Shopping Sightseeing History & Culture Nature & Parks Outdoor Activities shopping boston usa parks things to do US > Eastern Massachusetts > Boston

Unlock Your 5 Senses: 15 Things To Do In Boston

Unlock Your 5 Senses: 15 Things To Do In Boston
Charlene
Charlene
Published

A bustling city like Boston wouldn’t necessarily top your list as a place for a retreat, but Boston has everything you would want and need! It’s a perfect city to rejuvenate and unlock all your senses. Feel the crisp Boston breeze when you’re strolling down Boston Common, and watch history unfold right in front of your eyes as you walk along the Freedom trail. Hear the loud passionate cheers from the Red Sox fans and join in the crowd cheering like you’ve never done before, smell the fresh seafood from the waterfront seafood restaurant, and enjoy every crunch of your sinful Boston maple bacon donut. Listed below are 15 things to do in Boston … it may be the best place for a retreat after all!

1. Roam around Harvard Square for interesting finds

Bustling with friendly locals, students, and tourists, you would think that Harvard Square is just another overrated tourist area flooded with annoying tourists (though you are one yourself!). But that’s not true! The crowd adds to the atmosphere of this beautiful square. The vibrant vibes it emits will make you fall in love with this place immediately. It’s happening, yet laid back at the same time. Be sure to buy some Harvard souvenirs and gain bragging rights that “you’re a Harvard student”, and drop by the Harvard Book Store, which is a real haven for bookworms! You can lose more hours here, just looking at their wide collection of books.

Harvard Book Store

Address: 1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States

Opening Hours: 9 am - 11 pm

Contact: +1 617-661-1515

Nearby Food: there are many places close to the square where you’ll find good food!

Website: Harvard Bookstore

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

2. Take a jog down Charles River Esplanade

Jogging is the best way to fully take in the surroundings of a new city, and the Charles River Esplanade provides you a path to do just that! This three-mile (4.8-kilometer) leafy path will help you to familiarise yourself with the new city as you feel the fresh air brushing softly against your face and helping you to be captivated by the beauty of this historical city. You will be tempted to buy a thirst-quenching lemonade as you pass by lemonade booths. You’ll be amused by the flocks of wild geese, but start to panic when they refuse to leave you alone. And you may get irritated when the path is crowded with other runners. But, at the end of it all, you will probably say its one of the nicest jogs you’ve ever had!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

3. Walk around Jamaica Pond and treat yourself to JP Licks for an ice cream sandwich

Jamaica Pond is a serene oasis in the heart of Boston, the epitome of tranquility, peacefulness, and calmness. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, here you’re welcome to sit near the banks of the pond, munch on a sandwich, and watch the ducks waddle around the pond. If you’re visiting during fall, you’re in for a real treat. Just imagine walking through a gorgeous blend of fiery red and electric yellow fallen leaves, you can hardly resist taking a photo here! With the weather just right, head over to J.P Licks for an ice cream sandwich. #livingthelife!!

JP Licks Jamaica Plain

Address: 659 Centre Street Jamaica Plain MA 02130

Opening Hours: 6 am - 12 noon

Contact: 617 - 524 - 6740

Website: Jamaica Plain

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

4. Unfold history as you walk down the Freedom Trail

Take yourself to places where history was made as you walk down the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is one of the best ways to know more about this barrier-breaking city. Discover the rich history of the American Revolution, as it began in Boston, where every step tells a story. There are several tours conducted to take you along the route, but you can buy a map from the information center, which offers information about all the sights. The trail starts at Boston Common, all you have to do is follow the painted line and you will be able to cover the whole trail. Not only is this option cheaper, it is also a better alternative for those who like to go at their own time and pace! The trail is 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long so get prepared to walk and wear comfortable shoes!

Boston Commons

Address: Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116, United States

Opening Hours: 7 am - 9 pm

Contact: +1 617-635-4505

Website: Boston Common

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

5. Make a pitstop at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Housing plenty of stalls selling all kinds of cuisine and delicacies, Quincy Market / Faneuil Hall Marketplace sure attracts loads of tourists. It’s a great pitstop while you’re on the Freedom Trail and a food haven to feast on wonderful delicacies like clam chowder and Boston cream buns! While you may get excited over filling your stomachs, don’t get too carried away with the feasting! The highlight of this stop is the magnificent Faneuil Hall and its New England charm. Every part of the building is a piece of history, so give it the attention it deserves! It’s livelier at night, bustling with tourists and street performers and rowdy bars blaring thumping music, but you really get to experience a whole new culture.

