In the Boston Area
Boston Harbor Island: It is easy to visit the Boston Harbor Islands. Thousands of individuals, families, and groups from the Boston area and around the world visit the islands every season—now it’s your turn. Explore historic sites, watch wildlife, hike, kayak, picnic, fish, swim, camp, and much more.
Fenway Park: Home of the Boston Red Sox. Visit the park where the Babe pitched. Soak up the rich history and hear echoes of the past. (617) 226-6666
Freedom Trail: American revolutionary history, but not the same old story! Walk the Freedom Trail on your own or with an audio guide. Follow the 2 mile red-brick path, and learn the real stories of the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s midnight ride and Boston’s rich maritime history. The Freedom Trail begins at the Boston National Historical Park Visitor Center, 15 State Street, Boston, MA 02109. (617) 357-8300
Faneuil Hall Marketplace: A Historic Hall and Marketplace that offers great shopping & dining options.
Trinity Church was named one of “America’s Top Ten Buildings” by the American Institute of Architects, this National Historic Landmark is a living place of hope, comfort and inspiration.
Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Boston. – (North End) The Columbus Waterfront Park has a great playground, and plenty of room for kids to run around and burn off some energy. The park is also the perfect spot for a family picnic, and not far from Faneuil Hall where you can pick up sandwiches to go.
Castle Island, Pleasure Bay, M Street Beach and Carson Beach in Dorchester, is often missed by tourists. Castle Island is a great place to walk or roller blade along Boston Harbor. This 22-acre land-bound island (the site of an old armory) features a number of interesting and entertaining sites. Beyond the amazing views and open spaces, you’ll find terrific walkways that are great for rollerblading and strolling with views of Boston Harbor and Logan Airport.
Rose Kennedy Greenway: A mile-and-a-half of contemporary parks in the heart of Boston that connect people and the city with beauty and fun. The Greenway has a number of offerings for visitors, including seven water features to cool off in, a number of renowned food trucks and carts offering a variety of distinctive, affordable food offerings, as well as one of the largest free public Wi-Fi networks in the Commonwealth. Now open, a new custom carousel with characters—cod, lobster, squirrel, skunk, and more—inspired by the drawings of Boston school children.
Mapparium “Hall of Ideas”, Boston.
Old North Church: Boston. American History Museum. “One if by land, two if by sea.” This enduring fame of the Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton, Robert Newman, climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution.
Arnold Arboretum: The Arnold Arboretum is one of the area’s truly great places to get away during the spring, summer and fall. The two-mile-long main trail is paved and allows for leisurely stroller walks. Plant, flower and woodland life is labeled according to species. Another popular trail is the Rhododendron Path that features a log bridge and two small waterfalls. The Arnold Arboretum is America’s oldest public arboretum displaying over 15,000 woody plants and offering educational programs for people of all ages. Seasons truly come alive in vibrant colors at the Arnold Arboretum. In the spring, the delicate perfume of lilac, mock orange and viburnum float on soft breezes. By mid-summer, the Arnold Arboretum is ablaze with color and heavy with ripening nuts and fruit. The Arnold Arboretum is open year-round sunrise to sunset. Admission is free.
Boston: The Arts
Visit www.citymusiccollective.com for a list of upcoming events
Minute Man National Park, located in Concord, preserves and protects the significant historic sites, structures, properties and landscapes associated with the opening battles of the American Revolution. Most importantly, Minute Man interprets the colonial struggle for natural rights and freedoms. Minute Man Visitor Center is open year round.
The Old Manse is located in Concord next door to the Old North Bridge. The Old Manse has one of the richest histories anywhere. It has witnessed the beginnings of the American Revolution and the lives of great 19th century transcendentalists. A visit to this historic home and grounds take you back in time for a firsthand view into the lives of its famous literary residents. Tours run every half-hour and last approx. 45 minutes. The guides are extremely knowledgeable about the history of both the home and surrounding grounds. This tour is not recommended for small children. The home is over 200 years old and not wheelchair accessible. Stroll over the Old North Bridge right next door and enjoy the wide open fields as well as the small historical society atop the hill.
Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord, includes 400 scenic wooded acres surrounding the pond. There is also a small beach, a swimming area, boating for car-top boats (w/life vests), hiking and fishing. There are scenic trails to walk on, wildlife to see and the charming replica of Henry David Thoreau’s house to visit.
Witch Museum in Salem presents the Salem witch trials.
Peabody Essex Museum (est. 1799) in Salem, Massachusetts, may be considered one of the oldest continuously operating museums in the United States. It combines the collections of the former Peabody Museum of Salem and the Essex Institute. The museum holds one of the major collections of Asian art in the US. Its total holdings include about 1.3 million pieces, as well as twenty-two historic buildings. The Peabody Essex ranks among the top 20 art museums in the U.S. by measures including gallery space and endowment. Once the Advancement Campaign is complete and the newly expanded museum opens in 2019, PEM will rank in the top 10 North American art museums in terms of gallery square footage, operating budget and endowment. The P.E.M has more than 840,000 works of art and culture featuring maritime art and history; American art; Asian, Oceanic, and African art; Asian export art; two large libraries with over 400,000 books, manuscripts.
