’t love a market? Markets are so exciting and action-packed that some people make a point of visiting a market first in every new city. If you want to experience market life in Boston, we recommend Quincy Market, also known as Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
Quincy is a massive indoor food market located in a historic 19th-century building. With over fifty different pop-up stores and eateries, visitors have a lot to choose from – whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a grocery shop.
The market is also famous for its street performers. Watching the street acts is a fun way to end any shopping escapade and makes a market trip much more family-friendly. It also helps to keep the atmosphere at Quincy jovial and friendly. For this reason, we recommend the market for anyone, from solo travelers to families with young children.
11. Walk the streets of Beacon Hill
When you think of Boston, often rows of Victorian brick houses come to mind. These houses can be found in Beacon Hill.
The neighborhood of Beacon Hill is beautiful. You’ll find rows of Victorian terraces, cobbled streets, and antique lanterns that light up after dark. The scene is a world apart from the flashy, glitzy CBD. You should prioritize seeing the ‘other half’ of Boston, even if you are just visiting for a day or two.
Walking the streets of Beacon Hill sounds like a basic thing to do in Boston. However, don’t be fooled. This is one of the most scenic and memorable activities. Bring a camera, wear a photogenic outfit, and get excited to meet Boston’s most exclusive, beautiful neighborhood. This highly rated photo walking tour will help you capture the best photographs to post on social media or to hang on your wall at home.
12. Copley Square
Copley Square is small but sure packs a punch. The 2.4-acre square is home to some of Boston’s most notable attractions. Even if you don’t plan a visit, you’ll probably drop by accidentally.
It is one of the most historical places in Boston and is the perfect spot to take pictures. The square is somewhat of a focal point in Downtown Boston – which is an achievement in itself since the city’s downtown is packed with attractions and landmarks. You’ll find the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, and Old South Church in the square. Don’t forget to spot the bronze statue of John Singleton Copley, the American portraitist, and namesake of the square.
A visit to the square is well combined with one of its attractions and is one of the least time-consuming things to do in Boston. You can quickly appreciate the square in less than ten minutes, making it the perfect itinerary addition if you find yourself with a tiny bit of extra time.
13. TD Garden
TD Garden is a bit of a jack of all trades venue. The massive arena is the home ground of both the National Basketball League’s Boston Celtics and the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins. When the arena isn’t showing sporting games, it will likely be welcoming famous music artists and running huge concerts. It’s safe to say that you should check the venue schedule when visiting Boston.
Of course, sporting fans should look ahead for specific events that take their fancy. Similarly, music lovers should check ahead to see if any of their favorite artists are touring and stopping by Boston. The arena has a capacity of nearly 20,000 people, so it is a great place to visit to experience a lively crowd atmosphere. The arena is also entirely covered, which makes visiting a fantastic activity all year round – forget shivering at a game or live music event.
14. Castle Island
Castle Island is located on the very end of the South Boston Peninsula. Technically, it isn’t an island either. It was once an island, but it was connected to the mainland in 1928 for easier access. Visiting Castle Island is one of the best things to do in Boston if you want to enjoy the sea breeze and beautiful outdoor space.
Castle Island has rugged, windswept beauty. You can easily walk the island perimeter in a couple of hours and visit its beaches when it’s warm. The island gets its name from ‘Castle William’, an old fort built in 1703. There is plenty of history dotted around the island, so keep your eyes peeled for attractions where you can learn more. We particularly recommend visiting the World War II Memorial and Fort Independence.
15. Samuel Adams Brewery
Beer lovers, this attraction is for you. Taking a tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery is one of the most fun things to do in Boston and perfect if you enjoy tasting experiences. We love the practical element and hands-on approach to demonstrating the production process.
Visitors embark on a short tour of the back room, where you can see the beer currently being brewed. Your tour guide explains the process, and you get to see the production in action, unlike many tours which use multimedia displays.
After the tour, you get a tasting session with a flight of beer included in your ticket price. You can then enjoy a further drink in the beer garden or head to the gift shop. Remember that you get a souvenir beer glass included in your ticket price, so you won’t necessarily need to purchase a souvenir from the shop.
16. Go kayaking on the Charles River
Exploring the Charles River by kayak is one of the most unique things to do in Boston. Kayaking the river gives you a different perspective of the city and is a fun, active attraction. In fall, the city scenery is even prettier, and you’ll be able to admire Boston in all its autumnal glory.
