Boston in the Summer
Founded in 1630, Boston is one of the most historic cities in the United States. A vibrant, dynamic metropolis, Boston remains one of the most exciting destinations in the country. During the summer, Bostonians make the most of the warm weather, taking advantage of the city's wide variety of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, neighborhood events, and nightlife.
To help you learn about the city and get you started in enjoying its possibilities, we have provided a general guide to the many activities and attractions that Boston has to offer. You'll find links to information on everything from sporting events to shopping to sightseeing. We're sure that you will discover many things to enjoy as you explore the city. For subway and bus maps, visit the MBTA website.
From music to food to theatre, Boston and the surrounding areas have a vibrant festival scene.
There are countless places of historical interest in Boston and its environs. We have highlighted just a few of the most popular. Click on the destination for information about hours of operation, special exhibits, and directions.
The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a walking tour of Boston's most historic sites, and is easily identified by the red lines on the sidewalk. Begin the walk from the Visitor Center at 15 State Street, Boston. Wear comfortable shoes: this tour covers 2.5 miles and 16 historical sites.
Faneuil Hall Market Place
A market and meeting place since 1742, Faneuil Hall is often referred to as the "Cradle of Liberty." This well-known stop on the Freedom Trail consists of North Market, Quincy Market, and South Market, and is now a popular destination with over 70 shops and restaurants.
The Paul Revere House
The oldest building in downtown Boston, this landmark is known for being the residence of Paul Revere when he left for his famous 1775 "Midnight Ride" to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that British troops were preparing to march into the countryside to arrest them.
The USS Constitution
Known as "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the world (that is still afloat). Located at Charlestown Navy Yard, you can tour the ship (currently in Dry Dock Restoration) as well as visit the USS Constitution Museum.
Below is a listing of just some of the museums in Boston and Cambridge. The Museums of Boston website offers additional links to museums of interest in the greater Boston area. Click on the name of the museum for information about exhibits, hours of operation, and directions.
Music, Theater, Movies
Whether you love performing arts, consider yourself a movie buff, or enjoy listening to live music or readings, Boston offers a wealth of entertainment.
For a full listing of performances and activities, visit Boston.com. Another resource for complete listings is the glossy magazine, The Improper Bostonian, as well as the alternative paper, DigBoston, both free at news boxes throughout the city.
Bostix offers half-price tickets on the day of performance for many performing arts events.
The Boston area has many movie theatres. For mainstream fare nearby, the Regal Fenway 13 is close to the BU campus at the Landmark Center, 401 Park Drive. The AMC Loews Boston Common 19 theatre is located downtown at 175 Tremont Street.
If you're more interested in restored classics, art house features, foreign films, limited release movies, documentaries, or cult classics, check out the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Kendall Square Cinema, Brattle Theatre, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Harvard Film Archive.
Greater Boston has an extraordinary wealth of green space. Whether you want to visit one of Boston's city parks, or explore further afoot, here are a few options that are easily accessible. Click on the name of the park for information about special events and directions.
- The Arnold Arboretum
- The Blue Hills Reservation
- Boston Common & the Public Garden
- Boston Harbor Islands
- The Charles River Reservation and Esplanade
- Dorchester Shores Reservation
- The Emerald Necklace Conservancy
- Franklin Park
- Franklin Park Zoo
- Jamaica Pond
- Middlesex Fells Reservation
- Mt. Auburn Cemetery
- Rose Kennedy Greenway
There are plenty of fresh-air activities to get involved in during the summer in Boston. For those seeking a little adventure—on the water or on two wheels—or for those wishing to pursue a little outdoor recreation, there are plenty of nearby options to consider.
Click on the name of the shopping area below for more information. MBTA directions are from any above-ground stop on Commonwealth Avenue.
Directions: Take any Green Line inbound to Park Street. Disembark and wait on the same platform for the Green Line train to Lechmere Station. Disembark at Lechmere, walk to 1st Street, take a right, and continue to the Galleria.
Directions: Take any Green Line inbound to Copley Square.
Directions: Take any Green Line inbound to Park Street. Exit station and cross Tremont Street to Winter Street. Walk down Winter Street to Washington Street.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace/Quincy Marketplace
Directions: Take any Green Line inbound to Haymarket.
Directions: Take any Green Line inbound to Park Street. Change to Red Line outbound and go four stops to Harvard Square.
The Landmark Center
Includes: Bed Bath & Beyond, Wegmans Supermarket, Blick Art Materials, Regal Fenway 13 cinema, REI, Staples, and others.
Directions: Starting at Marsh Chapel, cross Commonwealth Avenue and walk down St. Mary's Street. After crossing the bridge make a left and walk along Park Drive. Cross Beacon Street and continue over the bridge. The Landmark Center will be on your left.
Directions: Take any Green Line inbound to Hynes Convention Center.
The Prudential Center
Directions: Take any Green Line inbound to Hynes Convention Center or Copley Square. The mall is located in the Prudential Center on Boylston Street.
Click on the team name for information about tickets, venues, and directions.
Located in a region with distinct seasonal changes, Boston's weather is rarely predictable. While summer is typically ruled by blue skies and warm coastal breezes, June can be more like spring than summer—temperatures can range from very hot to quite cool. July and August can be very hot and humid, with sudden thunderstorms bringing a bit of relief. Be sure to pack a light sweater and an umbrella with your shorts and sandals.For an overview of weather typical to the area, visit the City of Boston website. The National Weather Service is a reliable source for current weather conditions and forecasts.