Salem Willows Park in Salem is a wonderful destination for an afternoon of picnicking and outdoor activities. Enjoy beautiful shaded seaside grounds, scenic ocean views, public pier for fishing, a bandstand for concerts, picnic areas, beaches, children’s rides, activities and many eateries. Salem Willows Arcade and Midway offers indoor recreation from the latest games to the old classics, hundreds of games offering fun for the whole family. Play the Midway and win tickets for prizes. Join the fun! 978-745-0251.
Wolf Hollow in Ipswich, offers an unique opportunity to view gray wolves in a natural setting. See how they interact with their pack members and see how they live in a social unit very similar to humans.
Hammond Castle Hammond Castle is a Medieval-style castle located in the fishing village of Gloucester. The castle was built between 1926 and 1929 by an eccentric American inventor named John Hays Hammond Jr. Hammond built the castle, which resides on the edge of a cliff overlooking Gloucester harbor, to house his large collection of Roman, Medieval and Renaissance artifacts as well as his laboratory where he conducted many experiments. One of his prized possessions still on display in the castle is a human skull rumored to be from one of Christopher Columbus’ crew members.
Adams National Historic Park in Quincy includes three historic houses, the John Adams Birthplace, the John Quincy Adams Birthplace, the Old House at Peace field; the 1870 Stone Library, the 1873 Adams Carriage House, and 12 acres of historic grounds including the formal garden and orchard. Visitors are encouraged to visit the grounds and garden at their leisure.
Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge houses the world’s largest and most significant collection of original Rockwell art. Highlights include enduring favorites from Rockwell’s Saturday Day Evening Post covers, the powerful Four Freedoms and the nostalgic Home for Christmas. The Norman Rockwell Archive contains more than 100,000 photographs, letters and other rare mementos.
Old Sturbridge Village is a living, breathing, vibrant village depicting life in New England from 1790-1840. Meet historians in costume and tour 40 antique buildings, including a country store, school, and water-powered mills. Ride the stagecoach, learn to plow, make crafts, dip candles, and help the printer, potter and blacksmith at work.
Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston features 132 acres of a hilltop garden paradise with a panoramic view of Mt. Wachusett and the reservoir. Distinctive sections include the Lawn Garden with more than 350 varieties of trees and shrubs, the Secret Garden with fragrant and textured perennials, and the one-of-a-kind educational experience of The Systematic Garden, arranged according to our current scientific understanding of their evolutionary relationships.
Kimball Farm in Westford is Famous for its ice cream, great value and long lines. Kimball Farm is just as good as ever, and has wonderful surroundings with an animal farm, mini golf course, bumper boat pond, picnic benches, a country store, and an isolated rural atmosphere.
Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield is one of New England’s most popular destinations! Yankee Candle Village offers a unique shopping, entertainment and dining experience. Stroll through the Bavarian Christmas Village, the Nutcracker Castle, and our home store. Enjoy fabulous candles, home decor and holiday shopping. Savor freshly-made fudge and other sweet treats in our fudge shop. Dip your own candles and watch history brought to life in our candle making museum.
Battleship Cove in Fall River features a Veterans’ Memorial and Maritime History.
New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford – Whaling Capitol of the World.
Roger Williams Zoo in Providence is a wonderful place for families to visit! Visitors see the world’s tallest, heaviest, fastest land animals all roaming through natural settings.
Plimoth Plantation is a hands-on, entertaining living history experience dedicated to the Native Wampanoag and Pilgrim colonists of 17th century Plymouth, MA. History comes alive with modern relevance for visitors of all ages at this immersive Smithsonian Affiliate museum featuring costumed interpreters and modern day artisans across four award-winning exhibits. Situated along the Eel River wetlands overlooking Cape Cod Bay, the 100-acre main campus is a stunning setting for the recreated historic Wampanoag Homesite, the 17th Century English Village, and the Crafts Center. Just three-miles down the road, Mayflower II is docked at the State Pier in picturesque Plymouth Harbor.
Cape Cod Canal This gateway to Cape Cod offers 14 miles of paved surfaces for walking, jogging, bicycling, fishing and hiking. Families come from far and wide to get a close-up view of the continuous parade of ocean-going vessels traversing the widest sea-level canal in the world. Peace and quiet are easily found on the numerous sitting benches under the trees.
Cape Cod National Seashore The great Outer Beach described by Thoreau in the 1800s is protected within the national seashore. Forty miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and uplands support diverse species. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past and continuing ways of life. Swimming beaches and walking and biking trails beckon today’s visitors.
