There are a lot of things to do in Boston Ma! And it is an inviting and lively city that has centuries of history just waiting to be explored.
A perfect spot for sports aficionados, foodies, art and museum lovers, and beyond, New England’s biggest city has several advantages, and its location on the water makes it an ideal spot for all things maritime.
While there are tons of great things worth your time in Boston, look no further than a local’s guide to the top 30 things to do in Boston. And you might even learn some of the best nicknames for Boston along the way.
- Best Time to Visit Boston Massachusetts
- 30 Awesome Things to do in Boston Ma
- The Freedom Trail | Revolutionary War History
- faneuil hall marketplace
- Copley Square
- North End + Italian Food
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- Whale Watching
- USS Constitution (Boston)
- Fenway Park
- Quincy Market
- The Charles River Esplanade
- The MFA
- Samuel Adams brewery tour
- Shopping in Back Bay
- Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum
- Boston Common and the Public Garden
- performing arts in Boston Theater District
- Mary Baker Eddy Library
- Beacon Hill
- Visit a Boston Brewery
- The Seaport
- Boston university
- Boston Public Market
- Harvard University
- Boston University
- Castle Island
- Paul Revere House
- Rose Kennedy Greenway
- Massachusetts State House
- Old South Meeting House
- Boston Museum
- Old State House
- Boston Harbor Island
- Bunker Hill Monument
- Charles Street
- Run in the Boston Marathon
- Final Thoughts on Things to do in Boston Massachusetts
Best Time to Visit Boston Massachusetts
Boston is a great city to visit year-round, but the best time to visit would be in the spring or fall. (The city gets amazing fall foliage).
During these seasons, the weather is mild and there is plenty of outdoor activities to do. In the spring, visitors can enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossoms and daffodils in the Public Garden. Take a stroll through the Freedom Trail, a walking path that takes you through some of the most historical sites in the city. Or take a ride on a Swan Boat, a unique attraction that allows you to explore the lagoon in the park.
In the fall, take a historical tour of the city and learn about the American Revolution and the city’s unique past. Enjoy a day at Fenway Park and cheer on the Red Sox. Or, explore Harvard Square and enjoy the shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions in the area. No matter what time of year you visit Boston, you are sure to have an incredible experience.
30 Awesome Things to do in Boston Ma
The Freedom Trail | Revolutionary War History
Boston is known as the cradle of American independence, and its historical importance as one of the independence movement’s foundational places cannot be understated. The Boston Freedom Trail encompasses many of the most important historical sites, all along a 2.5-mile trail.
The trail is mostly flat and demarcated by a brick pathway, 2 bricks wide, which makes navigating easy. There are 16 stops in total, and you will pass through several iconic Boston neighborhoods on your ways, such as Beacon Hill and the North End.
Some highlights of the Freedom Trail include Paul Revere’s house, the site of the Boston Massacre, and the Old North Church– where Paul Revere hung the lanterns signifying the arrival of the British, “one if by land and two if by sea.” The trail ends across the river in Charlestown, at the memorial to the Battle of Bunker Hill, fought there in 1775. Exploring the whole Freedom Trail is a must-do when you are in Boston, and it’s recommended to budget a half day or so for this activity– it is worth taking your time and completing it in full!
faneuil hall marketplace
Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, MA is a great place to spend time exploring. Located near the waterfront in downtown Boston, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and markets. It is also home to Faneuil Hall, a historic building that is a popular destination for tourists. Visitors can explore the marketplace and find great souvenirs, unique items, and delicious food. The marketplace has something for everyone and is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. There are also several performance stages throughout the marketplace, so visitors can enjoy live music and entertainment. There is also an outdoor park with a carousel and other attractions. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a great place to explore and discover something new in the heart of Boston.
Boston’s most beautiful open square area, Copley Square is the place to relax and enjoy what the city has to offer. Several famous buildings surround the square, and learning about their history is an absolute delight.
