things to do in boston

Last Updated on: 5th February 2024, 05:58 am

Welcome to Boston, USA! If you’re planning a visit to this vibrant city, you’re in for a treat. With its rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and incredible attractions, Boston offers a multitude of exciting experiences for all to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, a sports enthusiast, a foodie, or an outdoor adventurer, there are plenty of things to do in Boston that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Things To Do in Boston

Boston is a city steeped in history, and one of the best things to do in Boston is to embark on a journey along the famous Freedom Trail. Immerse yourself in the city’s colonial past as you visit iconic landmarks such as Boston Common, the Massachusetts State House, and the USS Constitution. The trail will guide you through 16 historical sites, bringing history to life at each stop along the way.

If you’re a fan of art and culture, Boston’s museums will captivate your senses. Explore the world-class Museum of Fine Arts and marvel at its extensive collection of masterpieces. Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and be enchanted by its exquisite architecture and beautiful gardens. For science enthusiasts, the Museum of Science offers interactive exhibits that will spark your curiosity. And families will love the New England Aquarium, where you can get up close and personal with fascinating marine creatures.

As you venture into Boston’s neighborhoods, you’ll discover a tapestry of distinct personalities. Explore the charming streets of the South End, known for its Victorian brownstones and trendy restaurants. Wander through the stylish Back Bay area, with its rows of beautiful brownstone homes and upscale shopping on Newbury Street. Don’t miss the North End, Boston’s “Little Italy,” where you can indulge in delicious Italian cuisine and authentic cannoli. And soak in the historic ambiance of Beacon Hill, with its picturesque cobblestone streets and historic residences.

For beer enthusiasts, Boston’s craft beer scene is a must-try. Visit the iconic Samuel Adams brewery and savor their famous brews. Explore other local breweries such as Night Shift, Trillium, Harpoon, Jack’s Abby, and Cisco, and sample their unique flavors.

No visit to Boston is complete without experiencing its legendary sports culture. Catch a game at Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in MLB, and cheer on the beloved Red Sox. Head to TD Garden and be part of the electric atmosphere as you watch the Celtics or Bruins in action. And sports fans won’t want to miss a trip to Gillette Stadium, home to the New England Patriots.

When it comes to culinary delights, Boston is a food lover’s paradise. Indulge in fresh seafood at local restaurants, from succulent lobster rolls to creamy clam chowder. Discover the city’s vibrant dining scene as you explore Newbury Street, where you’ll find a variety of international cuisines, boutique shops, and art galleries.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, Boston offers plenty of opportunities to get out and explore. Take a leisurely walk along the Charles River Esplanade and soak in the picturesque views. Rent a bike or kayak and enjoy a day of outdoor fun. And for a unique perspective of the city, embark on a cruise along the Charles River or Boston Harbor, where you can admire the stunning skyline and breathtaking sunsets.

With so many things to do in Boston, you’ll never run out of exciting experiences. Whether you’re a history lover, a sports enthusiast, a foodie, or someone who simply enjoys exploring new places, Boston has something for everyone. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in the vibrant city of Boston.

Walk the Freedom Trail with a guide or at your own pace

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile walk that takes you through 16 colonial and revolutionary historical sites in Boston. Whether you decide to join a guided tour or explore the trail independently, this iconic experience is a must for anyone visiting Boston.

The trail begins at Boston Common, a historic park that dates back to 1634. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll pass by iconic landmarks such as the Massachusetts State House and Faneuil Hall, where history comes alive.

Strolling through the streets, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Paul Revere House, where the famous midnight rider lived, as well as the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.

One of the highlights of the Freedom Trail is the Bunker Hill Monument, which commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolution. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the city.

Embark on a journey through history as you walk the Freedom Trail. Discover the stories, people, and events that shaped the nation, all while enjoying the beauty of Boston.

Guided Tours

If you prefer a guided experience, numerous tour companies offer informative and engaging walks along the Freedom Trail. These knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the city’s history and make your journey even more memorable.

