Whether you’re spending 24 hours or 24 years in Boston, there are some foundational Bostonian experiences. We’ve covered the main bases when it comes to things to do in Boston. From camouflaging into a lively crowd of Boston sports fans at a league game, to tasting your way through Boston history-you must do try the things below at least once in Boston.
Without further ado, these are the best things to do in Boston!
An estimated 25 million people visit Boston each year. That is crazy considering our population is under 1 million! Boston is synonymous with American history and boasts many exiciting tourism activities no matter your interests.
Operating since 1994, Boston Duck Tours are a city staple. They are perhaps one of the most “touristy” things you can ever do in the city. But that’s because you get the most in depth debriefing on the major hubs of Boston. The amphibian vehicles tour the streets before descending into the Charles River for a boat tour of the city!
Boston is an effervescent city! Marked by an astounding education system and some of the best colleges in the world. Most famously, Harvard, is a must visit! Technically it is in Boston’s sister city, Cambridge, which is also a must visit while in Boston!
Tour the campus grounds, law school if you’re a Legally Blonde fan, and make sure to enjoy some food in Harvard Square!
A popular attraction with locals and tourists alike, View Boston allows for a city vantage point 750-feet above! It’s especially stunning at sunset. Plus, check out the skyline dining for the perfect views of the city while you enjoy an enchanting meal.
America’s third largest public library, the Boston Public Library or BPL for short, is an enchanting showcase of 24 million media. And hidden inside is a refined tea experience adjacent to the courtyard. It’s a hidden gem and a must for tourists and locals alike!
Pro tip: Open a free Boston Public Library card if spending a prolonged time in Boston and enjoy these 20 perks!
As one of America’s oldest municipalities, founded in 1630, the history in Boston is rich and extensive! Here are a few of the Boston classics to travel into the past.
A Boston classic. 40,000 people travel this 2.5-mile-long trail each year.
It was first conceived in 1951 and takes you through 16 historical sites of Boston, including the Boston Common and Bunker Hill monument. While just 2.5 miles, if you plan to stop and observe all 16 sites, you can allot about 2 hours to complete the entire Freedom Trail.
Have a picnic in the Boston Public Garden
The Boston Public Garden is America’s first public garden, and a great one at that! It’s stunning during all four seasons, from the foliage ablaze in the fall to the first blooms of spring to the flake dusted trees of winter and the vibrancy of the summer! We love the nearby cheese board purveyor, Kured and refreshments from DeLuca’s on Charles Street for the ideal picnic in the garden.
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum has everything you need to blast into the past. Explore their tea tasting room and throw some tea overboard* where the actual event took place centuries ago.
*Don’t worry the tea crates are affixed to the boat.
A new addition to Boston is the 21-stop Innovation Trail. Many revolutionary items were invented in Boston, from the telephone to medical anesthesia. The Innovation Trail is a self-guided tour that takes you on the journey to explore them all and energize your inner inventor!
What is Boston if not the greatest sports city in the world? Our teams are legendary, and we’ve got over 40 titles to prove it!
Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, a day at Fenway is a necessity. The baseball season runs from late March through October.
Between the competition, weather, color-coordinated crowd in red, white, and blue, and stadium food, Fenway is a quintessential Boston experience! If you really can’t get behind baseball or visit in the offseason, the concerts at Fenway are just as spectacular.
Basketball in Boston is elite. Celtics fans are loyal, and a bit spicy! The energy in-person at a Celtics game is contagious! If you can’t get tickets to a game, these nearby restaurants are another great place to watch or grab a post-game bite!
Watch the Bruins battle it out at TD Garden
Basketball and hockey season run at about the same time, so you can catch a Celtics game one day and the next day catch an ice hockey game featuring Boston’s Bruins! We know…it’s magic!
Voyage to Gillette Stadium for a Patriots game
Then there’s of course, football. If you’re a Bostonian and you still haven’t made it out for a Pats game in Foxboro, this is your sign! You can get there via Commuter Rail or hitch a ride. According to a recent study, Patriots fans are 11% “more passionate” than any other NFL fans.
Head of the Charles happens every year in October. It is the largest regatta in the entire world, and it takes place right on Boston’s Charles River. The best rowers in the world compete on Boston’s waters for 3 days of sports, style, and delicious food!
One of the world’s most prestigious marathons, the Boston Marathon has been around since 1897. It takes place every Patriot’s Day and over 30,000 participants compete. Cheering is so fun, but if you’re feeling bold, try the 26-mile race for yourself!
You’ve gotta make room for some Boston bites! They’re scrumptious and a source of comfort for the most seasoned Bostonians.
Lobster roll, pronounced “lobstah roll,” is a heavenly toasted bun surrounding a cascade of hot or cold lobster. We prefer them hot with butter, fyi! These are the best lobster rolls in New England, according to Bostonians.
With a side of clam chowda
And claw chowder is an essential New England dish. Pretty much any place that serves New England seafood will also have a trustworthy clam chowder.
Boston Cream Pie originated at the Parker House Hotel in 1856 Boston. The hotel still serves the same recipe to this day!
Determine who has the better cannoli on Hanover Street
Mike’s? or Modern?
It’s an open-ended question that simply doesn’t have an answer, until you give them both a try! Grab a cannoli in the North End at these Italian pastry shops and determine for yourself who makes the better cannoli! If you like Italian food and want to take some more bites of Boston, this North End food tour is a foodie dream!
Nature & Wellness
Despite our insufferable and ever-changing weather, Boston is actually a great city for the outdoorsperson! Every season offers a new activity weather it be skiing in winter or exploring New England beaches in summer!
Repeatedly recognized as one of America’s premiere outdoor ice-skating rinks, Frog Pond is the perfect wintertime activity in Boston. Show off your moves on the ice or do your very best not to fall down, and enjoy the ice.
Pro tip: holiday weekend lines are insane! Try to go at night to catch the holiday lights, but during a weekday when it is less busy!
Walk, bike, kayak, or just relax on one of the docks. The esplanade is a Boston treasure. And it never gets old.
No wonder it was selected as one of “America’s best riverwalks.”