Copley Square is home to two of Boston’s most iconic churches, and though they are very different architecturally, each one has its charm. On the eastern side of the square is Trinity Church, a masterpiece of design– this is one of the most famous churches in the United States. This building created a new style called the Richardsonian Romanesque, named after the architect, Henry Hobson Richardson.
The other church located at Copley is the Old South Church which is another architectural gem. The Boston Public Library is also found here at Copley Square, directly opposite Trinity Church. It is gorgeous on the inside, and one of the city’s most Instagrammable locations and best-kept secrets.
There’s a large open-air courtyard in the middle of the building, and the Bates Room on the second floor has the “vintage study decor” vibe down pat. Behind the Trinity Church, check out New England’s tallest building– the John Hancock building.
North End + Italian Food
Boston’s food capital, the North End is a bonafide mecca of Italian cuisine in the area. Due to the number of Italian immigrants that moved to Boston, many of them to the North End, this part of the city is the best place to find top-tier Italian food.
With so many great choices the problem is not if you will find a great meal… but rather narrowing down where you want to go. Despite being a tourist hotspot, the North End still lives up to its reputation for great food and ambiance.
Make sure to grab a cannoli at Mike’s Pastry or Modern Bakery to complete the ultimate North End experience– the “cannoli war” between the two establishments is legendary! Some restaurants to consider are Giacomo’s for fresh pasta (keep in mind they have a tiny seating area and don’t take reservations!); Monica’s for squid ink pasta; and Antico Forno for lasagna. Of course, the quintessential pizza experience can be had at Regina’s. Just one of the many facts about pizza.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA is an absolute must-see for any visitor to the city. Located in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood, this historic museum is home to an expansive collection of art and artifacts from around the world. The museum is housed in a building designed to replicate a 15th-century Venetian palace and features artwork from masters like Rembrandt, Titian, and Raphael. The museum also hosts a variety of rotating special exhibitions throughout the year, giving visitors the chance to explore a variety of cultures and periods. Visitors can also take part in a variety of activities, including lectures, music performances, and educational programs. The Gardner Museum is a must-see for any traveler to Boston and is a great way to experience the city’s rich history. Not only is this one of the best things to do in Boston Ma. But it is also in one of the best neighborhoods in Boston, Jamaica Plain.
One of the lesser-known activities you can partake in while in Boston is whale watching. After a quick ride out from the Boston Harbor to the Stellwagen Bank, you’ll be able to see the whales up close and personal. While this may seem overly touristy, it’s a fantastic experience.
You will be in total awe of how big some of these humpback whales are, and how close they get to the boat! The tour leader will also give you some information on the whales here and their habitat, and the views of the Harbor, the skyline, and the vast ocean are top-notch.
USS Constitution (Boston)
Boston is a great city for tourists and residents alike. One of the best things to do in Boston is to visit the USS Constitution Museum. This museum is located at the Charlestown Navy Yard, and it is dedicated to the USS Constitution, which is the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat. The museum offers interactive exhibits, historic artifacts, and educational programs that tell the story of the USS Constitution and its role in the history of the United States. Visitors can also explore the original dry dock and tour the ship itself. It is a great way to learn about the history of the United States Navy and the important role the USS Constitution played in it.
Possibly the most iconic baseball stadium in the country, Fenway is a must-see for those visiting Bean Town, one of the popular nicknames for Boston. If you are in town when the Red Sox are playing, it’s worth the splurge to attend a game. The energy is crackling, the seats are close together, and the fans are electric.
There are also tours offered for checking out the park if there isn’t a game on, so you can still walk around the stadium where so many of baseball’s greats have played. The Fenway neighborhood has recently been largely renovated, with big skyscrapers, classy cuisine, and nice areas to walk around, especially on summer evenings.
Quincy Market in Boston, MA is a great attraction for those looking for things to do in the area. It is a large covered market with many vendors, shops, and restaurants. You can find a wide variety of food, souvenirs, and other items. There are also live performances and events that take place throughout the year. Quincy Market also has a historical aspect, as it is a part of the Freedom Trail. You can learn about the history of the area and learn about the many cultures that have influenced Boston. Quincy Market is a great place to spend the day, and visitors are sure to find something that interests them.
