The Ultimate Guide To Boston
Boston, one of the oldest cities in the US with rich history & youthful aura!
Boston, renowned the world over for its prestigious colleges, including Harvard, MIT, Tufts, and many others, is also a city with rich history & diverse culture!
Boston, the capital and the most populous city of Massachusetts, is one of the oldest cities in the US, which played a significant role during the American Revolutionary War. Post-independence, Boston grew as an educational and cultural hub, becoming the Nation’s one of the most famous college towns, which gives the city its lively and youthful vibe besides the several historical sites. The amalgam of rich history and vibrant & youthful culture makes Boston the most charming and sorted-after destination in New England!
Located in eastern Massachusetts, overlooking the Massachusetts Bay, Boston is also the largest metropolitan city in New England, the northeastern section of the US, comprising six northeastern states – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. New England is known for its colonial past and played a significant role in the anti-slavery movement and American Civil War against the British. Some of the critical events of the American Civil War took place in Boston, including the Battle of Bunker Hill, Boston Massacre, and Boston Tea Party.
Explore Boston’s rich history along the Freedom Trail and visit the modern-day attractions, vibrant neighborhoods, and a lively waterfront to experience the modern & youthful side of the city!
The city’s several attractions, including historic districts, eclectic neighborhoods, lush gardens, sports venues, shopping districts, museums, skyscrapers, premier colleges, nightlife, and a vibrant waterfront, make Boston a popular tourist destination in the northeast US! The significant historical sites in Boston are all easily accessible along the Freedom Trail, and several local tour companies offering trolley, bus, and boat tours, make Boston more inviting and easy to explore!
Here is my ultimate guide to Boston, featuring essential trip-planning information, major attractions, Boston attractions map, and recommendations on hotels and restaurants in Boston!
Planning Your Trip To Boston
Directly flying into Boston international airport and staying close to downtown Boston is the best way to explore the city!
Best Time To Visit Boston: Winters are chilly and can be snowy in Boston, making late spring through fall the best time to visit Boston for sightseeing. Summer and fall, June through October, are the peak seasons in Boston as they have the perfect temperatures for outdoor activities, and fall brings gorgeous fall colors. However, if you don’t mind slightly cooler temperatures, late spring is a great choice to beat the crowds at Boston.
Time Required At Boston: With a ton of things to see and do in Boston, I recommend spending a minimum of three days to see the city’s major highlights. However, if you have more time, you could spend an entire week in Boston exploring several museums, some of the famous college campuses, the city’s shopping district, and eclectic neighborhoods, besides the city’s mainstream attractions.
Getting To Boston: The best and most comfortable way to get to Boston is by flying into Boston Logan International Airport, located very close to downtown Boston. Alternatively, you could also take an Amtrak train or a Greyhound bus to Boston.
- Flight: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Boston, Massachusetts, about 4 miles from downtown Boston, is the closest major international airport to Boston and is serviced by all major airlines.
- Train: The South Station in Boston, an Amtrak train station located right in downtown Boston, is serviced by several Amtrak train services connecting Boston to other parts of the Nation.
- Bus: Greyhound offers bus services to Boston, with the closest Greyhound bus stop located at 700 Atlantic Avenue, right in downtown Boston.
Parking & Transportation In Boston: Most hotels and attractions in Boston offer paid onsite parking, and there are quite a few public and private parking lots in the downtown area. However, you really don’t need to rent a car in Boston if you plan to stay close to the downtown. Most of the attractions in Boston are located close to the downtown area and are easily accessible via hop-on-hop-off bus tours, water taxis, ride-hailing services, or local transportation offered by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), including subway, rail, and bus services.
Tours & Multi-Attraction Passes In Boston: If you’re visiting Boston or any other city in the US for the first time, I highly recommend using a hop-on-hop-off tour service and buying a discounted multi-attraction pass from CityPASS. There’re a couple of local tour companies that offer excellent guided bus tours and cruises in Boston that I highly recommend – The Old Town Trolley Tour and Boston Harbor Cruises.
Lodging & Dining In Boston: I recommend staying in downtown Boston as there’re several lodging options in the downtown area ranging from boutique hotels to bread and breakfasts, but most importantly, staying in Downtown Boston offers easy access to several attractions. The dining options in Boston can be overwhelming, with several different cuisines and restaurants offering fine dining and casual dining. However, you must try a few Boston delicacies, including seafood, Lobster Rolls, Boston Cream Pie, and Boston Baked Beans. I have reviewed the lodging and dining options in Boston in detail in the later section of this post.
Things To Do In Boston
Boston Attractions Map
The attractions in Boston are very accessible, and it’s a pedestrian-friendly city! The several historical sites in Boston are located along the famous Freedom Trail, a 2.5 miles pathway passing through all the major historical sites in Boston, including historic buildings, meeting points, parks, chapels, monuments, and cemeteries. If you’re renting a car, you can park at one of the public or private parking lots in downtown Boston and then walk along the Freedom Trail or use the Old Town Trolley Tour to explore the attraction in Boston.
