Things to Do in Boston, MA - Boston Attractions

What are the must-see sights in Boston?

Boston is a one-of-a-kind American city that offers visitors opportunities to relive history, immerse themselves in the arts, cheer for hometown sports teams, explore museums, discover "hidden" harbor islands and imbibe at a famous brewery or an even more famous bar. If you're visiting Boston for the first time or if you've never spent an extended period in Massachusetts' capital city, here are my picks for Boston's must-see sights and tourist attractions.


As New England’s largest, most important city, Boston is far older than the republic. But it’s also a contemporary center of high finance and higher technology, not to mention home of the very pub that inspired television’s long-running Cheers.

Greater Boston, with 50-some colleges and universities, is awash in students, assuring a non-stodgy ambiance. Water plays a big role in this seaport city, and Boston's parks, like its boat rides and other waterfront activities, provide a change of pace from urban frenzy. Boston Common, America’s oldest park, anchors a miles-long stretch known as the "Emerald Necklace."

The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long route marked on sidewalks by a redbrick or painted red line, winds along some of Boston's most noteworthy historical sites, including the Paul Revere House, Old North Church and its lanterns and Old South Meeting House, where Colonists in 1773 orchestrated the less than genteel Boston Tea Party. Extending from the Boston Common to Charlestown Navy Yard, the Freedom Trail can be covered at a reasonable pace in an hour or so, with more time required for stops at any of the 16 sites along the way. Costumed characters at various points illuminate Colonial life.

The trail starts at Boston Common and a ends at the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown.

Boston Public Garden
Boston Public Garden, located along Charles Street adjacent to Boston Common, is the nation's oldest botanical garden. The famous Swan Boats have returned to Boston Public Garden each spring since they were first invented in 1877 by Robert Paget. The business, which operates from mid-April through mid-September, is still operated by descendants of the boats' inventor. When winter arrives, the pond is open to ice skaters.

Quincy Market
Most people know it as Quincy Market, although its official name is the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Whatever you call it, this indoor-outdoor market is a great place for both shopping and dining.

Museum of Science Boston
The Boston Museum of Science is a long-standing tradition for families in Boston, but that doesn't mean adults won't enjoy themselves too! Their exhibits range from dinosaurs to space travel

Boston's museums are as good as any you'll find in the world, and the most visited one is the Museum of Science at Science Park.

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Dominated by a pair of world-renowned institutions – Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, just across the Charles, teems with cafes, bookstores, and boutiques, providing off-beat alternatives to comparatively staid Boston. Its squares – Central Square (a seat of government), Harvard Square (surrounding brick walls of the nation’s oldest university), Inman Square (brimming with shopping and dining), Kendall Square (home to M.I.T.), and Porter Square (with antique shops, boutiques, sidewalk cafes and a serious concentration of Japanese enterprises) are all treasure-troves of museums and historic sites. Porter Square was home of the late Tip O’Neill, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, who opined that “all politics is local.”

Boston Duck Tours
Even if you have lived in Boston all your life, taking a Boston Duck Tour is a lot of fun, and a great family event. The "DUCK" is an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle. First, you'll be greeted by one of our legendary ConDUCKtors, who'll be narrating your tour. Then you're off on a journey like you've never had before. You'll cruise by all the places that make Boston the birthplace of freedom and a city of firsts, from the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill and...

Fenway Park
Fenway Park is the oldest Major League baseball park in the United States. Its small, intimate atmosphere really allows you to feel like you are "in the game." On a warm summer night there is nothing.

Samuel Adams Brewery
Sam Adams Brewery offers tours on: Tuesday-Thursday 10am-3pm Fridays 10am-5:30pm Saturdays 10-3pm **Tours not available on certain holidays, check in advance.** Tours depart about every 45 minutes...

New England Aquarium
Home to more than 7,000 fish and aquatic mammals, the focal point of the New England Aquarium’s main building is the 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank, encircled by a four-story spiral ramp. It contains a replica of a Caribbean coral reef and an assortment of sea creatures. To help keep the peace, scuba divers feed the sharks several times a day. Other exhibits showcase freshwater and tropical specimens, sea otters, and the ecology of Boston Harbor.

Boston Harbor Islands
Want to swim, hike, explore the ruins of an old fort and camp out under the stars at a national park? Believe it or not, you can do all of these things without leaving the city of Boston. The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area consists of 34 narrow isles scattered in New England's most historic harbor, and you can visit these "hidden" outdoor spaces by boarding seasonal ferries from Quincy and Boston's Long Wharf.