The Charles River Esplanade
Following along the Charles River, the Esplanade is a series of parks that will be sure to impress. The three miles that make up the Esplanade contain many beautiful bridges, playgrounds, docks, and beer gardens, all with river views of the magnificent Charles River.
While great all year round, the Esplanade is at its best in the spring and summer, when the flowers are blooming and the trees are green and full. There are lots of places to sit and relax by the water and enjoy the sunset.
This is extra special when you bring a picnic as the time just seems to fly by, or you can check out seasonal Biergarten and pop-ups along the banks. The Esplanade is also ideal for riding a bike, due to its long and flat nature and its paved bike paths. You can explore both the Boston and Cambridge side of the Esplanade, and it’s a beautiful way to spend a sunny afternoon in any season.
Boston is home to many great museums, but none of them top the Contemporary Museum of Fine Arts. This vast museum is home to many wonderful exhibits, including some of the best Impressionist pieces found in the US. And committed to contemporary art and conversation.
You can easily spend an entire afternoon wandering through the halls of the MFA, reading about each piece of art–and you will not have had enough time to see everything! The Egyptian section is also an absolute highlight, as there are tons of artifacts on display that offer a detailed look into ancient Egypt.
Even if you feel you have been to tons of art museums before and you have seen it all, the MFA still has lots to offer to anyone interested in art or history. Well worth a visit while you are in Boston for your dose of culture! Nearby is the smaller Isabella Stuart Gardner, a gallery donated by a Bostonian, Isabella Stuart Gardner, which she left for the city in her will. The scene of a famous, still-unsolved art heist in the 1990s, the ISG is a great option for those who perhaps don’t have time to do the MFA but still wish to visit a museum while they’re in town.
Samuel Adams brewery tour
One of the most popular things to do in Boston, MA is the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour. This tour takes visitors through the entire brewing process, from the original recipe to the bottling of the beer. Along the way, visitors learn about the history of Samuel Adams and the brewing process, get to sample some beers, and take home a souvenir. The tour also offers a delightful array of snacks to enjoy while learning about the brewing process. After the tour, visitors can purchase some beers in the taproom or take home a six-pack as a souvenir.
Shopping in Back Bay
Boston’s premiere shopping area, Back Bay is filled with boutiques, whether for some retail therapy or window shopping. The main street is Newbury Street, which is where you will find many high-end stores, but the street itself is lovely and eye-catching just to stroll up and down.
If you want to go to a proper shopping mall, the Prudential Center is what you are looking for. Often called “The Pru,” the Prudential has scutage, a huge Italian market called Eataly and is a sleek addition to the city.
One block over from Newbury Street is the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, a gorgeous promenade surrounded by beautiful apartment buildings–truly the crème de la crème of Boston society. The end of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall connects to the beginning of the Public Garden. There are a lot of places to shop here. And a lot of chic boutiques.
Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum
Boston Massachusetts, Arnold Arboretum is a popular destination for anyone looking for a peaceful, scenic spot to spend the day. In Jamaica Plain, the Arboretum is a living museum of plants and trees, with over 15,000 species of trees, shrubs, and plants, many of them rare and hard to find anywhere else. Visitors can take a guided tour of the grounds, explore the many trails, and take in the beauty of the gardens and ponds. The Arboretum also hosts educational programs and workshops, such as bird-watching and photography classes, as well as a variety of free lectures and demonstrations. The Arboretum is also home to a cafe, where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack. For those looking for a unique and educational experience, the Arnold Arboretum is a great place to visit in Boston.
Boston Common and the Public Garden
There are many beautiful parks in the city, but the Boston Common and the Public Garden may be the top two. The Common is the oldest city park in the country, founded in 1634. Strolling down the many wide paths is a dream and you can even watch a Shakespeare performance here in the summer. They fill the Public Garden in spring with color and life as the many flowers bloom and show their brilliance.
