20 Things To Do In Boston

Things To Do In Boston

Welcome to Boston, a city steeped in the rich tapestries of American history and vibrant cultural life. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or returning to rediscover the city, there’s always something new and exciting to explore. From historic walks that trace the origins of the American Revolution to modern attractions that showcase the city’s innovative spirit, Boston offers a diverse range of activities that cater to all ages and interests. In this guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Boston, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this dynamic city.

Things To Do In Boston

  1. Walk the Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long path through downtown Boston that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. Starting at Boston Common, you will see historic sites such as the Massachusetts State House, the site of the Boston Massacre, and Paul Revere’s House. The trail offers a rich narrative of the American Revolution told by the very footsteps of the founding fathers. It’s an immersive experience, ideal for anyone looking to understand the roots of American liberty.

  1. Explore the Boston Public Garden

Established in 1837, the Boston Public Garden is America’s first public botanical garden. Its beautifully manicured grounds are adorned with vibrant flower beds, weeping willows, and a large pond where the famous Swan Boats reside during the warmer months. The garden is a perfect spot for a leisurely walk or a peaceful picnic. Children will enjoy the bronze statues of ducks from the classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.

  1. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

One of the largest museums in the United States, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) houses a diverse and vast collection that spans continents and millennia. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary art, and from Impressionist paintings to an extensive collection of American art, the museum offers something for every taste. The MFA is not just a place to observe art but to experience it through lectures, workshops, and art classes.

  1. Take a Tour of Fenway Park

For sports enthusiasts, a visit to Fenway Park is a must. Home to the Boston Red Sox, this iconic stadium offers guided tours that cover the history of the team and the park itself, which is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Whether you’re a fan of baseball or not, experiencing Fenway Park offers a glimpse into America’s beloved pastime and a deeper appreciation of the sport’s impact on the city of Boston.

  1. Sample the Local Cuisine at Quincy Market

Located in the heart of downtown Boston, Quincy Market is a historic market complex near Faneuil Hall. Offering an eclectic mix of eateries, boutique shops, and live entertainment, it’s a vibrant spot to sample local specialties like clam chowder and lobster rolls. The bustling atmosphere is enriched by street performers and seasonal decorations, making it a lively destination that reflects the spirit of Boston.

  1. Discover the New England Aquarium

A visit to the New England Aquarium is a delightful experience for visitors of all ages. With an impressive collection of marine life, the aquarium features a giant ocean tank that simulates a Caribbean coral reef, complete with a spiral walkway leading up around the central tank. You can see a variety of sharks, rays, and colorful fish. Don’t miss the penguin exhibit and the opportunity for hands-on encounters at the touch tanks, where you can feel starfish and sea urchins.

  1. Stroll Along the Charles River Esplanade

The Charles River Esplanade is an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts. This park along the south bank of the Charles River is perfect for jogging, biking, or just taking a leisurely walk while enjoying the scenic views of the Boston and Cambridge skylines. During the summer, you can also catch concerts and movies in the open air. The Hatch Shell, an iconic venue on the esplanade, hosts free events that are perfect for a family outing or a romantic evening.

  1. Experience the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Relive one of the defining moments of American history at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. This floating museum is unlike any other, offering a chance to board a reconstructed 18th-century vessel and toss tea into the sea, just as the Sons of Liberty did during the Boston Tea Party. The interactive exhibits and live reenactments make this a captivating experience for history enthusiasts and families alike.

  1. Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

For a taste of European grandeur, step into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where art and architecture blend seamlessly. Housed in a building styled after a 15th-century Venetian palace, the museum showcases an eclectic art collection collected by Isabella Stewart Gardner herself, including works by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, and Degas. The museum’s courtyard, with its lush seasonal displays, is a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

  1. Shop and Dine in the North End

Boston’s North End, also known as Little Italy, is famed for its wonderful Italian restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. Stroll through the narrow streets and enjoy the aroma of freshly baked cannoli and brewing espresso. Be sure to visit historic sites like the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s house. Dining out in the North End, with its authentic Italian cuisine and quaint atmosphere, is a must-do for foodies.