The most popular route is five miles long, although there is no set distance requirement when renting a kayak independently. You can rent a kayak at Charles River Canoe & Kayak or book a guided tour. A guided tour is the best option if you want sightseeing commentary or are unfamiliar with the cityscape and its significant landmarks. However, kayaking independently is much more of an adventure. The choice is yours.
17. JFK Presidential Library & Museum
Visiting the JFK Presidential Library & Museum is one of the most popular things to do in Boston. The entire venue is dedicated to the memory of President John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth president of the US.
You can learn about his personal life, his time in the presidency, and his legacy. The library and museum are full of original documents, artifacts, and exhibitions to browse. Plus, students and scholars are granted special access to research collections. Keep the venue in mind for research purposes, not just recreational purposes.
If you are interested in political history, a visit to JFK Presidential Library & Museum should be top of your to-do list. Where better to learn about JFK than in his home city? And the whole venue is both engaging and massively informative.
18. King’s Chapel Burying Ground
A graveyard may seem like a dreary, morbid attraction when to include when visiting Boston. However, the graveyard is a scenic place and well worth a visit. King’s Chapel Burying Ground is also one of the most notable historical attractions in the city. The graveyard is the famous burial ground of John Winthrop, Massachusetts’ first Governor.
If you like political history, King’s Chapel Burying Ground is an excellent place to visit. It is also a good spot to just experience somewhere a bit different in Boston. The graveyard is Boston’s oldest English burying ground and has over 300 years of history to its name.
19. Encore Boston Harbor
Everyone needs to let their hair down sometimes, and if you like a flutter at the casino, Encore Boston Harbor is where to go. The five-star hotel has its own casino, which stays open 24 hours daily. You don’t have to be a guest to visit (although if you want to splash out, the hotel makes excellent accommodations in Boston). So, channel your inner Las Vegas partier and drop by to try your luck and have a laugh.
The casino is complimented by many on its spacious layout. You’ll find many table games and slots, plus a sports bar if you prefer to stay updated with the sporting world. Encore is an upscale casino with a beautiful design and excellent hospitality. You can drop by for a drink to experience the atmosphere or for a gamble, and you’ll have fun either way.
A great way to see Boston Harbor is on a historic ship. This highly rated cruise gets you involved as you help the crew hoist the sails on a classic tall ship. Step back in time as you take in the views while sailing toward the outer harbor.
20. Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a 4km (2.5-mile-long) historical trail that runs through the heart of Boston. Add walking the Freedom Trail to your itinerary to combine history with an active couple of hours. Or you can book this highly rated guided walking tour that takes you on a 1.5-hour historical journey.
The trail includes sixteen locations, many of which we will cover in this guide as independent attractions. However, if you want to combine lots into one experience, the trail is the perfect way to do so. For this reason, it is one of our top recommended things to do in Boston and is a must – even if you visit Boston for just a day.
You’ll pass Bunker Hill, Boston Common, Paul Revere’s House, and more. Each location on the trail played an essential role in the American Revolution. The track is perfect for quickly gaining a thorough knowledge of Boston’s role in the revolution. You can walk it independently or purchase a tour, depending on your budget and current level of historical knowledge.
21. Paul Revere House
Wondering who Paul Revere is? Only a legendary influence in the American Revolution. The Paul Revere House is his former residence and the oldest remaining building in Downtown Boston. Nowadays, it is both part of the historic Freedom Trail and a standalone attraction in Boston.
Paul Revere was the mastermind of a plot to communicate vital movements of the British troops to other Patriots. He is heavily praised as one of the earliest figures in the American Revolution. His actions have become both local and national legends. We’ll go into more detail about his story and the plot later for one of our other attractions.
The house itself is a fascinating place to tour. You can hear and discover his story, including his tale of the plot in his own words. The house has been kept as original as possible to create an incredible, immersive experience. The museum feels like a little time capsule, perfect for learning more excitingly.
22. Old North Church
After discovering more about Revere, a visit to Old North Church will definitely be on the cards. The church is located in North End, Boston’s oldest neighborhood, and was highly influential in Boston history.
The 18th-century church is striking to look at; red brick and almost Eastern European looking from the exterior. Inside, the church is a picture of grandeur, full of airy, lightly decorated rooms. You’ll be blown away by Old North Church’s looks, even if you learn nothing of its history.
