37 Best Things to Do in Boston, Massachusetts

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Boston Harbor skyline with historic sailing ship and modern buildings

Boston is one of the oldest cities in America, and it’s a true treasure trove of unique attractions that appeal to folks from all walks of life. From its classic New England cuisine to the endless historic sites, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Boston.

The city is a premier destination for learning about America’s early history. But, if history is not your cup of tea (pun intended) and the food scene is more your speed, then Boston has all that, too!

And don’t forget about all of the sporting events. Boston is a major player for the NFL (New England Patriots), NBA (Boston Celtics), MLB (Boston Red Sox), and the NHL (Boston Bruins). Chances are, there’s a game playing during your visit, and they’re always memorable (even if they lose).

Boston Houses

TL;DR

Map of Boston Attractions

Map of Boston Attractions
Nick Furnari / ViaTravelers

Things to Do in Boston

1. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Interior of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston
LnP images / Shutterstock.com

Address: 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115

Isabella Stewart Gardner and her husband, Jack, were avid art collectors. When she opened the art gallery in 1903, it was one of America’s finest private art collections.

When she passed away in 1924, she made sure that her collection continued to be permanently exhibited for educational and inspirational purposes, and nearly a century later, it is still one of the most popular art galleries in Boston.

You may have heard about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum from the four-part documentary on Netflix: This is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist. In 1990, 13 works of art were stolen from the museum and remain missing to this day. There is a $10 million reward for any information that leads to the recovery of any of the pieces, so if you know whodunnit, you could have a nice little retirement fund. 

If you’re coming to Boston for Art and Parks, this area (Longwood) is a good place to stay. The problem is that there aren’t many hotels this way – The Inn at Longwood is the best option for proximity to the Gardner Museum and Back Bay Fens.

2. New England Aquarium and Franklin Park Zoo

Giraffes in Franklin Park Zoo

Addresses: 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110 (Aquarium); 1 Franklin Park Rd, Boston, MA 02121 (Franklin Park Zoo)

Come explore and learn about the animals of the sea at the New England Aquarium. Your family will love observing the creatures in their curated habitats, from African penguins to sea lions. Myrtle, the green sea turtle, is one of the stars at the aquarium, so be sure to swing by and wave hello while you’re visiting Boston.

The aquarium is one of the attractions included with the Boston CityPASS, and it can help with that and help you save on costs if you have booked individual tickets. The pass acts as one admission ticket for up to four locations and is valid for nine consecutive days once you use it at the initial location.

You can choose from the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Boston Harbor City Cruises, Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Franklin Park Zoo. The City Cruises and New England Aquarium need reservations in advance, so consider that as you plan your family fun schedule.

The Boston Harbor Hotel is a great hotel near the aquarium and puts you in a central location to most of the major attractions in Boston.

See Related: Best Ghost Tours in Salem, Massachusetts

3. Harvard Museum of Natural History

The Harvard Museum of Natural History Exhibit
image by Allie_Caulfield is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Addresses: 26 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The Harvard Museum of Natural History Museum is in Cambridge near Harvard University, where you can enjoy a Harvard University campus guided walking tour for a side trip.

The museum is accessible by the subway system, and it’s also included in the Boston CityPASS. Learn about wildlife, plant life, and marine life at the museum. They also host lectures, adult classes, and also puts on special events. So keep an eye out for extra items to do through their event page.

When you purchase your tickets to the Harvard Museum of Natural Science, you also get admission to the Peabody Museum next door. The Peabody Museum features a massive collection of more than a million cultural items from all over the world and is a must-see attraction for history and anthropology lovers. 

See Related: Best Breweries in Massachusetts

4. Museum of Science

A Larger Than Life Grasshopper is on Display at the Boston Museum of Science
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Addresses: 1 Museum Of Science Driveway, Boston, MA 02114

The Museum of Science is a place that encourages kids to learn about STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, and Mathematics) while also having lots of fun. The interactive displays make it easy to understand complex scientific concepts and will keep kiddos entertained throughout the visit.

The immersive exhibits will appeal to all five of your senses. The museum likes to switch up the exhibits to keep the experience interesting and different each time you visit. It is open daily, except on major holidays, and while it doesn’t require a reservation, know that it can get jam-packed during school breaks and holiday seasons.

