We’ve done the work so you don’t have to. From the best beaches in and around the city, to local blueberry picking and waterfront dining, we’ve curated the ultimate Boston summer bucket list below. Make sure to keep this guide in your back pocket as you mark things off your summer bucket list! You can thank us in the fall.
Sail aboard the beautiful Adirondack III, a 80-foot pilot schooner of the 1890s, as it glides through the Boston Harbor waters. You’ll view everything from Spectacle Island to Seaport as your knowledgeable crew takes you on this guided tour at sea! Reserve your sailing adventure today.
90-120 minute tours available Friday-Sunday at the Boston Harbor
Sure, you could have an ordinary picnic, or you could have a summer picnic of mysterious clue-busting and riddle-solving fun! Every clue you solve takes you one step closer to your gourmet picnic basket. You can enjoy this experience with friends, or on a date!
3. Go blueberry picking at this local farm
In the fall it’s all about the apples, and in the summer we bring out the berries! This local farm is just minutes from the city and offers endless fields of blueberries and strawberries to pick for your summer snacking.
Menesma Beach was voted as one of the best attractions on the East Coast according to Instagram users. With white, sandy beaches and picturesque lighthouses, it’s a quintessential New England summer bucket list destination!
Ocean House in Westerly, Rhode Island is one of the most stunning resorts in all of New England, and according to Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List–one of the best in the world. Set on the unbelievably clear waters of East Beach, the resort has private cabanas, a spa, pool, and delicious farm-to-table summer dining! Oh, and you might even catch Taylor chilling next door!
Ocean House is located on Watch Hill in Westerly, Rhode Island which is both a 2-hour drive or Amtrak ride from Boston.
Find Ocean House at 1 Bluff Ave, Westerly, RI 02891
Marblehead and Provincetown were recently selected as two of “America’s top coastal small towns.” We know the summer scene is breathtaking here, so come for food, surf and sun!
New England is not only how to some of the best beach towns, but within those towns you’ll apparently find some of the “best hotel porches” to enjoy the fresh air and dazzling views. Watch sunshine reflect offf the Atlantic at Ocean House or find a comforting forest landscape at The Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.
You can enjoy a beach “staycation” by taking a dip at Carson or the Boston Harbor Islands. Both provide the salt water you crave without the need for a full-on travel day. You can even kayak or camp at the Harbor Islands for a little adventure!
Alternatively, the North Shore, which is under 1 hour from the city, has some of the best beaches in the state like Wingaersheek and Singing Beach!
It wouldn’t be a Boston summah without a trip to the “Vineyahd!” Maratha’s Vineyard was voted one of the most “fairly hyped” attractions in Massachusetts.
Some people say that Ogunquit is the closest thing to a European coastal town in New England. If you can’t make it to the Amalfi Coast this year, then this is your best option to traveling local and on a budget! The beach is only 80 minutes from the city and surrounded by cute walking trails, seafood shacks, lighthouses and an acai smoothie store!
Riviera Clothing Company is a local woman-owned brand making bright, playful outfits perfect for those New England summers. Delightful prints come in cheeky names like Gators & Roses or Message in a Bottle. Check them out here!
Test your flex with another furry, friendly, and jumpy challenge at hand…goats! This farm in Georgetown, MA offers outdoor goat yoga on its massive acreage to help you find your zen.
Goats To Go at Great Rock Farm 201 Pond St Georgetown, MA 01833
Jellystone just added 83 new cabins to the campgrounds and this summer, the brand-new waterpark makes a splash! Glide down a massive spiraling waterslide and dive into the summer fun at one of the state’s largest waterparks!
20 Shoestring Road, Carver, MA 02330
Dozens of restaurants in Boston are taking advantage of the warmer weather and beautiful waterfronts around the city. You can’t beat the views or the food at these spots.
Skyline views against the water just never get old. So you know we’ll continue the celebrations at a rooftop! From a Seaport classic to a garden terrace, these are the best in the city!
Diner en Blanc is an annual tradition where cities around the world host a giant get together picnic at a secret location. The dress code is all white and makes for some pristine photos!