Its history definitely warrants your time and attention. As the story goes, two lanterns were hung in the steeple on the night of April 18th, 1775. This genius signal was devised by Revere and let the Patriots know that the British were leaving by sea, not land. The Patriot troops were then able to get one step ahead of the British, warning those in their path.
Old North Church remains a symbol of independence and inspiring community solidarity. It’s easy to see why the landmark is a loved part of Boston’s cityscape.
23. Boston Common
Fancy visiting the oldest public park in the US? Boston Common is a historical green space in the city, and it even hosted British troops during the American Revolution.
The fifty-acre park is stunning but primarily tailored toward providing visitors with plenty of fun and outdoor entertainment. We love how the Common switches through seasons; in summer, you’ll find a spray pool, while in winter, you’ll find an ice skating rink. There are ball fields and a frog pond to enjoy all year round.
Boston Common is an excellent place to visit for fresh air and green space in the city center. You can easily spend a few hours wandering the many walkways and different park attractions. If you are staying in Boston for a few days or more, we suggest including the Common on your itinerary.
24. Boston Children’s Museum
So if the aquarium is our joint top recommendation for families on a rainy day, what attraction does it tie with? The Boston Children’s Museum. The Children’s Museum is a fantastic place for family fun and is easily one of the best things to do in Boston.
The museum has many educational but fun and engaging rooms for children to explore. You’ll find a Construction Zone, a Japanese House, an Art Lab, and more. The idea is that children can embark on self-led learning and exploration, adopting a Montessori-style approach to young learning. The title ‘Children’s Museum’ is strict too, with only adults accompanying children allowed on the premises.
If you want somewhere for your child to have a tailored museum experience, the Children’s Museum is fantastic. You can relax and enjoy knowing that you’ll find age-appropriate exhibits and somewhere where your child is welcome to be completely themselves.
25. Old South Meeting House
Old South Meeting House is the original site of the Boston Tea Party – which is easily one of the most famous political events in the history of America. The 18th-century church was once a gathering place for congregation members to speak politics and plot revolutionary action. However, now, it is a national historic landmark and the site of a huge reenactment every December the 16th.
Whether you are visiting in December or not though, we recommend paying a visit to Old South Meeting House. It is incredible that such an important building in US history can still be visited. Touring the building is an immersive way to understand and educate yourself on the prominent events of the past. You should squeeze a visit in even if you are just visiting Boston for a few days.
26. USS Constitution Museum
The USS Constitution Museum is most famous for its interactive exhibits. The museum tackles the history of the ‘Old Ironsides’ head-on and is set spectacularly in an old 18th-century ship. The ship itself (named The Constitution) is one of the oldest commissioned vessels in the world and a favorite part of maritime and military history in the US.
By nature, the USS Constitution Museum is immersive. You can learn about the ship’s maritime history hands-on as you navigate your way around its decks. We recommend visiting the USS Constitution if you are interested in history and the navy.
27. Bunker Hill Monument
Not only is Bunker Hill a fantastic place to get scenic views over Boston’s cityscape, but it’s also home to a 221-foot obelisk. The Bunker Hill Monument is a revered historical landmark. It marks the Battle of Bunker Hill, which was fought in the Siege of Boston in the American Revolution.
Visitors can climb the challenging 294 steps to the top of the hill, rewarded with history and vistas for their efforts. The monument is incredibly symbolic of American independence. It is nearly 200 years old – built in 1843 and dedicated to the fierce struggles of the American troops.
Visiting Bunker Hill is a must, even if you are just visiting Boston for a couple of days. The monument is a much-loved landmark, and the site is hugely important in American history. Depending on your fitness levels, you should allow between an hour and two hours to climb up to and visit the monument.
28. Museum of Fine Arts
Art enthusiasts, the Museum of Fine Arts is where to visit in Boston. The gallery has nearly 500,000 pieces on display, ranging from ancient artifacts to contemporary American art. Many consider it the ‘crown jewel’ of all Boston’s galleries, if not one of the finest art museums in the world.
The Museum of Fine Arts is far beyond a place to spend an hour or two on a rainy day. It is the fifth largest museum in the US – an impressive title in itself. The museum is also set in a stunning neoclassical building, which is full of its own history and secret photo opportunities. We recommend allowing at least a day to appreciate the museum fully and possibly a return trip for avid art enthusiasts.
29. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
The Boston Tea Party is infamous and very likely needs no introduction. The protest broke out over British taxation in 1772 and involved 342 chests of tea being dumped into the harbor. If this sounds like fascinating history, it really is. And there is no better way to discover it than at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.
Like the USS Constitution, the Tea Party Museum is a floating one and is located on ships. The museum is full of fascinating exhibits and multimedia, making it an interesting attraction for the whole family. Hang about to catch a live reenactment, and you’ll have one of the best few hours in Boston. The museum even has a tearoom where you can unwind after reliving all the drama.
The Tea Party Museum is one of the best things to do in Boston – perfect for all ages and tourist types. We rate it as a top attraction and highly recommend that you prioritize it when visiting the Boston area. You can purchase admission tickets to the museum ahead of time here.
30. Take a cruise around Boston Harbor
You can’t visit Boston and not take a cruise, and the harbor is where to head for a boat tour of your choice. You can go whale watching, sightseeing, or dining on the water. There are many boat tour options, and it is worth researching ahead of time.
The most popular tour is the 60-minute city cruise, which takes you on a sightseeing cruise through Boston Harbor. This is best for those who want to appreciate Boston from the water and is an informative, scenic thing to do while visiting.
If you visit Boston between May and October, we suggest going on a whale-watching tour. You’ll likely still pass a number of the city’s attractions, but instead of staying in the harbor, you head out in search of whales. It is always exciting to see marine life in the wild. Tours typically last three hours, and you have the chance to spot humpback and minke whales.
Remember to pack some anti-sickness tablets just in case the waters get choppy. However, cruising Boston Harbor and beyond is easily one of the best things to do in Boston.
This Boston Harbour Cruise is top rated taking around Boston Harbor to see the city’s historic sites including the Boston Tea Party Ships, The oldest lighthouse in the US, and the USS Constitution all while listening to tales of the Revolutionary War.
31. Catch a baseball game at Fenway Park
Fenway Park is the Boston baseball stadium and the home ground of the Boston Red Sox. Baseball fan or not, watching a game at Fenway Park is one of the best things to do in Boston. The atmosphere and excitement are incomparable – how better to spend a few hours?
Fenway Park has a capacity of nearly 40,000 people and is the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball, so there is the atmosphere, sport, and history to experience. If you are a baseball fan or sports fanatic, check booking availability for games in advance to guarantee a ticket. Baseball fans may even wish to plan your trip to Boston so that it aligns with a Boston Red Sox game (yes, it is that exciting).
If there isn’t a game scheduled on your trip dates, make sure to take a stadium tour. The stadium has many famous attractions and features, including the Green Monster. The Green Monster is a tall, green wall that stands just over 37 feet tall. It is a popular target for right-handed hitters, and if you can’t see a game in person, it is well worth seeing the wall for yourself on a stadium tour. Book this highly rated tour here.
32. Boston Public Garden
You may wonder what the difference between the common and the public garden is. It is a valid question since the parks sit adjacent to one another, but the answer is simple. The common is much more recreational and a good allrounder place to let your hair down. While the public garden is best for peaceful walking or boating amongst ornamental designs.
The Public Garden is famous for its swan boats and a large lagoon. The gardens also hold an impressive title as the first public botanic garden in the US. You can easily spend a lazy afternoon sitting along the lagoon shores or taking a boat for a spin if you want a nice, calm adventure. Make sure to spot the grand statue of George Washington, depicted on horseback.
Visiting the public garden is one of the most relaxing things to do in Boston. If you want to spend some quality time in green space, we recommend spending an hour or two at Boston Public Garden.
33. Mary Baker Eddy Library
Mary Baker Eddy was the founder of Christian Science, a popular religious movement she created in 1879. The Mary Baker Eddy Library commemorates her life and work, and it is a fascinating place to visit in Boston. If you like religious history or are particularly interested in Christian Science, it’s a must-visit spot in the city.
The Research Room is the best attraction in the library and is accessed via appointment only. Visitors can read through original letters, see old photographs, and examine organizational manuscripts and artifacts.
The Globe Room is also stunning to visit and is entirely made of stained glass. You walk through the ‘globe’ on a narrow walkway. Make sure to snap plenty of pictures.
We always purchase a CityPASS when visiting cities because we love sightseeing. City Passes combines admission to some of the top Boston Attractions.