The area around Longfellow Bridge is full of hotels, but our picks for clean, reliable, and safe places to stay would be the IHG Kimpton Marlow or the Royal Sonesta. Both hotels offer views of the Charles River.

5. Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
Bob Linsdell / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

Address: 306 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Hop aboard a full-scale replica of the 1773 ship where you can dump your “tea” into the harbor like our Bostonian ancestors. The museum displays a preserved tea chest called the Robinson Tea Chest. Historics believe this may be the only chest that survived the Boston Tea Party.

The museum tour includes a 3D re-enactment area, a short film, and access to the gift shop. Afterward, enjoy tea and scone at Abigail’s Tea Room and Terrace.

The tea room does serve heftier food and alcoholic drinks as well. Visitors can access Abigail’s Tea Room & Terrace and the gift shop without a ticket if they do not have time for the museum. 

See Related: Best Places to Travel in Your 20s in the US

6. Fenway Park

Fenway Park

Address: 4 Jersey St, Boston, MA 02215

Fenway Park should be at the top of your list of what to do in Boston. The stadium is a sports institution, a National Historic Landmark, and one of the most well-known baseball stadiums in the United States.

Home to the Major League Baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, the baseball season runs from spring into fall. Nothing is more American than donning your baseball cap, hot dog in hand, and cheering on the Red Sox at Fenway Park. 

While many MLB teams have moved stadiums, Fenway Park is special in being the oldest baseball stadium still played today. In 2012, the National Register of Historic Places added the park to its list for its historic significance to help preserve the site.

I encourage you also to take a guided tour of the ballpark and learn all about its history. Many greats like Babe Ruth and Ted Williams played here under the Red Sox name. Plus, you’ll get to see the famous Green Monster in person. If you catch a game, consider staying at the nearby Verb Hotel.

See Related: Spring Break Destinations For Families

7. Beacon Hill

Houses in Beacon Hill

When you picture Boston, you may think of cobblestone pathways and red brick row houses. Beacon Hill has all that and more as one of Boston’s oldest and most desirable neighborhoods.

While you’re wandering around the area, be sure to visit the George Middleton House, one of the oldest houses on Beacon Hill. The home was built in 1787 and was the home of activist George Middleton, who led the Bucks of America, a local Black militia during the American Revolution. The house is located at 5 Pinckney Street.

While the homes along the Black Heritage Trail are private residences and aren’t open to the public, it’s still worthwhile to stroll along the streets and soak in the history. You can learn about Beacon Hill on tour and visit other historical sites.

See Related: Things to Do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

8. The Museum of African American History

Museum of African American History Building

Address: 46 Joy St, Boston, MA 02114

The Museum of African American History explores colonial life for black communities and their cultural impact on the city. Built in 1806, the African Meeting House is a stop on the Black Heritage Trail and was renovated in the 1885 style. The buildings were used as a church, school, and community hall for free black communities during the 19th century.

I recommend touring the Black Heritage Trail to learn more about African-American Boston history. The National Park Service provides free tours during nice weather, but you can also do a self-guided tour.

Brochures help to explain the historical significance of each location in Beacon Hill. The tour features 14 stops and is slightly over a mile and a half walking distance. Please be respectful during your history lesson, as the historic homes on the trail are private residences.

The Boston Omni Parker House and the Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill are both reputable hotels in the area that come highly recommended.

See Related: Most Famous Historic Landmarks in the USA

9. Boston Common Park

Enchanting sunset at Boston Common with historic parkland pavilion - sRGB color space, coordinates (42.353778, -71.065619)
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 115 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

As one of the oldest American public parks, the park has seen many rallies and protests on its grounds. The Boston Common Park was a campground for British troops during the American Revolutionary War, and George Washington used it to celebrate the nation’s independence.

Today, it’s one of the most popular things to do in Boston, both for residents and visitors. The park is incredibly well-maintained and clean. The facilities are plentiful and convenient, with public restrooms and ample seating areas throughout the park. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, readily providing information and assistance whenever needed.

Built in 1634, the park is part of the Freedom Trail route today and includes a pond, ample green space, sports fields, and more for families to enjoy.

