10 Touristy Things to do in Boston

It took me all of 2 full days to fall completely in love with New England. Luckily, I spent the entire summer living there so my love for the Northeast grew more and more every day. Cape Cod was dreamy, Rhode Island was beautiful, but Boston was everything rolled into one. It has charm, personality, culture, history, amazing food, and awesome sports. It is the perfect city for a girl like me, and I can’t sing its praises enough.

before I really got to know Boston, I did all the typically touristy things. I have to be honest, I loved it! Touristy things are usually touristy because they’re worth seeing. These 10 spots in Boston are definitely worth seeing!

10 touristy things to do in-2

Walk the Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long path through downtown Boston that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. Marked largely with brick, it winds between Boston Common to the USS Constitution in Charlestown.

Stops along the trail include simple explanatory ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and buildings. Most of the sites are free or suggest donations, but there are a few that charge a small admission price.

Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts

Wander Through the Beacon Hill Neighborhood

Beacon Hill is a historic Boston neighborhood lined with stunning Federal-style row-houses and known for it’s narrow streets, and brick sidewalks. Beacon Hill is one of my favorite neighborhoods of any city I’ve ever been to. Whether it’s covered in fall leaves or 2 feet of snow, it explodes charm at all times of the year. It is such a fun place to wonder the streets and snap some pictures. Homes in the Beacon Hill neighborhood run anywhere from $1.2 million to a whopping $12.5 million.

Visit the Paul Revere House

Anyone who’s been through the US school system knows the story of Paul Revere. On the night of April 18, 1775, silversmith Paul Revere left his small wooden home in Boston’s North End and set out on a journey to warn the colonists “the British were coming”. Today that home is still standing at 19 North Square and has become a national historic landmark. It is downtown Boston’s oldest building and one of the few remaining from an early era in the history of colonial America.

Paul Revere House, Boston, Massachusetts

Visit Old North Church

Once you’ve visited the Paul Revere House make your way to the next part of the historical journey and head to Old North Church. This church has an important place in early American History. This church is from which the famous “One if by land, and two if by sea” signal is said to have been sent.

On the night of Paul Revere’s famous ride, he told three Boston patriots to hang two lanterns in the steeple of the church to signal a warning to Charlestown patriots across the Charles River about the movements of the British Army. One lantern hung meant the British were arriving by land, two lanterns hung meant they were arriving by sea.

The lanterns were hung for just under a minute to avoid catching the eyes of the British troops occupying Boston, but this was long enough for the message to be received in Charlestown. The militia waiting across the river had been told to look for the signal lanterns, and were prepared to act as soon as they saw them.

Today, the Old North Church is the oldest standing church building in Boston and is a National Historic Landmark.

Old North Church, Boston, Massachusetts

Chill out in Boston Common

Boston Commons is Boston’s version of New York’s Central Park. The “Commons” as it’s sometimes called, consists of 50 acres of land in the heart of downtown Boston. Just like Central Park, it’s a popular area for runners and walkers, picnics, and group gatherings. The Commons is beautiful at all times of the year, but it is absolutely stunning in the fall when the leaves begin to change colors. I took the picture below in the early summer when the Boston Bruins were in Stanley Cup Finals. If you look closely at the statue of George Washington, you can see he is wearing a Bruins jersey.

Boston Commons, Boston, Massachusetts

Grab a drink at Cheers

“Where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came!” The original Cheers, where the cult classic show was filmed, is located in Beacon Hill, but a replica restaurant is located at Feneuil Hall. What most people don’t know is that the pub that was used for the show Cheers was actually originally founded as the Bull & Finch Pub. Cheers the show only used the exterior of Bull & Finch for filming of the show. When the show developed a devoted following, the exterior of the building became easily recognizable by people all over the world. In 2002, 9 years after the Cheers series finale aired, the Bull & Finch Pub was officially renamed Cheers Beacon Hill, to pay homage to the show that made it famous. Be a super tourist and pay extra to keep the souvenir Cheers mug your cocktail is served in. I definitely did this. #NoRegrets

Cheers Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts

Hit up the shops on Newbury Street

Newbury street is not your typical Michigan Ave in Chicago or even 5th Ave in New York City. Newbury is a mile long street lined with stunning and historic brownstones that house hundreds of shops and restaurants. Newbury has everything from high-end boutiques to more budget friendly stores. In my opinion the entire street is worth strolling through, but if you’re looking only for something specific, most of the high end stores are located near the Boston Public Garden end of Newbury. As you head more towards Mass Ave, the stores become more casual and budget friendly.

Get a cannoli at Mike’s Pastry

Mike’s is full of amazingly delicious sweets, but if you want a truly Boston experience you have to get a cannoli. Beware: it’s not uncommon for there to be a line out the door at all hours of the day at Mikes. That should also prove to you just how good their sweets really are. The original Mikes can be found in Boston’s North End neighborhood, but they’ve also recently opened up another store at Harvard Square.