Can’t decide between cozying up with a film indoors and enjoying nature? Why not do both! These outdoor movie spots are serving up classics and new hits (many for free) that you don’t want to miss!
Kicking off with Boston Calling during Memorial Day weekend, summer is the official start of concert season here in MA! From Fenway to Gillette, you’ll be able to enjoy festivals and tours from artists like Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran.
From rollercoasters to waterparks, these theme parks have everything you need for summer. Copious amounts of carnival food, nostalgic prizes, and scenic landscapes. Make sure to check out the newly expanded Jellystone with 83 cabins and a 21,000-square-foot outdoor water park!
A huge trend out of necessity during COVID, campervans are here to stay. They provide flexibility and convenience-merging your car and hotel into one. It’s time to take that New England tour you’ve been dreaming about, and here are 12 quaint towns to get started.
Autocamp Cape Cod merges the nature of camping with the glamour of a Cape Cod resort! Get the best of both worlds on this trip, plus lots of time at sea, land and making s’mores under the starlight.
South End’s biggest outdoor market is back! SoWa is perfect for those Sundays where you want to “do the most” but without running all over the place. It’s a one-stop-shop for food, art, mingling, outdoor time, vintage shopping and more!
Take advantage of those long summer days and ogle at the stunning sunrises and sunsets of the 617. From the Charles River docks to the more labor-intensive vantage points caught atop the Blue Hills mountains in Milton, here are our vetted spots for sunset chasing.
Summer equals fancy picnic season. We don’t make the rules, just play by them! Take the work out of making a fancy cheese board and leave it to the pros at Chick Cheese Chick! They offer delivery within 35 miles of Needham so get your perfect cheeseboard delivered right to your celebration.
Summer also equals Cape traffic, which as many of us known will suck the joy right out of that Cape outing you’ve been eagerly waiting for. The CapeFLYER runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend and will take you from the city to the Cape sans traffic!
Live out your Mission Impossible fantasy by taking a helicopter tour above the city! You’ll see everything from Seaport to Fenway and can even take a tour at sunset or over the Cape!
This summer, Seaport will host a variety of free outdoor workouts! Yoga, HIIT, cardio and more are just some of the options to get fit for free and in a fun environment.
Red Jacket Beach Resort & Spa is back for the season, and with brand new pickleball courts! The getaway is just under 2 hours from Boston and sits on a private beach. You’ll be in a New England oasis.
Red Bull’s iconic Cliff Diving series tours in 7 cities, and Boston is the only American stop! The city of sports welcomes some of the top divers to jump from a platform suspended 66 feet in the air into the Boston Harbor!
The experts voiced their opinion-Maine’s The Clam Shack is home to the “world’s best lobster roll.” Try it out for yourself this summer and you be the judge!
The Longfellow Hotel will open in Summer 2023. Vogue named it one of the “most anticipated new hotels” in America for the year. Wit stunning architecture and a central location, we totally understand why.
Bountiful roses bloom in pink, blush, fuchsia, reds, whites and more! It’s like stepping through a magical summer fairytale at the Kelleher Rose Garden in the Fenway’s Emerald Necklace.
Tall Ship is Boston’s 245-foot mahogany floating restaurant. It’s a must add to your bucket list if you’re a fan of waterfront dining!
Go a little old-school and watch an outdoor movie from the comfort of your car! Go all out with snacks and even set up a cozy seating situation in the tailgate for the ultimate summer drive-in movie experience.
Some of the best ice cream shops in the country are here in Boston according to the Thrillist, The New York Times and more-hint, hint- Toscanini’s! And part of the reason why is because they have flavors you certainly can’t find elsewhere like Miso Banana, Australian Malt, and the infamous B3-brown butter, brown sugar, brownie! Check out the funky flavors at Tosc and other shops around the city!
Revere, the world’s first public beach hosts its annual sand sculpture festival this year on July 28-30! It’s one of the largest summer events in the state, so you can’t miss it.
