Boston, Massachusetts is the tenth largest metropolitan area in the United States. Settled in 1630, the city is rich with sites and artifacts of the nation’s early years. The area also offers visitors unique shopping experiences, a wide variety of dining opportunities, beautiful botanical gardens and parks, and world famous events. There are lots of cool things to do in Boston.
10. Fenway Park
Home to Major League Baseball’s Red Sox since 1912, Fenway Park is a great place to go with friends or family. Located at Four Yawkey Way, Fenway is the oldest ballpark of the nation. The venue is small but popular, so it is best to purchase tickets in advance online. Visitors can take a guided tour or take the kids to Wally’s Clubhouse for a variety of play activities and entertainment. The venue is available for event parties, as well. This well-known ballpark was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2012.
9. Museum of Fine Arts
Established in 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts houses 450,000 items from around the world. Collections include textiles, musical instruments, photography, ancient world, contemporary art, and more. Visitors can take tours, watch films, catch performance art, participate in a studio art class, or listen to a lecture. The museum, which is located at 465 Huntington Avenue, is open every day except for some holidays. Tickets can be purchased online. Children under six get in free. Youths aged 7 to 17 get in free when the local schools are not in session, after 3:00 PM, and on weekends.
8. Adams National Historical Park
This national park, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, is the location of the homes where presidents John Adams, and his son John Quincy Adams, were born. The houses, along with nine other buildings, are only open to the public for a two hour guided tour with a park ranger from April 19th to November 10th. The grounds include an orchard, a formal garden, a church, and a library containing 14,000 books. The rest of the park is open to the public year round. Visitors must purchase a pass to use the national park. Tickets for the tours can only be purchased on the grounds, on a first come, first served basis.
7. Castle Island Park and Fort Independence
Located on Day Boulevard at the southern end of the city, Castle Island Park is on 22 acres of land, and has some of the best beaches in the city. A land connection was built to the island in 1928. Fort Independence is a five-pointed star shaped structure made of thick granite, which was completed in 1851. The fort has been on the National Register of Historical Places since 1970. The park itself is always open. The fort is open Thursday nights from 7:00 PM to midnight, and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3:30 PM. Admission is free.
6. SoWa Artists Guild
If you happen to be in town on the first Friday of any month, you might want to check out SoWa Artists Guild monthly open house event. Approximately 70 fine artists have their studios at 450 Harrison Avenue. Once a month, and sometimes more, they open their studios and allow the public to browse, shop, and enjoy food and beverages. A SoWa Artists Guild event is a fun way to kick off a romantic weekend. Admission is free, and the events run from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM each month.
5. Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall is part of Boston National Historical Park. Built in 1742, it was once the site of famous speeches that led to the country’s secession from Great Britain. Today, it is a government center, and it’s part of Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The Marketplace consists of 112 shops and 13 restaurants inside three historical buildings, which are surrounded by cobblestone streets. The area is located at the city’s waterfront. Visitors are treated to street performances, and various events, including an annual tree lighting, live music performances, an ice sculpture display, and more.
4. Franklin Park Zoo
Franklin Park is a 527 acre piece of land within the city. 72 acres of the park is devoted to the Franklin Park Zoo. The zoo is home to more than 1000 animals from 220 species, and features a dozen exhibits, including Kalahari Kingdom, Little Critters Exhibit, and Butterfly Landing. The Franklin Farm exhibit allows kids to pet and interact with various farm animals. Zookeepers are available to educate children about the animals of the farm. The zoo is open every day of the year, including major holidays. Tickets can be purchased online.
3. Boston Public Library
Located at 700 Boylston Street, this is the second largest library of the country, after the Library of Congress. The original building, which was erected in 1895, now houses the research library. The general library is in a newer part of the building, which was added in 1972. The building encompasses a courtyard with a fountain. Inside, visitors can take in the domed ceiling and several murals. With millions of items and many regularly scheduled events, the library functions much as a museum. Hours are Monday–Thursday 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Friday-Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
2. Museum of Science
Located in downtown financial district, at 1 Science Drive, the Museum of Science is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Boston. The museum, which was established in 1830, has more than 700 interactive exhibits, and sees 1.5 million visitors each year. Guests can check out the Butterfly Garden, take in a Thrill Ride 360° film while strapped into a simulator, or check out shows in the Charles Hayden Planetarium. Visitors can take part in astronomy activities on Friday nights offered part of the year. Museum tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. The MOS is open every day.
1. Walking Tours
A number of guided and self-guided walking tours are available for those who would like to explore history in this city. The Freedom Trail takes tourists to sixteen significant sites, including museums and cemeteries, on a 2.5 mile trek. Tickets can be purchased online. Another, The Black Heritage Trail can be toured for free through the National Park Service. Free African Americans in the city played a significant role in the movement to end slavery and in fight for equal rights. The Boston Women’s Heritage Trail has more than a dozen self-guided tours on offer. Those are just a few of the guided tour opportunities in the city.
This coastal city has an abundance sites with national historic significance. It also has a popular local cuisine, a bustling arts community, lots of kid-friendly activities, and beautiful architecture and gardens. With so much to do, it’s hard to choose just a few. This list of some of the best places to visit in Boston can help.