- The Boston CityPass Includes:
- Admission to the Museum of Science
- New England Aquarium
- Plus your choice of admission to 2 of the following attractions: Boston Harbor City Cruises, Harvard Museum of Natural History, OR Franklin Park Zoo
34. Whale Watching Tour
Instead of seeing marine life in captivity at the New England Aquarium, head out on a whale watching cruise to see whales in the wild. A high-speed catamaran takes you to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. You’ll see See humpback and fin whales, plus the Atlantic white-sided dolphin. A New England Aquarium naturalist guide will narrate the excursion where you’ll also spy some birdlife. Book your tickets here.
Boston Common FAQS
Now that we’ve covered all the best things to do in Boston let’s cover some common FAQs. These are some extra essential information to know before visiting Boston.
How to get to Boston
The easiest way to get to Boston is to fly. Boston Logan International Airport is exceptionally well connected, with nearly 60 direct flight services from international destinations. It is easy to reach Boston by air if you are visiting Boston from overseas. Similarly, if you are traveling domestically from a distant state, you should consider flying. Boston has nearly 80 flight services to and from other cities in the US. Quick, easy, and often low-cost, flying to Boston is our most recommended option.
Fancy keeping your trip more environmentally friendly? You can catch Amtrak (a long-distance rail service) between Boston and certain cities in the US. If you are staying somewhere like New York and have quite a lot of time to reach Boston, it is well worth catching the train.
Finally, if you have a lot of time, you may wish to drive to Boston. There are so many incredible road trips in the US, but driving the length of the east coast or west to east definitely ranks the highest. Boston is easy to add to either of these itineraries.
Getting around Boston
Getting around Boston is easy peasy. Most of the city’s major attractions like art galleries and best restaurants are located in central areas like Downtown Boston. This means that you can easily explore Boston on foot – relishing the fresh air and change of scene.
However, use the T Subway if public transport is more your speed. The Boston subway system is straightforward and easy to figure out for tourists. Many young professionals use the subway, and you’ll be able to easily explore the whole city. There is even a line running directly from Boston International Airport to Downtown Boston.
Of course, Uber cars and taxis are always on hand if you really get stuck. Taxis are a little harder to find than Ubers, but both make a good option when traveling late at night or if you are in a rush.
Best time to visit Boston
Shoulder seasons are the best time to visit any city in the US. Boston is no different, and spring and fall are the best months if you want a cheaper experience with fewer crowds. But does either season suit you? Then choose fall every time.
Fall is by far the prettiest time to visit Boston. The city is stunning in autumnal colors, and shopping at chic boutiques surrounded by falling orange leaves just feels different (in the best way possible). If you want to see the best of Boston, fall is the perfect time to visit. Plus, in late September and October, the temperatures and weather in the Boston area are still mild – win, win.
Avoid summer if possible, as this is when Boston becomes flooded with tourists. The prices and crowds rocket, and while the weather is nice and warm, the city becomes much less enjoyable to visit.
Boston is an exciting US destination. Whether you take one of the city’s free tours, visit a public garden, or splash out on tickets for one of Boston’s special events, you’ll have a fantastic time. There are so many things to do in Boston that you could be busy for a whole week.
We hope you get to try at least a few of these things to do in Boston. Have a fantastic trip.
Some photos are provided by the GBCVB.
2 thoughts on “34 Cool Things to do in Boston”
such a stunning city it is. These things are really must do while traveling boston.
Great list and thanks for remembering Chinatown! Twice-awarded the Traveler’s Choice award, Boston Chinatown Tours will arm you with deeper knowledge and insights into all the tasty treats, lore connected to the holidays and more.
Also, your photos of Boston Common are actually of the Public Garden. The two are separated by Charles St. and a fair amount of history. The Common has the criss-crossing walking paths because it was designed to facilitate getting across town easily. It’s also a place for public/common gatherings including Shakespeare in the Park and more. The Boston Visitor’s Center is there, right near historic Park St. Station.
The Public Garden came later and followed the fashion of its era with a collection of botanicals from around the world, and beautiful fountains (don’t miss the monument to ether!)
Finally, the public transit is undergoing massive repairs this summer and it’s likely to continue into the fall, travelers should expect some shuttle buses and a few hiccups getting around. Fortunately, it’s a beautiful and walkable city. Don’t miss our lovely mural in Dewey Square park (where your food truck photo is taken) and walk the Greenway to see various seasonal plantings and public art.