Quincy Market / Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Address: 367 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109, United States

Opening Hours: 10 am - 9 pm

Contact: +1 617-523-1300

Website: Quincy market

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

6. Take a selfie at the Old North Church

The Old North Church might be old, but it hasn’t lost its charm. Thanks to its tall steeple, the Old North Church will easily catch your attention. It first opened its door to worshippers in 1723, and it is the oldest church standing in Boston. It’s an important piece of history, and the entrance is free, so why not stop by to hear more about the history and significance of this church? And maybe take a few selfies here too.

Old North Church

Address: 193 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113, United States

Opening Hours: Mon - Sat: 10 am - 4 pm. Sun: 9 am - 4 pm

Contact: +1 617-523-6676

Website: Old North Church

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

7. Stroll along Boston’s waterfront: Boston Harbor Walk

The Boston Harbor Walk is a great and inexpensive way to view the harbor and city skyscrapers. It’s a nice place for a coffee in the morning, when the morning breeze is blowing right against your face, freshening you up almost instantly. It’s also beautiful at night, when it’s cool and the city lights are illuminated. The Boston Harbor Walk connects many other trails from north to south, including the famous Freedom Trail. It is still being developed, and the final product will be 76 kilometers (47 miles) long. While the boardwalk is a public space free for everyone, if you’re driving, plan your parking ahead because the car park fees are expensive here!

Boston Harbor Walk

Address: Boston Wharf Rd, Boston, MA 02210, United States

Website: Boston Harborwalk

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

8. Go on a swan boat at Boston Public Garden

Dubbed as Boston’s “Central Park”, Boston Public Garden is a must-visit when you visit Boston. Surrounded by a landscape full of lush green, and with frequent joggers, couples on dates, and families laying out their mats for a picnic, the public garden is a peaceful place where lots of good memories are made. Make your visit even more special by hopping into one of the iconic swan boats on the pond! It’s a great way to enjoy the park, and is most certainly a good break from all the walking you’ve done in Boston.

Swan Boats

Address: 4 Charles St, Boston, MA 02116, United States

Price: from 3.50 USD

Opening Hours: 10 am - 4 pm.*timings vary during seasons

Duration: 15 minutes

Contact: 617-522-1966

Website: Swan Boats

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

9. Spend a cold afternoon at the Museum of Fine Arts

Source: istock

A museums is a perfect place to spend a cold afternoon! The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is the fourth-largest museum in the United States, and houses more than 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most comprehensive collections in America. From ancient wonders and rooms dedicated to Monet, to rare masterpiece paintings and exquisite Japanese porcelain, they have almost everything related to art. You will certainly never find yourself bored! With such a comprehensive collection, it’s no surprise to find yourself wishing you had more time to spare in this museum.

Museum of Fine Arts

Address: 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, United States

Price: from 25 USD

Opening Hours: 10 am - 5 pm. *Wed - Fri: 10 am - 10 pm

Duration: around 3 hours required

Contact: +1 617-267-9300

Website: Museum of Fine arts

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

10. Unleash the baseball fan within you at Fenway Park

Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, you’ve got to stop by Fenway Park when you’re in Boston! Home to the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park is the oldest park in the Major League Baseball (MLB). There are tours conducted around the park, where the knowledgeable guides will bring you around and tell you more about the history of baseball and the park. It’s super insightful! Of course, if you’re not budget-constrained, you should definitely attend a baseball game. It’s quite unlike other games; the atmosphere here is wild, with passionate fans cheering enthusiastically, even when their own team is disadvantaged, never losing the game spirit. Soon enough you will find yourself cheering and shouting at the top of your lungs, even though you aren’t completely sure what’s going on in the game! It’s a fabulous experience, and the super-good hot dog booth outside is just the icing on the cake.