Take a brief boat ride in the Public Garden on the famous Swan Boats, and afterward visit the Make Way for Ducklings statues.
These cute sculptures are often dressed up in festive garb depending on the season. Visiting these well-maintained parks in the heart of Boston is a must– they’re a green oasis smack-dab in the middle of the city.
performing arts in Boston Theater District
The Theater District in Boston, MA, is a hub for performing arts. From the iconic Wang and Shubert theaters to the smaller but no less vibrant Oberon Theater, there is something for everyone. Attend a show at the world-renowned Boston Ballet or take in a musical at the larger venues. For a more intimate experience, catch a play at the Huntington Theatre Company or take in a performance of The Avant-Garde art at The Institute of Contemporary Art. With so many amazing venues and events, you will find something to enjoy in the Boston Theater District.
Mary Baker Eddy Library
The Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, Massachusetts is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about the life and teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. The library houses a collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts related to Eddy and the history of Christian Science. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits on Eddy’s life and the development of Christian Science, as well as learn about her religious and educational work. The library also offers educational programs, such as lectures and classes, to help visitors gain a deeper understanding of Eddy and her teachings. The library has a cafe and gift shop, as well as a bookstore, where visitors can purchase books, journals, and other items related to Eddy and Christian Science.
Boston’s most quaint neighborhood, walking around Beacon Hill is like stepping back in time. Tree-lined streets and old row houses make up this historic area, with charming cobblestoned streets and old-style storefronts. While you are walking through this part of town, be sure to check out the top tourist spots like the recreation of the bar from the sitcom Cheers, Acorn Street, and Louisburg Square.
Acorn Street is often considered “The Most Photographed Street in America,” so be sure to get there early for wonderful photos. Around Beacon Hill, you can also the Black Heritage Trail, which stops at several sites important to Black history in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Must-see sites include the 1806 African Meeting House (the oldest Black church in the country); the Abiel Smith School, now the Museum of African American History; and the Lewis and Harriet Hayden House, a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Visit a Boston Brewery
Boston is a very proud beer city, and with several excellent breweries founded here, it is easy to see why Bostonians are such beer lovers. The most famous brewery is probably Sam Adams. With its classic Boston Lager, this brewery has forever changed the beer industry. You can tour their Boston location and taste several of their beers for free at the end of the tour, which is a really fun way to spend an afternoon. Another great area brewery is Harpoon, which is in the Seaport district.
There are several long tables inside that are great for groups while enjoying a beer and pretzel (which are mouthwatering, made from their leftover yeast!) we also found One of the top-rated breweries in the country in Boston, Trillium. Trillium specializes in farmhouse beers and hazy New England IPAs. Their beers have won many well-deserved awards. Their Fort Point brewery has a cool environment, but if you visit in the summer their outdoor beer garden at the Greenway is the best place to have a beer and socialize outdoors.
Boston’s newest neighborhood, the Seaport, is a modern micro-city inside of Boston. With glittering skyscrapers and trendy shopping, it is clear why so many people flock to this area. This sleek architecture is so unlike the rest of Boston that sometimes you feel you are in a different city altogether! However, Seaport has some of the best bars and restaurants around, from upscale dining to low-key lobster rolls at Yankee Lobster.
All told, Boston is a city filled with activities for any age, budget, or interest. While its history makes it truly special, Boston is a lively and modern city that you will love getting the chance to explore for a few days.
Boston University is in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, and is home to a wealth of activities and attractions. The city is full of historical landmarks, such as the Freedom Trail and the Bunker Hill Monument, as well as world-renowned museums like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Sports fans will find plenty to cheer for at Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, and TD Garden, home of the Celtics and Bruins. Shopping, dining, and entertainment are all within walking distance of the campus, while the Charles River offers plenty of outdoor activities such as kayaking, sailing, and rowing. For a unique experience, take a trip on a Duck Boat tour to get an up-close look at the city. No matter what you are looking for, there is something for everyone at Boston University.
