The city of Boston is a vibrant and historical destination that offers plenty to see and do. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or are a long-time resident, there are plenty of things to do in Boston that will appeal to everyone. Here, we’ve compiled our list of 30 places you should visit while in Boston, including museums, restaurants, landmarks, and more!
1. Fenway Park
Fenway Park is a baseball park in Boston, Massachusetts, located at 4 Yawkey Way near Kenmore Square. It has been the home ballpark of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox since it opened on April 20, 1912. It is the oldest ballpark in MLB.
It is the fourth-smallest among current MLB stadiums (by seating capacity) and one of eight that cannot accommodate at least 40,000 fans. However, due to its history as a well-known stadium, it is considered by some to be one of baseball’s most historic venues.
2. Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile walking path that runs through Boston, Massachusetts, and passes by 16 historic sites. The trail was created in 1951 as a way to help visitors learn about the city’s history. It starts at Boston Common and ends at the Charlestown Navy Yard, with red bricks marking its path along the way.
The trail begins at Boston Common, which is one of America’s oldest parks; it features several statues such as George Washington and Paul Revere standing guard over the park from atop their horses. The next stop on your walk will be Bunker Hill Monument where you’ll get an amazing view of downtown Boston from above ground level (some stairs or elevators lead up to this spot). From there it’s off to Old State House where you can see where John Adams once lived before moving into his house across from Faneuil Hall Marketplace later on in life!
3. Boston Public Garden
Boston Public Garden is a park in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux after they completed Manhattan’s, Central Park. The park was established in 1837 and named to honor George Washington. It has been expanded several times since its original boundaries along Charles Street, Tremont Street, and Beacon Street from Arlington Street to Boylston Street.
The Boston Public Garden is home to many statues including Alice In Wonderland, George Washington on horseback, and The Angel of Victory. There are also fountains with water jets for kids (and adults) to play with! Plus there are plenty of places to sit down for a picnic or just relax with friends
4. Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts is the oldest and largest art museum in Boston. With over 450,000 square feet of art, the MFA hosts over 35,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of human creative achievement. It’s free to enter!
The Museum of Fine Arts is open daily from 10 am-4:45 pm and features a cafe with outdoor seating overlooking the Boston Public Garden.
5. North End
The North End is one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods, where many Italian immigrants made their homes in the early 1900s. Today it remains an important commercial area for locals and tourists alike, with its own distinct culture and cuisine. The neighborhood is a thriving commercial district with restaurants, shops, and other attractions for visitors to explore.
The name “North End” originates from its location on the northern side of Boston Harbor; it also borders Cambridge (Massachusetts) across the Charles River.
6. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, located on the Freedom Trail, is a great museum for kids. The museum is a replica of the original tea ship that was burned in 1773. It’s filled with interactive exhibits and has many hands-on activities for kids to explore. The museum also has an auditorium with films about what happened during the Boston Tea Party and how it relates to today.
The gift shop at this museum has lots of fun things for you or your kids! They have books about the history of Boston and New England, as well as plenty of souvenirs (including t-shirts).
7. Boston Public Library
The Boston Public Library is a beautiful, historic building located right on Copley Square. It’s free to visit, and there are free tours of the library available daily at 10 am, 11 am, and 2 pm. For an even more immersive experience, you can take their “Ghost Tour” which explores the history of this building that dates back to 1852.
The top floor of the library includes several reading rooms where you can sit down with your favorite book or journal article to get some work done while enjoying views of Copley Square Park below (and if you need some inspiration for what book or article it should check out our post on 10 best books about Boston). If you find yourself looking for something new then head over towards their Teen Lounge area where young adults between 12-18 years old can go hang out with friends while playing board games or just relaxing on couches in front of televisions broadcasting current events channels such as CNN or MSNBC
8. John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library
If you’re a fan of John F. Kennedy and his family, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a must-see for you. The library houses more than 20 million documents, photos, and recordings from the Kennedy administration that you can peruse at your leisure in their research rooms.
