10 unmissable things to do in Boston
Boston. Where the American Revolution began. Where Facebook was invented. Where no one will look at you funny for devouring a seafood sandwich while cheering on a fly ball.
If you’re planning a trip to Beantown, there’s loads of stuff to keep you occupied. Here we give you our top ten things to do while visiting Boston.
1. Follow the Freedom Trail
Boston played a pivotal role in the American Revolution. Find out how on the fascinating Freedom Trail.
Marked by a line of red paint, the 2.5-mile route winds past 16 historical attractions, such as the site of the Boston Massacre, America’s first public park, and the Bunker Hill Monument, where one of the first battles of the American Revolution took place. It’s an eye-opening way to spend a couple of hours when visiting Boston.
Tackle the trail on your own, or learn from the experts on a walking history tour, complete with 18th century costumed tour guides.
2. Immerse yourself in the Boston Tea Party
On December 16, 1773, a group of colonists dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbour to protest Britain’s unfair taxes. Known as the Boston Tea Party, it was the first in a series of events that led to the Revolutionary War.
Today, replica Tea Party Ships are moored at Griffin’s Wharf, next to an excellent experiential museum dedicated to the catalytic event.
The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum combines interactive exhibits, holographic technology, live actors, and a moving multi-sensory documentary, ‘Let it begin here,’ to tell the story. And yes, you’ll toss a tea crate into the water.
3. Hit the open ocean and go whale watching
Between April and October, Boston is prime whale-watching territory. Humpback, minke, fin and black whales return each year to feed from the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary.
These giants put on quite a show, especially the humpbacks, who fling their 40-ton bodies into the air and crash down with mammoth belly flops. It’s an incredible sight.
If you’re in town when they are, be sure to book a whale watching cruise with Boston Harbour Cruises. It’s a unique opportunity to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat, and this tour company is a member of Whale SENSE, which means they’re committed to responsible whale watching practices. You’ll have a whale of a time! (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)
4. View Boston from above at the Skywalk Observatory
The Skywalk Observatory on the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower offers spectacular 360-degree views of Greater Boston and beyond. On a clear day you can see the beaches of Cape Cod in the south and the mountains of New Hampshire to the north.
Tip: To get your bearings, listen to the free audio guide. It highlights the city’s most interesting sites.
5. Marvel at the Museum of Fine Arts
Fancy a spot of culture on your trip to Boston? Head to the Museum of Fine Arts. America’s fifth largest museum, it has more than half a million pieces of art in its collection.
Home to masterpieces from around the world and across the ages, the museum holds more Monets than any other museum outside of Paris, an unrivalled Japanese art collection, treasures from Egypt, and American art from colonial through to modern times.
A treat for the eyes, plan to spend a full afternoon here to experience all the museum has to offer.
6. Flex the credit card on Newbury Street
If you’re a fashionista, you’ll love Newbury Street. Based in the posh Back Bay neighbourhood, it’s eight blocks of luxury brands, chic boutiques and cool cafés.
Need a break from splashing the cash? Grab a bite at Pavement Coffeehouse. Their bagels are the stuff of legends.
7. Catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park
Boston is a city of die-hard baseball fans. Find out what all the fuss is about at a Boston Red Sox game. Whether you’re into America’s pastime or not, you’re sure to get caught up in all the excitement.
The Red Sox play at Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in America. Baseball legends like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and countless others played games there.
Tip: Tickets to Red Sox games are hard to come by. If you can’t get hold of any for your visit to Boston, the next best thing is to go on a guided tour of the park.
8. Top up the tan on Revere Beach
Four miles north of Boston lies America’s first public beach. With three miles of sand and a refreshing ocean breeze, Revere Beach is the perfect place to escape the madness of the city and catch some rays on your trip to Boston.
What’s more, every year there is a spectacular sand sculpting festival along the shore, where you can check out some incredible creativity.
The easiest way to get there is by MBTA (Boston’s train service). The Blue Line will get you from Downtown Boston to Revere Beach in about 20 minutes. You’ll be topping up that tan in no time.
If hunger hits, stop for a bite at Kelly’s Roast Beef. Their fried clams are out of this world.
9. Munch on some Bostonian delicacies
Boston is a world-class culinary destination. Foodies flock here to enjoy succulent seafood, delicious desserts, and a variety of local delicacies.
Here are three traditional Bostonian treats to try while you’re in town:
Boston cream pie
More of a cake than a pie, this dreamy dessert is a wonderful combination of yellow sponge cake, custard and chocolate ganache.
Check out Mike’s Pastry on Hanover Street for some of the best pie in the city. While you’re there, try some cannoli. Deep-fried pastry tubes with a variety of creamy fillings, Mike’s espresso ones have people queueing around the block.
Boston baked beans
Boston baked beans are beans slow baked in molasses, and flavoured with salt pork. They’re a true Bostonian delicacy.
One of the best places to try them is the Beantown Pub on Tremont Street. Served with brown bread on the side, once you’ve tasted them, you’ll never think of Heinz in the same way again.
A fresh lobster roll is a perfect treat for seafood lovers, and something you have to try when visiting Boston. You get all the delicious meat, with none of the shell-cracking effort.
Sullivan’s, on Castle Island, is renowned for serving some of the best lobster rolls in Boston. Their fried clams are also magnificent. Queues are long, but they move quickly.
10. Enjoy a pint of Samuel Adams
This awesome range of craft beers was named after founding father and revolutionary leader, Samuel Adams. The flagship beer of the Boston Beer Company had humble beginnings, but is now known the world over
Tip: If you’re a beer fanatic, book onto a Boston brewery tour, where you can learn about the beer-making process, from the selection of the ingredients to the finished product. And of course, you’ll sample some award-winning beer.
If you’re up for more sampling than touring, where better to sup a Sam Adams than in the bar where everybody knows your name? Head to Cheers on Beacon Hill; a Boston landmark and best known for being the pub featured in the title sequence of the hit US comedy series of the same name.
If cocktails are more your thing, head to backbar for one of their mouth-watering concoctions, inspired by countries around the world. Their Indian Kulukki Kush, with Bacardi 8 rum, mango, turmeric, coconut, cardamom and cream is a treat.
Ready to go?
Boston is a bustling city that’s full of history, culture and awesome food. For some valuable sightseeing tips, check out our tips for city break tours and activities.
Make the most of your Bostonian adventure with Norwegian Reward. As a member, you’ll earn CashPoints on hotels and activities in Boston, which can be used to get discounts on your next flight with Norwegian. Happy travels!