Travel to Boston – Things to Do and Safety
As a hub of American history and culture, Boston is ranked one of the best cities to visit for all kinds of travelers. The city stands as a living monument to the foundations of freedom and is popular among nature-lovers as well. Whether indoors or outdoors, or even strolling around, Boston offers a lot to its visitors that you won’t find anywhere else.
Whether planning a trip to travel alone, with a partner, or with your family, Boston offers something for everyone. To make your dream vacation a reality there are some things you’ll need to know, such as when to visit, weather year-round, safety tips, areas of caution, where to stay, how to get around, covid restrictions, where to shop, where to eat, and of course, the top attractions to enjoy as well as fun things to do in Boston. This article will cover all of that.
Things to Know About Boston, Massachusetts
About 22 million people visit Boston each year. The city has scores of historical buildings, internationally known dining, some of the best museums in the country, and of course, all the nature to go with it. While you won’t find the same party atmosphere in Boston as you would in Miami, Discover some of the best places to visit in Miami or entertainment like Los Angeles, Boston beats out both (and others) when it comes to innovation and creativity. You won’t find many better city green spaces, and the attractions satisfy the intellect in ways nowhere else can.
Boston is well known for the Boston Marathon, Fenway Park, but is also home to the first U.S. chocolate factory. It is also home to the first U.S. lighthouse. Popular movies like Coda, Free Guy, The Proposal, Little Women, and parts of Transformers were all filmed in Boston.
Best Time to Visit Boston
Summer months are the most popular time for families to visit, as school is out, and activities have opened. Summer offers the most things to do as almost everything is open.
If you want to spend more time enjoying the Massachusetts outdoors, then this is the time to visit. Couples
The cheapest months to visit Boston are January and February. This is the off season and will also have the least number of crowds. Most tourists recommend about 3 days to fully enjoy all Boston has to offer.
Weather In Boston
Boston has cold, snowy winters and warm summers. It is nearly always partly cloudy and does see a fair amount of rain. The coldest month is January, with highs around 37F and lows around 22F. The hottest month is July, with highs around 82F and lows around 66F. Boston has relatively high humidity which makes summers muggier and winters wetter.
There is a bit of wind across Boston, with average windspeed 2 miles an hour higher than Windy City Chicago. For comparison, Boston’s weather is most similar to New York. Simmilarly New York City is an amazing place full of culture, history, and excitement. There are so many things to do in New York city.
Is Boston Safe to Visit?
Boston, Massachusetts is ranked moderately safe as a tourist destination. If you stick close to tourist destinations, you won’t experience any problems, but there are several neighborhoods you should avoid. Crime in Boston is usually gang related.
Boston is safe for women traveling solo, but solo travelers should practice caution.
Boston is kid friendly.
Safety Tips for Visiting Boston
As with visiting any city, there are always parts you want to avoid. These parts usually don’t attract a lot of tourists to begin with, however, you may end up traveling through those areas, and so it’s best to be prepared. With Boston, it is no different. These safety tips will not only help protect you but will also help you have a great time while visiting.
Public transportation becomes riskier after dark.
Pickpockets are common.
Violent street crime (including muggings) does occur.
Don’t look like a victim.
Rowdy areas tend to have fights and alcohol-related crime.
Avoid poorly lit areas.
Don’t leave anything valuable in your car.
Don’t let people watch your stuff.
Avoid homeless people who tend to ask for money.
Areas of Caution
The most dangerous areas of Boston are Roxbury, Dorchester, *Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Fenway Park, Huntington Avenue, Emerson Campus,
Safest Parts of Boston
The safest neighborhoods in Boston are Allston-Brighton, East Boston, *Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, and South Boston.
*Hyde Park is ranked for both the safest and most dangerous part of Boston, depending on the part of Hyde Park you stay in.
Where to Stay
The most popular tourist areas of Boston are Boston Common and Faneuil Hall, offering historic sites and plenty to do on the waterfront.
Different parts of Boston are better depending on what you want to do. These areas are ranked according to their access to attractions and can help you decide where to stay. Downtown ranks as the best sport for multiple items on this list and is one of the most highly recommended areas to stay, though it may put you farther away from other attractions.
First Time Visitors or for Sightseeing & History: Downtown or Waterfront
Dining: South End, North End, Downtown, Chinatown, Seaport District
Nightlife: Kenmore Square, Allston-Brighton
Romantic Ambience: Beacon Hill (also best for couples)
For families: Waterfront or Downtown
Shopping: Back Bay
Best walkability: Downtown
How to Get Around in Boston
Boston is best explored using the well-developed public transportation system and walking. Taxis are difficult to find, and the buses have lots of delays. The public subways, trains, and trolleys travel along five different lines that can take you all over the city and even outside the city center.
Boston roadways are mildly confusing, and traffic tends to stay backed up all day, so if you’re driving a car, consider leaving it parked at the hotel.
Covid Restrictions and Guidelines
There are no current Covid-19 restrictions. Masks are strongly encouraged but not required in public spaces, including public transportation. Vaccinations are strongly recommended.
Individual businesses may still have social distancing, mask requirements, or proof of vaccination for entry.
