Boston, Massachusetts is a lively city with so much goodness to discover. In fact, there are so many things to do in Boston that choosing can be tricky. From monuments and memorials to ritzy restaurants, there’s no shortage of activities to choose from. Just trying to plan your itinerary can be overwhelming as you sift through all that the city has to offer. So if you’re wondering what to do in Boston MA, allow us to make it a little easier on you with this list of 18 cool things to do in Boston. Enjoy!
Places to Eat in Boston
If it’s not obvious by now, we really love food. Eating is one of our favorite things to do in Boston—or anywhere for that matter. What better way to start off our guide than with the best places to grab a bite to eat?
Get your tapas on at Toro in the South End of Boston. This Spanish restaurant serves up Barcelona-style tapas that are bursting with flavor. Get adventurous with a plate of braised octopus salad, or indulge in some smoked duck drumettes. Definitely don’t leave without tasting their praised corn on the cob that’s grilled to perfection with alioli and aged cheese. If you plan eat at Toro for dinner, prepare yourself for a wait. They don’t take reservations, but trust us—their mouth-watering food is worth any delay.
2. Cunard Tavern
This new restaurant is brand spankin’ new and is already getting a ton of love from tourists and Bostonians alike. Located in East Boston, Cunard Tavern is a peculiar new spot featuring nautical-inspired décor and funky pub grub with a twist. They’ve got everything from seared chicken with grilled peaches and toasted almond chutney to octopus dumplings with a sesame glaze. The star of the menu? Some say it’s the bacon-wrapped stuffed dates that come with gorgonzola cheese and Applewood smoked bacon. Others vouch for the indulgent mac and cheese topped with a creamy chipotle avocado sauce and grilled shrimp. Who’s got it right? Only one way to find out!
3. No. 9 Park
Looking for something special to do in Boston with your loved one? Make a reservation at No. 9 Park—that’s a command. Owned by renowned Boston chef Barbara Lynch, this upscale restaurant offers delicacies that will make for satisfied bellies and a night to remember. Dine in an intimate atmosphere hidden in an old but elegant townhouse, feasting on French and Italian delicacies. Enjoy the beloved prune-stuffed gnocchi or the perfectly seared foie gras. You can even take the romance up a notch indulging in the six-course meal offered by the chef’s tasting menu. One of the perfect things to do in Boston for an anniversary dinner—or a much-needed romantic outing? An evening of dining at an upscale restaurant in a private setting, and No. 9 Park is the perfect place to do it.
4. Mike’s Pastry
Now on to dessert. Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or not, making a stop at Mike’s Pastry is an absolute must do when in Boston. This place has been here since the 1940s and has captured the hearts of locals and tourists ever since. Situated in the historic North End of Boston, the cannoli at Mike’s Pastry are the main attraction. People from every flock to this little pastry shop just to try one. Even people who once disliked cannoli change their minds after tasting one from Mike’s. From plain to limoncello to Oreo, we guarantee you’ve never had cannoli like these before! This is by far one of many visitors’ favorite things to do in Boston—and for good reason.
5. Max Brenner Chocolate Bar
If you’re chocolate obsessed, then you do not want to miss out on this fantastic spot. Lose yourself in the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar, surrounded by an overwhelming amount of chocolate—everywhere. From chocolate cocktails to chocolate fondue to chocolate pasta, you will never forget your visit to this one-of-a-kind place. They’ve also got a regular food menu, but who wants real food when you can consume large amounts of cocoa?
What to Drink in Boston
It’d be a mistake to make discovering the best cuisine a Boston without doing the same with beverages. Whether you’re a coffee drinker, a wine snob, or a beer fanatic, we’ve got the best places to visit in Boston for a tasty drink.
6. 1369 Coffee House
This is the best coffee joint if you’re looking for high-quality java and a cozy atmosphere to relax in. 1369 Coffee House is the perfect spot for a peaceful retreat indoors with good company and a good cup o’ joe. This is one of the best things to do in Boston when you’re in need of a break from running between the many Boston attractions. Reenergize with a simple shot of espresso or cup of dark roast coffee. Feeling like trying something new? Order a rich cup of their Almond Joy latte or their iced Vietnamese coffee drink. Then lounge around with a good book or quality time with some friends.
While we’re on the topic of coffee, Gracenote is another must visit to add to your Boston itinerary. This coffee joint was nominated 2018’s best coffee shop in Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston Awards, and for good reason. The people behind Gracenote take coffee seriously, so they know they’re stuff—which you can tell from one sip of any of their beverages. Unlike 1369 Coffee House, there’s no place to lounge around as it’s a standing espresso bar, but trust us—you won’t mind. Whether you order the single origin espresso or their creamy Chai latte, you’ll be more than satisfied with your visit.
8. Samuel Adams Brewery Co.
A tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery is one of our top things to do in Boston MA for many reasons. The most important one? The Boston-exclusive brews that you can’t get anywhere else! Of their three breweries, this one is where all the testing goes down—which means it’s where new delicious beers are born. The best part? The tour itself is completely free! That’s right—you can sample delicious, innovative, high-quality beer at the Samuel Adams Brewery at no cost. You might even get to taste some that are still in the works! To top things off, you can head to the store to buy some beer that’s only available in Boston. So, if you’re a beer lover, there’s no question that this should be your number one place to visit in Boston.
