35 Things To Do in Boston

By Janet Benoir – May 18, 2024

Boston, in Massachusetts, is a city where the past meets the present in exciting ways. With its historic streets and modern vibe, it offers something for everyone – history lovers, foodies, and thrill-seekers alike. Join us as we explore 35 amazing places and activities in Boston that promise an unforgettable experience.

Freedom Trail

Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston feels like a journey through time. This 2.5-mile route connects 16 historic sites, each playing a part in America’s fight for independence. As you tread the city’s historic heart, the very stones seem to speak, sharing tales of revolutionaries and the pivotal moments that forged a nation.

Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail offers more than just a stroll; it’s a deep dive into the cradle of American democracy. You’ll pass from the hallowed grounds of the Old North Church to the halls of Faneuil Hall, where the air still buzzes with the spirit of debate and decision. It’s a chance to walk alongside history, feeling the pulse of Boston’s rebellious spirit and enduring optimism.

Boston Museums   

Boston’s museums are gateways to discovery, blending the marvels of science, technology, and art under one roof. At the Museum of Science, visitors of all ages are invited to explore the universe’s secrets through interactive exhibits that turn curiosity into a thrilling exploration. It’s a place where the wonders of the natural world and the advancements of technology come alive, offering an adventure that educates and entertains.

Boston Museums

Equally captivating, the Museum of Fine Arts takes you on a visual odyssey across time and geography. Its extensive collection, ranging from ancient relics to luminous impressionist artworks, provides a silent yet profound dialogue with the past. Each piece invites you to view the world through a different lens, celebrating the creative spirit of humanity.

Fenway Park

Fenway Park stands as a testament to the deep connection between Boston and its beloved Red Sox, transcending mere baseball to become a part of the city’s very soul. The towering Green Monster not only adds to the park’s iconic charm but also symbolizes the highs and lows experienced by the team throughout its rich history.

Fenway Park

Even when the stands are silent, the energy of games past fills the air, blending with the anticipation of fans to create a truly unique atmosphere. Fenway is more than a venue for baseball; it’s a vibrant slice of American culture, rich with tradition and brought to life by the collective excitement for the game.

Castle Island 

Castle Island serves as a peaceful retreat from the bustling city, highlighted by the historical Fort Independence. Offering stunning views of Boston Harbor, this area is a haven for those seeking calm and a glimpse into history. The gentle sea breeze carries stories of days gone by, providing an ideal backdrop for relaxation and escape.

Castle Island

The island is a perfect spot for picnics, where loved ones can enjoy time together in the great outdoors, surrounded by the joyful sounds of children and the calming presence of the sea. It stands as a testament to Boston’s unique blend of historical charm and modern tranquility, offering visitors a chance to unwind and reflect amidst nature’s beauty.

USS Constitution 

The USS Constitution, known as “Old Ironsides,” is a remarkable symbol of America’s naval past, anchored at the Charlestown Navy Yard. As a living piece of history, this ship offers an intriguing look into the lives of sailors and the pivotal maritime conflicts that helped shape the United States. Its robust structure and towering masts are a testament to the durability and resilience that have made it a revered icon.

USS Constitution

Exploring the USS Constitution allows visitors to immerse themselves in a unique historical experience, stepping onto the same decks once manned by vigilant sailors. This visit provides a tangible connection to the past, evoking a deep appreciation for the sacrifices made for freedom on the vast oceans. More than just a historical artifact, the USS Constitution serves as a vibrant reminder of the enduring spirit that defines the nation.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a bustling hub where history and modern-day commerce meet. As you walk through this lively area, you’re greeted by the sounds of street performers and the smell of delicious food. Explore a variety of shops selling everything from handmade crafts to fresh local produce, and feel the historic vibe of a place that has been a community center for centuries.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

This iconic spot is not just a market; it’s a piece of Boston’s history, from its role in the revolution to its current status as a gathering place for both locals and visitors. Whether you’re enjoying a meal under the impressive vaulted ceilings or just soaking up the lively atmosphere, Faneuil Hall Marketplace offers a unique chance to experience the essence of Boston and make lasting memories.

Boston Common

Boston Common is a peaceful escape in the heart of the city, rich with history as America’s oldest park. Its paths and green spaces invite leisurely walks and moments of reflection, serving as a communal green space for both locals and tourists. The park is a living storybook, where each season brings its beauty, from spring blossoms to autumn colors.

Boston Common

Visitors can enjoy picnics, ice skating at Frog Pond during winter, and outdoor concerts, among other activities. Boston Common is a blend of nature, history, and community, creating a picturesque spot for memorable experiences right in Boston’s center.

