Things to do in Boston Things to do in Boston

Your Ultimate Guide to 18 Best Things to Do in Boston

Boston, the capital city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States, is one of the most popular travel destinations among people.


Exploring Boston’s museums to know more about the city’s history and culture, or dining in popular restaurants serving classic Boston dishes and enjoying musical nights, the largest city in New England has many places to explore.

So, without further ado, here is a thing-to-do list that one should not miss during one’s travel.

1. Quincy Market

Quincy Market, located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, is a famous marketplace near Faneuil Hall. It’s one of the oldest and largest marketplaces in Boston. Visiting this marketplace is one of the best things to do.

1.1 History of the Famous Quincy Market

The tall, two-story market was built in 1824-1826 and was named Quincy Market to show respect to Josiah Quincy, the mayor who came up with the idea of expanding the marketplace area.

During the Commercial Revolution, a separate area was demanded where business could be done smoothly. Being the only marketplace, Faneuil Hall was not enough to accommodate the increasing number of business events. Therefore, Josiah Quincy proposed expanding the area to resolve the accommodation problem.

beautifully designed building
Image Source: quincy-market

Quincy Market, designed by Alexander Parris, is a two-story tall building with red brick interior walls and granite exterior walls. It is a beautifully designed building that combines Roman modern and American styles.

2. Copley Square

Copley Square, also known as Art Square, is one of Boston, Massachusetts’s most popular public squares. In the Back Bay neighborhood, visiting this public square is one of the best things to do.

This public square was named after the painter John Singleton Copley. The famous Trinity Church, The Boston Public Library, the Fairmont Copley Plaza, Old South Church, and the John Copley statue surround the public square.

2.1 History of the famous public square

Before 1883, Copley Square was known as Art Square, as Huntington Avenue and Boylston Street joined together to form Copley Square’s space.

But initially, the Copley Square area was not well-planned. Without proper planning, the land was bought and sold multiple times. Finally, in 1961, Huntington Avenue was curtailed at the corner of Dartmouth Street, which gave a separate area for the famous public square with the view of Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, the New Old South Church, and many more additional buildings.

This famous public square hosts several events, including large concerts and farmers’ markets. There are also various restaurants to dine in, which is a must-place to visit.

3. Boston Public Library

first largest public libraries
Image Source: bpl

The Boston Public Library in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States is one of the first largest public libraries to open in the United States. It has a separate room for children and has been the first-ever place to lend books.

This place is the third-largest library in the United States and has nearly 24 million books. It is also considered one of the important landmarks in Boston by the Boston Landmarks Commission in 2000.

3.1 History of the Famous Public Library

The idea of building a large place was first proposed by a Harvard professor named George Ticknor in 1826. However, making a large place for reading for the public was not at all easy, and the series of rejecting and accepting the architectural design of the building continued for many years.

In 1839, a Frenchman named Alexandre Vattemare suggested that all the libraries in Boston be merged into one big library. Slowly, Josiah Quincy- mayor of Boston; John Jacob Astor- businessman and philanthropist; Benjamin Seaver; and many more people helped with the idea of building it.

So, with the help of people, the first-ever library was built in Back Bay on Copley Square. Edward Capen was appointed as the first librarian.

This place has many books ranging from manuscripts to a collection of Spanish literature and much more. This place has also opened 21 branches for the benefit of the public.

Try to explore one of the world’s famous libraries whenever you plan to visit Boston.

4. Boston Public Garden

first public gardens
Image Source: public-garden

The Boston Public Garden, located on Charles Street, Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States, has more than 80 species of plants and a large green space and is one of the first public gardens in the United States.

4.1 History of the Famous Public Garden

In 1839, Horace Gray, led by a group of horticulturalists, asked permission to build a public botanical garden on the land purchased by the city in 1824.

As building the public garden progressed, suddenly, in 1847, the project stopped due to some unfavourable conditions.

With time, the problem of building a large public garden in a small city arose. So, the city considered holding a competition where the best man would be awarded for designing the public garden.