38. Hike the Mohegan Bluffs of Block Island
Block Island is one of the hidden treasures of New England. The tiny island off the coast of Rhode Island and New York’s Hamptons is just gobsmacking-clear blue waters, a hiking trail akin to Malibu, and tall lighthouses.
39. Check out the unreal seafood scene at Nightshade Noodle Bar
James Beard nominee, Chef Rachel Miller, runs the legendary award-winning Nightshade Noodle Bar in Lynn, MA. During the summers they have plenty of seafood on the menu offering refined options of all of your favorites like lobster rolls, fried crab, and clams galore!
40. Learn to surf in Hull or Newport
No need to travel to Oahu, you can learn to surf right here in New England. Two popular surf spots- Hull in Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island!
41. Ride horses and ponies on the beach with Rustic Rides Horseback Riding
You can book a beautiful, guided beach ride with Rustic Rides Horseback Riding. There are also pony rides for the kiddos. Rides start at $100 an hour and welcome all experience levels!
42. Rent a scooter and go for an oceanfront ride in Rhode Island
If you prefer that your ride isn’t a living animal but instead a mini car or Vespa, then check out Scooter World in Newport for rentals! You can take a Polaris Slingshot, Scooter, Trek Bicycle or adorable Scoot Coupe and ride around the Ocean State!
43. Explore a famous lighthouse
Nubble Lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the East Coast, and with good reason. Built in 1879, the historic lighthouse sits at the tip of York, Maine.
If you’re seeking a luxurious waterfront getaway to treat yourself this summer, Cape Cod’s Chatham Bars Inn was named “America’s Best Waterfront Hotel.” It boast expansive waterfront rooms, farm-to-table dining, tennis courts, a spa, and a private beach.
In Berlin, MA, just about 50 minutes driving from Boston, is a ropes course and ziplining park! There are 18 different ziplines and 110 obstacle courses for outdoor enthusiasts ages 7 and up!
Car-free Sundays lead to care-free Sundays! Starting July 2, stroll through an open Newbury Street and explore vendors, “patio” dining and special events every week through October!
We asked Bostonians the best place to find a lobster roll in all of New England. We compiled the many responses down to a list of the 40 finest! Make it your summer mission to try as many as you can lobster fans! This Maine seafood shack was voted to have the “best lobster roll in the world” according to taste experts.
Boston finally has an observation deck! The 3-story observatory, View Boston, opens June 15, 2023 and has indoor and outdoor viewing platforms in addition to 3 restaurants to mingle and take in the glorious views!
The newest New England glamping destination arrives in style this summer to New Hampshire’s White Mountains! Lumen Nature Retreat is a 20-acre property with 35 Nordic-style accommodations and amenities – it’s a pretty magical place to relax in nature,warm up in a sauna, and then refresh (Nordic style) in a cool lake! It’s about a 2-hour drive from Boston or you can take the Amtrak to Lincoln, NH and then it is just an 8-minute Uber!
This blooming awesome farm festival in June and July is a must-see attraction! Rows and rows of lavender line sweeping views of Mount Wachusett for a breathtaking scene. You can also walk the fields, taste fresh lavender honey, snap photos and more!
Boston Electric Boats has a stellar ‘be your own captain’ boat rental! This summer, grab some friends, snacks, and beats and head out into the harbor for a day at sea! It’s super fun and easy to steer these Duffy electric boats. Reserve your boat here.
52. Groove out at the Newport Jazz Festival
Get jazzed about the return of Newport’s beloved music festival! Running August 4-6 there will be over 50 unique jazz artists and ensembles to enjoy. If jazz isn’t your thing, you can check out the Newport Folk Festival running July 28-30.
The Latin-inspired restaurant in Seaport is spicing things up this summer season and it’s about to get amplified! On Saturdays and Sundays at Para Maria in Boston Seaport, from 7 AM until 3 PM, catch live music and standout eats! Guest DJs include Senad and Mettra and Everybody Loves DJ O! The menu will also include a bunch of new specials inspired by the spicy energy of summer!