By joining a guided tour, you’ll gain deeper insights into the significance of each site and have the opportunity to ask questions along the way. It’s an excellent option for those who want a curated experience.

Explore at Your Own Pace

For those who prefer to explore independently, walking the Freedom Trail at your own pace allows you to take in the sights and immerse yourself in Boston’s rich history at leisure. With clear signage along the trail, you can easily navigate your way and enjoy the freedom to explore each site at your own pace.

Historical Sites on the Freedom Trail
Boston Common
Massachusetts State House
Faneuil Hall
Paul Revere House
USS Constitution
Bunker Hill Monument

Walking the Freedom Trail not only offers a glimpse into Boston’s past but also provides a chance to enjoy the present. Along the trail, you’ll pass charming neighborhoods, quaint shops, and delightful cafes where you can take a break and savor the local flavors.

  • Experience history firsthand
  • Learn about the American Revolution
  • Discover iconic landmarks
  • Immerse yourself in Boston’s vibrant atmosphere

Walking the Freedom Trail is one of the best things to do in Boston for free. It combines history, culture, and exercise into a memorable experience that showcases the city’s unique charm.

Explore Boston’s Museums

Boston is home to a variety of museums catering to different interests. Whether you’re an art lover, a science enthusiast, or looking for family-friendly attractions, Boston has something for everyone.

1. Museum of Fine Arts

Art enthusiasts will be captivated by the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the most renowned museums in Boston. It houses an extensive collection of artworks from different periods and cultures, including masterpieces by famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, showcasing contemporary artists and special themes.

2. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Step into the enchanting Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a unique art museum housed in a picturesque Venetian-style palace. This museum features Isabella Stewart Gardner’s private collection, which includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, and decorative arts from different parts of the world. The museum’s stunning courtyard garden is an oasis of tranquility in the heart of the city.

3. Museum of Science

For those with a curious mind, the Museum of Science is a must-visit. Explore interactive exhibits that educate and entertain visitors of all ages. From exploring the wonders of space and the human body to participating in hands-on experiments and demonstrations, the Museum of Science offers a fascinating journey of discovery.

4. New England Aquarium

Make unforgettable memories with your family at the New England Aquarium. Get up close and personal with a diverse range of marine animals, including penguins, seals, turtles, and sharks. The aquarium offers educational presentations, interactive exhibits, and even the opportunity to touch some of the animals. Don’t miss the mesmerizing Giant Ocean Tank, where you can see a vibrant coral reef ecosystem come to life.

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural and educational experiences that Boston’s museums have to offer. Explore the world of art, science, and marine life, and discover new perspectives that will inspire and engage you.

museums in Boston

Boston’s Museums

Museum Specialty
Museum of Fine Arts Art
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Art
Museum of Science Science
New England Aquarium Marine Life

Experience the cultural treasures and intellectual wonders of Boston’s museums. Indulge your passion for art, science, and marine life, and create lasting memories in the vibrant city.

Discover Boston’s Distinct Neighborhoods

Each neighborhood in Boston has its own unique charm and attractions. Whether you’re strolling through the brownstones of the South End, admiring the iconic architecture along Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay, indulging in delicious Italian cuisine in the North End, or exploring the cobblestone streets and historic homes of Beacon Hill, Boston’s neighborhoods offer something for everyone.

South End

The South End is known for its beautiful brownstone buildings, tree-lined streets, and vibrant restaurant scene. It’s a neighborhood where history and contemporary culture coexist, offering a diverse mix of art galleries, boutique shops, and dining options. From chic cafes to lively bars, the South End is a hub for creativity and culinary delights.

Back Bay

Back Bay is renowned for its stunning architecture, especially along Commonwealth Avenue, known as “Boston’s grand boulevard.” The neighborhood is characterized by its iconic Victorian brownstone buildings, fashionable shopping destinations like Newbury Street, and the beautiful Public Garden. In Back Bay, you’ll find a blend of upscale luxury shops, cozy cafes, and world-class restaurants.