If you’re looking for the best place to stay near Boston Common, it’s hard to top the Four Seasons Boston. It’s also hard to top the price of the Four Seasons Boston, so the Boston Park Plaza is a more affordable option I can recommend. The Newbury Hotel is also right on the park, and more of a luxury option.

See Related: Best Family Travel Hacks You Need to Know

10. TD Garden

The Garden Building

Address: 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114

TD Garden, also known as The Garden, is home to both the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are one of the original teams in the NBA, and the name honors the Irish-Catholic immigrants who settled in Boston over the centuries.

The Bruins were named by the original general manager, Art Ross, who named the team after the term for brown bears that were commonly seen in classic folk tales. Well, that, and he liked the alliteration.  

When the sports teams are not playing, The Garden will do large-volume concerts and other various events. Check the Garden’s event schedule to see what’s on the horizon.

Each year, over 3.5 million people visit the sports and entertainment arena. It has also been featured in some movies, like Zookeeper and Ted. It is a beautiful sight not to miss on a Boston walking and driving tour.

See Related: Where to Stay in Nantucket

11. Embark on a Boston Harbor Sunset Sail

Boston Sunset Sail

Address: Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

Imagine cruising on the Boston Harbor with an 80-foot sailboat. You have a glass of champagne in one hand and your special someone next to you while you watch the sun setting behind the city. There is no better way to see the city skyline.

The sunset tour includes a captain and crew sailing for about two hours around the harbor to see sites like Castle Island and the Chelsea Navy Shipyard.

The crew is knowledgeable about the history of Boston and particularly loves to share maritime stories from when Boston was a key trade port. Food is not provided, but you can bring treats, and alcohol is available.

Check out the other sunset cruise options if the sailing tour sells out. The Sunset CruiseYacht Cruise, and Tall Ship Cruise offer different vessels and price points depending on the type of experience you want to have. 

See Related: Bucket List Places to Visit in the US

12. Paddle Around On Swan Boats

Swan Boats

Address: 4 Charles St, Boston, MA 02116

Riding a Swan Boat should be on your Boston bucket list. Located in the lagoon area of the Public Garden, the Swan Boats are a perfect Boston activity for couples. 

The boats have been around since 1977 and feature a large, white swan on the back of the vessel, hence the name Swan Boat. Wooden benches with red trim allow visitors to relax while a driver navigates and pedals the boat.

The tour lasts about 15 minutes and is an affordable, fun activity. You may even spot the resident female swans of the lagoon, Romeo and Juliet! Please follow responsible nature practices and do not feed them. They get fed daily by the City of Boston animal professionals.

The business has been driving boats for locals and travelers alike since 1870. It started when Robert Paget rowed a boat for hire at the same park. Paget wanted to make his boats unique and added the Swan feature.

He took inspiration from the swan-led boat in the Lohengrin opera. The current version of the boats was constructed under John Paget, Robert’s youngest son. The oldest boat dates back to 1910. Pack a blanket and picnic to share in the park afterward!

13. Charles River Esplanade

Charles River Esplanade Scenery

Address: Charles River, Esplanade, Boston, MA 02116

The Charles River Esplanade is a 17-mile piece of land between the Charles River and Storrow Drive. This is a stunning place to spend a romantic day with your boo. Car parking is limited in the surrounding area, so I recommend renting a bike and using the pedestrian bridges to get to the Esplanade.

In the summer, many people use the paths to run, bike, and rollerskate. Others like to spread out on the grassy areas and soak up the sun.

Independence Day is an exciting time to be in Boston. The Charles River Esplanade is the perfect spot to celebrate the holiday with the Annual 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza.

The Hatch Shell Amphitheater puts on live music, and the fireworks show can be seen over the Charles River. Go early to grab the ideal spot to hear the Boston Pops Orchestra play during the fireworks.

See Related: Best Girls Trip Destinations Around the World

14. Enjoy a Romantic Beach Picnic

Beach Picnic

Address: Constitution Beach, Boston, MA 02128

Surprise your significant other by booking an intimate picnic on the beach. Leave the picnic haul to the professionals and enjoy the sites and experience. The picnic set-up includes a blanket, pillows, Bluetooth speaker, umbrella, snacks, and beverages.

The picnic lasts two hours and gives enough time to watch the planes take off and land at Logan International Airport. Since you are on the New England coast, some nearby beaches are only a short drive or metro ride away.

