From historic trails and monuments to world-class museums and parks, Boston is a history buff’s vacation dream. Discover which Boston attractions you need to see.
1. The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail connects many of the most significant sites of our nation’s history, all within the city of Boston. Featuring a trail of museums, churches, meeting houses, parks, a ship, burying grounds, and well-known markers, each site tells its own history regarding the American Revolution and beyond. This 2.5 mile trail features sixteen historic sites from the Boston Common to Paul Revere’s house in the North End. Of course, you don’t need a tour to follow the markers, although tours are available during business hours.
2. Faneuil Hall
One of the most significant sites along the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall has served as a meeting place since the 1740s. Once a hotspot for hearing speeches during the Revolutionary War, it’s now home to Quincy Market, where visitors can wander through food stalls and dine at numerous eateries. One of the top Boston historical sites, this is a perfect stop once you get hungry.
3. New England Aquarium
Home to thousands of aquatic animals from around the world, the New England Aquarium features species such as California sea lions, two giant Pacific octopi, northern fur seals, and many more. Furthermore, guests can enjoy several interactive animal encounters that involve such activities as feeding the animals and going behind the scenes.
Additionally, the aquarium features an impressive IMAX theater as well as an opportunity to go whale watching with Boston Harbor Cruises.
4. Boston Common
Founded in 1634, the Boston Common serves as an incredibly historic site with ties to the Revolutionary War, anti-Vietnam War rallies, civil rights rallies, and much more. Now owned by a nonprofit organization, the park contains beautiful walkways, fountains, statues, and play areas. Further, many families go ice-skating in the Frog Pond each year.
5. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
With seven distinct sections highlighting the Boston Tea Party of 1773, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum enables guests to travel back in time through interactive exhibits. Guests can experience reenactments of the famous event with full-scale replica 18th-century sailing vessels, historic artifacts, live actors, a multi-sensory award-winning film, and much more. Note that you need to purchase a ticket to tour sections 1-5 of the museum.
6. USS Constitution
Fun fact: The USS Constitution is the oldest ship in the world still afloat. Better yet, the public is welcome to visit this well-known ship, which is permanently locked in the Charleston Navy Yard. Explore what life at sea was like over 200 years ago with a free tour. Note that tours are available every 30 minutes days from 10 am – 4 pm (extended hours offered during summer).
7. Boston Garden
The oldest public garden in the U.S., the Boston Public Garden, was established in 1837 and presents many lovely meandering walkways, species of flowers and plants, and birds that populate the area. Guests can ride the Swan Boats, picnic, play sports, and much more.
8. Charles River Esplanade
Stroll down the scenic Charles River Esplanade in the Back Bay Area for beautiful views, sun, and exercise. Stretching for 17 miles, visitors can walk, bike, canoe, kayak, rollerblade, and more. There’s even a playground for kids to explore. In addition, visitors can catch free summertime concerts as well as free moving showings at the Hatch Shell. Furthermore, the Hatch Shell features the iconic free Boston Pops concert each July 4th.