North End

Also known as “Little Italy,” the North End is a charming neighborhood that exudes old-world charm. It’s famous for its narrow cobblestone streets, historic sites, and, of course, delicious Italian food. Be sure to visit Paul Revere’s House, the oldest surviving structure in downtown Boston, and enjoy traditional Italian dishes like pasta, cannoli, and espresso in local eateries.

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s most picturesque neighborhoods, with its gas-lit streets, historic brick rowhouses, and iconic Acorn Street. This well-preserved historic district offers a glimpse into the city’s past with its antique shops, quaint cafes, and beautiful gardens. Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets and immerse yourself in the charm of Beacon Hill.

Boston’s neighborhoods are as diverse as the city itself, each offering its own unique experiences and attractions. Exploring these distinct neighborhoods is a great way to immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of Boston.

Neighborhood Main Attractions
South End Brownstone buildings, art galleries, lively restaurants
Back Bay Victorian brownstone buildings, upscale shopping, Public Garden
North End Cobblestone streets, historic sites, Italian cuisine
Beacon Hill Gas-lit streets, historic rowhouses, boutique shops

Sample Craft Beers in Boston

When it comes to craft beer, Boston is home to a thriving scene that beer enthusiasts will love. From established breweries to up-and-coming craft beer brands, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top craft beer options in Boston:

1. Samuel Adams

One of the pioneers of craft beer in Boston, Samuel Adams is a household name in the industry. Known for their wide range of flavorful brews, Samuel Adams offers a variety of beer styles to suit every palate. Visitors can experience the rich history and taste the unique flavors of Samuel Adams at their taprooms.

2. Night Shift

Night Shift Brewing is a local favorite known for its innovative and bold beer creations. With a focus on using quality ingredients and experimenting with flavors, Night Shift offers a diverse range of brews that push the boundaries of traditional beer styles. Their taprooms are a must-visit for beer lovers looking for something out of the ordinary.

3. Trillium

Trillium Brewing Company has gained a strong following for their expertly crafted beers. Their dedication to quality and commitment to using local ingredients creates an exceptional drinking experience. From hop-forward IPAs to decadent stouts, Trillium offers a wide variety of beers that showcase their passion for brewing.

4. Harpoon

Harpoon Brewery is one of the oldest craft breweries in Boston, known for its wide selection of well-balanced and approachable beers. From their flagship IPA to seasonal offerings, Harpoon has something for beer enthusiasts of all tastes. Visitors can tour their brewery and enjoy a tasting to experience their brews firsthand.

5. Jack’s Abby

Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers focuses on brewing exceptional lagers that combine traditional brewing techniques with a modern twist. With a commitment to quality and craftsmanship, Jack’s Abby offers a lineup of lagers that deliver on flavor and complexity. Their taprooms provide a welcoming atmosphere to enjoy their award-winning beers.

6. Cisco

Cisco Brewers is a unique brewery that offers a variety of craft beers, spirits, and even wine. With a focus on local ingredients and sustainable brewing practices, Cisco creates a range of beers that capture the essence of the Cape Cod area. Visitors can enjoy a tasting in their relaxed and laid-back brewery setting.

Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or simply enjoy trying new flavors, exploring Boston’s craft beer scene is a must-do. From the iconic Samuel Adams to the innovative Night Shift and the artisanal brews of Trillium, Harpoon, Jack’s Abby, and Cisco, there’s a beer for every taste waiting to be discovered in Boston.

Craft beer in Boston

Experience Boston’s Sports Culture

Boston is renowned for its passionate sports culture, offering visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the excitement of live games and events. Attending a game in this sports-loving city is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.