Located in Dorchester Bay on Columbia Point overlooking Boston Harbor, this museum offers visitors an inside look at what it was like for one of America’s most iconic families to live in the White House. The museum features artifacts from President Kennedy’s life including several items used during his inauguration ceremony as well as personal effects including clothing worn by him or gifted by others such as his sweater vest from Marilyn Monroe. These pieces are just a few examples of how much history surrounds this particular presidential library that should not be missed when visiting Boston!
9. Boston Common
You will find many statues and monuments scattered throughout the park, including one that commemorates Paul Revere’s midnight ride and another dedicated to Robert Gould Shaw, who led the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. The park also hosts various concerts and festivals throughout the year.
If you get hungry while walking around Boston Common, stop by Durgin-Park restaurant for some New England specialties like chowder or fried clams. The waitstaff will regretfully inform you that they don’t serve lobster rolls anymore because of health code restrictions, but their classic baked beans are still available!
- Note: This section is meant to be a lighthearted look at common mistakes made when visiting Boston Common (e.g., not being able to order a lobster roll).
10. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The museum, located on the Fenway in Boston’s Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood, features a large collection of European paintings and sculptures. The museum was founded by Isabella Stewart Gardner, an amateur art collector, and patron of the arts who also commissioned its noted architect, Renzo Piano. In 1990, it became the first major art museum to be privately funded by a woman.
It is one of Boston’s leading tourist attractions with over 1 million visitors annually. In addition to its permanent collection, it hosts special exhibitions throughout the year which range from classical to contemporary works
11. Samuel Adams Brewery
As you approach the Samuel Adams Brewery, you’ll notice the beautiful copper kettle-shaped water tower that towers over the rest of the buildings. This is a nod to Jim Koch and Rhonda Kallman’s original brewpub in Boston.
The brewery also has a gorgeous tasting room where you can sample beer and learn about how it’s made.
12. Old North Church & Historic Site
The Old North Church and Historic Site are a National Historic Landmark and the oldest standing building in downtown Boston. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on October 9, 1960, for its importance in American history as the site of Paul Revere’s famous Midnight Ride during the American Revolution, as well as for its association with Samuel Adams and John Hancock who were members of this church. The church is open to the public every day from 9 am-5 pm; tours are available by appointment only from mid-April through early December (the rest of the year it’s self-guided). The Old North Church is a popular tourist attraction that can be easily reached by taking either the Green or Orange line directly to Haymarket Station, which is right across from Faneuil Hall Marketplace where you may want to stop after your visit here. It also happens to be one of several stops along Boston’s Freedom Trail so if you want an easy way out of town after touring this historic landmark then hop on board!
13. New England Holocaust Memorial
- The memorial is located on the Boston waterfront, near the Boston Harbor Hotel. It was designed by architect Stanley Saitowitz.
- The memorial is open from dawn to dusk throughout the year, except for December 25th and January 1st when it closes at 3 PM (it does not open again until 7 AM).
- The memorial consists of six glass towers that are lit up at night and engraved with quotes from survivors of the Holocaust.
- To get there, take public transportation or drive your vehicle; parking costs $2 per hour or $6 maximum per day in nearby parking lots that are connected to the memorial site via a walkway over Atlantic Avenue (see map above).
14. Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a large indoor marketplace in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. The marketplace is named after Peter Faneuil, who donated the land to the city in 1742. The marketplace was designed by Charles Bulfinch and built between 1805 and 1810.
The building consists of two main halls: Faneuil Hall, which has been Boston’s meeting hall since 1740; and Quincy Market, which serves as an indoor shopping mall with many restaurants and food shops as well as historical tourist attractions such as Paul Revere’s bronze statue atop his horse (of “one if by land” fame) located at the center of the market’s grand hall (Quincy Market).
15. USS Constitution
The USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Commissioned in 1797, it is the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat and still afloat in the world. She has only been out of commission twice since her launch in 1797; once during an overhaul from 1812–1815 when she was refitted as a razee frigate (an obsolete kind of warship) and again for about two years following World War II when she was modernized to serve as a training ship for Naval Reserve officers. She arrived at her current location on June 21st, 1974 after being towed from Boston by tugboats through Nantucket Sound with stops at Vineyard Haven Harbor and Martha’s Vineyard Island where thousands watched the historic event from shoreline boats before arriving at her permanent dock at The Charlestown Navy Yard where tourists can board via ticketed tours every day except Thanksgiving Day (which falls on November 26th this year). Visit here for the Best Car Rental Deals in Boston
16. USS Constitution Museum
The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned vessel in the world. It’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Boston, which makes it a must-see for any visitor to the city.