Check out Revere Beach, Carson Beach, or Wollaston Beach. All are reachable by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Summer will always be busy, so I recommend snagging your spot on the earlier side.

See Related: Beaches in the US to Visit

15. Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library Interior

Address: 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

Did you know a Frenchman was the first to encourage Boston to have a free public library? Nicolas Marie Alexandre was a successful ventriloquist who dedicated his time to developing the idea of library exchanges between various cities and France.

With the approval of Boston’s mayor at the time, Josiah Quincy Jr., the Boston Public Library was founded in 1848. It still took six more years before the library would open to locals, but the space already had an extensive collection of volumes.

The library expanded and moved a few times to accommodate the growing collection. The library is one of the best attractions to explore on a Boston tour.

Even if you are not going to check out a book, the Central Library is worth seeing for the architecture alone. High-arched ceilings, Renaissance-inspired architecture, art, and French details make the library what it is today.

Charles Follen McKim designed the new location and envisioned a “palace” style library, which he did deliver. Choose a favorite classic and enjoy reading in Bates Hall at one of the many oak tables.

Take in the views of the courtyard library by having tea at the aptly named Courtyard Tea Room. Sip some Earl Grey during a traditional afternoon tea, or talk about your favorite authors with a tea-infused cocktail in the Map Room. You cannot go wrong with either experience, and if you have the time, I recommend checking out both rooms.

See Related: Best Museums in the US

16. Boston Athenaeum

Boston Athenaeum
Rlbberlin / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Address: 10-1/2 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108

As a fellow book-lover, visiting one library will not do. You might as well make a day of visiting the different ones while in Boston. Another favorite is the Boston Athenaeum.

A local group called the Anthology Society took inspiration from the Athenaeums of Great Britain and founded the Boston counterpart in 1807. The purpose was to create a safe place of knowledge, art, and culture.

The Boston Athenaeum became one of the largest libraries in America until the Boston Public Library. Like the Boston Public Library, the Boston Athenaeum quickly outgrew its original building. It moved the collections a few times until it found its home in the current Beacon Street location in 1849.

I recommend taking a tour to learn about the art and architecture of the buildings. After, find a peaceful nook to read a chapter or two from a book that caught your eye.

The Boston Athenaeum will sometimes have featured exhibits to explore and fun events like book talks. If you need extra time to write that novel, the library offers day passes, and you get great city views.

17. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Building
Larry D. Moore / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Address: Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125

The JFK Presidential Library was established to honor the legacy of the late 35th President of the United States. The presidential library system began with President Theodore Roosevelt. He provided important artifacts and papers from his presidency and created his library on his New York estate in 1939.

Currently, there are 14 presidential libraries across the United States. They include presidential archives, exhibits, and programs for visitors to enjoy. Before his assassination, President John F. Kennedy agreed to provide his presidential papers like his predecessors.

After leaving the Oval Office, he selected Cambridge, Massachusetts, to be the library’s location and office. Unfortunately, President Kennedy did not get to enjoy his new office. The young president was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

After President Kennedy’s death, the Kennedy family was heavily involved in developing the library and museum. Due to significant delays at the original Cambridge location, a ten-acre site on the water was chosen instead. Sixteen years after President Kennedy’s death, the library and museum opened in 1979.

Some of the permanent exhibits provide a glimpse into President Kennedy’s youth, his 1960 election, his space program legacy, and the life of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The archives have documents, photos, audio, and other artifacts. They even include a majority of Ernest Hemingway’s manuscripts.

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18. Mary Baker Eddy Library

Address: 210 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

Who is Mary Baker Eddy, you may ask? She founded The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Christian Science. The library welcomes visitors of any religious affiliation to come and learn about Mary Baker Eddy’s incredible life and how she came to found Christian Science.

The Mary Baker Eddy Library is most known for its Mapparium. The Church commissioned architect Chester Lindsay Churchill to build the stained-glass globe, which represents the global influence and reach of Christian Science.

Today, the globe is considered a historical artifact as it shows the world as it was in 1935. Countries have come and gone, and who knows what the world will look like in another 50 years! Don’t forget to check out the library’s podcast Seekers and Scholars to learn more about Christian Science.

