Top Ten Fun Things to do in Boston, MA

Activities, Photos, Videos, Things to do, and Trip Planning Advice for Your Trip to Boston, MA

The view from Long Wharf, looking towards the Custom House inside a restaurant. Picture by me.

There are hundreds of free, fun, and memorable things to do in Boston. The city of Boston has some of the best architecture, food, and historical sites in the country, but it also has an amazing group of sports teams, some of the best museums, and most prestigeous universities. With some of the nation's oldest and most well known buildings like Old North Church and Faneuil Hall, great Italian food in the North End, outstanding, fresh New England seafood, beautiful public gardens, a gorgeous shoreline (many of which you can explore in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park), and an intense sports history with teams like the Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins, the city has a lot to explore. Even if you live in the city of Boston, you might just find something new on this page that you didn't know about before, including a list of fun things to do in Boston. 

10 Fun Things to do In Boston

Some of Boston's most well known and visited attractions: ideas for fun stuff to do

Yawkey Way

1. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts. There are historic paintings from local artists, there's ancient Egyptian art, and Greek era art. You'll find also a large collection of American paintings from Fitz Hugh Lane and others from the Hudson River School.

2. Take a tour of the Boston Harbor Islands, and see the beautiful Boston skyline from afar. You'll also get the opportunity to see some local lighthouses like Boston Light and Graves Ledge.

3. Visit Newbury Street and browse the galleries, shops, and restaurants. There are hundreds of shops to visit in this area, and some of the most upscale shopping and galleries.

4. Walk the Boston Common and Public Gardens. It's free, and it's striking in appearance.

5. Drive to Castle Island in Southie to get an up close view of this historic fort. It also has spectacular views of the city of Boston and much of the South Shore.

6. Go to the famous North End for dinner. The restaurants here serve up the very best Italian food in the city, perhaps in the country.

7. Tour the Samuel Adams Brewery. Is a trip to Boston really complete without trying this incredible local beer? Find the brewery at 30 Germania Street in Jamaica Plain (part of Boston).

8. Visit Boston's Museum of Science. This museum has incredible exhibits like the Night Sky constellation exhibit and Harry Potter exhibit that offer plenty of fun for grown ups and kids. It's also a bargain for the amount of time you'll occupy while you're in there. Do check out the Omni Theater as well, an incredible IMAX with movies that are featured just for this screen.

9. Spend a couple of hours at JFK Library. It's not just the museum that's an attraction, but the grounds sit right on Boston Harbor overlooking the Boston Harbor Islands. Learn about the President, the historical events that shaped the era, and more about one of America's most intriguing and loved Presidents.

10. Catch a game at Fenway Park, or just tour the grounds if there isn't a game that day. It's the oldest Major League Baseball Park in the country!

Boston Travel Tips

Things to keep in mind when traveling to Boston

Boston is much like any other city on the East Coast, but has some differences that set it apart and make it a little more unique. Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

  • Boston's bars are only open until 2AM. Unlike NYC and much of LA, Boston shuts down early (lame, but true -- they should change this law).
  • Parking is hard to find and expensive in Boston. Plan on walking if you can, or the T to a nearby stop. Most stuff in the city is easily walkable to if you're ready for a brief walk (about an hour from one side of the city to the other).
  • Logan International Airport is cut off from the rest of the city via the Charles River, making it difficult to go back and forth easily between the rest of the city. You can take a shuttle from some hotels, cabs, or water taxi.
  • The nearest beach to Boston is in Wollaston, in Quincy, or Nantasket in Hull if you're looking for a great beach.
  • Weekend stays are much more expensive than weekday stays in hotels. Weekdays are less crowded and overall more enjoyable in restaurants and locations throughout the city.
  • Drivers are aggressive and the streets are hard to navigate in Boston. There's no easy grid layout of the city, it's very old and hard to remember. If you don't feel comfortable driving, taxis are a better way to go.

Boston, MA in Pictures

A Tour of the City of Boston

All about the city of Boston - on video

Here are some of Boston's most recognizable hot spots all in one video:

Some of the Best Places to Visit in Boston

What to see in the city

  • The Prudential Building

    This building offers a beautiful view of the entire Boston skyline, complete with dining at the Top of the Hub restaurant.

  • Boston Harbor Islands

    This is the most scenic part of the city of Boston. A group of islands in Boston Harbor contain lighthouses, conservation areas, and historic Revolutionary War era forts to explore and photograph.

  • Fenway Park

    Different in real life than on TV. See it in person!

  • The North End

    Some of the city's very best food, and one of the largest Italian American communities in the country.