Boston Public Market
This bustling indoor market is an excellent place to find locally grown and produced food. There are over 30 vendors that offer everything from farm fresh produce to freshly baked loaves of bread and pastries. The market also features several eateries and a beer and wine bar. It is the perfect place to find treats and snacks to take home or enjoy while exploring the city.
Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, is a must-see destination for any traveler. With its long and rich history and many attractions, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can take a tour of the iconic campus, and explore the university’s many museums, including the Harvard Art Museums, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Harvard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.
There are also plenty of shops and restaurants in Harvard Square. In addition, visitors can attend a variety of lectures and special events held throughout the year, such as the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony. There is no shortage of things to do at Harvard University in Boston!
Boston University is one of the most exciting places to explore in the Boston area. There are so many things to do, including exploring the campus, attending cultural events and performances, and sampling the delicious food at the many local restaurants.
Students can take a guided tour of the campus and learn about the history of the university or walk around and explore the architecture, sculptures, and art installations. BU hosts many cultural events and performances, including concerts, lectures, and sports events. There are also many restaurants and cafes in the area that offer a variety of cuisines from around the world. With so much to explore and do, Boston University is the perfect place for students and visitors alike.
is one of the most popular things to do in Boston, MA. in South Boston, Castle Island is a great place to spend a day outdoors. It features a 22-acre park, a historic fort, a beach, a playground, and a variety of trails and walkways. Visitors can explore the fort and learn about its history, take a walk along the beach and enjoy the views of the harbor, or take a stroll around the park and explore its lush gardens. There are also plenty of restaurants, shops, and other attractions on the island, making it a great place to spend a day with family and friends.
Paul Revere House
The Paul Revere House is a must-see for anyone visiting Boston, MA. Built-in 1680 and in the heart of the North End, the Paul Revere House is the oldest in downtown Boston. The house was the home of American patriot Paul Revere during the time of the American Revolution. Visitors to the house will learn about Revere’s life and the events that occurred during the Revolution.
They can also tour the house and view its original artifacts, including a door knocker that Revere used to summon his friends to meetings. Visitors will also learn about the house’s architectural features, such as its original woodwork, and can watch a short film about its history. The Paul Revere House is a great way to learn about the Revolutionary War and the life of one of America’s most famous patriots.
Rose Kennedy Greenway
The Rose Kennedy Greenway is in the heart of Boston and is a great place to visit for a fun day out. They fill this green space with activities and attractions for all ages. Visitors can stroll along the winding pathways, explore the lush lawns and gardens, and take in the stunning views of the city skyline.
The Greenway also features a variety of food trucks and markets offering a selection of local and international cuisine. There are also plenty of interactive activities, such as the Carousel, Splash Pad, and the Chandra Levy Memorial Labyrinth. Visitors can take part in programs and events throughout the year, such as free summer movie screenings and concerts. The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a great place to spend a day exploring and taking in all that Boston offers.
Massachusetts State House
The Massachusetts State House is a must-see if you’re visiting Boston. In the city’s heart, the State House is an iconic structure that’s been standing since 1798. Visitors can take a free, guided tour of the building to learn about its rich history and see some of the most important artifacts from the state’s past.
Among the highlights of the tour are the original wooden door to the House Chamber, a bust of John F. Kennedy, and a replica of the Liberty Bell. After the tour, visitors can also explore the grounds of the State House, which feature several memorials and statues. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for something interesting to do, a trip to the Massachusetts State House is a great way to get to know the city of Boston.
Old South Meeting House
The Old South Meeting House in Boston, MA, is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Built-in 1729, it was the site of many important events in American history, including the Boston Tea Party. Today, the building is a museum, hosting daily tours and special events. Visitors can learn about the events that shaped the nation’s history through interactive exhibits, discussions, and performances.