19. Boston Public Garden

Monument in Boston Public Garden

Address: 4 Charles St, Boston, MA 02116

If you have not caught on yet, the 19th century was a booming time for the Boston area. In 1837, the city and America opened its first botanical garden with the Public Garden.

The park is part of Boston’s “Emerald Necklace,” a strategic landscape design resembling an emerald necklace. It covers over 1,000 acres of parks linked together by parkways and waterways.

Florals became a key component and inspired gardeners to create colorful hybrids and landscape designs. Today, you can see over 80 different species of plants, and the tulips are easily the show’s star in the springtime. Book a guided bicycle tour to explore the beauty of Boston.

The lagoon and swan boats are the most popular spots in the garden. On the north end, please stop by the 1987 Nancy Schön sculpture of a mother mallard leading her eight little ducklings.

See Related: List of US National Monuments

20. Castle Island

Castle Island
Robert Linsdell from St. Andrews, Canada / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

Address: 2010 William J Day Blvd, Boston, MA 02127

Part of a peninsula in the Boston Harbor, the name Castle Island is somewhat misleading as it has not been an island since 1928. The island was used as an outpost to help fortify the port town.

Today, the island is a popular destination for area residents and visitors. Since it is no longer an island, then you do not have to hop on a ferry or boat to go visit. There is a free parking lot by the fort, or you can take a bus or the red line of the subway. 

Stroll along the Harborwalk around the 22-acre island or spend a fun day at Pleasure Bay Beach. If you are in the area for the July 4th holiday, watch the USS Constitution do her annual turn-around at the fort. Once at Castle Island, she fires off 21 guns to celebrate the nation’s hard-fought independence. Nicknamed “Old Ironsides,” it is the oldest ship (1797) in US service. 

21. Walk the Freedom Trail

Freedom Trail
myself (User:Piotrus) / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Freedom Trail experience is a walking route you can do self-guided or through a tour. There are 16 historical sites along the two-and-a-half-mile route through downtown Boston and Charlestown (Boston’s oldest neighborhood).

Instead of following the “yellow brick road” like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, visitors use a physical red line marked on the sidewalks to find the way. Since the trail is outdoors, you can take a long walk with Fido while learning about Boston’s history.

Join a small group walking tour, and if you are doing a self-guided tour, there is no specific start or end to the route, and you can go at your own pace.

22. Old North Church

Old North Church

Address: 193 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

A cornerstone of the city’s history, the Old North Church is still active today and aligned with the Episcopalian teachings of the Anglican Communion. As a history enthusiast, I was thrilled to visit such an iconic and significant landmark. The church’s architecture and interior were stunning, with intricate details and beautiful stained glass windows.

The church is famous for Paul Revere, who used the steeple to light two lanterns and warn the revolutionists when the British came.

Climbing up to the bell tower and seeing the same view as Paul Revere did during his famous ride was a surreal experience. The knowledgeable guides provided a fascinating insight into the church’s role during the Revolutionary War and its place in American history.

23. Bunker Hill Monument

Bunker Hill Monument
Rhododendrites / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Address: Monument Sq, Charlestown, MA 02129

A statue of Colonel William Prescott guards the 221-foot tall obelisk marking the spot where the Battle of Bunker Hill took place.

The battle was one of the first during the Revolutionary War and claimed over 1,500 lives between the British and colonists. Ticknor from the publishing company Ticknor & Fields first recommended the war memorial on the hill.

Since this is located in Charlestown, we’d recommend combining this attraction with other nearby attractions like the USS Constitution and the USS Constitution Museum. Travel smarter, not harder!

See Related: Most Famous Historic Landmarks in the USA

24. Join a Whale Watching Tour

Whale

Address: 1 Long Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

Get some fresh air and book a seat on a catamaran where you will likely see humpback whales, finback whales, minke whales, and white-sided dolphins. You’ll also have a fabulous view of the Boston skyline as you set sail around the Boston harbor islands in search of whales.

The best months for Boston whale-watching cruises are May through October before the North Atlantic gets too cold and the whales migrate to warmer waters.

These whale-watching tours are popular, so book way in advance. Book an early morning tour if you are prone to seasickness, as the wind causes choppier water later in the day. If you can brave the waters, whale watching is one of the more exciting things in Boston. 