Paul Revere House

Step into the Paul Revere House in Boston’s North End to experience the life of a celebrated American patriot. This well-preserved colonial home brings the era of the American Revolution to life, with its rooms decorated with period furniture and Revere’s personal belongings, giving visitors a glimpse into his family life and the early days of American independence.

Paul Revere House

Visiting the Paul Revere House is more than just exploring a historic building; it’s a journey into the heart of American heritage. It highlights not just Revere’s contribution but also the impact of everyday people on the nation’s history. This site connects visitors with the stories of those who lived through pivotal moments in the creation of the United States.

Old North Church

The Old North Church in Boston is more than just a building; it’s a significant landmark in American history. It was from its steeple that two lanterns warned of the British troops’ advance, marking the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Today, it still serves as an active church, where visitors can immerse themselves in its rich history and experience a sense of connection to the past in its solemn atmosphere.

Old North Church

Exploring the Old North Church offers a glimpse into the lives of both patriots and ordinary churchgoers who played a part in the fight for independence. This place stands as a powerful reminder of the resilience and bravery of those who strived for freedom. It embodies the principles of liberty and faith, encouraging visitors to ponder the profound sacrifices made for the freedom we enjoy today.

Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts State House, notable for its shining gold dome and impressive Federalist architecture, overlooks Boston Common as a symbol of democracy and leadership. It serves as the hub of political activity in the state, offering guided tours that showcase its historical significance and architectural beauty.

Massachusetts State House

This building is rich with the narratives of lawmakers who have influenced both the Commonwealth and the nation. It’s a historic site where pivotal decisions have been made, embodying the principles of liberty, justice, and community. Visitors are encouraged to experience the majesty of the State House, connecting with the moments and figures that have defined its legacy.

New England Aquarium

Dive into the spellbinding underwater worlds at the New England Aquarium, where you’ll be amazed by the vibrant coral reefs bustling with life and the serene presence of sea turtles. This aquarium captures the imagination of visitors with its deep dive into oceanic wonders, enchanting everyone who steps inside.

New England Aquarium

Explore hands-on exhibits where you can interact with sea stars and other marine life. The centerpiece is the giant ocean tank, stretching four stories high and housing a simulated Caribbean coral reef teeming with diverse species. This engaging experience connects visitors with the marine environment, making the aquarium an essential destination for families and sea life enthusiasts.

Park Street Church

Park Street Church, an iconic landmark on the Freedom Trail, embodies the rich history of America with its towering steeple overseeing Boston since the early 19th century. More than just an architectural wonder, it holds within its walls the narratives of a time when Boston was at the heart of American independence and change.

Park Street Church

Stepping inside, visitors are greeted by the serene beauty of its sanctuary and learn about the church’s significant contributions to social justice movements, notably the abolition of slavery. The powerful messages of freedom and human rights delivered from its pulpit throughout history continue to echo, providing a deep, historical connection to the nation’s heritage.

Luxurious Liberty Hotel

The Liberty Hotel, once known as the notorious Charles Street Jail, now stands as a luxurious retreat, merging its intriguing past with contemporary elegance. The transformation from a historical jail to a place of lavish comfort is evident throughout its luxurious rooms and grand hallways, offering guests a unique blend of history and modernity.

Luxurious Liberty Hotel

Dining in the hotel’s restaurants and bars, located within the original jail cells and enhanced with stylish decor, provides a memorable experience where history meets modern sophistication. This fusion makes a stay at the Liberty Hotel not only luxurious but also a celebration of Boston’s rich heritage and its capacity for reinvention.

High Tea

Enjoy the elegant tradition of High Tea, blending British aristocracy with Boston’s unique charm. Across the city, tearooms welcome guests to this time-honored practice, offering a selection of fine teas and delicacies like delicate sandwiches and pastries. It’s a chance to appreciate the craftsmanship behind each serving of high tea.

High Tea

This experience provides a peaceful break from the city’s fast pace, allowing you to enjoy the company of friends and family in a beautifully refined setting. High Tea is more than just tea; it’s an opportunity to reconnect and share moments of joy and conversation in a relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere.

Codzilla

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure on Codzilla, the most thrilling ride in Boston Harbor. This high-speed boat tour offers an adrenaline rush like no other, whisking you away at incredible speeds with sharp turns that challenge the sea’s tranquility.

Codzilla

As the wind whips through your hair and the spray of the ocean cools your face, you’ll feel the pulse of adventure that defines Boston’s spirit. It’s a ride that combines the thrill of speed with the beauty of the harbor, making for an unforgettable experience that’s as wild as it is wet.

