Boston has a lot of history. It’s a city that can give people a feeling for the colonial and Revolutionary War eras. It’s no surprise then that it’s become a popular destination for Americans and people from other countries who want to learn about this important time in our history.
The Freedom Trail is more than just a walking tour. It’s a perfect way to introduce yourself to the city. In Boston, you don’t need a car. Everything is within walking distance or easily accessible by subway. The Freedom Trail connects many of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s a convenient way to see the city and learn about its history.
A few miles away from Boston, across the Charles River, is Cambridge. This top-notch college town is part of Boston, although it’s its own city. The transit system connects the two cities, making them virtually one tourist destination.
Well, here you have it. The two most prestigious and important universities in America: Harvard and MIT. These and the many other schools in the area keep Boston youthful, vibrant, and full of culture.
With so many fun things to do and see in Boston, you’ll never feel like you’re at a loss for things to do. You can check the Boston travel guide to find out the best time of year to visit Boston, and then get ready for some fun! Here’s a list of tourist attractions and popular things to do in the city.
1. See a Game or Take a Tour of Fenway Park
Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. It was built in the early part of the 20th century, and it hasn’t changed since then. Fenway Park is the home of the Boston Red Sox, one of America’s favorite baseball teams. Fans travel from all over to see a game at Fenway, and they never leave disappointed.
Fenway Park is one of the oldest stadiums in the Major Leagues. It has a 37-foot tall wall in left field, which was inspired by a giant fence at the park’s original home of the Boston Red Sox. The stadium also maintains a few features from its early days including a hand-operated scoreboard. The small capacity of only 33,871 seats make it difficult for fans to get tickets to games.
2. Faneuil Hall
Faneuil Hall was built in 1740-42. It’s known as the “cradle of liberty” because it’s a place where freedom of speech was born. After Faneuil died, the city took ownership of the building. The condition was that it should always be open to the public for free.
The area was originally occupied by market stalls. The upper floor was used for political meetings, and later became a venue for revolutionaries. It was also a meeting place for abolitionists. On the fourth floor is the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Museum. Here you will find weapons, uniforms, and paintings of significant battles.
The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a famous, exciting place with many stores, restaurants, and things to see. It’s very old and was built in the 19th century.
In the summer, you will find many buskers and street performers in the market square. The market itself is a shopping center with food stalls, shops selling jewelry, clothing, gifts, and souvenirs. The market stalls are some of Boston’s favorite places to eat lunch.
3. Boston Common and Public Garden: Ride the Swan Boats
In the heart of the city is a green space called Boston Common. It’s the start of the Freedom Trail, which is a 2.5-mile walking path that goes past 16 significant locations in the history of Massachusetts. Within the park are monuments and a cemetery.
The Frog Pond is a beautiful body of water in the center of Boston Common. It’s where you can rent skates during the winter and relax on a bench during the summer. It’s also where you can watch children splash around in the wading pool and enjoy the spring blossoms and fall foliage as they reflect in its surface.
On the western side of Charles Street is a botanical garden. It is 24 acres in size, and it is the oldest botanical garden in America. It features Victorian monuments, statues, and fountains. One very popular statue is the bronze duck family from Make Way for the Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.
When the Boston Public Garden opened in 1837, the founders intended to create a space for all ages. The original idea was to build a grand central fountain for adults. However, that vision changed when a much more popular idea came to mind — Swan Boats! These boats have been a Boston institution since their launch in 1877.
4. Museum of Fine Arts Boston
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most prestigious art museums in the country, and even the world. Its collections of Impressionist paintings, ancient Egyptian treasures, Asian and Persian fine arts, and works from ancient Greece and the Middle East are unmatched.
The Met’s newest and most important achievement is the creation of a wing. It’s meant to house, in chronological order, outstanding art collections from America, including paintings, furniture, decorative arts, folk art, silver, glassware, and design from pre-Columbian arts to Art Deco and Modernist eras.
The Asian art wing will feature the display of a 12th-century wood sculpture depicting a Buddhist Bodhisattva, a Korean painting from the Joseon Kingdom era, and a 1,500-year-old Minoan Snake Goddess. Another highlight is the ivory and gold statue of the Egyptian pharaoh Mycerinus and his queen, who ruled from 2548 to 2530 B.C.
5. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
This museum is a must-see. It’s set in a building modeled after a 15th-century Venetian palace, and you can experience it in four floors of rooms surrounding a central courtyard filled with flowering plants and fountains.
The collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum consists of 2,500 pieces. They include paintings, sculptures, furniture, tapestries, decorative arts, books and manuscripts. Mrs. Gardner collected them herself, using her personal taste and expertise. This collection gives a glimpse into the world of Mrs. Gardner’s flamboyant personality.
This new building is a 70,000-square-foot glass enclosure that creates new viewpoints for the original building. A masterpiece by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the new structure allows the museum to showcase exceptional contemporary works and artists.
Piano’s wing is a new addition to Mrs. Gardner’s palazzo. It has transparent glass walls that allow you to see inside the original building.
The new museum is located in a state-of-the-art facility that’s transparent. You can see the Royal Palace and gardens from almost anywhere inside. After you tour the museum, you can walk through a beautiful garden in the Fens. The Fens is a long green space that’s full of flowers and manicured trees. It’s most beautiful in June, July, and August.
6. USS Constitution and Bunker Hill (Boston National Historic Park)
The oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy is open to visitors since 1881. Nicknamed Old Ironsides, USS Constitution is one of the most famous ships in American history. Visitors can tour the vessel and go below decks to see the intricate construction and learn about its naval battles.
On the pier, the USS Constitution Museum provides historical context through interactive exhibits. You can learn about life on a boat two centuries ago. Another ship you can tour is the Cassin Young, a World War II destroyer.
