12 Best Things To Do in Boston

Ashley Akridge - Freelance Writer

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There's a lot to see and do in Boston, Massachusetts. It's a beautiful city packed with historical sites, an abundance of art galleries, and a lively restaurant scene. The city has a rich history as the nation's capital, it's been home to many influential writers, and it played a major role in the American Revolution.

Boston is well-known for its rich history, thriving arts and culture scene, and exceptional higher educational institutions. Whether you're a Boston native or are planning a trip from out of town, there are many things to do in Boston. Here are the best things to do in Boston for visitors.

Boston is a literary city and has been home to many influential writers. The city has several literary landmarks and institutions, including the Old Corner Bookstore, where poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is said to have written his famous poem "Paul Revere's Ride" after hearing the news of the British raid on Lexington and Concord.

Spectacle Island

Gorgeous views of Spectacle Island from the top of the hill after hiking

Spectacle Island is located in Boston Harbor, near Logan Airport. The island is a wildlife refuge, and the only way to reach it is by ferry. The island has a lot of wildlife, including harbor seals, herons, and gulls. It's also a popular place for birdwatchers to visit.

The island is also a popular place for recreation and popular with families. On the island, there is a restaurant, a nature center, and a sandy beach.

The island used to be called Hog's Island, but it was changed to Spectacle Island in the 19th century. The island was changed to keep people from calling it Hog's Island. It was named after the island's shape; it looks like a pair of glasses. The island used to be a prison. You can take a private sail cruise to get to the island and do some sightseeing around the harbor as well.


The Boston Athenæum

Boston is one of the oldest, ancient and most known cities in the U.S. and one of its most historic places. There are many sites to visit that tell the story of the nation's history and the development of democracy.
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile walking path that you can walk to see many historical sites in Boston, including the Granary Burying Ground, the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere's House and the Old North Church. The popular and flexible hop-on and hop-off trolley tour of Boston will take you to this destination if you want to include it in your trip.

The Statue of Paul Revere

Paul Revere Statue in Boston, Massachusetts

While you're in Boston, don't miss the opportunity to see the statue of Paul Revere at the intersection of North Square and Lincoln St. in the North End. Revere was a patriot who contributed to the American Revolution by fighting in the North End against the British in the battle of Lexington, and his house was his headquarters during the battles of Lexington and Concord.

Explore Boston's Freedom Trail

Boston Massachusetts Granary Burying Ground Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile walking path that you can walk to see many historical sites in Boston, including the Granary Burying Ground, the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere's House and the iconic Old North Church.

The Freedom Trail is a red paved pathway that will lead you to 16 of the city's most important historic sites. It begins at the Visitor Center in Boston Common and ends at the State House. There are brochures on attractions at the Visitor Center, as well as footprints on the sidewalks to show you where you're going.

Bronze marker on the Freedom Trail

Follow the Boston Freedom Trail to learn about the history of America's revolutionary past. You'll see where Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock are buried, visit Boston's oldest cemetery, and see the site of the Boston Massacre.

From Boston's Freedom Trail to Charlestown, the Freedom Trail is full of historical sites. The trail continues through the North End, past the Paul Revere House and Old North Church, across the bridge in Charlestown. The 54-gun frigate USS Constitution and 220-foot granite Bunker Hill Monument are waiting for you, daring you to cross the Charles River. The trolley tour will get you to these spots as well.

USS Constitution and Bunker Hill

The world's oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat and berthed at Pier 1 of the former Charlestown Navy Yard, at one end of Boston's Freedom Trail

USS Constitution is the oldest and most famous ship in the United States Navy and was built for battle. This ship is open to visitors who can feel the thrill of living history by going below deck and hearing about the ship's construction and battle history.

Walk across the pier to find the USS Constitution Museum. Inside, you can step into interactive exhibits that explain life aboard naval ships two centuries ago. The Cassin Young, a World War II destroyer, is also here for your touring pleasure.
Approximately ten minutes away from Charlestown Navy Yard is the Bunker Hill Monument and Museum; it is part of Boston National Historical Park. The 221-foot-tall monument commemorates the site of the first pitched battle of the American Revolution.

Take a Tour of Fenway Park

American League Red Sox play the National League Mets in Fenway Park in Boston

Home of the Red Sox, Fenway Park is a historic sports facility that's just as interesting to civilians as it is to the fans who attend its games. A tour of Fenway starts at the Green Monster — a 37,000-square-foot scoreboard perched on what was once a left-field wall. It was erected in 1934 and was the largest scoreboard in baseball until 1976 (when the Houston Astros installed a new one).

The Green Monster is one of Fenway Park's most recognizable features. In addition, the stadium has preserved many of the customs of the original game. Fans can take a picture in front of the scoreboard from 1913 and also sit in seats from 1935. Some of the seats are as small as 9 inches across, which are some of the smallest in Major League Baseball history.

Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall is located near the waterfront and today's Government Center, in Boston, Massachusetts

Today, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is one of the most visited sites in New England. It is comprised of eight buildings, five of which are shops and restaurants, and three of which are government buildings. While it was first built as a market hall and then converted into shops, meeting halls, and ballrooms, it is now a major tourist attraction of the city.

