Boston Sightseeing: Top 10 Attractions
Boston sightseeing is never a chore, but with so many things to do and see, it can be hard to figure out just where to start. Below are our top 10 attractions to hit when visiting Beantown – not the be-all and end-all of Boston travel – but good places to start depending on your mood (and that finicky New England weather).
The Freedom Trail is Boston sightseeing at its finest: history, architecture, exercise, and best of all, it's free if you want to self-guide with one of the trail maps available on the Freedom Trail Foundation's website. Two-and-half miles of walking trail connects 17 historic locations including the Paul Revere House and the site of the Boston Massacre. It's the best way to get the flavor of the city under your feet. Info-packed guided tours are also available for a small fee.
Take a ferry from Long Wharf-North to reach Harbor Islands, a perfect Boston sightseeing attraction to get the whole scope of the city as you putter away from port. Hike and walk the mainlands, or kayak and swim off the coast of these little slices of New England idyll just a skip away from the big city.
Go to Central Wharf in South Boston for sightseeing of a more aquatic variety. The New England Aquarium features 20,000 animals – octopi, seadragons, penguins and whales – and other attractions from all over the world. You can also book whale watching trips here which run from April to late November.
Museum of Science
The Boston Museum of Science is the perfect attraction for families: A huge, dazzling, interactive exploration of electricity, kinetics, biology, astronomy, and much more. There's an IMAX theater, simulators, live demonstrations, and a "hands-on" laboratory where visitors can do a little science themselves. Great for those overcast or too-chilly days when you still want to have fun and learn a thing or two in the process.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market
Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market are sort of "the" tourist spots for sightseeing in Boston, which means it will be mobbed on weekends, but it's still worth the crowds for the sheer spectacle. You'll see jugglers, food vendors, and shops full of baubles in a 19th century building that recalls the large indoor market of "old" England (London in particular).
Photo: Rick Harris