Fenway Park: The Oldest Ballpark in MLB

One of the city’s most iconic sports venues is Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox. Stepping foot into Fenway Park is like stepping back in time, as it is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. The stadium’s rich history, legendary “Green Monster” wall, and passionate fans make watching a game at Fenway Park an unforgettable experience.

TD Garden: Home to Celtics, Bruins, and More

TD Garden is another popular sports and entertainment venue located in the heart of Boston. It serves as the home arena for the Boston Celtics (NBA), Boston Bruins (NHL), and hosts concerts and other events throughout the year. Catching a Celtics or Bruins game at TD Garden allows visitors to witness the electric atmosphere created by dedicated Boston sports fans.

Gillette Stadium: Patriots’ Haven

Located just outside of Boston, Gillette Stadium is the home field for the New England Patriots (NFL). This state-of-the-art stadium boasts a capacity of over 65,000 seats and offers visitors the chance to cheer on the beloved Patriots. Gillette Stadium also hosts other major events, including concerts and international soccer matches, making it a versatile venue for sports and entertainment.

Whether it’s the timeless charm of Fenway Park, the vibrant atmosphere at TD Garden, or the excitement of Gillette Stadium, experiencing Boston’s sports culture is an essential part of any visit to the city.

Indulge in New England’s Culinary Traditions

Boston is renowned for its seafood and offers a variety of classic New England dishes. Visitors can indulge in the vibrant flavors of New England cuisine, savoring the freshest seafood in Boston’s renowned restaurants and seafood joints. From rich and creamy clam chowder to mouthwatering lobster rolls and steamed clams, the culinary delights of Boston will tantalize your taste buds.

Start your gastronomic journey with a bowl of New England clam chowder. This creamy soup, made with clams, potatoes, onions, and bacon, is a true staple of the region. Its velvety texture and savory flavors are a comfort food delight.

seafood in Boston

For a quintessential Bostonian experience, don’t miss out on the iconic lobster roll. This delicious sandwich showcases sweet and succulent lobster meat nestled in a buttered and toasted bun. It’s a delightful combination that captures the essence of New England’s coastal flavors.

If you’re a fan of clams, try the steamed clams, a simple yet flavorful dish that highlights the natural taste of the shellfish. These tender clams are steamed with fragrant herbs and served with melted butter, creating a heavenly seafood experience.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant seafood culture of Boston and savor the authentic flavors of New England. Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply curious about the local cuisine, Boston’s culinary scene will leave you craving for more.

Explore Shopping and Dining on Newbury Street

Newbury Street is a one-mile stretch in Boston’s Back Bay neighbourhood known for its boutique shops, art galleries, and a wide range of restaurants. Visitors can explore this trendy shopping destination, browse through unique boutiques, and indulge in delicious food at local eateries.

Boutique Shops and Art Galleries

Newbury Street is a shopaholic’s paradise, offering a diverse range of boutique shops where visitors can find unique clothing, accessories, and home decor. From high-end designer brands to independent local boutiques, the street caters to all tastes and budgets. Art enthusiasts will also appreciate the numerous art galleries featuring works by both local and international artists.

Restaurant Scene

Newbury Street is not only a shopper’s haven but also a culinary delight. The street is lined with a variety of restaurants and cafes offering a wide array of cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast, a leisurely lunch, or a romantic dinner, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds. From trendy gastropubs to elegant fine-dining establishments, there’s something to suit every palate.

“Newbury Street is the perfect blend of fashion, art, and gastronomy. It’s a treat for the senses, where you can discover unique treasures while indulging in culinary delights.”

– Local Resident

A Day on Newbury Street

Visitors can easily spend a day exploring Newbury Street’s offerings. Start your morning with a leisurely stroll along the street, browsing through the boutique shops and admiring the artwork in the galleries. Take a break at one of the charming cafes for a cup of coffee and a delicious pastry.

In the afternoon, continue your shopping adventure, hopping from one store to another and discovering hidden gems. Don’t forget to check out the quaint side streets that branch off from Newbury Street, often housing more unique boutiques and charming cafes.

