10 Things to Do In Boston to Make Your Trip Memorable

Whether you're a history buff or not, you'll never get bored visiting the beautiful, historical city of Boston.

If you’re interested in stepping back into the past to experience America’s early days, there’s no greater destination than Boston to soak it all in first hand.

Of course, you’re likely not going to want to spend all your time in Beantown immersed in the Revolutionary War days, so Boston has you covered there as well with a number of contemporary art museums, modern, hip boutiques and restaurants as well.

It’s the best of both worlds, the old and the new, side-by-side in a beautiful city. There’s so much to see and do in Boston, it’s just about impossible to do it all in just one day.

In fact, locals insist on dedicating a full day to each and every district. Walk around. Take photographs. Try local cafes and diners. And best of all, experience everything that Boston has to offer.

Whether you’re into guided tours, history, architecture, art or shopping, Boston has It all.

Here are just a few of the fun things you can do in Boston. Hopefully you’re lucky enough to visit when the weather is nice, because there’s no way you’re going to want to stay cooped up in your hotel room with everything there is to see and do in Boston!

1. The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail Boston

Boston is a city rife with history. For history geeks, there really is nothing like walking The Freedom Trail. It’s simply a 2.5 mile red-lined path that leads you past 16 historical sites, all relevant to the Revolutionary War. You can visit churches, meeting houses, burial grounds and museums as you stroll along the path, each one offering another slice of the past for tourists and locals alike to consume.

You have the choice of an audio tour or simply picking up a map and walking it at your own pace. Both are great options, as you will see so much. A guided tour simply won’t do it justice. And with the audio tour, you can still get facts and information about the sites, all without being rushed past the places you want to stop and take a longer look at. Some of the sites on the tour include the Boston Common, the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s House, the site of the Boston Massacre, and the USS Constitution.

2. SoWa


SoWa, or South of Washington, is a district in Boston’s South End. This district is famous for its art galleries, studios, open markets and restaurants. Events such as First Fridays and Salon Sundays are great for locals and visitors alike to get out and about and experience what the area has to offer. On First Fridays, galleries, boutiques and restaurants open their doors for visitors to stroll through and discover new things. There’s also the SoWa art walk which advertises that it’s a place where art is open for everyone.

And SoWa isn’t just a place to look and discover new artists, but to also learn about a variety of different hings. There are several different studios in SoWa, including dance studios for folks of all ages, to try their hand at new artistic skills. So you know your trip to SoWa will be a fun, well-rounded experience, and something you will remember for years to come.

3. The Institute of Contemporary Art


And speaking of art – If you’re into the creative scene, then no visit to Boston would be complete without a trip to the Institute of Contemporary Art. While yes, the exhibits inside are well-worth seeing, the building itself is a work of architecture creativity probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. With an overhang that looks out over the Boston Harbor, you’ll get stunning views of the water from inside the museum in addition to the amazing artwork that lines the walls.

And the ICA in Boston has been home to some remarkable exhibits throughout history, including an Andy Warhol exhibit which featured selections from Campbell’s Soup cans and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and Jackie Kennedy. Today, you can also see performances and talks, as well as enjoy a variety of activities for families and teens.

4. Back Bay

Back Bay Boston Doorways

Before the Back Bay was transformed into livable land, it used to be an actual bay. But in the 19th century, the Back Bay was filled to create one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston today.

For those interested in historical architecture, this is the place to explore. Rows upon rows of Victorian brownstones, those often associated with Boston, are located here. It’s considered one of the best examples of 19th century urban design in the United States.

Not only that, but there are also tons of interesting buildings and sites to explore while you’re here – including the Boston Public Library. For those who prefer shopping over architecture, you will be happy to hear that there’s plenty of that in the Back Bay too. Several fashionable shopping establishments are located in the Back Bay, especially on Newbury and Boylston Streets, as well the Prudential Center and Copley Place malls.

5. Charles River Esplanade

If you’re lucky enough to travel to Boston while it’s nice outside, you’ll probably be looking for a way to connect with nature. Or maybe even get in some exercise. And there’s no better place than the Charles River Esplanade for doing all of that and more! The Esplanade stretches for 3 miles along the Charles River, and it sits between the Museum of Science and the Boston University Bridge.

If you visit during the summer, you may be able to catch free concerts here, including the Boston Pops and Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Plus, every Friday in July all the way through to August, there are free family movies shown on the Hatch Shell Oval located within the park. And as if that’s not enough for you, there are Sunday Fun Days in the Park that include games, fishing, dancing, live music, fitness classes and more.

If you’re visiting and yearning to stretch your legs and get a workout in, every summer, July through August, there are free fitness glasses located on the Esplanade. Classes may include Zumba, Yoga, Crossfit and Boot Camp. Or you could just ride your bike along the scenic bike path that connects to other paths which run to Charlestown, Cambridge, and Boston.

