Activities, Photos, Videos, Things to do, and Trip Planning Advice for Your Trip to Boston, MA
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.
Some of Boston's most well known and visited attractions: ideas for fun stuff to do
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!
Things to keep in mind when traveling to Boston
- 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.
All about the city of Boston - on video
Here are some of Boston's most recognizable hot spots all in one video:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Boston is one of America's most expensive cities to live in. Luckily, there are ways to live cheap in the city.
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.
Forgot a Sox souvenir on your last trip? Don't worry, Ebay has you covered:
Jackie Bradely JR 2013 Bowman Top 100 #43 Red Sox
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.
An education experience for children, all about the city of Boston!
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!
Photo of Massachusetts State House by flickr user David Paul Ohmer under Creative Commons 2.0.