As evening approaches, treat yourself to a memorable dining experience at one of the restaurants along Newbury Street. Savor delectable dishes created by talented chefs, accompanied by a glass of fine wine or a craft cocktail.

Type of Shop Highlight
Boutique Clothing Stores A wide variety of designer and independent boutiques offering unique fashion finds
Jewelry Stores Stunning collections of fine jewelry and one-of-a-kind pieces
Art Galleries A showcase of contemporary and traditional artwork by local and international artists
Gift Shops Charming stores with curated selections of unique gifts and souvenirs
Home Decor Stores Trendy and classic home decor items to add a touch of style to your living space

Whether you’re searching for the latest fashion trends, one-of-a-kind artwork, or simply want to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, Newbury Street is a must-visit destination in Boston. Shop, dine, and explore to your heart’s content, and experience the unique charm that this iconic street has to offer.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities Along the Esplanade

The Charles River Esplanade offers a beautiful outdoor space for walking, cycling, and enjoying various water activities. Visitors can rent bikes or kayaks, take a leisurely stroll, or simply relax and enjoy the picturesque views along the river.

Walking along the Charles River Esplanade is a delightful way to experience the natural beauty of Boston. The peaceful and scenic pathway provides a refreshing escape from the bustling city, giving visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature while still being in close proximity to downtown.

Cycling enthusiasts will also find joy in exploring the Esplanade. With its well-maintained paths and stunning surroundings, it’s the perfect place to go for a bike ride. Whether you prefer a leisurely pace or a more intense workout, the Esplanade caters to all levels of cyclists.

For those seeking a unique water adventure, kayaking and paddleboarding are popular activities on the Charles River. Rent a kayak or paddleboard from one of the nearby rental shops and embark on an exciting aquatic journey. As you paddle along the river, you’ll be able to appreciate the cityscape from a different perspective.

“The Charles River Esplanade is a hidden gem in the heart of Boston, offering a peaceful retreat from the urban environment. It’s the perfect place to unwind, get active, and enjoy the beauty of nature.” – Local resident

 

Take a Cruise on the Charles River or Harbor

Exploring Boston from the water is a unique experience. Visitors can take a leisurely cruise on the Charles River, admiring the city’s skyline, or venture out into Boston Harbor for a scenic boat ride. Sunset cruises are particularly popular, offering stunning views of the city as the sun sets.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, a Charles River cruise or Boston Harbor cruise is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. From the tranquility of the river to the vastness of the harbor, these cruises provide a unique opportunity to appreciate Boston’s beauty.

During a Charles River cruise, you can relax and soak in the sights as the boat glides along the meandering river. Marvel at the historic landmarks, such as the iconic MIT and Harvard buildings, as well as the lush greenery of the Charles River Esplanade.

If you prefer a more expansive view of the city, a Boston Harbor cruise is the way to go. Departing from Long Wharf, these cruises take you past famous landmarks like the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, the Boston Navy Yard, and the Boston Harbor Islands. You’ll also have a chance to see breathtaking panoramas of the city skyline, including the Custom House Tower and Rowes Wharf.

For a truly memorable experience, consider taking a sunset cruise. As the golden hour bathes the city in a warm glow, you’ll witness Boston’s skyline transform into a mesmerizing display of lights. It’s a picture-perfect moment that captures the essence of this vibrant city.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, looking for a romantic outing, or simply want to relax and enjoy the scenery, a Charles River or Boston Harbor cruise is an unforgettable way to experience the beauty of Boston.

Conclusion

Boston, with its rich history and vibrant culture, offers an array of activities and must-see attractions that cater to every visitor’s interest.

Embark on a journey along the iconic Freedom Trail, where you can explore the city’s colonial and revolutionary landmarks at your own pace or with a knowledgeable guide. Immerse yourself in Boston’s diverse neighborhoods, from the charming streets of Beacon Hill to the flavors of “Little Italy” in the North End.