Must See Attractions and Things to Do in Boston
What Boston lacks in theme parks, it makes up for in museums and nature. The following list has the top-rated attractions in Boston that are perfect whether traveling alone, with a partner or friend, or with your family.
This historic stadium opened April 20, 1912, and has been hosting skilled baseball teams ever since. Having been around for over a century, Fenway Park offers more than the usual stadium with ballpark tours and historical tours. The stadium pleases crowds with America’s favorite pastime as well as a myriad of other events like weddings or corporate events.
The Freedom Trail commemorates more than 250 years of American history that happened in Boston. From famous meetinghouses to iconic burying grounds, the trail covers a 16 stop route that will educate you of America’s biggest revolutionaries. The trail is beautiful lined with a large fountain, stunning architecture, and fresh foliage. Step into history with costumed tour guides and increase your knowledge of some of America’s origins.
Not only is the Museum of Fine Arts a great addition to any tourists’ schedule due to its impressive collection of artwork but also for its great business hours. They are open until ten p.m. on Friday nights. The museum holds several important collections from well-known artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Vincent Van Gogh.
- Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum
Boston is filled with a variety of museums and immersive activities, but this attraction combines both of those! Tour a full-scale replica of a sailing vessel from the 18th-century and while you’re at it, catch a film with the family inside the museum or see the only surviving tea chest from the Boston Tea Party.
Also known as Boston’s little Italy, the North End is a great place to immerse yourself in the diverse culture of Boston. Eat at authentic pizzerias, shop local food markets, and sample the multitudinous cafes, bakeries, and pastry shops. And if your license is horizontal, explore the unique bars, taverns, and pubs that fill the North End.
- Boston Harbor Island State Park
This beautiful array of islands and peninsulas—34 to be exact—is considered a national and state park. The park features breathtaking views of Boston Harbor, lighthouses, and the city skyline of Boston itself. Take a day to explore the bay and catch a ferry to tour the surrounding islands.
Established in 1837, the Boston Public Garden was the first botanical garden to be open to the public in the United States. This enchanting park holds the history of centuries as seen through its Victorian floral designs, swan boats, and lagoon. This is the perfect spot to relax and meander through the leisurely walkways and take in the carefully designed beauty.
- JFK Presidential Museum and Library
Don’t let the honorary name fool you, the JFK Presidential Museum and Library display a host of intellectual exhibits. Tour a collection space entirely devoted to literary master, Ernest Hemingway, or tour over 30,000 pieces of memorabilia with “extraordinary historical significance and value.”
You can do so much more than just check out a book at the Boston Public Library. The library constantly opens its doors to creative events like personalized reading recommendations talks, showcasing painting and sculptures, and hosting a teen music maker competition. Friendly for all ages and diverse enough to please every style and taste, the Boston Public Library is a fantastic—and historical—stop on any tourist’s journey.
Boston covers the arts and history well with its plethora of museums and exhibits but don’t let them fool you into thinking that’s all they have to show for it. In fact, the hometown of Benjamin Franklin includes an exhilarating home of technology, engineering, anatomy, biology, and more.
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Once known as one of the finest private art collections in America, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a special attraction of Boston. This groundbreaking woman spent her life collecting art from around the world, revolutionizing cultural ideas, and influencing the way society viewed art as she organized concerts and painted full murals in her private museum which doubled as her home. You will not regret visiting this timeless museum, especially with its astonishing pieces like Rembrandt’s Self Portrait and Titan’s Europa.
Best Restaurants in Boston
One of the top appeals for visiting Boston is the food. You won’t find so much diversity and so much quality anywhere else in the country. While we can’t list every award-winning restaurant in Boston in this article, the following four restaurants are the most highly rated and are worth considering a visit. The following restaurants are best for couples or solo travelers, or for families with older (teenage and older) children.
Visit the intimate atmosphere of the elegant Bostonian townhome in which this delicious restaurant lives. Enjoy delicious Italian and French dishes that easily rank as some of the best dishes on the East Coast. With prominent accolades such as the James Beard Award-Winning wine list, a AAA four diamond rating, and a consistent spot-on Boston’s Best fifty restaurants—this isn’t a spot you will want to miss.
Is an Italian-Mediterranean restaurant with high-class menus and premium wines. Sorellina is popular for wedding dinner. Eating here will cost a bit more but is great for a nice dinner-date. Tables will need to be reserved. Dress is business casual to formal wear.
O ya is one of the highest rated sushi restaurants in the world. With tasting menus and nightly chef specials, it’s no wonder the place is rated so well. Seating is very limited and can be reserved up to 60 days in advance. Open 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dress is business casual.
Ostra is a mediterranean seafood restaurant found in Back Bay. You won’t find a better seafood restaurant around. Reservations required. Dress is formal or business casual. Takeout available.
Best Places to Shop in Boston
If you enjoy shopping, you may want to spend some time checking out Boston’s local shops and boutiques. Each of these places has its own flavors of shopping which appeal to travelers of every taste.
- Newbury Street
- The North End
- SoWa Open Market
- Prudential Centre
- Downtown Crossing
- Copley Place Mall