Here’re the must-see places on a trip to Boston, starting with the major historical sites located in downtown Boston!
Faneuil Hall, known as the “cradle of liberty,” is a market hall built by Peter Faneuil in 1742. The marketplace soon became a gathering place and played a major role during the American Revolutionary War as it was the site for several protests, speeches, and meetings. Faneuil Hall still operates as a marketplace and is home to the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Museum.
Quincy Market, located adjacent to Faneuil Hall, is a market complex constructed in 1826, built under the leadership of Mayor Josiah Quincy to cater to the increased commercial demand, which was beyond Faneuil Hall’s capacity. Quincy Market is a National Historic Landmark and still continues to operate with several shops, restaurants, and food court stops.
Old State House
Old State House
Old State House, one of the oldest public buildings in the US, constructed in the year 1713, is now a National Historic Landmark and a museum. The Old State House was once the seat of the Massachusetts General Court and this where the Declaration of Independence was announced in Boston. However, this is also the site for the infamous Boston Massacre of 1970.
Beacon Hill, a quaint neighborhood of Boston, popularly known for its charming Greek and Federal-style row houses and cobblestone alleys lined with gas lamps and trees, is one of Boston’s most beautiful and photographed places. Beacon Hill is best explored by walking along Charles and Pickney Street.
Boston Common, located in the heart of the city, is the oldest city park in the US, featuring lush green spaces, a pond, and many monuments. Since the Colonial times, Boston Common has served different purposes – grazing field in the early days, campsite for British Army, site for sermons, protests, celebrations, and later designated as a public park.
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is the historical site where on December 16th, 1773, Bostonians protested against taxation and destroyed an entire shipment of tea from the East India Company by dumping the tea into the harbor. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is now a famous museum with several exhibits and films related to the historical event.
New England Aquarium
New England Aquarium
One of the modern-day attractions of Boston, the New England Aquarium, is a public aquarium located along the harbor east of downtown Boston. The New England Aquarium features a Giant Ocean Tank, housing sea corals and many aquatic animals, an IMAX Theatre, and several animal encounter programs.
North End, also popularly known as Boston’s Little Italy, is a historic and the oldest residential neighborhood in Boston, which is home to several old houses, the house of the patriot Paul Revere, and the Old North Church. You will also find several Italian eateries and pastry shops in North End.
Bunker Hill Monument
Bunker Hill Monument
Bunker Hill Monument, a 221 feet granite obelisk built on the site of the famous Battle of Bunker Hill, the first major battle between the British and Americans. The Bunker Hill Monument honors the lives lost and sacrifices of the brave men who fought in the battle. The adjacent Bunker Hill Museum features several artifacts and exhibits related to the Battle of Bunker Hill.
USS Constitution Museum
USS Constitution Museum
The USS Constitution Museum, located in an old shipyard building near the historic ship, the USS Constitution, which is the oldest commissioned ship still commanded and staffed by the US Navy. The USS Constitution Museum features several exhibits and artifacts telling the story of the USS Constitution and about the people who built and sailed it.
Lodging & Dining In Boston
I recommend staying in Downtown Boston for easy access to several attractions and an authentic Boston experience!
Hotels In Boston: Most of the popular attractions in Boston are located close to the downtown area, and if you’re visiting Boston for sightseeing, I highly recommend staying right in the heart of the city in Downtown Boston. There’re several lodging choices in downtown Boston, ranging from luxury boutique hotels to bread and breakfasts. Here’re my top picks for hotels near downtown Boston to help you choose the best lodging option for your trip to Boston.
- The Ritz-Carlton Boston: Located in downtown Boston close to several attractions, Ritz-Carlton Boston is a luxury hotel featuring contemporary decor, excellent guest service, spectacular views of Downtown Boston, spa services, and a few great dining options.
- Boston Harbor Hotel: Situated along the harbor, the Boston Harbor Hotel is a luxury hotel featuring elegant suites and rooms with great views of the harbor, exemplary guest services, and access to several downtown attractions.
- Hilton Boston Downtown: Located within walking distance from Faneuil Hall and New England Aquarium, Hilton Boston Downtown features contemporary rooms with modern amenities and excellent guest service.
- W Boston: The W Boston is a boutique hotel located close to the Boston Common, featuring stylish decor, gorgeous suites and rooms, excellent guest services, and a lounge.
Restaurants In Boston: There’re endless dining options in Boston, ranging from fine dining to local eateries serving various cuisines. There’re so many eateries in every street, especially in downtown Boston, it’s impossible to try them all or pick one over the other. However, here’re a few dishes and joints you must try when in Boston – unquestionably, try the several food court stops in Quincy Market, Seafood in Union Oyster House or The Barking Crab, Lobster Rolls at Yankee Lobster, and delicious Boston Cream Pie at Mike’s Pastry.
Other Massachusetts Attractions & Related Posts
I hope you enjoyed reading the post, The Ultimate Guide To Boston, and I hope this will help you plan your trip to Boston. You can find other attractions in Massachusetts in my Massachusetts Travel Guide.
Happy feeding your soul!
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