George F. Meacham won the competition, and finally, by 1880, the Boston Public Garden was built with a pond and a hanging bridge. The garden’s main attraction is the Ether monument, which John Quincy Adams Ward designed.

It’s one of the world’s most visited places and one of the best things to do. It’s also considered an important landmark in Boston.

5. Faneuil Hall

In the United States, Faneuil Hall, also known as The Cradle of Liberty, situated near Boston’s government centre, Massachusetts, is now a part of the Boston National Historical Park.

known as The Cradle of Liberty
Image Source: depositphotos

5.1 History of the Famous Hall

Faneuil Hall was built to hold public meetings during the American Revolution. It is where Samuel Adams, James Otis, and other public figures have given speeches.

Peter Faneuil first offered the idea of having a separate building for the public meeting, and with the help of designer John Smibert, the ground floor of the building was built.

However, due to the fire outbreak in 1761, the building was rebuilt again in 1762. This building also witnessed many popular events like the Americans protesting the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, Townshend Acts, and Tea Acts.

Faneuil Hall is now a part of the historical marketplace, which consists of three other major buildings- North Market, the famous Quincy Market, and South Market.

This historical marketplace is one; it has various restaurants to dine in and is a place to visit.

6. Freedom Trail

Freedom Trail in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States, is a 2.5-mile red-line path connecting 16 historical landmarks. Freedom Trail has a collection of graveyards, churches, buildings, and many more.

A local journalist named William Schofield proposed the idea of building a long path ( Freedom Trail) connecting the important landmarks, and Mayor John Hynes executed the idea of building the Freedom Trail.

Finally, by 1953, Freedom Trail was built which connected 16 important historical sites- Boston Common, Boston State House, Park Street Church, Massachusetts State House, Granary Burying Ground, King’s Chapel and Burying Ground, Benjamin Franklin Statue & Boston Latin School, Old Corner Bookstore, Old South Meeting House, Site of the Boston Massacre, Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere’s House, Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill Monument.

Freedom Trail has become one of the most famous walking trails, attracting more than 4 million people every year.

7. Fenway Park

Fenway Park, situated in Boston, Massachusetts, near Kenmore Square, is a baseball park where the American League baseball team- Red Sox, has won most matches.

7.1 History of Fenway Park

In 1911, John Irving Taylor purchased land and converted it into a baseball stadium. John Irving Taylor claimed that the name Fenway Park was derived from its location in the Fenway. But others claimed that the reason for naming the stadium Fenway Park was to promote their family business, the Fenway Realty Company.

Explore this place to see the visitors’ clubhouse, the seats above the Green Monster, and the press room.

Fenway Park
Image Source: depositphotos

Opened in 1912, Fenway Park is considered one of the important symbols of Boston. If you ever plan to visit Boston, make sure to visit Fenway Park, as the people of Boston are crazy about baseball match and their favourite Red Sox team.

8. Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts, also known as the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, in Massachusetts, is one of the 14th largest art museums in the world. Take your family on a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts and explore the works of art.

8.1 History of the Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts was originally located in Copley Square. Later, a new building was built in 1909 at Huntington Avenue, now the museum’s present location.

The Museum of Fine Arts was designed by Guy Lowell and built in several stages. The museum has more than 450,000 works of art, with nearly 1 million visitors every year.

9. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, is considered one of the important landmarks of Boston. It is an art museum with a collection of European, Asian, and American art.

9.1 History of the Art Museum

Built in 1898-1901, this art museum was built because of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s love for art and her art collection. Her first art purchase was The Concert by Johannes Vermeer.

After the death of her husband, Isabella Stewart Gardner thought of having a building to preserve her collection of art so that the public could enjoy it. After purchasing land in the Fenway area of Boston, she hired architect Willard T. Sears. Gardner also helped with the design- from choosing furniture and textiles to floor design.

And finally, the museum opened on 1st January 1903 to the public.

Presently, the art museum has more than 7500 paintings, including the art of Raphael Manet Sargent, Michelangelo, and many more. There are also several collections of art which include Titan’s The Rape of Europa, Botticelli’s The Story of Lucretia, Rembrandt’s Self Portrait, and many more.