This is no typical wine bar, and you’ll be sorry if you miss it. Haley.henry offers a unique selection of wine from around the world that you most likely won’t find in stores. Sip on various glasses of delightful wines and enjoy the unusual flavors of each new bottle. But don’t get it twisted—the wine isn’t all that people swoon over at haley.henry. This little joint has delicious food that will satisfy your craving for something fresh and delicious. Taste their exquisite tins of fish (their specialty) or enjoy a delectable charcuterie board that will melt in your mouth.
10. Spoke Wine Bar
If you’re a fan of high-quality wine and supporting local farmers, you will absolutely fall in love Spoke Wine Bar. This place delivers a mouthwatering menu full of locally sourced ingredients, creative small plates, and a diverse list of beverages. Feeling like a cocktail? Sip on the savory “Pimm Spoke” featuring Pimm’s rhubarb and citrus. Craving a smooth glass of wine? Take your pick from their many red, white, rosé, and even sparkling bottles. Pair your beverage of choice with an indulgent plate of “nettle gnocchi” or their fried oysters. With the help of this delicious menu and the knowledge that you’re supporting local fare, you’ll be more than content after a cozy evening at Spoke. This definitely belongs at the top of your list of things to do in Boston.
Parks to Visit and Nature to See in Boston
Every good trip needs a little nature time, and we’ve got the best of the best lined up for you. So when deciding what to see in Boston that’s outdoors, here are some delightful ideas that will make for a memorable visit.
11. Castle Island Park
This is the place to go if you want a little bit everything. A 22-acre park, Castle Island offers some history, a breathtaking view of the ocean, and a playground and picnic tables for family time. Take a tour of the massive Fort Independence in the middle of the Park. Go for a stroll along the walkway the hugs the shore of Boston Harbor. Grab a bite to eat from Sullivan’s and enjoy it at the picnic table with your loved ones. Do all of this and more, all while enjoying the good ol’ outdoors.
12. Charles River Esplanade
If you love quiet strolls down walking paths, this will probably be one of your favorite things to do in Boston. The Charles River Esplanade is the perfect spot for a serene walk along the river. Other walkers, joggers, and bikers will respectfully pass you by, taking care not to disrupt the wholesome atmosphere. You’ll pass between plush, towering trees, walking by boat rental spots and sitting areas to take it all in. We suggest going early in the morning for the most peaceful experience as you meander along in the quiet.
13. Boston Common
This is one of the best things to do in Boston if you’re a history buff. Being the oldest public park in the United States, the Boston Common is bursting with history of every kind. From military training, to celebrations, to executions, sermons, and more, there’s no shortage of things to discover at this point of interest. The best way to experience it? The freedom trail, which we’ll get to in a little bit. Make sure you don’t miss this spot for a rich outdoor experience!
14. Whale Watching with Boston Harbor Cruises
This is by far our favorite nature-oriented activity in Boston. Who doesn’t want to go whale watching and feel the ocean breeze against their skin? No one we know, that’s for sure. These colossal but fast boats move smoothly and quickly to get you more time gazing at these magnificent creatures and less time searching for them. Boston Harbor Cruises might be one of the most fun things to do in Boston, so don’t leave without crossing it off your bucket list!
15. Boston Public Garden
Boston is a place where many “firsts” in America take place, and one of them includes this beautiful spot. Being the first public botanical garden in the whole country, the Boston Public Garden will take your breath away in an instant. Preserved by the non-profit organization called Friends of the Public Garden, this park is blooming with bewilderingly beautiful flowers and greenery. Plus, you can take a ride on the beloved Swan Boats for a one-of-a-kind experience! The Boston Public Garden is a little slice of heaven—especially for the nature lovers out there.
Other Must-Do Boston Activities
16. Fenway Park
Some would say this is one of those overrated attractions in Boston, and we would have to kindly (but firmly) disagree! Whether you’re a Red Sox fan or not, a tour of the famous Fenway Park is a must-do activity. Dubbed “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark,” it’s more than just walking through a huge stadium. Learn its rich history through the captivating narratives of expert tour guides, sit atop the giant Green Monster, and more. You don’t even have to be a baseball fan to enjoy a tour of Fenway Park.
17. Museum of Fine Arts
Get your fill of amazing art at the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s filled to the brim with a wide variety of artwork from ancient Greek art to modern prints, so take your pick. You’ll be in awe of the skilled collections that decorate this museum. An absolute must-see Boston attraction for the creative!
18. Freedom Trail
Take a stroll through history itself on the extraordinary Freedom Trail. Whether you want to take a guided tour or explore it on your own, you’ll be enchanted by the 16 historical sites that line the route. From important historical figures, to significant buildings, to churches, lose yourself in the history of the American Revolution.
There’s an overload of fun things to do in Boston and curious things to see.
No matter what your activity of preference is, you’ll find plenty of stuff to do in Boston to make your trip a memorable one. We guarantee that if you do any of the things on this list while you’re there, you won’t be disappointed.
Did we miss any other amazing things to do in Boston that you think were worth mentioning? Share them in the comments below!