Even if you are traveling to Boston in the winter, don’t let that deter you from visiting the Esplanade. There are opportunities for snowshoeing and even cross-country skiing!

6. Fenway Park


Whether or not you’re a Red Sox fan, there’s no denying the appeal of seeing Fenway Park with your own two eyes. The oldest Major League Baseball Stadium in the United States, Fenway Park has been home to the Red Sox ever since it opened in 1912. When you think of it like that, there’s no wonder Bostonians are extremely loyal to their team.

Part of the appeal of Fenway isn’t just in the age or the team playing there, however, but also some of its quirks, all caused by being renovated and expanded over the years. There’s “The Triangle” in center field where the walls form – well – a triangle, “The Green Monster” is the left field wall which is, of course, painted green and rises high into the night air, and “The Lone Red Seat” which signifies the longest home run ever hit at Fenway.

The home run was hit by Ted Williams on June 9th, 1946 and clocked the man sitting in the seat in the head. All of these, and more, are unique features to Fenway that make the place stand out. There was a controversial plan to build a new park in Boston, but after many loud and boisterous protests, plans were made to renovate the old park once more. And honestly, once you see it, you can’t deny that there’s a charm to the place that can’t be recreated in a new park.

7. Harvard Yard

For those academic types still bitter over their rejections from Harvard – or even for those who never dreamed of applying in the first place – there’s an appeal to visiting the campus located nearby Boston in Cambridge. After all, the college is historical, being the United States’ oldest institution of higher learning. It’s also one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

But you don’t have to pay the steep price of tuition to get a feel for campus life at Harvard. You can just visit Harvard Yard, which happens to be the oldest part of the famous campus. Surrounded by Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge Street, Broadway and Quincy Street, the Yard features most of the freshman dorms, some of Harvard’s most important libraries, Memorial Church, the offices of several deans and the President, as well as several classrooms and departmental buildings. Nearby is Harvard Square.

And in the section known as Old Yard which opens onto Peabody Street, you can find Massachusetts Hall which is the oldest building on Harvard’s campus, and one of the oldest academic buildings in the United States.

8. Black History Trail


As many know, Boston played a large part in American historical events, and that includes being involved in the movement to end slavery and gain equal rights for the former slaves. During the 19th and 20th centuries, there were free African Americans within the community who established businesses, founded organizations, and even created schools. And today, you can visit the houses, schools, and other sites – some of which played a role in the Underground Railroad.

There are tours that allow you to experience the Black History Movement within Boston first hand. You can go on a free guided walking tour that starts at the Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial and goes all the way to the first African American Meeting House. But if the tour schedule doesn’t fit your needs, you can also download a free audio tour to go about it on your own. Or you can just print a map and walk it.

9. North End


Boston’s North End is a vibrant neighborhood that features the heart of the Freedom Trail, but also so much more. In fact, the North End is often called ‘Boston’s Little Italy” and with good reason. The neighborhood is fill with old shops, Italian restaurants and cafes, while also mixing in a bit of the new, including hot boutiques.

There’s also the North End Waterfront area that hosts numerous events including Taste of the North End which celebrates all the local restaurants and history the area has to offer. There’s also a flea market and bake sale that helps support a local homeless shelter, a dog park, and a Walk the Labryinth event, among other events. It’s a lively area, and one that shouldn’t be missed for fine dining, local shopping and more.

10. Public Gardens

Make Way for Ducklings! If you don’t know what we mean by that, well, you’re in for a treat. The Make Way for Ducklings statue attracts visitors to the Public Gardens from all over the world. It’s a lovely statue of Mrs. Mallard and her 8 little ducklings, as Mrs. Mallard looks for a good place to start her family. The story, is of course, fictional, but mallard ducks are seen around the park, including on the aptly named Mallard Island. But it’s not just ducks you’ll find here, but also swans.

The park has always had two resident swans floating in the lagoon, and it’s a lot of fun to try and spot them while riding on one of the swan boats. Take a nice 15-minute long cruise around the peaceful lagoon in the summer time, and it’s possible you’ll forget that your in the middle of a crazy town like Boston.

The park is also a Victorian garden with brightly colored and unique plants. At one time, people found the flowers and arrangements to be garish, but today, they are prized and considered an important attraction in Boston.

And remember, this is just the beginning. There’s no way we can even scratch the surface of everything this amazing city has to offer. If you’re local, or simply love Boston, we’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite sites? What do feel is a “must see” within this historical city?

About the author

Kristen Duvall

Kristen is a writer of tales both real and make-believe. A Midwestern girl at heart, she currently resides in Southern California with her boyfriend, a Great Dane, and two rescued kitties, one of which is known simply as the KiKi Monster.

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