Harvard Square

Wandering through Harvard Square is a deep dive into the intellectual essence of Cambridge. With every step, you encounter history and culture, from bookstores that beckon with their stacks to cafes buzzing with the sound of new ideas percolating with every sip of coffee. It’s a place where the academic world and creative spirits converge, creating an invigorating and enchanting vibe.

Harvard Square

The heart of this area is Harvard University, with its expansive campus showcasing centuries of educational heritage. The diverse architectural styles narrate the stories of countless scholars who have passed through, making Harvard Square not merely a place to visit but an immersive experience. It blends the rigor of academic life with the relaxation of casual outings, drawing in both visitors and residents to its unique atmosphere.

Boston Public Garden

The Boston Public Garden offers a peaceful retreat amidst the city’s noise, showcasing nature’s beauty with well-kept flower beds and graceful willows by a calm lagoon. It’s a place where the historic Swan Boats provide a quiet, whimsical journey across the water, standing as a green haven in the urban environment.

Boston Public Garden

This garden is more than just a visual delight; it represents America’s commitment to preserving natural beauty and public spaces. Established in 1837 as the country’s first public botanical garden, it invites visitors to enjoy its verdant scenery and tranquil paths. Whether looking for a spot for contemplation or a beautiful setting for a walk, the Boston Public Garden remains an enduring refuge in the city’s core.

Granary Burying Ground

The Granary Burying Ground stands as a gateway to history, a resting ground for the forefathers whose visions and sacrifices forged a nation. Under the shadows of towering trees, this sacred site offers a moment of reflection to honor figures like Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere. It’s a place where the past’s presence is palpable, inviting reverence and contemplation.

Granary Burying Ground

The weathered tombstones at the Granary Burying Ground remind us of the high price of liberty, encouraging us to cherish and uphold the legacy of those who laid down their lives for the principles we cherish. This site is an essential destination for anyone eager to delve into the heart of American heritage and pay homage to its founders.

Old State House

The Old State House is not only an architectural marvel with its brick façade and striking golden dome but also a symbol of Boston’s significant contribution to America’s quest for independence. Its exhibits intricately detail the struggle for liberty, highlighting critical events like the Boston Massacre that happened just outside its walls.

Old State House

Wandering through the Old State House is like traversing the very halls where democracy’s foundations were laid. This site transcends being a mere museum, serving instead as a tribute to the principles of freedom and the unyielding courage of those who stood against oppression, embodying the core values that continue to define the nation.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Enthrall yourself in a pivotal moment in American history at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. This unique attraction transports you to December 16, 1773, where you’ll join the Sons of Liberty in their bold act of rebellion against British rule by tossing tea into the Boston Harbor. It’s an engaging, hands-on experience that brings the excitement and tension of that historic night to life.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Beyond the dramatic reenactment, the museum offers a deep dive into the era of the American Revolution through a wealth of artifacts and interactive exhibits. You’ll explore the world of Samuel Adams and other key figures, learning about their roles in the fight for independence through stories and meticulously recreated settings. It’s a compelling journey back in time, highlighting the bravery and determination that founded a nation.

Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library is a stunning example of architectural beauty and a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city. As you enter, you’re welcomed by majestic marble staircases, beautifully vaulted ceilings with intricate murals, and quiet courtyards perfect for reflection. Each space beautifully combines the pursuit of knowledge with artistic elegance, making it a must-see destination for anyone interested in history and architecture.

Boston Public Library

This library is a bustling hub of education, boasting an extensive collection that covers a wide range of subjects and periods. Here, visitors can explore everything from ancient texts to modern digital resources. It’s where you can immerse yourself in history, literature, and art. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, information, or simply a quiet spot to read, the Boston Public Library extends a warm welcome to everyone.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Step into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and you’ll find yourself in a realm where art and history intertwine, set within a structure inspired by a Venetian palace of the 15th century. This museum boasts a diverse collection that ranges from Renaissance masterpieces to Asian ceramics, showcasing a blend of cultures and eras. Each artifact fosters a captivating conversation between different worlds, celebrating the richness of global artistry.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Illuminated by natural light that dances through the glass ceiling, this garden breathes life into ancient sculptures and vibrant flowers alike, transforming the space into a living piece of art. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum invites you on a journey of discovery, through its art-laden corridors and its tranquil garden, leaving you imbued with a sense of awe and deep inspiration.

Sam Adams Brewery

Venture into the Sam Adams Brewery in Boston, the cradle of America’s craft beer movement, for an exploration of brewing history and technique. This journey through the art of beer-making concludes with a tasting session, inviting you to savor a variety of the brewery’s distinguished beers. It’s an engaging experience that reveals the passion and craftsmanship behind the creation of each brew.