If you ever plan to visit Boston, take your family to tour the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to explore its unique and antique collections.

10. Boston Children’s Museum

Boston Children’s Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the second oldest museums built to educate children.

10.1 History of Boston Children’s Museum

The idea of having a separate children’s museum was first proposed in 1909 by the science teachers who formed the Science Teacher’s Bureau.

The Science Teacher’s Bureau and the Women’s Education Association planned to build a museum dedicated only to children’s education, giving knowledge about science and nature in an easy and simplified manner.

Finally, the second oldest children’s museum in the United States opened on 1st August 1913 in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighbourhood.

The first branch of the Boston Children’s Museum opened in the Quincy School, the Abraham Lincoln School, the Samuel Adams School, and the Norcross School with a single room.

This museum has more than 50,000 objects and has separate areas for experiencing and doing various fun activities. It is one of the most interesting things to do.

11.Boston Tea Party Ships & Museums

The Boston Tea Party, a significant event in Boston, Massachusetts, was a political protest by American colonists against Britain.

11.1 The reason behind this significant event

In the 1760s, Britain was in debt, and to pay off those debts, they took the help of American colonists by forcing them to pay taxes on various things.

To protest against the “taxation without representation“, various political protests occurred, such as The Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, and the Boston Tea Party, which happened on 16th December 1773, when American colonists had enough of the injustice by Britain.

To protest, The Sons Of Liberty- a group that included patriots such as Benedict Arnold, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, Adams, and Hancock disguised themselves, boarded the ships, and threw 342 crates of tea bought by the British East India Company into the Boston Harbor.

floating museum
Image Source: bostonteapartyship

11.2 Did the event( Boston Tea Party) become successful?

Initially, Britain’s government was not ready to withdraw the tea tax it had imposed, as many American colonists were fond of drinking tea.

However, the British government was forced to withdraw the tea tax when American colonists boycotted tea imported by the British East India Company.

And finally, The Boston Tea Party became one of Boston’s major successful events. Visiting Boston Tea Party Ships & Museums to learn about this successful event.

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is a floating museum in Boston, Massachusetts, on the same water body that witnessed the Boston Tea Party Act and triggered the American Revolution.

Exploring the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum will make you feel like you are travelling through a time machine. Live actors, interactive sessions, and exhibitions will make you feel a part of the significant act.

The tour of the Tea Party Ships Museum is divided into several parts. The first part is The Meeting House, where live actors perform the Act. Even the speech of the great patriot- Samuel Adams could be heard. The visitors also take part in the act by dumping tea crates into the water.

The second part of the Tea Party Ships Museum is where visitors can hear the documented conversation between two women expressing their views. This part also includes the display of the only tea chest from the Boston Tea Party. The tea chest was known as the Robinson Half Tea Chest as the Robinson family preserved this treasure.

The third part of the Tea Party Ships Museum is The Minuteman Theatre, where the award-winning film Let It Begin Here is played, displaying the events that led to the American Revolution.

This museum also includes a place known as Abigail’s Tea Room, where visitors can have a variety of snacks while enjoying a beautiful view.

If you ever make a plane to visit Boston, take the family on a tour of Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. It will take approximately 1 hour.

12. Old North Church

The Old North Church in the North End, Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest churches and is considered a National Historic Landmark.

12.1 History of the Old North Church

Built in 1723, Old North Church is also known as Christ Church. The works of the British architect Christopher Wren inspired the design of the building.

It’s the same place from where the “One if by land, and two if by sea” signal has been sent. During the battles of Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere asked the three patriots to hang two lanterns on the steeple.

The lanterns were used as a signal to be sent to the Charlestown patriots across the Charles River to notify the activities of the British army, and the message would be further forwarded to Lexington and Concord.

The message “One if by land, and two if by sea” had a hidden message as one lantern meant the British army would head towards Boston Neck and the Great Bridge. Two lanterns meant the army would take boats across the Charles River.

Take the family on a tour of Old North Church, as it is one of the most intriguing things to do. It’s also one of the visited sites on the Freedom Trail.