Fenway Park Tour

Address: 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215, United States

Price: from 18 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm

Duration: around 1 hour

Nearby Food: Hot dog booths

Website: Fenway Park

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

11. Make a fashion statement with unique buys from Newbury Street

Stand out from the crowd and let your inner fashionista run wild! Bid goodbye to mainstream labels; it’s time to mix and match your own outfit with good steals from these boutiques along Newbury Street. Allow yourself at least 3 good hours of shopping and browsing, for there is so much to look at! Stop by one of the cafes if you’re in need of a break, and if you decide to chill and people-watch instead, bring your sunnies so you can blend in with the throngs at a sidewalk table. Tip: avoid trying to park, because parking is expensive. Instead, take public transit to the Prudential Center and walk from there.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

12. Get thrown back to the past at Beacon Hill

A cluster of red-brick row houses and mansions with the occasional USA flag hanging out of windows, narrow cobbled and walled streets, 18th-century houses turned into museums, bars and restaurants … Beacon Hill is incredibly charming. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into an entirely different country and time altogether; it’s a nice and short getaway from the present. The shops there are mostly upmarket boutiques and the bars aren’t cheap either, so, unless your budget permits, leave out the shopping and drinking. Still, it’s a worthwhile visit to walk around and explore the neighborhood.

For an extraordinary experience near this beautiful neighborhood, check out The Liberty, a luxury boutique hotel that used to be a prison! Go and experience what it’s like to “do time” in their luxurious rooms!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

13. Break the bank while you’re at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets

The USA is home to several high end brands, and a premium outlet is most woman’s and some men’s!) paradise! Visiting one is a must-do when you’re in the States to get your shopping fix! The prices you get there are huge steals, and that’s the only time when shopping and breaking the bank is justified. Give yourself a whole day at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, set off early, bring cash aplenty and your credit card! It’s good to plan ahead what to buy so that you don’t spend excessively (especially if you have poor self control), and there are plenty of shops to browse through, so avoid taking too long at any one shop! Note: if you’re going with a male (possibly female?) who hates shopping, prep yourself for hearing them nag and telling you to hurry up!

Wrentham Village Premium Outlets

Address: 1 Premium Outlet Blvd, Wrentham, MA 02093, United States

Opening Hours: 9 am - 9 pm

Duration: whole day affair

Access: 37 miles (60 kilometers) south of Boston

Contact: +1 508-384-0600

Website: Wrentham Village Premium Outlets

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

14. Pig out at Row 34

Source: flickr

Boston is an oasis for all seafood lovers! Located on the cold shores of the Atlantic, Boston is in a prime location where you can feast on some succulent seafood treats. There are several good seafood restaurants around town, but what better way to enjoy those fresh oysters than by the sea, right? Dig into their signature oysters, buttered lobster rolls, and clam chowder, and wash it all down with some craft beer! The lively and helpful staff definitely add to the ambience, making sure this feast lingers in your mind for the next few days, and leaves you craving more.

To make sure you score a table, make reservations ahead here!

Row 34

Address: 383 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210, United States

Opening Hours: 11.30 am - 11 pm

Contact: +1 617-553-5900

Website: Row 34

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

15. Ditch the diet at Union Square Donuts

Donut (do not, get it?!) say diet when you’re in Boston. If Union Square Donuts isn’t already on your food bucket list, put it down now! Take a bite of their maple bacon donut and it might change your life! But going all the way to Boston just to eat one donut is just unacceptable … try their brown butter hazelnut crunch too! It already sounds so great. Vegans too can enjoy this yummy goodness, as there are vegan options available! Do go there early though (before 1 pm); you don’t want to get there and find it closed.

Union Square Donuts

Address: 20 Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143, United States

Price: from 3 USD

Opening Hours: 7 am - 1 pm. 7 am - 3 pm on Sat & Sun

Contact: +1 617-209-2257

Website: Union Square Donuts

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Boston and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Boston

Choose your form of transport wisely

There’s a lot of walking to do in Boston! From its numerous parks to cobble-stone streets and its 4-kilometer-long (2.5-mile-long) Freedom Trail, your feet are basically your mode of transport, so ditch those high-heeled boots for comfortable walking shoes. You may be unwilling at first, but you will thank yourself later. Also, while driving may sound like a more convenient way to get around, beware of the parking fees! Unless you’re ready to throw away lots of dollars on a space to park your car, take public transport instead. It’s economical, and may turn out to be more convenient after all.

Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Charlene likes to write, especially when its about her feelings and experiences. Travel has always been of her interest as she believes the world has so much more to offer her. She has travelled to...Read more

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Boston
Good things are meant to be shared!