Cannoli, Mike's Pastry, Boston, Massachusetts

Grab dinner and drinks at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall took me by complete surprise! Located near the waterfront and Government Center, Faneuil Hall has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1743. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain. Now it is part of Boston’s National Historical Park and a well-known stop on the Freedom Trail. Faneuil Hall Marketplace also includes three buildings called North Market, South Market, and Quincy Market. It operates as a huge mecca of food and restaurant options and as an indoor/outdoor mall. On many nights the marketplace is full of musicians and street performers of many different kinds providing lively entertainment.

Quincy Market, Boston, Massachusetts

Watch the Red Sox play at Fenway Park

One of my favorite things about living in New England was how loyal people are to their sports teams. Fenway is lovingly nicked named “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark”. Not only is it a historic park (opened in 1912, the oldest Major League Ballpark still in use today), but it’s also an awesome place to watch a game. Be prepared: because Fenway is so old, it lacks some modern upgrades you may be used to at other newer parks; i.e., wooden seats, extremely small amount of leg room, etc. If you’d like the full Fenway experience head to the stadium well before the game. Stop for a drink or lunch at Cask and Flagon and wander through the famous Yawkey Way. Tours of Fenway are available year round. Click here for more info.

Not into baseball? no worries! Catch the Bruins (NHL), the Celtics (NBA), or the Patriots (NFL).

Yawkey Way, Fenway Park. Boston, Massachusetts

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts

Have you fallen in love with Boston yet?!

10 touristy things to do in Boston, Massachusetts

What’s your favorite Boston activity?

linking up with Lauren, Van, Isabel, and Marcella for Wanderful Wednesday

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  • Sarah P

    YES YES YES YES!!!! I love Boston for all of these reasons. Obviously. Sooooo when are you coming to visit? 🙂

    • SERIOUSLY THO!!!! I’m honestly thinking next summer I’ll be able to make it happen! i’ll be ready for you to show me all the best places for cookies, ice cream, donuts and burgers! 🙂

  • I visited Boston a couple of years ago with girlfriends, and I completely agree with your entire list! We had such a fun time exploring everything on your list, and I think that our favorite part was probably exploring The Freedom Trail and the North End! It was just so cool to see so much of America’s history in one place! And funny story about that trip, my friend had just gotten engaged and another friend convinced her that she should try on wedding dresses at Vera Wang on Newbury Street because we were there and you only live once. She ended up trying on a dress that she fell in love with and that’s the dress that she ended up wearing for her wedding! It was so cool!

    • The Freedom Trail was one of my favorites too! Early American history gives me all the feels! Such a cool story about your friend finding her wedding gown in Boston! My wedding dress is also Vera Wang, so I know why she fell in love with it! Vera’s dresses are amazing and the quality of the material is unreal.

  • I’ve been to Boston twice and the only thing from your list that I’ve done is visit Faneuil Hall Marketplace. I tried my first lime rickey there and fell in love! Yum!! I definitely need to make another trip to Boston; it seems like a great place to visit and explore. 🙂

    • Faneuil Hall is such a cool area! I’ve never been to Boston in the Fall (only the summer), but I’d LOVE to go in the fall and walk around the Harvard Campus while all the tree leaves are changing colors. I’ve seen pictures and it looks absolutely insane.

  • I was in Boston in 2005 back when I was around 19 years old. I’d love to go back because I feel like traveling with my parents back then we missed a lot! Definitely missed those delicious looking Cannolis! #WanderfulWednesday

    • I hope you make it back to Boston again someday! It’s 100% worth a visit. You definitely need to get a cannoli!

  • I’ve been to Boston twice and I love it. It’s one of my favorite US cities. I loved Boston Commons and the Freedom Trail. I also loved walking around Harvard. For some reason, I have always loved exploring college campuses and Harvard is beautiful. #wanderfulwednesday

    • I completely agree with you, Allison! A walk around Harvard would be a good addition to this list. I’ve seen pictures of Harvard’s campus in the fall when the leaves are changing and it’s a spectacular site. sadly, I’ve only lived on the East Coast in the summer time and haven’t made it to visit in the fall. some day hopefully! 🙂

  • I haven’t been to Boston since I was in middle school, but I remember enjoying the city (well, other than the fact that it seemed as if everyone we ran into had to comment on how thick my Southern accent was!). I adore history, so I’d love to dive into what Boston has to offer as an adult!

    • haha! You’d think Boston people would not be quick to point out accents, but they definitely are! I’m from the mid-west which typically doesn’t have too much of an accent, but people told me all the time about how weird my accent was. all I could do was laugh cause Boston accents are SOOO heavy!!!

  • I’ve SOOOO fallen in love with Boston! I’ve actually thought a lot about moving there when I finally return to the States. Thankfully I have a lot of friends living there, so even if I don’t I always have a place to stay when visiting, but still I’m not sure if that will be enough for me. Boston is such a young, fun city and you’ve really highlighted some of the best parts.. I mean canolis, beautiful green parks and baseball, what more could you want?! 😀

    • haha! I completely agree Lauren! I love a city that has personality to it and that is definitely Boston!