See Related: Best Whale Watching Places in the World

25. Museum of Fine Arts

Sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts

Address: 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

The Museum of Fine Arts is one of Boston’s most popular art galleries and houses over 100 permanent and traveling exhibits.

Before you enter this monolith of history and the arts, you’ll notice a rather evocative statue outside. In front of the museum, a prominent Native American opens his arm to the sky while on horseback. The statue is called “Appeal to the Great Spirit.”

The artist Cyrus Dallin, created three similar statues in his Native American series. The Boston statue was the last of the series created in 1908 and was installed in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1912. The figure was only supposed to be temporary, but it is now a key relic for the museum.

Once inside, travel worldwide and admire artifacts from long-gone civilizations and paintings galore. View prints from famous artists like Picasso and Rembrandt and peruse Italian paintings from the Renaissance period. Take a break by enjoying the peaceful Japanese garden.

The museum likes to do special events and lectures, so stay current on its program offerings. Some experiences include fall and summer studio art classes for kids, teens, and adults.

See Related: Road Trip Ideas in the US

26. Boston Children’s Museum

Boston Children's Museum
Ben+Sam / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Address: 308 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

This museum is more for the 1 – 5 year age range, as they explore their surroundings and learn by doing! The Boston Children’s Museum has over 20 interactive exhibits for kids to use their curiosity and problem-solving skills.

Does your little one get excited about trucks and building things? Take them to the “Construction Zone” exhibit, where they can ride a Bobcat (safely, of course) and learn about city-building.

Show your tot how to appreciate Japanese culture by taking them to the Japanese House. It is a life-sized home where you can learn about Japanese customs, ceremonies, art, and more.

The “Countdown to Kindergarten” exhibit helps pre-kindergarten children learn what to expect at school when the big day finally comes. The mock classroom helps them understand skills like waiting for a toy or making a friend on the first day.

This museum has no cafeteria or eatery, but you can bring snacks to a designated area. They ask parents to leave nuts and nut butter at home for visitor safety due to common nut allergies.

27. Paul Revere House

Address: 19 N Square, Boston, MA 02113

Americans will remember being taught the cry, “The British are coming! The British are coming!” as Paul Revere rode horseback along the Boston streets to warn the patriots. But that is not exactly how the story goes. He instead used lanterns to warn his fellow revolutionists quietly.

What is true, however, is Paul Revere lived a full life after the Revolutionary War. He fathered eight children (oof) with his wife, Sarah Orne, before she passed away, and then eight more with his second wife, Rachel Walker (double oof).

He became a successful store owner and opened a hardware store in downtown Boston. He passed at 83 in 1818, which was an unusually long life. Good on you, Paul.

The original home was built in 1680 for the minister and his family of the Second Church of Boston. It, unfortunately, succumbed to the Great Fire of 1670, so a larger townhome was built on the site in 1674. Revere purchased the home in 1770, and the family-owned the property before selling it in 1800.

The house went through several iterations as housing and shops before being re-purchased by Revere’s descendants in 1902. It reopened to the public as a museum in 1908. Today, you can see how the house would have looked during Revere’s life and in colonial times.

See Related: Warm Winter Backpacking Destinations

28. Cheers on Beacon Hill

Cheers on Beacon Hill Entrance
User: (WT-shared) Jtesla16 at wts wikivoyage / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 1.0

Address: 84 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108

Did you know Cheers the bar came before the popular 80s sitcom? The bar was originally called the Bull & Finch Pub and was founded in 1969.

The story is that the producers chose the pub out of a phone book advertisement before they ever saw the place. Though filming did not take place in the pub, it is forever known as the inspiration for Cheers.

Due to the show’s continued popularity, the owners changed the name to Cheers Beacon Hill in 2002, nine years after the series finale. The cast even watched the 1993 series finale at Bull & Finch to commemorate the end of an era.

Though the original basement bar does not resemble the show’s interior design, the owners built a replica and added a gift shop to the ground floor. Even if you’ve never seen the show, this iconic spot is one of the most popular things to do in Boston and a great spot to refuel between sights.

See Related: Where to Stay in Salem, Massachusetts

29. Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Address: 1 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109

A popular spot for tourists and locals, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, makes up 200,000 square feet of retail and great restaurants. It encompasses the Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market. Dating back to 1742, this national historic landmark is one of the most popular things to do in Boston, and for good reason!

