Best Things to Do in Boston

Best Things to Do in Boston – City Full of Charm and Culture

Boston is one of the most historic and culturally vibrant cities in the United States. From world-class museums and iconic landmarks to a thriving food scene and diverse neighborhoods, there is no shortage of amazing activities and experiences in this New England gem. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore some of the Best Things to Do in Boston that you won’t want to miss on your visit. Whether you’re interested in history, arts, sports, or just exploring a new city, Boston has something for everyone.

History and Culture

No trip to Boston is complete without delving into the city’s rich history. The following attractions offer a peek into Boston’s past and are well worth adding to your itinerary.

The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is the best way to experience Boston’s revolutionary history firsthand. This 2.5 mile red-brick path winds through the city, connecting 16 historically significant sites dating from the American Revolution period. Some of the top stops include the Massachusetts State House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Old South Meeting House, and the Bunker Hill Monument. The trail is easily navigable on your own using a map, or you can join a guided walking tour for context at each location. Be sure to allow a full day to explore the Freedom Trail and immerse yourself in Boston’s beginnings.

Museum of Fine Arts

As one of the most comprehensive art museums in the United States, the MFA houses a globally representative collection of over 450,000 works of art spanning ancient artifacts to contemporary pieces. Highlights include an impressive American collection, famous Impressionist paintings, and large-scale sculptures and tapestries. With so much to see, I plan on spending at least a full day here. Check the online calendar for special exhibitions, concerts, and films.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

This museum houses the outstanding private collection of Mrs. Gardner herself in a spectacular Venetian-style palazzo. In addition to European paintings, the galleries contain remarkable tapestries and decorative arts. Take advantage of the courtyard and its seasonal programming. This intimate museum allows you to immerse yourself in art history at your own pace – budget at least 2 hours for a visit.

Boston Public Library

As an iconic building, the BPL is worth a visit, even if you don’t plan to check out any books. Take a free guided tour to admire architectural details like stained glass ceilings and marble staircases. Be sure to also stop by the historic McKim Building and view the magnificent Italianate courtyard. Even if you don’t have time for a tour, walking by this landmark is a must for any trip to Boston.

New England Aquarium

In addition to housing over 20,000 animals, this Quincy Market aquarium is a visual delight. Take advantage of the Giant Ocean Tank, where sharks, turtles, and other creatures coexist harmoniously. Be sure also to check out the penguin exhibit and the seahorse and jellyfish displays, one of the Best Things to Do in Boston. The aquarium makes for an educational and enjoyable outing for all ages – plan on spending 2-3 hours here.

Sports – Best Things to Do in Boston


No city loves its sports teams quite like Boston. Home to the iconic Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics, you’ll feel the electric energy flowing through the city on game days. Here are some top sports activities to experience while in town:

Fenway Park

Even if the Red Sox aren’t playing, tour the legendary Fenway Park, the oldest active ballpark in Major League Baseball. See iconic sights up close, like the Green Monster wall and the manual scoreboard. Be sure to budget extra time afterward to explore the lively Fenway neighborhood with its many bars and restaurants. Tours run year-round.

TD Garden

Catch a Celtics or Bruins game for an intense dose of Boston pride and sports passion. The Garden is an iconic arena with excellent sightlines from every seat. Even if no games fit your schedule, check out championship banners and team memorabilia in the Hall of Fame. Sign up in advance for arena tours on non-game days.

Gillette Stadium

While outside the city, a Patriots game is well worth the trip for the thrill and energy of an NFL Sunday. Tours of the stadium are available year-round for those not catching a game. You’ll see locker rooms, luxury suites, and the field where the Pats made history.

Outdoor Activities

Boston has plenty of outdoor spaces and activities to refresh your mind and body when you need a break from museums and sports. Here are some top options:

The Esplanade and Hatch Shell

Stretching along the Charles River, this scenic urban park is a lovely place to walk, jog, or cycle. Take advantage of the Hatch Shell Amphitheater, which hosts free concerts and performances in warmer months. Bring a picnic or enjoy food trucks while taking in the views.

Boston Common

This 50-acre green space is the oldest public park in the U.S. Rent a swan boat, have a picnic, or just people-watch – it’s the perfect place to relax in the city’s heart. Nearby Tremont Street is great for shopping and dining after spending time in the Common.

Public Garden

For an even more serene oasis, check out the Public Garden. Highlights include the iconic Swan Boats and Make Way for Ducklings statue. This is one of the best spots in the city to unwind – bring a book and find a quiet bench. The surroundings of Newbury Street and Boylston Street are excellent for browsing afterward.

Arnold Arboretum

Owned by Harvard, this 265-acre arboretum is a botanical treasure. Stroll shaded trails among thousands of trees and plant specimens. It’s adorable in springtime – consider joining a guided tour to learn about the diverse collection. Afterward, explore the bustling Jamaica Plain neighborhood nearby.

Rose Kennedy Greenway

The Big Dig highway project created this linear park stretching through downtown. Wander among gardens, public art, and water features. Check the online calendar for free yoga, concerts, and other activations along the Greenway. Nearby Newbury Street and North End are great for exploring post-stroll.

Food – Best Things to Do in Boston

Best Things to Do in Boston food

Every visit to Boston is complete with indulging in the city’s incredible food scene. From innovative New American to authentic international cuisines, you’ll eat incredibly well here. Here are some top neighborhoods and options for dining:

North End

For an authentic Italian experience, wander the streets of the North End. Check out staples like Mike’s Pastry, Modern Pastry, or Bricco for cannoli—cozy trattorias like Prezza, Mamma Maria, and Terramia for hearty pasta and pizza. Be sure to book reservations, especially on weekends.

South End

This trendy ‘hood is bursting with creative new spots. Standouts include Toro for Spanish tapas, Coppa for Italian fare with flair, and Towne Stove and Spirits for New American plates. Plus, stop by South End Buttery for decadent pastries. Plan on plenty of walking to work it all off!

Seaport District

Seaport is a great summer dining destination with incredible waterfront views and an urban beach. Enjoy seafood at Legal Harborside, Italian at MIDA, or trendy New American plates at Row 34. Be sure to end the night with drinks at Bristol Lounge or Drink.


For authentic Asian cuisine at bargain prices, head to bustling Chinatown. Must-tries include:

  • Bubble tea and dim sum at China Pearl.
  • Handmade noodles at Gourmet Dumpling House.
  • Malaysian fare at Myers + Chang.

Remember to explore the shops and sights too.

Newbury Street

While pricier, this swanky strip has incredible high-end options. Splurge on a meal at Craigie on Main, Mooo…or Toro before or after shopping luxury brands. You can also grab a quick bite at the Porter Square Shopping Center nearby.

Food Trucks

Boston has a thriving food truck scene – follow @FoodTruckBoston on Twitter for daily locations. Some top options include Bon Me for Vietnamese sandwiches, Wicked Good Cupcakes, and Clover Food Lab for vegetarian fare and charm.

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Whether interested in history, culture, sports, or just exploring a new city, Boston has something incredible for everyone. From iconic landmarks and world-class museums to a thriving food scene and diverse neighborhoods, there is an abundance of unique activities and experiences to indulge in. With so many options highlighted in this guide, you’re sure to stay busy on your visit to this historic New England gem.

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