If you’ve ever wanted to feel really old, you should head to Boston, there are so many cool things to do in Boston. On account of the fact that there are like a million universities there (M.I.T, Harvard, B.U, etc. etc.) all the people you’ll see are usually under 21. This doesn’t mean it’s not a super cool space to be though!
But you’ve arrived and you want to know what’s actually cool to do in Boston. Well, we’ve got some tips to help you out. Here are the coolest things we did when we went. I promise you these are actually pretty wicked things to do, most of them are budget friendly, and I swear I won’t mention Cheers more than once, or all the tea they threw in the Harbour!
So here’s my list of cool things to do in Boston…
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The first thing on our list of cool things to do in Boston…. This is our fave attraction/museum in Boston, to be honestly, because it’s honestly pretty weird.
The eponymous Isabella bought the house with her husband, but tragically he died quite early so she was just left with all this cash, and nothing particularly much to do with it. So, she decided to start collecting art. The museum is just her house, which is a beautiful example of architecture that never fails to take your breath away, with each room presenting a different kind of style. Then there’s the actual collection, too, which is extensive and impressive.
SoWa Arts District: First Fridays
Boston is know for it’s art scene, so we definitely had to include this in our list of cool things to do in Boston! SoWa is Boston’s art district, and for anyone from Art lovers to the casual observe, it is a sight to behold. On the first friday of every month more than 60 local artists invite outsiders into their studios to have nosey at (and hopefully buy up) some of their works, and works in progress. Definitely a must see if you’re in town.
Fenway Park – Baseball
This writer is currently on a 10 week tour of America by rail, and I am suddenly super SUPER into baseball. It’s the perfect pastime: there’s beer and hotdogs, it’s a really inclusive space where everyone from groups of teenage boys, to whole families, to people on dates, to old people get to enjoy the game and as most of the people in the stadium are home fans the atmosphere is electric. Fenway Park is one of the oldest stadiums, along with Wrigley Park in Chicago and I would definitely recommend seeing a Red Sox game if you can!
If you’re not there during the game season, you can take a walking tour of the stadium (click here to book tickets) which is the next best thing, and really fun!
Warren Anatomical Museum
If you’ve been to the Grant Museum of Zoology in London (the one with the Jar of Moles) then you kinda know what you’re in for here. It’s all about human anatomy, instead of Zoology, but there’s some truly gruesome stuff in jars that’s worth a look-see. One of the weirdest but coolest things to do in Boston by anyone’s standards.The Warren Anatomical Museum doesn’t disappoint!
Do a food tour
There is SO MUCH food to try in Boston and one of the best ways to try as much as possible (because that’s the goal right!?) is to book tickets onto a food tour. I’ve found 3 of the best Boston food tours below, so you can pick which ever suits your tastes best! There are some amazing old restaurants in Boston too – so make sure you check them out if you really want to try something unique!
Shakespeare on the Common
And next on my list of cool things to do in Boston, if you like theatre, but don’t like paying through the nose for it, and can handle Shakespeare being done with an American accent (it’s weird and takes some getting used to!) then this is for you. And it’s free!
If you like the outdoors, but you don’t really want to leave the city for it, this is perfect. The Arnold Arboretum is gorgeous. Come in early May for the Lilac walk – the smell is heavenly!
Open air Movie Screenings
For any movie lover, these open air screenings are a truly cool thing to do in Boston. There’s loads dotted around the city, in big or small parks. The ones at Hatch Shell focus on Family movies from any period of time, but there’s some where you can catch horror movies, musicals, and anything in between!
Take a bus tour
OK, we know a bus tour might not sound like the most exciting way to spend the day, but if you look into the more specialist bus tours, there are some pretty cool options available. From brewery bus tours, historic bus tours, and even ‘find the best mansion’ bus tours – there’s something for everyone. I found a few and included them below – I think all of these sound pretty cool!
Next on my list of cool things to do in Boston… So, this one isn’t a “cool” thing to do in Boston, but we think it’s a definite MUST DO that should appear on every Boston list. Get yourself to the Boston Public Garden. Mostly because it’s beautiful, but also because on the lake, for the small price of $20 you and your pals can take a swan pedalo around the lake and yes it is every bit as hilarious and stupid as it sounds.
Dim Sum – we won’t say it twice
Boston’s China Town has some bloody great restaurants but you should really get Dim Sum at China Pearl. You won’t regret it.
One-Buck Shucks (OYSTERS)
Next up on my list of cool things to do in Boston, eating of course! Oysters aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and whether or not they’re really an aphrodisiac is still undecided, but for some reason it’s a thing in Boston – so, when in Rome… Go Bastille Kitchen, or the Red House (where it’s a buck for two!)
Whilst not strictly ‘in’ Boston, you can take amazing whale watching tours from Boston. Whale watching is so much fun, and there’s nothing more amazing and awe-inspiring than when you spot your first whale in the ocean! There aren’t many places you can go whale watching – so make the most of being somewhere where it is possible!
You can book whale watching in Boston by clicking here.
Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
OK so I said I wouldn’t say it twice, but I’m gonna ‘cause it’s a sore point, and when you’re in Boston people will make a million jokes about throwing your tea in the harbour the minute you open your English Accented mouth. SO. go to the museum. It’s pretty cool, especially if you like History and/or boats.
Take a Harvard tour
Boston is probably most famous for being home to Harvard University. For most of us, Harvard University is that place we’ve seen in movies and TV shows – and it’s a pretty cool (and beautiful) campus. If you’ve got the time during your trip to Boston, taking a tour of the campus is a really cool way to spend the day.
Finally on my list of cool things to do in Boston… This is a really nice way to see some green space, and some public art in the city. A bit like New York’s High Line, or Chicago’s 606, but not an old railway – it’s a couple of miles of green space in a long walk with Murals, and installations along the way.
I hope this list of cool things to do in Boston has been helpful! Have fun out there!