Street performers set up along the cobblestone promenade surrounding the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, making it a great family-friendly spot for dinner and entertainment.

The building has seen several historical events, and many well-known faces have graced her halls. The famous concept of “no taxation without representation” during the Sugar Act of 1764 protests started here. George Washington celebrated the first year of America’s independence at Faneuil Hall.

The North and South Market also has great restaurants and more traditional chain stores. Visit the market while on a Revolutionary Story walking tour in Boston.

While you’re nearby, check out the Boston Public Market. It’s just a few blocks away and a great spot to pick up fresh local produce, gourmet treats, and sweets from local businesses.

30. Boston Brewery Tour

Samuel Adams Boston Brewery
blt04 / Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Address: 2 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

Boston has a thriving craft beer scene, and you could spend more than a week trying to experience all the breweries that Boston has to offer. Samuel Adams Brewery is one of the top Boston attractions, and a brewery tour is a must.

Though the Samuel Adams Brewery has a national presence, it is still considered an independent craft brewery. Along the tour, you’ll stop at a few craft breweries to learn more about the brewing process and try some samples.

See Related: Cheap Places to Travel | Best Budget Destinations

31. Boston Seafood Lovers Food and History Walking Tour

Seafood

Address: 263 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

Eating a lobster roll and clam “chowda” is a rite of passage when you visit the New England coast. This walking tour combines my two favorite things: seafood and history. Many agree, and the tour sells out often, so I recommend booking tickets early.

They keep the groups on the smaller side, so you can be close enough to the tour guide to hear about Boston’s history during the mile-long walk. Do not forget to wear comfortable walking shoes during these types of tours!

32. Underground Donut Tour

Donuts

Address: 90 Oliver St, Boston, MA 02110

I admit I also have a weakness for donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts (now rebranded as Dunkin) started in the Boston suburb of Quincy in 1948.

On this magical tour, you can visit independent donut shops and bakeries that have gained huge popularity over the years and like to focus on their artisanal donut varieties. Nothing is better than bundling up during autumn with an apple cider donut and walking down some of the oldest streets in America – except eating a true Boston cream donut from Bova’s Bakery!

This little Italian bakery has been open since 1926 and is a staple in the North End neighborhood. It is open 24/7, even during blizzards!

After you get your donut fix, I recommend visiting Bova’s with the whole family or ordering one of the many cannoli varieties. The food and brewery tours are some of the more fun things to do in Boston because you get to know a city through its food culture. 

See Related: Best Boston Tours | Food, Walking, and Sightseeing

33. Boston Ghost Tour

Boston's Old City Hall

I do not think you can visit a town in New England without going on some kind of ghost tour. The towns have seen almost four centuries of major moments in history.

No wonder there might be a ghost or two still hanging around to see how we live today. There are a plethora of different ghost tours out there, so shop around and take your pick – or try them all! Here are a couple worth spending the money on to get your spooky fix.

Boston Ghosts & Gravestones is one of the most popular ghost tours in town, the trolley takes you around to each haunted location. A welcome respite after a long day of running around Boston!

See Related: Most Haunted Hotels in Salem, Massachusetts

34. Haunted Boston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour

Tourists on a Haunted Boston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour
Haunted Boston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour / Viator

Address: 150 Bowdoin St, Boston, MA 02108

If you want to combine some tours, how about mixing a few spirits with your spirits? This ghost tour and pub crawl near downtown Boston and Cambridge Street combines haunts and hops for a fun-filled night of boos and brews that your crew (21+) will enjoy.

Walk by the King’s Chapel burial ground, which was the first cemetery in Boston and houses headstones from the 1600s. Marvel at the architecture of Old City Hall and hear about the ghosts that haunt the building. Cap the tour off with your last stop at Beantown Pub, across from Samuel Adams’ resting place.

See Related: Family Road Trip Ideas in the US

35. Drink

Glasses of Drinks

Address: 348 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

It’s not just a verb (also great to do in Boston); it’s a magical place! If you want a sophisticated night out, head to Drink in the Fort Point neighborhood. Chef Barbara Lynch started the cocktail bar/restaurant in 2008.

The James Beard winner also owns other popular Boston restaurants, Menton, No 9 Park, B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Stir, and fellow Fort Point spot, Sportello.