  1. Explore the Boston Harbor Islands

Just a short ferry ride from the mainland, the Boston Harbor Islands offer a scenic escape with plenty to explore. Activities include hiking, picnicking, swimming, and even camping on some of the islands. The islands also host historical sites such as the Civil War-era Fort Warren on Georges Island, making it a perfect blend of nature and history. Whether you’re looking for a day of adventure or a quiet retreat, the islands provide a refreshing change of pace from the city life.

  1. Visit the Harvard University Campus

Explore the prestigious Harvard University in Cambridge, just across the Charles River from Boston. Take a student-led walking tour to learn about the history and lore of the nation’s oldest university. The campus is also home to several museums, including the Harvard Art Museums and the fascinating Harvard Museum of Natural History, known for its collection of glass flowers and dinosaur skeletons. The historic and academic atmosphere is inspiring for visitors of all ages.

  1. Take in a Show in the Theater District

Boston’s vibrant Theater District invites you to enjoy a night out with a variety of live performances ranging from Broadway shows to avant-garde plays. The area is bustling with energy, and there are plenty of dining options for a pre-show dinner or a post-show drink. It’s a great opportunity to dress up and experience the cultural side of Boston amidst the historic theaters.

  1. Browse the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Dedicated to the memory of President John F. Kennedy, this library and museum offers insightful exhibits about his life, presidency, and the world during the 1960s. Located on a ten-acre park overlooking the sea, the building itself is a stunning piece of architecture worth exploring. It’s not only educational but also provides a contemplative look at American history and its impact on the world.

  1. Enjoy the View from the Skywalk Observatory

Located in the iconic Prudential Tower, the Skywalk Observatory offers the best 360-degree views of Boston. From this vantage point, you can see landmarks such as Fenway Park, the Charles River, and Harvard University. The observatory also features exhibits about Boston’s history and its cultural contributions. It’s a breathtaking way to see the city from above, especially during sunset.

  1. Visit the Boston Children’s Museum

Boston Children’s Museum is a fantastic place for families with young children. Located along the Fort Point Channel, it offers interactive exhibits that focus on science, culture, environmental awareness, health, and fitness. The museum is designed to engage children’s curiosity and imagination, making learning fun and interactive. Highlights include a real Japanese house and a climbing sculpture made from curved platforms.

  1. Relax at the Arnold Arboretum

Managed by Harvard University, the Arnold Arboretum is a haven for nature lovers. This 281-acre park is part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, a series of connected parks that wind through the city. It features a world-renowned collection of trees and plants, including some of the oldest and rarest species in North America. The Arboretum is perfect for a peaceful walk, seasonal bird watching, or a leisurely bike ride through its scenic landscapes.

  1. Go Whale Watching

Boston is an ideal starting point for whale watching, as it’s close to several major whale feeding grounds. From April through October, numerous tours depart from Boston Harbor, offering the chance to see humpback, minke, and fin whales, as well as dolphins and sea birds. These trips not only provide a thrilling encounter with marine life but also offer educational insights into the ecology of the Massachusetts Bay.

  1. Attend a Boston Symphony Orchestra Performance

For music enthusiasts, attending a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall is a must. As one of the most respected orchestras in the world, their performances are nothing short of spectacular. Symphony Hall, known for its outstanding acoustics, also hosts a variety of other concerts throughout the year, making it a central figure in Boston’s cultural scene.

  1. Experience the Lantern Tour at Old North Church

Participate in a captivating Lantern Tour at the Old North Church, famous for the “one if by land, and two if by sea” signal, which played a pivotal role during Paul Revere’s midnight ride in 1775. This guided tour by candlelight offers a unique perspective of the church’s history, delving into the lives of early Americans and the beginnings of the American Revolution.


Boston is more than just its past; it’s a thriving, living city with activities and attractions that span the spectrum of interests and ages. Whether you’ve spent your day tracing the footsteps of revolutionaries, exploring world-class museums, relaxing in lush gardens, or enjoying a live performance, Boston offers a unique blend of historical charm and contemporary convenience. Each of the activities highlighted in our guide showcases just why Boston remains a beloved destination for travelers around the world. So, the next time you’re planning a trip, remember, the best things to do in Boston are waiting to make your visit unforgettable.

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