15 Things to Do In Boston (and Massachusetts)

Serene nightscape of a beautiful city.

On Thursday Justin and I are flying up to NYC followed by a train ride to Boston on Friday morning. While our weekend is looking stressful and busy, I thought I would research a few things to do in Boston (like I did with NYC) that way once we get up there we can refer to it and not fritter away all of our time on research. Hopefully, if you have a trip to Boston planned in the near (or far) future, this list may come in handy to you too. I'll be sure to share after we return what we did, what we enjoyed, and maybe a few things to avoid…

1. See the Mapapparium in the Mary Baker Eddy Library.

Have you ever seen or heard of something like this? Built in the 1930s by Winston Churchill with glass panes that can be removed as the world changes, the Boston community decided in the 1960s to leave the exhibit untouched for future generations as an art piece. In the early 2000s the mapapparium was updated to include LED lights (instead of the 300 40-watt and 60-watt electric light bulbs that were originally used outside the sphere) and a better sound system. The inside of the mapapparium is known as a whispering gallery since one person can hear another's whispers while standing on opposite sides of the exhibit. Pretty cool, right? :)

2. Visit the Boston University observatory.

It's right across the street from the hotel Justin and I will be staying at, and it's free to visit on Friday nights. Why not? Plus, stars are awesome.

3. See the breathtaking views of Boston from the Skywalk Observatory.

I'm always a fan of seeing cities from above, and Boston is no exception to the rule. Ideally, I would love to arrive just before sunset and take in the beautiful daytime view before enjoying all of the city lights. It sounds both dreamy and romantic…

4. Explore the Mount Auburn Cemetery.

One of America's first garden cemeteries located near Harvard Square, there are many noteworthy people buried here including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Winslow Homer, and Fannie Farmer (NFT).

Let's go!

5. Immerse yourself in the foliage found at the Arnold Arboretum.

Especially lovely in the fall, the Arnold Arboretum is located on Harvard University's campus and was founded in 1872. Benjamin Bussey donated the land"for instruction in agriculture, horticulture, and related subjects" (wikipedia). The arboretum is located on 281 acres of well-manicured and researched property and was designed in part by landscape architect Beatrix Farrand. A quiet respite from the rest of Boston, I look forward to enjoying a nice long walk amidst the trees and flowers in this beautiful area of town. Plus, I hear Peter's Hill, located in the Arboretum, is a gorgeous place to watch the sunset…

6. Enjoy the Boston Public Garden.

Established in 1837, the 24 acre public garden has a small pond, plenty of bridges, and overlooks Boston. It is a terrific place to observe flowers and plants in bloom as well as people watch.

7. Visit the New England Aquarium.

When I think of Boston, I think of the ocean, whales, dolphins, etc… So obviously a place I would love to visit is the aquarium. Recently having been to the Charleston Aquarium, I have discovered that no two are alike and they can hold new and exciting exhibits to take in. I am especially interested in the sea turtle hospital and the whale watching excursion. :)

8. Take a day trip to visit the Vanderbilt homes in Rhode Island.

Justin and I already have a season pass to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, so we are already somewhat familiar with the Vanderbilt family and who they were. It would be interesting to follow the family up north and see how the other side lived taking in both The Breakers and The Marble House. There are also plenty of other gorgeous mansions opened to the public in Newport that could keep us busy for a while…

Boats, boats, and more boats.

9. On the same note, explore Martha's Vineyard for a day…

We probably won't get to do this (or any other day trips!) during our visit in T minus 3 days, but it would be a great place to visit one summer I'm sure. Images from google make it look beautiful. Why else would people like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jacqueline Kennedy choose to live and visit there if it wasn't?

10. Soak in the beautiful artwork of Norman Rockwell

One of my favorite artists, I've always enjoyed Rockwell's depictions of American life. It would be nice to explore this museum and learn more about him, his artwork, and even take a tour of 36-acre site that the Norman Rockwell Museum is located on.

11. Eat breakfast at the Café at Taj Boston.

We'll start with the view from the café and end with good food. My in-laws and husband will get to enjoy the seafood they are craving, and I, on the other hand, will be able to savour the non-seafood breakfast I crave with a view to distract me from the smells. Win-win?

12. Take the Freedom Trail…

One of the best ways to salivate over US history.

13. Walk around at the Christopher Columbus Park.

The extraordinary views of both city and waterfront will make this walk worth it.

The night sky is always worth it!

14. Savour the night sky at East Boston Piers Park.

So I may be a little bit weird, but I love seeing and photographing city lights at night. Piers Park provides a fantastic destination for both and may even be a great sunset spot! Plus, there is an extraordinary view of the river. *sigh*

15. Eat a slice of Boston Cream Pie in Boston.

Because Boston. Duh. :) Apparently the Oak Room has the best in town.


While I know my list is not all-encompassing, for the small weekend trip I am about to take with my in-laws and husband, I can only hope we can do one or two of the items on my list. Have you been to Boston before? Is there anything you would recommend if you have?

** Linking up to City Trippers Mummytravels.com and Wandermum.co.uk

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