Drink is known for its craft cocktails, and you can order classics like a French 75 or the fun Corpse Reviver. The place prides itself on understanding its liquors and artisanal ingredients well. They will make you your favorite drink or help create one of your preferences.

The limited menu offers up-leveled pub food like foie gras, pigs in a blanket, or corn fritters decorated with truffle and hot honey.

See Related: Most Beautiful & Best Vacations in the US

36. Theatres of Emerson College

Theatres of Emerson College
Justin Rudisille / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

Addresses: 219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116 (Majestic); 559 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111 (Paramount); 10 Boylston Place, Boston, MA 02116 (Tufte)

Schedule in some night entertainment and add the Theatres of Emerson College to your list of Boston places to visit. In the downtown theatre district, Emerson College has three venues to offer compelling performances to the public. 

The Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre was the second venue in the district and was built in 1903 for opera performances. The theatre expanded her portfolio and also presented vaudeville acts, movies, and plays on her stage.

The college renovated and reopened its doors in 2003 to allow students to put on performing arts once again. The auditorium sits over 1,000, and the ornate details of the gold and red decor are magnificent. Check out the college’s website for the latest available events. 

See Related: Things to Do in Massachusetts

37. Boston Ballet

Ballerina

Address: 539 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111 (Citizens Bank Opera House)

The Boston Ballet Company has been around since 1963, and each Artistic Director works hard to make it a national and international household name. The company prides itself on diversity, and its principal dancers have been from countries like Brazil, South Korea, Armenia, etc.

The Boston Ballet School was established in 1979 and organizes programs for children as young as 16 months into adulthood. The school loves giving back to the community and provides free introductory ballet and dance classes for 3,000 kids yearly.

Several performances are scheduled each year for dancers to showcase their elegant skills. Step into an enchanted world with ballet classics like The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, held at the historical Opera House next to Boston Common. You may even be inspired to take a barre class or two to let out your inner ballerina!

Tours in Boston

1. Boston Fenway Park: 1-Hour Guided Walking Tour Top Recommendation

Boston Fenway Park: 1-Hour Guided Walking Tour is a private walking tour of the home of the Boston Red Sox. Get up close to America's most beloved ballpark as you walk along its hallowed walls, and enjoy hearing stories from your guide about its famous team, the Red Sox. You'll also get a chance to see over 170,000 artifacts and 150,000 photographs that document 100 years of baseball history at Fenway Park.

2. Boston walking tasting tour with Secret Food Tours

Secret Food Tours offers the best food and drink experiences in the world's most interesting neighborhoods. You’ll join a small group of adventurous eaters on walking and tasting tours, hitting up three to four local business per tour. Along the way, you'll listen to stories about the neighborhood's history, architecture and culture - all while stuffing your face with food that you'd otherwise miss without help.

3. Boston: Hop-on Hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour

Boston is a city of history and sights. Hop aboard the Boston Trolley Tour and see over 100 attractions in 1 or 2 days. Learn about the city’s past, present, and future as you travel through History, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Theater District, Downtown, The North End and more. Enjoy scenic views from double-decker height while protected from rain or shine on a comfortable enclosed trolley.

FAQ

What is the best way to get around Boston?

Boston is an easy city to navigate. Not only is it a walkable city, but it’s also bike-friendly. There are plenty of rental car companies if you’d prefer to have your wheels, but know that Boston’s public transportation system, the mBTA, is the trusted traveling method of most locals and tourists. The trains will get you anywhere in the city, including the airport, and the commuter rail will take you to cities outside Boston. 

What is the best time of year to visit Boston?

Like many New England towns, fall is the best time of year to visit. New England’s fall foliage is world-renowned, and Boston’s certainly won’t disappoint. Plus, the cooler temperatures are ideal for walking around the town and enjoying sights like Copley Square, the North End, and the Boston Common.

How can I visit the famous Harvard University and other colleges in the area?

Harvard University has a visitor center for anyone wanting more information on this historic college in Boston. While parking may be tricky, you can always take the red-line train and get off at the Harvard stop. 

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Sheena McGuire
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Sheena McGuire

Sheena McGuire is an experienced travel writer, narrating captivating tales from remote corners and bustling cities alike. Your passport to the world.

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