15+ Best Things to Do in Downtown Boston

Looking for a fun and exciting day in Boston? As the capital of Massachusetts and one of the oldest cities in the United States, downtown Boston is a hub of history, culture, and excitement. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, this bustling Boston Downtown is the perfect neighborhood to explore. From historical landmarks to delectable dining options, there are lots of things to do in downtown Boston. So, let’s dive in and discover all the wonders that await you in this charming part of the city.

Explore the Great Outdoors at Boston Common

Let’s start our adventure at Boston Common, a 50-acre park that has been serving as a public gathering place since 1634. This green oasis is the oldest city park in the United States and offers plenty of opportunities to relax, play, and take in some fresh air. With its picturesque gardens, scenic paths, and serene ponds, Boston Common is a favorite spot for picnics, strolls, and outdoor activities. During winter months, the Frog Pond is transformed into an ice-skating rink, making it a popular destination for families and couples alike.

Stroll Through the Rose Kennedy Greenway

Located just steps away from Boston Common, the Rose Kennedy Greenway is a mile-long park that runs through downtown Boston. This beautiful linear park was created in 2008 as part of the Big Dig project and features stunning gardens, public art installations, and a variety of events throughout the year. Take a stroll along the Greenway and admire the beautiful views of downtown Boston while enjoying some much-needed nature in the heart of the city.

Step Back in Time on the Freedom Trail

No visit to downtown Boston is complete without walking along the famous Freedom Trail. This 2.5-mile red-brick trail takes you on a journey through the city’s rich history, passing by 16 of its most significant historic sites. From the Old State House to Paul Revere’s House, each stop along the way offers a glimpse into Boston’s role in the American Revolution. You can choose to join a guided tour or explore the trail at your own pace with a self-guided audio tour.

Immerse Yourself in Art and Culture at the Museum of Fine Arts

Art lovers will want to take advantage of a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world. With over 450,000 works of art spanning from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary pieces, there’s something for every taste and interest. In addition to its vast collection, the museum also hosts special exhibitions and events throughout the year, making it a must-visit for any cultural enthusiast.

Get Inspired at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Another gem for art lovers is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which houses an impressive collection of European, Asian, and American art in a stunning Venetian-style palace. The museum was founded by Isabella Stewart Gardner, a prominent Boston socialite and art collector, and features works by masters such as Rembrandt, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Make sure also to take in the beautiful gardens and courtyard while you’re there.

Relive History at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Travel back in time to one of the most iconic events in American history at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. This interactive museum offers a unique experience where visitors can learn about the infamous protest against British taxation and even participate in a reenactment of the event itself. The museum also features several exhibits, including one dedicated to Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams and an influential figure during the Revolutionary War.

Visit the Old State House

This historic building, built in 1713, is a must-see for anyone interested in Boston’s political history. The Old State House served as the seat of the British government until the American Revolution and was where the Declaration of Independence was read to citizens for the first time. Today, it serves as a museum showcasing artifacts from colonial times and offers guided tours that provide insight into this pivotal period in American history.

Explore Marine Life at the New England Aquarium

Located on the edge of downtown Boston, the New England Aquarium is a top attraction for families and animal lovers. With over 800 species of animals, including sharks, penguins, and sea turtles, there’s always something fascinating to see. The aquarium also hosts educational programs and interactive exhibits, making it a fun and educational experience for all ages.

Shop and Dine at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a bustling hub of shops, restaurants, and street performers that has been attracting visitors since the 18th century. This historic marketplace offers a mix of local vendors, big-name brands, and delicious food options, making it a one-stop shop for all your needs. Take advantage of the opportunity to grab a bite at Quincy Market, where you can find everything from lobster rolls to gourmet chocolates.

Sample Local Delicacies at Quincy Market

Located within Faneuil Hall Marketplace is Quincy Market, a food hall that offers some of the best local cuisine in downtown Boston. You can find everything from seafood and pizza to clam chowder and lobster rolls here. Remember to try a famous Boston cream pie for dessert!

Indulge in Local Cuisine at Boston Public Market

For a taste of authentic local food and goods, head over to the Boston Public Market. This year-round indoor market features over 35 vendors selling everything from farm-fresh produce to handmade crafts. In addition to shopping, you can also grab a bite to eat at one of the many food stalls and enjoy some delicious local specialties.

Browse for Books at Brattle Book Shop

Bookworms will love exploring the shelves of Brattle Book Shop, one of America’s oldest and largest used bookstores. This hidden gem offers a vast collection of books, from rare and collectible editions to newer releases. You can also find antique maps, prints, and other unique items while browsing through the three floors of this historic building.

Catch a Show at Boston’s Theaters

Downtown Boston is home to several renowned theaters that offer a variety of performances throughout the year. The Boston Opera House hosts Broadway shows, ballets, and concerts, while The Wilbur Theatre showcases comedy acts and live music. No matter your taste in entertainment, you’re sure to find a show that will leave you entertained and inspired.

Catch a Show at the Boston Opera House

For a night of entertainment, head to the historic Boston Opera House. Opened in 1928, this grand theater hosts a variety of performances, including Broadway shows, ballets, and concerts. With its stunning architecture and world-class productions, the Boston Opera House is a must-visit for any art lover.

Experience the City’s Historic Taverns & Irish Pubs

Every trip to downtown Boston is complete with stopping by one of its many historic taverns and Irish pubs. These establishments have been serving locals and visitors for hundreds of years and offer a unique setting to relax, enjoy a cold pint, and maybe even catch some live music. Some popular spots include The Bell in Hand Tavern, Boston’s oldest continuously operating tavern, and the Green Dragon Tavern, known as the “Headquarters of the Revolution” during the American Revolution.

Sample Local Fare at Silvertone Bar & Grill

For a taste of modern Boston, head to Silvertone Bar & Grill, a local favorite known for its classic American comfort food and creative cocktails. The cozy atmosphere and friendly service make it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Take advantage of their famous mac and cheese or their signature dish, the Silvertone Burger.

Enjoy a Day in Downtown Boston

From art and history to dining and shopping, downtown Boston has a lot of things to do. So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a regular to the city, plan a day exploring all the amazing things it has to offer. You will be satisfied with your experiences and memories from this list of things to do in downtown Boston. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

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