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Boston/ ©Pixabay
Boston/ ©Pixabay
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Things to Know Before Visiting Boston

Picture of David Lindsey
Updated: 9 February 2017
Boston is the largest city in New England and home to some of the most historic, artistic and cultural points of interest. There is a multitude of things to do and see in this bustling city that hosts more than 16.3 million visitors a year. Here’s our tips to make sure you get the most out of your time here.
Boston by night| ©Emmanuel Huybrechts/Flickr
Boston by night | © Emmanuel Huybrechts / Flickr

Bring your walking shoes

Boston is known for its walkability. In fact, it’s ranked the third most walkable city in the United States. It’s compact, friendly, and clean, and many of the most popular attractions are within walking distance of each other. That being said, Boston does have an excellent public transportation system, and the subway is interconnected, offering free transfers between lines. Driving in Boston is not recommended for tourists since traffic can be heavy, there are many one-way streets and street names are often duplicated in different neighborhoods making it very confusing.

Take a stroll through Boston/ ©Pixabay
Take a stroll through Boston/ | ©Pixabay

Wait for the weather

Visiting Boston in the winter is not for the faint hearted. It gets seriously cold in the city and many of the outdoor attractions won’t be nearly as much fun—some aren’t even open. The ideal time to visit Boston is between late May and late September. The highs during this time range from mid 70’s to low 80’s and the humidity isn’t unbearable.

Boston in the summer/ ©Pixabay
Boston in the summer/ | ©Pixabay

Tours are a great way to see the sights

Even though it is easy to see a lot of the historical sites on foot, tours are informative, entertaining and can help visitors see more sights in a shorter amount of time. The Old Town Trolley Tour goes to 100 of the most popular historical sites within less than two-hours and is fully narrated. The SEAL tour is also lots of fun: it takes you to sites on land and in the harbor via an amphibious vehicle which can travel both on land and in water.

Old Town Trolley Tour/ ©Pixabay
Old Town Trolley Tour/ | ©Pixabay

Not all museums are created equally

There are many museums and cultural attractions that are worth a visit and if time is of the essence, choosing can be difficult. The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum is highly recommended. It’s unlike any other museum in the city and one of the most unique in the country. Upon entering the authentically restored tea ships, visitors become an active participant in the events of the Boston Tea Party. Guests march alongside costumed actors and experience everything from the meeting that ignited that fateful night to throwing tea into the harbor. There are also numerous interactive, highly advanced holographic and 3D exhibits that are quite thrilling.

Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum| ©Robert Linsdell/Flickr
Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum | ©Robert Linsdell/Flickr

Boston Common is much more than a park

The oldest city park in the United States, this historic central park is where public executions were held and British Troops camped before the Revolution. It’s where Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II gave speeches, and where, throughout the years, people have gathered for everything from recreational activities to concerts and more. Today, it’s the starting point of the Freedom Trail, home to various monuments including the Boston Massacre Memorial, the site of Frog Pond which hosts ice skating in the winter and water activities in the summer. A visit to Boston isn’t complete without a stop at the Common.

Boston Common/ ©Pixabay
Boston Common/ | ©Pixabay

There is history on every corner

It’s not called the “Cradle of Liberty” for nothing. While the city is known for great food, excellent beer (check out the Samuel Adams brewery and take a tour) and sporting events, tourists cannot visit Boston without learning about the history of our nation. Be sure to walk the Freedom Trail, whether alone or with a tour. Visitors will see Paul Revere’s house, the Old North Church, the Old South Meeting House, Granary Burying Ground, Faneuil Hall, and much more.

Old state park/ ©Pixabay
Old state park/ | ©Pixabay