The Meeting House is also home to the Paul Revere Bell, which is rung each year on the anniversary of the Tea Party. The museum offers educational programs for all ages, including school groups, as well as a variety of other events, such as lectures and musical performances. The Old South Meeting House is truly a unique and inspiring part of Boston’s history. One of the most important historical sites in Boston.
Boston is a great city for anyone looking for things to do. One of the most popular attractions is the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The museum houses an impressive collection of works from all over the world, including some from renowned artists like Monet, Renoir, and Picasso.
The exhibits cover a range of styles, from ancient artifacts to contemporary pieces. There are also a variety of special exhibitions throughout the year. The museum also offers a variety of workshops and classes to help you further explore the art on display. Whether you’re a long-time fan of art or just getting started, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is a great place to explore.
Old State House
The Old State House in Boston, MA, is an iconic and important part of the city’s history. It was the home of the Massachusetts General Court from 1713 to 1798 and also served as the site of the Declaration of Independence reading in 1776. Today, visitors to the Old State House can take a guided tour of the building and learn about the history of the city, view historical artifacts and documents, and take part in interactive programs. The Old State House also hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year, including lectures, performances, and educational programs. No matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Old State House.
Boston Harbor Island
Boston Harbor Islands is a great place to explore and experience all that the city of Boston offers. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as kayaking, fishing, and bird watching. There are also a variety of historic landmarks to explore, including the Boston Light, Fort Warren, and the USS Constitution Museum. There are scenic trails throughout the islands, perfect for a day of hiking and biking. The islands also feature several outdoor concerts and festivals, as well as restaurants and shops to explore. Boston Harbor Islands is the perfect place for a day of outdoor adventure and exploration.
Bunker Hill Monument
The Bunker Hill Monument in Boston, Massachusetts, is a popular tourist attraction for those looking for a unique experience of the city. The monument stands as a reminder of the famous Battle of Bunker Hill, which was the first major battle of the American Revolution. Visitors can climb the 294 steps of the granite obelisk to the top and get a spectacular view of the city. At the foot of the obelisk is a museum containing interactive exhibits and a map of the battle’s movements. A beautiful park with plenty of green space also surrounded the monument to explore. The area also has a visitor’s center with a gift shop and cafe. It’s a must-see for any history buff or visitor looking for an interesting experience in Boston.
Charles Street in Boston, Massachusetts, is a great place to explore. There are a variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions to explore and enjoy. There are many local restaurants to choose from, such as the popular Italian restaurant, Donatello’s. For a unique shopping experience, there are a variety of specialty shops, such as the Swiss Watch Store. There are also several museums on Charles Street, such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. For those looking for a bit of adventure, there are many historical sites, such as the USS Constitution Museum, along the street. There are also a variety of bars, clubs, and pubs along Charles Street, making it a great place to grab a drink and listen to some live music. No matter what your interests are, Charles Street has something for everyone.
Run in the Boston Marathon
The world-famous Boston Marathon is one of the most popular and enduring events in the city. The historic course leads runners from Hopkinton to the heart of Boston, and the finish line is a moment of true accomplishment. While the Boston Marathon is only open to qualified runners, there are other events throughout the year, like the B.A.A. 5K and the B.A.A. Half Marathon, that is open to everyone.
Final Thoughts on Things to do in Boston Massachusetts
As you can see, there is a ton of things to do in Boston Ma. But don’t for get you could also take a day trip and check out some of the best beaches in Rhode Island. Or head to wild Province Town.
Boston Massachusetts offers so much to explore and experience. From the iconic Freedom Trail to the historic theaters of the North End, to the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill, to the bustling Fenway Park, to the shops and restaurants of Quincy Market, to the educational attractions of the Museum of Science and the Aquarium, to the world-class parks and gardens of the Emerald Necklace, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this wonderful city. With its vibrant neighborhoods, diverse culture, and abundance of historical and cultural attractions, Boston is an ideal destination for anyone looking for an exciting and memorable getaway.