During my recent trip to New England I found Boston to be a particularly fascinating city. Boston is steeped in history with a strong sense of comradery and a decent foodie scene. Make sure you put my top ten things to do in Boston on your list to ensure you have a great trip and don’t miss a thing!
One of Boston’s greatest appeals is its strong sense of history. So many important events in the founding of the United States occurred in this iconic city. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile walking trail linking 16 of Boston’s most important historic locations. It’s one of the best ways to see Boston and its FREE!
Conceived in the 1950’s The Freedom Trail is overseen by the Freedom Trail Foundation. Maps are available but the trail is ridiculously easy to follow. The city has laid out a line in the sidewalk that follows the entire length of the Freedom Trail. Of my top ten things to do in Boston this is one of the best.
Most of the history of the trail the will be lost on you if you don’t have the proper information. I would suggest buying a small guidebook to the sites or joining a guided tour. Tours are inexpensive and will greatly improve your understanding of the history of the founding of America.
This sneaky little nugget of joy is located in the Library of the Mary Baker Eddy Library on Boston’s west side.
Mary Baker Eddy? That name sounds familiar. Isn’t she the founder of Christian Science? Yes! The mapparium is the Church’s attempt to acknowledge their global awareness and reach. It is also considered a nod to the Church Scientist’s background and dedication to their emphasis on Science (no comment).
The beautifully colored stained glass Mapparium was constructed 1935 and contains some interesting acoustics. Two people whispering on opposite ends can hold a perfect conversation. Stand in the middle and you hear your voice echoed back from 360°!
Most people come here looking for a photo op and a selfie or two. Unfortunately the church has the indoor globe trademarked and does not allow photos.
Watch the Boston Marathon
One of the great things about Bostonians is their sense of pride in their city. This is no more evident than during the iconic annual Boston Marathon. Fans surround the route with a sea of “Boston Strong” memorabilia as Bostonians cheer on marathon runners from across the globe.
Catch a ballgame at the country’s oldest stadium
There are few baseball stadiums left in America that remain with the original building and ball club. Only two of these parks build before 1966 are still in operation. These are Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago. Of the two Fenway is the oldest, built in 1912 Fenway is the oldest continually used park in baseball.
Built as one of 8 original American League parks the biggest thing that stands out about Fenway is the sense of history. With the wooden seats and original architecture it takes you back to the golden age of baseball. You really feel like you are watching a baseball game in 1920’s America.
The stadium is very small, so seats in almost any section will give you a great view of the game. Make sure to buy your tickets in advance as every game since 2003 has sold out!
Visit the Tea Party Museum
You mean the conservative political party which began during Barak Obama’s first presidential term? How do they have a museum already? This is the OTP. The museum is commemorating Bostonians risking their life to throw English tea in to the harbor. Symbolizing the Americans wish to have a representative government.
Originally thrown off by the price, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum is a very well done and entertaining historical experience. You are invited to participate in a historic reenactment of the 1773 event. Starting as a character at a town hall meeting, you dress up as Mohawks and storm the boat and throw crates of “tea” into the harbor!
The crate, oh the magnificent crate! If you’ve ever wanted to watch a small wooden box float around in a glass display case then this is your place!
Ride the “T”
A top ten things to do in Boston post wouldn’t be complete without a mention of public transportation. The subway system in Boston, otherwise known as the “T” is your most useful tool to guide you swiftly around the city.
While the subway can be a little confusing and intimidating for first-timers. With a little practice you will be shooting across town like a native Bostonian! For some tips and trick see my Boston public transportation blog post.
Sam Adams Brewery tour
While I technically didn’t visit the Sam Adams Brewery, I do believe their beer to be under rated by many in the post-craft micro-brewery movement. And according to the Brewery website “There is no better experience than the one you get here at the Samuel Adams Brewery” So basically you have to go because it’s the self-described best experience of your life. Why didn’t I go again? Dangit.
Tours fill up quickly, especially on weekends and during special events so I recommend RSVP’ing in advance on their website here.
Eat chowder and enjoy the food scene
You can’t come to Boston and not indulge in the famous New England Clam Chowder (Chowdeh!) A steamy, creamy, crabby (and hopefully bacony) bowl of chowder can be found in many restaurants in Boston, they are however not all created equally.
There are 3 must-try restraints for the best chowder in Boston that consistently win awards and feature in almost every “top Boston Chowder restaurant” lists and reviews. Legal Sea Food was chosen to best represent Massachusetts and has been served at every presidential inauguration since Ronald Regan in 1981, talk about authentic! A tourist and local favorite right in the heart of the Quincy Market is Ned Devine’s Irish Pub. While you might not think about traditional chowder in the tourist district, Neds consistently serves up some of the best chowdeh Boston has to offer. For something a little more authentic and for the fan of fresh seafood be sure to also try the Island Creek Oyster Bar.