The museum is located on the Charlestown waterfront and includes exhibits about life aboard a wooden warship during the War of 1812, as well as artifacts from that conflict. It’s free to visit, but they do suggest making reservations online beforehand if you want to ensure that there will be space available when you arrive.
17. Beacon Hill
- Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill is a historic neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. It is known for its wealth of historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and gaslit alleyways. The neighborhood is bordered by Storrow Drive, the Massachusetts Turnpike, Charles Street, and the Boston Common.
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is located on the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and listed as part of the Freedom Trail in 2007 by both American Trails and the National Park Service.
18. Museum of Science
- Location: 1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114
- Hours: Mon-Tues 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Weds-Fridays 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sundays 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Closed on New Year’s Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving; open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- Cost: Adults $26, Seniors $23, Children (3-11) $20; Children under 3 free with paid adult admission
- Activities: IMAX Theater ($12), Planetarium ($7-$10), OmniMax Theater ($15); Exhibit Halls include Space Place, Science on Screen (Shows are $5-$8), Butterfly Garden ($2-$5) & Insect Zoo ($2)
19. Newbury Street
If you’re looking for high-end, name-brand fashion, Newbury Street is the place to go. It’s home to retail giants like Chanel and Prada, as well as several smaller boutiques that sell designer clothing at lower prices. If you’re in search of jewelry, Newbury Street has plenty of options—there are dozens of stores selling diamonds and other precious stones along this strip. If shoes are more your style (and really, what woman doesn’t like shoes?), Newbury Street has everything from timeless pumps to incredibly stylish boots—and if you can’t find what you’re looking for in one store, chances are good that another one will have it nearby!
The Waterfront is a great place for people-watching, and it has some of the best seafood restaurants in Boston. You can get amazing views of the harbor and city from here, too! It’s also a nice place to take a walk or run along the water. On July 4th, you can watch fireworks from there as well.
It’s easy to see why this is one of our favorite places in Boston!
21. Quincy Market
Quincy Market is located in the heart of Downtown Boston, just a short walk from Faneuil Hall. The area has been around since 1742, making it one of America’s oldest markets. There are several things to see and do in Quincy Market—including restaurants, bars, shops, and live music performances. It’s also home to an indoor food hall called “Eataly” that features everything from pizza to gelato! If you’re visiting during winter months (which you should be), be sure to check out their annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Faneuil Hall Marketplace on November 30th & December 1st!
What else can you expect when visiting this historic landmark? Find out more about Quincy Market here: https://www.bostonusaquarium/quincy-market/.
22. New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium is home to more than 15,000 animals from all over the world. It’s a great place to learn about ocean life, but you can also explore other exhibits such as penguins, sharks, and jellyfish. The aquarium is located on Boston’s waterfront and offers amazing views of the city skyline.
If you have time for a longer visit, check out their 4D experience called “The Great White: Sharks Down Under.” You’ll get a chance to see sharks up close while sitting in an underwater cage or at 3D IMAX theaters where you’ll see them swimming over your head while they attack seals or eat fish above your head.
23. Granary Burying Ground
Granary Burying Ground is the oldest cemetery in Boston, and also one of the city’s most famous. Granary was established in 1660 as a burial place for victims of the Great Fire of 1676. It’s also where you’ll find some of Boston’s most important historical figures: Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock are just a few that rest here. Located on Tremont Street near Park Street in downtown Boston (not far from Faneuil Hall), this cemetery is a fascinating reminder of how long people have been living here and why it’s so special to this city.
24. Arnold Arboretum
The Arnold Arboretum is a 350-acre park located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. It contains over 13,000 trees and over 1,700 varieties of trees and shrubs. The arboretum is open year-round with free admission.