Indulge in New England’s culinary traditions and treat your taste buds to delicious seafood dishes like clam chowder and lobster rolls. Immerse yourself in the city’s sports culture by catching a game at Fenway Park or TD Garden. Unwind and appreciate the beauty of nature along the Charles River Esplanade, where you can walk, cycle, or even go kayaking or paddleboarding.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, a sports fan, or an outdoor adventurer, Boston has top activities and must-see attractions that guarantee an unforgettable experience for all.

FAQ

What are some must-see attractions in Boston, USA?

Some must-see attractions in Boston include walking the Freedom Trail, exploring the city’s museums, discovering its distinct neighborhoods, sampling craft beers, experiencing its sports culture, indulging in New England cuisine, exploring shopping and dining on Newbury Street, enjoying outdoor activities along the Esplanade, and taking a cruise on the Charles River or Harbor.

What is the Freedom Trail and how can I experience it?

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile walk that takes you through 16 colonial and revolutionary historical sites in Boston. You can choose to join a guided tour or explore the trail at your own pace. Along the way, you will visit iconic landmarks such as Boston Common, the Massachusetts State House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, the USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill Monument.

What are some museums to visit in Boston?

Boston is home to a variety of museums catering to different interests. Art lovers can visit the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which house a vast collection of artworks. Those interested in science can explore the Museum of Science, while families can enjoy a visit to the New England Aquarium and see a variety of marine animals.

What are some distinct neighborhoods to explore in Boston?

Each neighborhood in Boston has its own unique charm and attractions. The South End is known for its brownstones and restaurants, while Back Bay is famous for its iconic architecture along Commonwealth Avenue. The North End, also known as “Little Italy,” offers delicious Italian cuisine, and Beacon Hill is a charming neighborhood with cobblestone streets and historic homes.

What are some craft breweries to visit in Boston?

Boston’s craft beer scene is thriving, with breweries such as Samuel Adams leading the way. Visitors can enjoy a tasting at the Samuel Adams taprooms and explore other local craft brands like Night Shift, Trillium, Harpoon, Jack’s Abby, and Cisco.

What are some sports venues to visit in Boston?

Boston is a city with a strong sports culture, and attending a game is a must-do activity. Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox, is the oldest ballpark in MLB. TD Garden is the venue for the Celtics, Bruins, and concerts, while Gillette Stadium, located outside of Boston, hosts the New England Patriots.

What are some popular dishes to try in Boston?

Boston is renowned for its seafood and offers a variety of classic New England dishes. Visitors can enjoy fresh oysters, New England clam chowder, lobster rolls, and steamed clams at local restaurants and seafood joints.

Where can I go shopping and dining in Boston?

Newbury Street is a one-mile stretch in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood known for its boutique shops, art galleries, and a wide range of restaurants. Visitors can explore this trendy shopping destination, browse through unique boutiques, and indulge in delicious food at local eateries.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Boston?

The Charles River Esplanade offers a beautiful outdoor space for walking, cycling, and enjoying various water activities. Visitors can rent bikes or kayaks, take a leisurely stroll, or simply relax and enjoy the picturesque views along the river.

Can I take a cruise in Boston?

Exploring Boston from the water is a unique experience. Visitors can take a leisurely cruise on the Charles River, admiring the city’s skyline, or venture out into Boston Harbor for a scenic boat ride. Sunset cruises are particularly popular, offering stunning views of the city as the sun sets.

What are some other must-see attractions and activities in Boston?

In addition to the mentioned attractions, Boston offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From exploring historic sites along the Freedom Trail to indulging in culinary delights and experiencing the city’s sports culture, there is something for everyone in Boston. Whether it’s walking the streets of distinctive neighborhoods or enjoying outdoor activities along the river, Boston has countless opportunities for visitors to create memorable experiences.