13. New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts, aims to educate the masses about marine life.

Built in 1969, the New England Aquarium has a giant ocean tank replicating a Caribbean coral reef. The New England Aquarium also conducts Whale Watch from April to November. The main attraction at the New England Aquarium is the Simons IMAX theatre, which shows 2D and 3D movies.

 giant ocean tank
Image Source: aquarium

The giant ocean tank in the New England Aquarium is home to many members, such as Sea Turtles, Stingrays, Bonnethead Sharks, and many more.

Surrounding the tank, galleries featuring marine mammals such as The Thinking Gallery, ancient fishes, and rare sea dragons are present. The Freshwater Gallery features Anacondas, Piranha, Electric eels, and Atlantic salmon.

Every year, nearly 1.3 million visitors visit the New England Aquarium. If you ever plan to visit Boston, take your family on a tour of the New England Aquarium, which will take 1-2 hours.

14. Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill in Boston, Massachusetts, is a beautiful neighbourhood and is considered one of Boston’s most expensive.

Beacon Hill, the beautiful landmark, got its name from a beacon that used to sit on the top of the hill to warn people about foreign invaders.

14.1 Attraction Sites in Beacon Hill

  • The Boston Common is one of the oldest parks in the United States near Beacon Hill. It is one of the popular destinations for tourists.
  • The Massachusetts State House, built in 1798, is one of the main attractions of Beacon Hill and is the residence of the State Government.
  • Acorn Street is considered a beautifully decorated street where one can take amazing pictures. During festivals, this street is decked up with lights.
  • Charles Street is one of the best places for shopping and is one of the top-most visited sites among tourists.

Beacon Hill is a popular destination among tourists, with many boutique shops and a variety of restaurants to dine in.

15. Boston Common

Boston Landmark
Image Source: boston-common

Boston Common is one of the oldest public parks in Downtown Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States, and is considered a Boston Landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission.

In 1630, many families used Boston Common as a cow grazing land, but this activity was banned due to overgrazing. It was also used as a place for public hangings.

15.1 Attraction Sites in Boston Common

  • The Central Burying Ground contains the graveyard of artist Gilbert Stuart, composer William Billings, and more.
  • The Frog Pond in Boston Common is used as an ice skating rink during winter.
  • Various structures include The Boston Massacre Monument, Brewer Fountain, and many more.

This 50 acres of land has many beautiful sites and is a place to visit.

16. Brewery tour

The brewery tour in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the popular tours among beer lovers that explores how beer is made and is the best thing to do in Boston.

  • Sam Adams Brewery distributes beers nationwide; some specials are Cheery Wheat and Boston Lager.
  • Harpoon Brewery is also one of the popular breweries, and their specials are UFO White and Smooth Chocolate Stout.
  • Night Shift Brewing is another popular brewery; their specials are Oasis IPA and Viva Habanera.

Brewery tours are a great way to try new beers and to explore Boston’s wine culture

17. Paul Revere House

History Tour- Paul Revere House. Early American House details.

Paul Revere House in the North end of Boston, Massachusetts, was built during the American Revolution. Built in 1680, this building is considered a National Historic Landmark.

Paul Revere was the house’s owner from 1770 to 1800, but the house was sold in 1800 and soon became a boarding house. Later on, the building was purchased by John P. Reynolds, Paul Revere’s great-grandson, to preserve the building.

In April 1908, the Paul Revere House was made accessible to the public. It also includes a self-guided tour with explanations and illustrations everywhere.

18. Museum of Science

 Science Park
Image Source: museum

Science Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, situated in Science Park near Charles River, is home to many rescued animals. Founded in 1830, the Science Museum was initially known as the Boston Society of Natural History, where people wanted to share science-related knowledge. Later, a library and children’s room were added, and the museum was known as the Museum of Science in 1939.

This Boston museum has the Charles Hayden Planetarium and the Mugar Omni Theatre, which conducts live presentations and shows.

Final Note

Now, there you go. Hopefully, our article was able to shed some light. If you ever tour the city, you do not miss out on exploring the beautiful places.

Last Updated on March 1, 2024 by Sathi Chakraborty



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