Arnold Arboretum was once part of the estate of Boston’s famous philanthropist James Arnold (1786 -1864). He bequeathed it to Harvard University when he died in 1864 so that they could make it into an arboretum where students could study plants and learn more about horticulture. The university accepted his offer but did not take care of it until decades later when President Charles Eliot appointed Henry Varnum Poor as its first director in 1890. Since then the arboretum has been expanded through purchases by Harvard University until today there are over 13,000 plantings including ancient oaks from England dating back hundreds of years ago along paths lined with flowering shrubs such as azaleas or rhododendron
25. Bunker Hill Monument
The Bunker Hill Monument is a 221-foot granite obelisk in Boston, Massachusetts. It was built to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill, fought on June 17th, 1775. The battle was a turning point in the American Revolutionary War and helped secure independence for their new nation.
The monument was designed by architect Robert Mills (who also designed the Washington Monument), who also designed other monuments such as the Castle Clinton in New York City and parts of the Treasury Building’s wings. Construction began on June 11th, 1842 with a ceremony led by Daniel Webster who gave an address commemorating those who died during this historic battle between British Troops and Colonists fighting for freedom so they could live under their laws rather than be ruled by another country’s king or queen.
26. Back Bay
Back Bay is located in the heart of Boston and of course, right on the water. It’s home to some of the city’s best beaches and walking paths, parks, museums, and shopping.
27. Boston Harbor Islands State Park
- Boston Harbor Islands State Park, which is located on Thompson Island and covers all of the Boston Harbor Islands. It’s part of the National Recreation Area, which means you can visit any time you want, but there are some things you should keep in mind if you’re planning to go.
- The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Commission oversees all aspects of its management and operation—including ferry service, reservations for island campsites (you’ll need one), day-use fees, and more—as well as partnering with other organizations like Friends of Castle Island or Save Our Seaport Boston.
- The trust has also been working closely with MassPort on a new ferry service between downtown Boston and Spectacle Island over the past few years; this summer marked its first season running full-time every day except Mondays when it runs Saturdays only (it also runs on Fridays but only during warm weather months).
28. Old State House
The Old State House was originally built in 1713 and is located on the corner of State and Washington Streets in Downtown Crossing. It was once the site of the Boston Massacre in 1770, which involved British troops shooting five civilians during an altercation with colonial protesters. Today, visitors can tour this historic landmark and learn more about its history from costumed interpreters.
29. Charles River Esplanade
The Charles River Esplanade is a famous park in Boston, Massachusetts. Due to its central location, it is within easy reach of many of the city’s other attractions.
The Esplanade is the oldest public park in the United States and one of the most popular green spaces in Boston. It runs along the banks of the Charles River, between Cambridge and Boston. In addition to offering beautiful views across this natural landscape and taking in its rich history (such as at Constitution Marsh), there are many attractions on offer here too: visit during summer months when you can cool off with a dip in Long Pond or go ice skating at Frog Pond; take part in concerts or events such as Shakespeare By The Sea; visit Historic sites including Harvard Yard and John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Park; have fun with your kids at Children’s Wharf playgrounds like Peabody Terrace Park & Playground or enjoy more peaceful surroundings with an evening stroll along Spectacle Island Walkway Trail.
This is one of Boston’s most scenic areas. The HarborWalk runs along the Boston Harbor from the Charlestown Bridge to Fort Point Channel, passing through some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods including Charlestown and East Boston. The path is a great place to walk, jog, bike or rollerblade as it winds its way alongside beautiful views of Boston’s skyline and harbor cruises departing from Long Wharf or nearby cruise ship terminals such as World Trade Center Pier 4 in South Boston. There are several ways to access this trail:
- From Charlestown via a pedestrian bridge over the Charles River (near the USS Constitution)
- From Central Square in Cambridge on an asphalt path that connects with Memorial Drive
- At Castle Island via boat shuttle service provided by Water Taxi Association (www.watertransportationservicesbostonma.com)
Boston is a city with a lot to see and do. It’s one of the oldest cities in America, so it has an incredible amount of history that you can explore. There are also many museums for you to visit if you want to learn about something new or just relax after a long day of sightseeing. If you’re planning on visiting Boston soon, be sure not to miss out on these 30 things!