Sam Adams Brewery

Situated in a city steeped in revolutionary history, the Sam Adams Brewery embodies the innovative spirit that defines American craft beer. Here, visitors are introduced to the heritage of a brand that represents excellence in the American beer industry. The brewery offers a place where traditional brewing methods and creative innovation converge, making it a must-visit for anyone eager to dive into the dynamic world of beer.

Boston Harbor Islands

A short ferry ride from Boston lies the Boston Harbor Islands, an idyllic retreat away from city life. Each island has its unique charm, from Georges Island’s historic fortifications to the peaceful trails of Spectacle Island. Visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, and immersing themselves in the stunning harbor views, offering a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.

Boston Harbor Islands

These islands are a sanctuary for wildlife and a haven for outdoor lovers. Whether you’re kayaking along the coastline, discovering secluded beaches, or enjoying the quiet, the Boston Harbor Islands provide a beautiful blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue. This day trip offers not just a break from the urban environment but a captivating journey into a serene world where history and nature intertwine beautifully.

Skywalk Observatory

Experience Boston from new heights at the Skywalk Observatory. This aerial marvel gives you a bird’s eye view of the city’s blend of historic and modern architecture, offering 360-degree vistas that extend into the distance. Whether by day or night, it presents Boston with a breathtaking panorama, transforming the bustling city scenes into a serene landscape right before your eyes.

Skywalk Observatory

The observatory doesn’t just captivate with its views; it also takes you on an informative journey through Boston’s rich history, culture, and architectural evolution with its interactive displays. It’s an experience that shifts perspectives, highlighting the intricate beauty and complexity of the city’s urban environment in a way that’s both tranquil and enlightening.

The Institute of Contemporary Art

Nestled along Boston’s bustling waterfront, The Institute of Contemporary Art shines as a center of modern artistic innovation. Its striking architectural design houses an ever-changing collection of exhibitions that both challenge and captivate visitors. The museum offers a diverse mix of visual, auditory, and performance art, designed to spark dialogue and broaden perspectives.

The Institute of Contemporary Art

More than just a museum, the ICA serves as a vital cultural meeting point, bridging the gap between cutting-edge art and the wider community. Each visit promises discoveries, with the museum’s dedication to presenting the most groundbreaking artists of today ensuring a continually fresh and engaging exploration of contemporary art’s ever-changing terrain.

Street Art Exploration

Boston’s streets serve as a vibrant canvas where art leaps from every wall and alleyway, creating a dynamic gallery of street art that reflects the city’s lively artistic spirit. Large-scale murals and detailed graffiti offer a visual journey through Boston’s rich culture and history. This urban art scene invites you to explore the city’s heart through a different lens, where each masterpiece captures the essence of Boston and its residents.

Street Art Exploration

As you wander through the diverse neighborhoods, keep your camera ready to capture the stories told through each unique piece of street art. Whether honoring a local legend, commenting on social issues, or simply showcasing artistic flair, these creations foster a dialogue between the city and its inhabitants. Boston reveals itself in a new, art-infused light, blending art with everyday urban life in surprising and beautiful ways.

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill, Boston’s enchanting neighborhood, feels like stepping into a storybook, with its gas-lit streets, elegant brick homes, and cobblestone paths creating a picturesque scene reminiscent of Boston’s historical splendor. This area offers a serene escape from the modern city’s hustle, with its secret gardens and narrow alleys echoing tales from bygone days, providing a timeless journey through the city’s heritage.

Beacon Hill

The neighborhood is steeped in history, once home to the city’s most influential figures. With landmarks like the golden dome of the Massachusetts State House and the tranquil Boston Common and Public Garden, Beacon Hill is a haven of architectural beauty and historical significance. Wandering through its streets, one can’t help but be captivated by the old-world charm and the stories embedded in every corner.

Six Flags New England

Just a short drive from Boston, Six Flags New England is the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers and families looking for a day packed with excitement and fun. With its impressive array of high-speed roller coasters like the Bizarro and a vibrant water park, the amusement park is a haven for those looking to experience adrenaline-pumping rides and aquatic adventures.

Six Flags New England

The fun at Six Flags New England goes beyond the rides, offering a lively atmosphere filled with themed areas, beloved cartoon characters, and live entertainment. Whether you’re enjoying the thrill of a roller coaster, meeting beloved characters, or watching a captivating show, the park ensures a day full of laughter, joy, and unforgettable memories for visitors of all ages.