Recommended Guides to Getting Around Boston

Stuff to help you get around the city of Boston - books that will make your trip more fun!

Would you rather find out the hard way the best restaurants, hotels, and things to do in the city are, or would you rather get real recommendations that will make your trip unforgettable? A guide (like the well reviewed ones listed below) will help you get around the city and make your trip truly memorable. Even for residents, a guide will help you discover those hidden gems waited to be uncovered in the city.

Top 10 Boston (EYEWITNESS TOP 10 TRAVEL GUIDE)
Patricia Harris
Amazon.com:

A top ten of EVERYTHING in Boston, from restaurants to cafes, parks to hotels.

Not For Tourists Guide to Boston 2011 (Not for Tourists Guidebook)
Not For Tourists
Amazon.com:

NFT, Not for Tourists, focuses on the stuff locals will find awesome. In other words, it's the stuff that makes the city what it is, not the tacky tourist trap garbage.

Broke in Boston: A Guide to Living Cheap in the City
AE Enterprises, LLC
Amazon.com:

Boston is one of America's most expensive cities to live in. Luckily, there are ways to live cheap in the city.

Fodor's Boston 2012 (Full-color Travel Guide)
Fodor's
Amazon.com:

Fodor's has delivered a great guide to help you find the best things to do in the city.

26 Miles to Boston: The Boston Marathon Experience from Hopkinton to Copley Square
Michael Connelly
Amazon.com: $13.89

The Boston Marathon is one of the key events in the city. This grueling experience is captured in this book, 26 miles to Boston, chronicling every dip, pothole, and bead of sweat along the way.

Red Sox Merchandise - Celebrate the Team!

Forgot a Sox souvenir on your last trip? Don't worry, Ebay has you covered:

A Drive Up I-93 North To Downtown Boston

See what it's like to drive in Boston on this video

A City Made for Walking

If you're ready for a good workout while checking out the city's best historic places, take the Freedom Trail. It's 2.5 miles of hills, churches, and grand Boston views.

M is for Mayflower

An education experience for children, all about the city of Boston!

M Is For Mayflower: A Massachusetts Alphabet (Discover America State by State)
Margot Theis Raven
Amazon.com: $13.32

With cool illustrations, great storytelling, and a fun overall experience, M is for Mayflower is perfect for any child you'd like to give a good education of the Bay State!

The State House, with Boston Common in the foreground.

Photo of Massachusetts State House by flickr user David Paul Ohmer under Creative Commons 2.0.

Have You Been to Boston?

Recommend a restaurant, something to do, or a place to see in Boston!

Thanks for stopping by! Tell us about your favorite landmark, destination, team, restaurant, or other things to do in the city here!

Comments

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11 leaves
2 forum posts
Fenway is definitely the best landmark. Make sure to catch a game if you're here and grab a bite to eat at the Top of the Hub on the 50th floor of the Prudential. Great views of the city.
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15 leaves
39 forum posts
Great leaf! I live near Boston, and would also recommend that you check out the theater offerings. There is a vibrant theater district in Boston, with wonderful shows, concerts and ballets. While in the theater district, stop in at one of my favorite Boston restaurants, Jacob Wirth, at 31 Stuart street. It has fabulous German food, a huge selection of beer, and is in a delightful old building with wide floor boards and an amazingly constructed old Victorian bar area.
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0 leaves
0 forum posts
Westsox on said:
Nice Guide! I have been to Boston a number of times on business as well as on family vacations. It is a great city with something for everyone no matter the age. My kids really enjoyed the Duck Boat Tour.
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0 leaves
20 forum posts
souvik1 on said:
Very nice article. Keep it up.
Souvik Chatterji.
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19 leaves
11 forum posts
mihgasper on said:
We, non-Americans too often forget how much has some cities to offer. We know a lot about NY, LA and Las Vegas, maybe Frisco and than... If I ever go to Boston, I'll do my best to see a Celtics match!
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49 leaves
51 forum posts
Great leaf, thanks for all the info! We've loved the times we've spent in Boston, it's a great city to visit. It's been awhile since our last visit, but last year we were in Concord so we just HAD to make the time to drive into Boston and go to the Samuel Adams Brewery. I know, of all the great sights, that's where we go? Well, Sam Adams is my husband's absolute favorite beer and he just couldn't be that close to his nirvana without making a detour for the tour and some beer tasting.
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131 leaves
1099 forum posts
You make Boston sound like a wonderful place to visit. I love museums so that would be at the top of my list of places to visit while I was there. Wonderful suggestions for travelers to that city.
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5 leaves
19 forum posts
Very nice page, great little travel guide with great photos and tips. Made me really want to go there soon :)

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