Charlestown Navy Yard is part of the Boston National Historical Park and is located near the Bunker Hill Monument. The 221-foot-tall monument commemorates the site of the first battle of the American Revolution. The monument was built by New England soldiers as a fort prior to the Battle of Bunker Hill, which took place on June 17, 1775.
7. Museum of Science
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit organization that encourages kids to learn about science through interactive exhibits. The museum is dedicated to helping children and families to discover the world around them through engaging, hands-on exploration. The museum has more than 700 exhibits that explore everything from physics to zoology, from astronomy to robotics.
The South Dakota Museum of Natural History has many things to offer. The most famous is the 65-million-year-old fossil of a dinosaur found in the Badlands. There is also a “Dome Theater” where you can take continuing education classes on a wide variety of topics, including ones on butterflies or weather forecasting. The Butterfly Garden is a conservatory with exotic plants and free-flying butterflies. There’s also an Animal Center with live animals, and ComputerPlace, where you can go
In the planetarium, you can operate a robot and explore how your computer stores information. The planetarium presents laser, star, and other shows every day. Additionally, the Mugar Omni Theater has a five-story domed screen.
8. Harvard Square and the Harvard Art Museum
Harvard University is not only the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, but also one of the world’s leading academic centers.
It also has free walking tours that you can join. This is a great way to see the campus and learn about Harvard’s history. You can download a free tour from their website or join one of the free guided tours offered by students.
Harvard Yard is just one part of Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This busy district is filled with students, locals, and tourists, who can shop for books, ice cream, and other wares.
The new Harvard Art Museums, housed near Harvard Yard, are the result of a collaboration between Renzo Piano and Harvard University. The museums’ collections include three of the most impressive collections in the U.S., and few universities have collections as esteemed as Harvard’s.
The Fogg Art Museum and the Busch-Reisinger Museum have different focuses. The Fogg is very focused on Italian art in the early Renaissance, while the Busch-Reisinger focuses on Expressionist art of central and northern Europe. Both museums also have objects and paintings by Kandinsky and Klee.
The Arthur M. Sackler Museum is a place where you can find the world’s best collections of Chinese jade, Chinese bronzes, Japanese prints, Indian art, and Greco-Roman antiquities. These works of art can be found in the museum’s galleries.
9. Old North Church and Boston’s North End
This vibrant neighborhood in Boston is one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in the city. The North End is where Paul Revere lived when he made his famous midnight ride. The Paul Revere House , where Revere lived in 1770, is now a museum. It’s open to the public.
The Old North Church in Boston is still standing today. As you walk inside the church, you will see how beautiful it looks with its white interior. Even now, many people visit the church to see where lanterns were hung to alert Paul Revere that British soldiers were on their way to Lexington to arrest patriot leaders and confiscate munitions stores.
The North End is not just a popular tourist destination, but a favorite of locals as well. It’s filled with history, such as the Paul Revere House and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. Although it was once home to Italian immigrants, the neighborhood has changed over the years and now has a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from.
The Italian neighborhood has restaurants; cafes; bakeries; and shops that are fragrant with aromas of cured olives, fresh-roasted coffee, and Italian cheeses.
The North Bennet Street School is a great place to find fine craftsmanship. This school teaches skills such as bookbinding, cabinet and furniture making, carpentry, silver and gold work, and violin making. Their gallery shop is like a museum of these fine crafts and is a good place to buy one-of-a-kind gifts.
10. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Many people have a very specific picture of what happened on the night in 1773 when the Bostonians protested the tax on goods. But that is a very specific description of a very specific, violent moment. The more general description of the event is that in the late 18th century, there was a tax on goods shipped to the colonies in America. The citizens of Boston were angry about it. They stormed ships from England and threw the tea into the harbor.
If you want to learn about the American Revolution, you can visit the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum to see a reenactment of the original event. Here, you can learn about the 18th-century ships and historical context around the event that sparked the war for independence.
One of the most entertaining things to do in Boston is a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party. In period clothing, historical interpreters lead you through interactive exhibits and multi-sensory experiences. Visitors get to participate by dumping tea into the harbor. Inside the museum, you can see the only tea chest from that ill-fated cargo.
A Boston attraction that kids just can’t get enough of is the USS Constitution, a historic warship that’s also the oldest floating navy ship. Visiting the ship is a fun way to teach children about the nation’s history and life on a 19th century sailing vessel.
11. New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Boston. It’s built on a waterfront and, with its Caribbean coral reef, it contains thousands of fish and underwater animals. Touch tanks allow visitors to play around with small invertebrates such as urchins and starfish. There are also sharks and turtles.
The New England Aquarium has two parts. One part is outside, where you can see harbor seals play and learn about them. The other part is inside, where you can watch movies about nature. In addition, the aquarium sponsors whale-watching trips and educational programs for kids.
12. Walk the Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a three-mile walk that takes you to the most important historic sites in Boston. It’s very easy to follow because there’s a line of red bricks in the sidewalk and footprints on the street crossings. Pick up brochures at the Visitor Center in the Boston Common before you head to the State House.
You’ll visit the Old Granary Burying Ground and King’s Chapel Burying Ground. These sites are Boston’s oldest cemeteries. They hold the graves of Governor John Winthrop and two people who travelled on the Mayflower.
The Old South Meeting House was the setting of many important speeches by Boston’s patriots, including the ones who inspired the Boston Tea Party. It is also the setting of the Boston Massacre, a pivotal event in America’s fight for independence.
The Freedom Trail goes beyond the Old North Church to the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It is a museum ship and one of Boston’s most popular tourist attractions. This is where the Revolutionary War started. The trail ends at the Bunker Hill Monument, which was built to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill, a crucial American victory during the American Revolutionary War.