Boston’s Culinary Scene

Dive into Boston’s culinary scene, a melting pot where the flavors of the world blend into an exquisite symphony of taste. The city offers everything from the freshest catches at Legal Seafoods to the creamiest cannolis in the bustling North End, showcasing a rich palette of traditions and cultures. Every bite narrates Boston’s diverse heritage, marrying tradition with culinary innovation.

Boston's Culinary Scene

Boston is a food lover’s paradise, where the simple pleasure of cracking open a lobster or the joy of tasting a perfectly spiced Italian dish awaits. The city’s vibrant restaurants, bustling markets, and lively food festivals celebrate its deep-rooted love affair with cuisine. Embarking on this gastronomic journey in Boston means savoring each dish that reflects the city’s soul and spirit.

Charles River

Kayaking on the Charles River offers a peaceful retreat right in the heart of Boston, allowing you to take in the city’s stunning skyline from the unique perspective of the water. This activity caters to both experienced kayakers and first-timers. It’s a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility, providing an unforgettable way to explore Boston’s beauty and architectural marvels.

Charles River

The Charles River reveals a quieter side of Boston, contrasting the city’s hustle with moments of serene reflection. This experience not only connects you more deeply with the city but also offers an opportunity for outdoor excitement amid the picturesque backdrop of Boston’s landscapes. Ideal for anyone looking to merge the thrill of exploration with the calming influence of nature, kayaking on the Charles River promises lasting memories.

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a breathtaking green sanctuary in the heart of the city, showcasing an incredible variety of trees, plants, and flowers. This living museum captivates visitors with its ever-changing beauty, offering a journey through nature’s diversity with every season. It’s a place of discovery and enchantment, where every visit reveals new wonders and a spectrum of vibrant colors and textures.

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

The Arboretum serves as a vital educational resource, managed by Harvard University. It offers programs that draw visitors into the fascinating world of botany, enhancing their understanding and appreciation of the natural environment. Whether you’re taking a peaceful walk, seeking a quiet retreat, or looking to learn, the Arnold Arboretum provides a serene and stunning setting that connects people with the marvels of nature right in the urban landscape.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, set on a picturesque ten-acre park by the sea, is a cornerstone of American history that vividly brings the legacy of Kennedy’s presidency to life. It’s a journey through the significant moments of the 1960s. From the excitement of the Space Race to the tension of the Cuban Missile Crisis, it offers a deep dive into Kennedy’s impact on the world and his enduring legacy.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

A visit to the museum is akin to traversing through history, where every exhibit highlights Kennedy’s forward-thinking leadership and crucial decisions during his time in office. It serves as an inspirational experience for all, prompting visitors to ponder democracy, freedom, and the power of effective leadership. The museum not only honors one of the most cherished American presidents but also underscores how visionary leadership can influence history’s path.

Boston Harborwalk

The Boston Harborwalk is a captivating journey along the city’s waterfront, connecting various neighborhoods, parks, and historic spots. As you walk this scenic route, you’ll experience stunning views of Boston’s maritime legacy, from breathtaking landscapes to cozy, waterside spots. It’s an invitation to discover the city’s history, its lively present, and bright future, all while relishing the soothing sea breezes and the calming sound of the waves.

Boston Harborwalk

Serving as a bridge between Boston’s coastal areas, the Harborwalk is also a vibrant showcase of the city’s culture and art. With beautiful vistas, art displays, and opportunities for ferry rides, it offers numerous ways to connect with Boston’s seaside allure. Whether you’re there to observe incoming boats, wander through a dock, or simply watch a sunset over the water, the Harborwalk perfectly reflects Boston’s deep bond with the ocean.

Boston Opera House

The Boston Opera House is a premier destination for those who appreciate the arts, boasting lavish interiors and a rich history of hosting patrons. With performances ranging from powerful operas to vibrant Broadway shows, the venue offers a diverse array of cultural experiences. Its luxurious atmosphere, complete with glittering chandeliers and velvet seating, provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable evening of entertainment.

Boston Opera House

Visiting the Boston Opera House transcends a typical night out, offering a sensory feast that captivates and enchants. This historic venue combines ornate decoration with modern stagecraft to showcase memorable performances across genres like ballet, drama, and musicals. It’s a place where every show is an immersive journey, leaving audiences with lasting impressions in a truly magical setting.

Boston, a city that combines old-world charm with modern energy, invites you to explore its rich history and vibrant life. From Fenway Park games to historical trails and delicious food, Boston offers countless experiences to make lasting memories. Get ready for an adventure in this captivating city where the past and present meet.