One of the country’s oldest cities, Boston has an array of well-known annual traditions, events and celebrations. And, the greatest part of this historic hub is that you can enjoy a multitude of attractions no matter the time of year.
If you’ve ever been here, you already know that the city is pretty walkable and, as such, encourages you to leave the car at home, take a walk and breathe in some fresh air. For those looking for apartments in Boston while getting to know the city a little bit better, we put together a list of the top things to see and do here.
1. See the Boston Public Garden & the Boston Common
For outdoor Boston attractions, you must start with the first botanical garden and oldest public park in the United States: the Public Garden and the Boston Common. The Boston Public Garden borders the Common and, together, they make one of the largest green pockets in downtown. While you’re there, feast your eyes on idyllic willow trees overlooking clear ponds, take a ride on the iconic swan boats and check out the Equestrian Statue of George Washington at the Arlington Gate.
2. Trek the Freedom Trail
Given Boston’s role in the history of the U.S., the city is brimming with historical landmarks, one of which is the 2.5-mile long Freedom Trail. Beginning at the Boston Common and ending at the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, visitors can grab or download maps of significant sites as they easily follow the red brick line to find out more about the city’s past in a fun and refreshing way.
3. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
With more than 1 million visitors each year, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is one of the most popular attractions in town, and visitors enjoy rotating and seasonal exhibits as the MFA art collections keep growing. Founded in 1870, the museum boasts an extensive collection of world art, including vast collections of Egyptian and Japanese pieces. In fact, it houses around 500,000 pieces of art, so set aside a few good hours to make sure you get to see as much as possible.
4. See the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is another great place to quench your thirst for art. The home of the art collector prides itself with works by Botticelli and Titian, as well as many other fine art titans. But, it’s not all just paintings. The museum also has unique art objects, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces and rare books, including original pressings of books by Dante. Plus, the garden is a beauty in itself, and almost as cool as the Venetian Palace-style building is that you get free admission on your birthday, as well as discounts if your name is Isabella or if you’re wearing Red Sox merch.
5. Go to Fenway Park, of course
Home of the Red Sox and an all-around American sports staple, no trip to Boston should lack a visit to “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.” The stadium opened its doors in 1912, which makes it the oldest park in the majors, and tours are available on game days, as well as non-game days. So, go breathe in the sports history, root for the home team and grab some souvenirs while you’re there.
6. Check out the Boston Public Library
Founded in 1848 and completed almost 50 years later, the Boston Public Library (BPL) is known around the world as having one of the largest collections — more than 23 million books, letters, manuscripts and everything in between is accessible to the public. What’s more, this knowledge dome is almost 1 million square feet in size and worth visiting even if you don’t have a library card. The BPL also hosts performances, talks, debates and other functions, so you can also make an evening out of it.
7. Take a breather in the Arnold Arboretum
Harvard University’s 281-acre landscape is the oldest public plant conservatory in North America. Essentially, it’s a museum of trees that’s been taken care of and beautifully preserved for almost 150 years, and the collection of trees, vines, colorful flowers and all that green will make you forget you’re still in Boston. The Arboretum also hosts events and performances, so make sure to check their website for everything it has to offer.
8. Marvel at the Old North Church
Now nestled in the city’s very own Little Italy, Boston’s oldest church has been witness to the city’s history since the 1700s. Famous for hanging two lanterns in its tower as a sign that the British were marching by sea, Old North Church is considered as the place where the American Revolution was ignited. And, while there’s no entrance fee, donations are encouraged — a small price to pay to see cool artifacts like its wooden angels, which were originally stolen and donated to the church by a pirate.
9. Eat at the Union Oyster House
Fresh oysters are a must in Boston cuisine and Union Oyster House had a role to play in establishing that. Notably, the building had an interesting history long before it became a seafood restaurant, even housing a future king of France at one point. Opened in 1826, it still makes some of the best meals in town. And yes, they do have Happy Hour.
10. Enjoy the Boston Waterfront
No trip to Boston is complete without a stroll down its waterfront. Take a breezy walk or bike your way down miles upon miles of instagrammable trails. Then, stop for dinner with a view in one of the many shoreline eateries in the area. This is also where you can see the absolute best of Boston’s skyline.