Museum of Fine Arts
Boston's oldest, largest and best-known art institution, the MFA houses one of the world's most comprehensive art collections and is renowned for its Impressionist paintings, Asian and Egyptian collections and early American art.

Beacon Hill
The Beacon Hill area is located just north of Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden and is bounded generally by Beacon Street on the south, Somerset Street on the east, Cambridge Street to the north and Storrow Drive along the riverfront of the Charles River Esplanade to the west. The block bounded by Beacon, Tremont and Park Streets is included as well, as is the Boston Common itself. The level section of the neighborhood west of Charles Street, on landfill, is known locally as the "Flat of the Hill."

Because the Massachusetts State House is in a prominent location at the top of the hill, the term "Beacon Hill" is also often used as a metonym in the local news media to refer to the state government or the legislature.

Want to see Boston in another way? Look no further Cashunt's Boston Mad Dash will bring fun, laughs, competition and great memories to you and your group playing this wacky game!

Harvard University
Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university in the United States, and among its graduates are seven U.S. Presidents, Widener Library, housing the world’s largest university book collection with more than 13 million volumes.

Charles Riverboat Tours
While cruising the Charles River, the captain notes historic sights of Boston and Cambridge including Beacon Hill, Esplanade Park, Back Bay, Boston University, M.I.T., and Harvard. Sunset cruises also are scheduled.

Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston
Old Town Trolley Tours shows you the best of Boston on their 100-minute, fully narrated tour. As the official tour of the Boston Red Sox, guests will enjoy 17 stops, including Fenway Park, where you may disembark for shopping, dining and attractions. Each ticket comes with free admission to the Old State House Museum, a full–color guidebook, and coupons worth over $50 in savings. Old Town Trolley Tours has a 100% money back guarantee.

Boston Gliders Segway Adventures
Boston Gliders offers 1hour, 1/2 day or full day rentals Monday through Thursday and Segway Adventures 7 days a week around Boston's most popular areas, like the Freedom Trail or the Harbor Walk

Boston Upper Deck Trolley Tours
2 ½ hour fully narrated tour of Boston and Cambridge featuring 21 Boston sightseeing attractions. Your Upper Deck ticket allows unlimited re-boarding and travel throughout Boston and Cambridge over 2 consecutive days. Get off an Upper Deck Trolley at any of our 21 stops to shop, sightsee, and eat. Reboard at your convenience to continue your historic tour of Boston attractions.Boston Upper Deck Trolley Tours' modern luxury trolleys feature comfortable seating, climate control, a smooth ride, and great views of your Boston tour from elevated seating platforms. Our Cambridge loop features classic touring trolleys that evoke the charms of an earlier era.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library
Relive the Kennedy era in this dynamic combination museum and library, where your visit starts with a short film and then leaves you on your own to explore a series of fascinating exhibits, including the Kennedy-Nixon debate, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the space program, 1960s campaign paraphernalia and displays about Jacqueline and other Kennedy family members. The striking, I.M. Pei-designed building overlooks the water and the Boston skyline.

USS Constitution Museum Charlestown, Massachusetts
The U.S.S. Constitution, built in 1797 and the oldest warship of the U.S. Navy, is moored here. Active-duty sailors guide visitors around the ship. Possibly the most famous vessel in the U.S., it won no less than 42 battles while it lost none and was never captured by the enemy.

Boston Public Library
Built in 1888, the Boston Public Library’s three-story monumental free-standing block building is the first outstanding example of Renaissance Beaux-Arts Classicism in America, and it set the precedent for grand scale urban libraries. Copley Square’s McKim Building is reminiscent of an Italian Renaissance palace surrounding an open courtyard. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has a pioneering history of revolutionary notions, having been the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend a book, and the first with a children’s room.

Copley Square
Anchored by the modern John Hancock building and the stately Trinity Church, this area is known for its upscale restaurants and stores.

The name Copley Square is frequently applied to the larger area extending approximately two blocks east and west along Boylston Street, Huntington Avenue, and St. James Avenue. The square is adjacent to the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which is commemorated by a monument in the park.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Most major cities have something like it now, but this was one of the first urban historic shopping districts and its success inspired many imitators. Now it features a similar assortment of shops as...

Old Granary Burial Ground
Freedom Trail: 4. Old Granary Burial Ground Right next to Park Street Church is the Old Granary Burial Ground, named after the granary that once stood on the site of the church. Some of Boston's most famous revolutionaries were buried here, including John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine (all three signed the Declaration of Independence) as well as Paul Revere and victims of the Boston Massacre.

Bunker Hill Monument
King's Chapel and Burying Ground
Copp's Hill Burying Ground
City of Boston Things to Do


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