Walk the Freedom Trail
Boston is full of monuments to the American revolution – and the Freedom Trail takes in many of them. This easy 2.5-mile-long walking route is one of the city’s must-do activities, stopping at Paul Revere’s house and Old Ironsides, Boston’s famous navy frigate. The trail is easy to pick up and deviate from at your leisure; so if you see a photogenic alleyway that you simply have to explore, you can always slip down it to investigate, and re-join the path later. The Freedom Trail finishes up at the Bunker Hill Monument, a granite obelisk surrounded by parkland in Charlestown.
Get into Harvard University
Boston is right next to Harvard University, which is across the Charles River in the city of Cambridge. Rightly famous as one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard makes a great day out, since you can see both the campus and several interesting science and art museums during your visit. There are walking tours run by students which you can join to enjoy the campuses and hallowed halls; and count up how many Nobel prizes and Olympic medals the former alumni share between them.
Hunker down with a hot dog in the stands on game day at Fenway Park, where Bostonians take baseball very seriously.
Explore Boston Common and Beacon Hill
The United States’ first ever public park is also one of its most beautiful. Boston Common has instantly recognisable features – swan-shaped pedalos wheel across the frog pond and statues stand in the dappled shade. If you stray out of the park, you’ll find Beacon Hill, one of the most photogenic areas of the city. The narrow, cobbled streets are lit by glowing gas lamps and the wealthy homeowners put up with photographers crouching under their wrought iron fire escapes all year around.
Head to Fenway Park
Bostonians take baseball very seriously. Hunker down with a hotdog in the stands on game day at Fenway Park, and see if you don’t catch the baseball bug. The Boston Red Sox have played in ‘America’s most beloved ball park’ since 1912. If you can’t get a ticket to a game, you can always book a tour, where the tour guide will explain exactly why fans call the stadium the ‘green monster’ (hint: it’s a large green wall on the side of the stadium, that stops right-handed hitters ‘knocking it out of the park’).
Stop in Faneuil Hall
Tourists flock to the communal tables of Faneuil Hall for street food in a historic setting. Built in 1742, the building and its accompanying square is a bit of a Boston hub, much like Covent Garden in London, or Pike Place Market in Seattle. Tourists and locals drop in for a snack or stay for an afternoon browsing the shops. People meet to shop, dine, and be stopped in their tracks by the antics of charismatic street performers. Grab a crawfish bun – or check out the Magnolia Bakery – the famous New York chain opened a Boston outpost here in 2018.
Keen sailors flock to Boston’s waterways. Working the winches not for you? Head to the lagoon on Boston Common instead for a steadier voyage on a swan boat.
Enjoy Boston’s culinary scene
Boston is known for its seafood – whether you’re hankering for a warm chowder or ice-cold oysters from a seafront bar, you’ll have your pick of fish dishes here. If you prefer your lunch ‘by the slice’, then head to Boston’s Little Italy quarter, where you’ll find traditional Italian-American food served in local eateries. Choose a family-run restaurant and you may well be treated to a whole pantomime of family life whilst you’re eating. Try Pizzeria Regina, which is often voted top of the pizza pie places in town. If you’d prefer Asian food, head to Chinatown in Boston’s South End and sample Dim Sum from the trolley at China Pearl.