The Ancient and Honourable Artillery Museum is on the fourth floor. It was once a meeting place for revolutionaries, but now it is a museum with various weaponry, uniforms, pictures of significant battles, and other artifacts.

Boston Quincy Market building and surrounding shopping and dining plaza

The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a vibrant, eclectic marketplace. It contains three long halls dating from the early 19th century (Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market) that now house a lively assortment of shops, restaurants, and exhibitions. The marketplace is made up of three long halls dating from the 18th century that now house a lively assortment of shops, restaurants, and exhibitions.

When it's hot out, Faneuil Hall Marketplace becomes a bazaar. Visitors to Boston can find a variety of things there, including food, performances, and shopping. You're going to want to hop off your trolley tour to spend a fair amount of time here!

Visit Boston Common and Public Garden

The Public Garden, also known as Boston Public Garden, is a large park in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, adjacent to Boston Common.

The Boston Common is a large green space in the heart of the city. It's the oldest park in the United States and the start of the Freedom Trail. Within this free space, there are various monuments and the Central Burying Ground of 1756. You can rent skates and enjoy the Frog Pond year-round. The cemetery is open all year, and you can also see people enjoying Spring, Fall, and Summer.

Swan boat full of people traveling across the Boston Public Garden pond

One of the more iconic experiences in Boston is riding on the Swan Boats around the Public Garden. The garden is filled with beautiful Victorian-style monuments and statues, including an equestrian statue of George Washington and modern bronzes of a family of ducks. If you have the Trolley Tour pass then you're in luck, this is another spot included in the route.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

One of the finest art museums in the country, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has many fantastic exhibits to choose from. The BMA is home to some of the world's most famous paintings, like those by Monet and Van Gogh, as well as ancient relics of Egyptian, Asian, and Persian art. It also displays some of the best representations of ancient Greece and the Middle East.

The Met Museum has just completed the American Wing on the upper level. It is a chronological collection of outstanding art and artifacts from America's history, such as pre-Columbian art, furniture, decorative arts, folk art, silver, glassware, and design.

From a 12th-century lacquered-wood sculpture of a Buddhist Bodhisattva to a Minoan Snake Goddess from 1500 BC, highlights abound. One of the most important pieces is in fact an ivory and gold statue of the Minoan Snake Goddess. The statue in question is 1500 years old and was in fact discovered in Greece.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston

The museum was built in the style of a 15th-century Venetian palace. It houses its collections in different rooms surrounding a four-story central courtyard filled with plants and fountains.

Mrs. John Lowell Gardner's fondness of the arts is clearly reflected in the exquisite collection of 2,500 pieces--paintings, sculptures, furniture, tapestries, decorative arts, books, and manuscripts--in her museum. This reflection of Mrs. Gardner's personal tastes and expertise makes for a charming museum as well as a fascinating intellectual journey through the history of art.

Located behind the original palazzo, an astonishing 70,000-square-foot wing designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano displays extraordinary artworks and contemporary artists without compromising Mrs. Gardner's original vision. Piano's wing does not contend with the original palazzo but instead provides a new space for people to view it.

Take a walk through the Fens after your museum tour. This beautiful green space is full of uninterrupted views of the palace and gardens. It's a peaceful path with a beautiful rose garden which is in full bloom from June through October.

Museum of Science

Museum of Science (Boston)

The hands-on exhibits at this museum are meant to encourage kids and adults alike to gain a greater understanding of science. The 700 permanent exhibits, which cover topics like physics, biology, chemistry, ecology, zoology, astronomy, and computers, are supplemented by lively stage presentations and knowledgeable interpreters.
Highlights include a 65-million-year-old fossil, a domed building that has continual programs, a place to walk among butterflies, and a chance to study weather forecasting. In addition, you can participate in laser shows at the planetarium and star shows daily. The Mugar Omni Theater has a five-story domed screen.

Harvard Square and Harvard Art Museums

One of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States, Harvard has been around since 1636. They offer tours of their campus on foot, led by a student who will share history and personal perspective.

Harvard Yard sits right in Harvard Square, a lively hub for students, locals, and visitors. The area boasts an array of businesses such as bookstores and supposedly more ice cream shops than any other city.

Adolphus Busch Hall - Harvard University - Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Harvard Art Museum is a unique collection of three former collections: the Fogg Art Museum, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. The Fogg has a focus on Italian Early-Renaissance art, the Busch-Reisinger on Expressionist art in Germany and Austria, and the Sackler houses Chinese and Egyptian art.

Arthur M. Sackler Museum has one of the best collections of Chinese jade and bronze sculptures and Greco-Roman antiquities. It is home to the world's finest collection of Chinese jade and some of the best bronzes and vases in the world. It's an excellent place to walk around on your own or with a local guide!

In Conclusion

Boston, Massachusetts, USA Downtown Skyline

Boston is one of the most exciting cities in America, but it's far from perfect. From its historical significance and various academic institutions to the city's many restaurants and landmarks, Boston is worth the trip - especially if you have extra time on your hands or have scheduled an extended stay. We hope you found some good ideas to explore while you visit and enjoy your trip!

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