Visiting Boston, MA: 17 Things to Do in Boston on Your Trip 

Steve Cummings

When you visit Boston, you can experience the best of several worlds! Walk the Freedom Trail, catch a game at Fenway Park, eat your weight in fresh seafood, and more. It is truly a unique place to visit. In fact, there are so many fun things to do in Boston that it can be difficult to know where to start. Don’t worry! We created a list of some of Boston's best things to do to get you started! 

1. Do a Self-Guided Tour of the Freedom Trail 

Boston Freedom Trail
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Stretching 2.5 iconic miles, the Freedom Trail winds through Boston. It is a self-guided tour that links 16 historic sites all visitors should see, covering the United States’ revolutionary period and the crucial role Boston played in it. It’s also one of the top-rated things to do in Boston since everyone can decide how quickly or slowly they want to take it in. It also winds through some of the most notable neighborhoods in the city, which you won’t want to miss. 

2. Catch a Game at Fenway Park

Fenway Park
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Any sports fan should have Fenway Park on their list of things to do in Boston! Fenway Park is the oldest baseball stadium in Major League Baseball and is even ranked as a notable site on the National Register of Historic Places. Even if you don’t catch a game at Fenway Park, you can still check out the stadium and see the home of the Red Sox! There are tours throughout the year, even when baseball isn’t in season. 

3. Enjoy Delicious Italian Food in North End 

Italian Gelato
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For a hearty meal that tastes right out of Italy, there is no better place than Boston’s North End. Considered the Little Italy of Massachusetts, this neighborhood has endless delicious, authentic Italian food options. You won't be disappointed if you’re looking for pizza, pasta, or a breathtaking dessert. If spectacular Italian food sounds good to you, make sure you add this notable neighborhood to your list of things to do in Boston! 

4. Relax in the Boston Public Garden

The Boston Public Gardens creates a beautiful green space in this huge city where visitors and locals can relax. The Boston Public Garden and Boston Commons have been in the city for decades. No matter the season, you can find something to do here: take a walk, play sports, or appreciate the flowers. If you hit the right season, you can also take a ride in one of the iconic Swan Boats.

5. Check Out the New England Aquarium 

If you have little ones in tow, make sure the New England Aquarium is on your list of things to do in Boston! This aquarium has a fantastic display of coral reefs in the Giant Ocean Tank and exciting animals like sharks, penguins, and sea turtles. You could spend hours wandering this aquarium, not to mention the shows and enrichment opportunities offered every day. 

6. Tuck Into a Meal of Seafood by the Water

Fish and Chips
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Spending so much time by the waterfront, you’re bound to get a craving for seafood at some point! Good thing, too: some of Boston’s best cuisine is seafood. Since the city has constant access to fresh seafood, you can enjoy amazing fresh oysters, lobster, clam chowder, and more during your trip. At least one stunning seafood meal should be on your list of things to do in Boston! 

7. Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum 

This art museum adds something special to the arts scene in Boston. The former home of Isabela Stewart Gardner, a notable art collector, has architectural touches reminiscent of a Venetian palace. The most popular pieces have remained where Isabella kept them, so it has an authentic feel. If the art wasn’t enough, there is also a beautiful courtyard full of flowers, which makes for a great photo background. 

8. See the Harvard Grounds in Nearby Cambridge, MA

Harvard University, Massachusetts
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Harvard is known worldwide as a top university, so it is naturally a tourist attraction. Visitors can learn about the history and grounds of the university through free campus tours. While the academics are iconic, the campus is also worth seeing. If you want a tour, book in advance, as they tend to fill up! 

9. Check Out the Harbor or the River from the Water

Boston Harbor
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With so much sparkling water, Boston has plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy boating culture! From the Charles River to the Boston Harbor, there is no shortage of places to rent a boat or grab a spot on a boat tour. If you have little ones along, Duck Boat tours are extremely popular. They allow you to do an amphibious boat tour with views on land and water. It’s a unique and fun way to get out on the water!

10. Reenact History at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum 

To get into one of the most famous historical events in Boston, head to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. This interactive museum lets you throw (imitation) tea into the harbor, explore the ship, and learn about this pivotal event. Two of the three ships involved in the event have been recreated. It’s an excellent way to interact with history in a hands-on way you won’t forget! 

11. Do Some Shopping on Newbury Street 

If you want to put retail therapy on your list of things to do in Boston, you must check out Newbury Street! This is undeniably the best place in Boston for high-end shopping, with notable brands like Chanel alongside boutiques. You can keep the fun going with the eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, and cultural attractions if you need a break from the shopping. 

12. Appreciate Art at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)

art and collectibles
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Sitting on the water in the Seaport District, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is an impressive sight and a must among things to do in Boston for art-overs. There are over 60,000 square feet worth of galleries with rotating exhibitions. Plus, admission is free on Thursday evenings. If contemporary art isn’t your favorite, there are many other notable art institutions in Boston, like the Museum of Fine Arts and the MassArt Museum, to check out.  

13. Step into the Past at the Paul Revere House

Paul Revere House
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You may pass by the Paul Revere House if you check out one of our other can’t miss things to do in Boston: the Freedom Trail. This historic house, built in 1860, was actually the home of Paul Revere, and it is still 90% true to the original home despite several renovations. It gives you a proper look at the past and great information on an American patriot. It’s worth a visit! 

14. Sample the Best Donuts in Town

Dunkin’ Donuts
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For those with a sweet tooth, there are some donuts waiting for you on the things to do in Boston list! Boston is known for its donuts, which span hole-in-the-wall shops, chains, and professional pastry shops. Whether you want a classic “dunkin” or something fancier, you’ll find plenty of options. For the best experience, make sure you order at least one of the classic Boston Creme donuts!

15. Get a Pint at a Local Brewery 

brewery
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While Samuel Adams is arguably the most well-known brewery in town, there are plenty of breweries to visit and tour. If you head up to Jamaica Plain, you can visit the Samuel Adams Brewery there, which has been in operation since 1987. Take a tour, do a tasting, or both! If Sam Adams isn’t your style, don’t worry! There are plenty more you can try. Aeronaut Brewing Company and Trillium Brewing Company are a few favorites, but there are more than enough to explore! 

16. Catch a Comedy Show 

Though Boston is known as an academic city, it has its fair share of comedy clubs, too! In fact, some notable comedians, like Conan O’Brien, came up through the Boston comedy scene. If you head to the Theater District, you can hop from club to club and grab a bunch of laughs. There are tons of options, but a few favorites include The Wilbur Theatre, Laugh Boston, ImprovBoston, and Giggles Comedy Club. 

17. Take a Hike at the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park 

If you enjoy being outdoors, don’t forget to leave the city a bit. Boston Harbors Islands National and State Park is just outside the city center, encompassing over 30 islands and peninsulas. As you’d expect, there are lots of trails, viewpoints, and campsites to help you get to know Boston’s beautiful nature. Plus, the ferry ride there makes for a gorgeous view! 

Exploring Boston

Whether you want to explore history or Boston’s contemporary culture, you can do both in Boston! The city has interactive museums and unique experiences that bring history to life. Enjoy the delicious cuisine, nightlife, or natural beauty when not taking in history. Though it can be hard to decide what to put on your list of things to do in Boston, this list should give you a good place to start! 

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