Gilbert Hills State Forest is adjacent to Normandy Farms and features miles of trails for biking or walking.
Blue Hill Reservation and Observatory Located only minutes from the bustle of downtown Boston, the DCR Blue Hills Reservation stretches over 7,000 acres from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph, providing a green oasis in an urban environment. Rising above the horizon, Great Blue Hill reaches a height of 635 feet, the highest of the 22 hills in the Blue Hills chain. From the rocky summit visitors can see over the entire metropolitan area. With its scenic views, varied terrain and 125 miles of trails, the Blue Hills Reservation offers year-round enjoyment for the outdoor enthusiast.
Purgatory Chasm about 40 minutes away located in Sutton, MA is a unique natural landmark, Purgatory Chasm between granite walls rising as high as 70 feet is popular with picnickers, walkers and rock-climbers alike, the Chasm is believed to have its origin in the sudden release of dammed-up glacial melt water near the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 14,000 years ago.
Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary in Attleboro features woodlands that are welcoming throughout the year! If you prefer a guided tour, the staff leads nature walks throughout the year.
Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk has an extensive boardwalk system that allows you to walk along the edge of a marsh.
Battle Road Trail in Lexington is a path in the Minute Man National Historic Park that traces the steps of the British and colonists over 200 years ago. The Battle Road Trail is a 5.5 mile pathway in Lexington, Lincoln and Concord that marks the path once trodden by British soldiers on their way from Boston to Concord. The markers along the path tell the stories of the smaller battles fought, the politics of the time and the individual stories of people who lived and fought in the area – putting a human face on the tale often told in the history books.
Cochituate State Park in Natick is a popular regional day use park featuring water based recreational opportunities including boating, swimming, windsurfing, and fishing on its three large lakes. Picnicking, swimming and boat launching are limited to the main area of the park on the middle lake and boaters can gain access to the other lakes through channels under roadways. Approx.22 miles.
Cape Cod National Seashore comprises 43,604 acres of shoreline and upland landscape features, including a forty-mile long stretch of pristine sandy beach, dozens of clear, deep freshwater kettle ponds, and upland scenes that depict evidence of how people have used the land. A variety of historic structures are within the boundary of the Seashore, including lighthouses, a lifesaving station, and numerous Cape Cod style houses. The Seashore offers six swimming beaches, eleven self-guiding natures trails and a variety of picnic areas and scenic overlooks.
Crane Beach in Ipswich. The white sands of Crane Beach stretch for miles along both sides of Castle Neck, forming one of the most picturesque swimming beaches in all of New England. Amenities include bathhouses, lifeguards, limited parking and concession stand onsite. Open year-round daily, 8:00 a.m. to sunset. Allow time to visit Castle Hill Great House and landscape tour and the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Approximately 60 miles.
The charming route to Horseneck Beach in Westport gives you a splendid dose of New England in a relatively short amount of time. Take in some great views on quiet tree-lined streets and smaller main roads as you travel Rte. 140 east to Rte. 6 west to Rte. 177 and proceed on to Westport. Take Rte. 88 south to Horseneck Beach State Reservation. What to do: Enjoy a walk along the sand at Horseneck Beach. Then stroll over to Westport for a winery tour and tasting. Voted one of the best touring destinations in New England by Yankee Magazine, Westport Rivers has been a family owned vineyard since the mid-80s. After sampling some vino, head to The Back Eddy for an elegant seafood dinner.
Borderland State Park in North Easton offers a day of family fun. Over 20 miles of hiking trails, a three-mile loop trail of old farm roads and hay fields await your for hiking, family biking. What to do: Bring everything you’ll need for a day at the park because you’ll want to stay all afternoon. Stop by the visitor’s center to pick up park maps and plan your routes. If it’s your thing, bring your fishing pole. Fishing is permitted at six park ponds, accessible by foot. You can catch bass, perch, pickerel and sunfish. There are no restaurants, so pack a picnic lunch.
Scenic Drive: Highly recommended as one of the most beautiful routes in all of New England, this two-hour drive down the road will take you through plenty of eye-popping scenery. Get on Route 2 in Leominster from Route 495 North. Continue west through Orange, Turner Falls, Shelburne Falls to North Adams, where you’ll be on the Mohawk Trail and can end your trip at Mount Greylock State Reservation. Allow plenty of time and leave home early. From Foxboro to North Adams round trip is about 6 hours – plus, you’ll need time for stops. What to do: Stop in Shelburne Falls, where you can visit the Bridge of Flowers, a transformed trolley bridge decorated with over 500 varieties of flowers, vines and shrubs. Charlemont is host to the famous “Hail to the Sunrise” statue in Memorial Park. Mount Greylock boasts one of the most spectacular views in the state – if you can hike it up to the summit.
Portsmouth, NH. This small, seaside city offers loads of New England charm. You could devote a whole weekend, but it is also very manageable and enjoyable as a day trip. About a two-hour drive from Foxboro. What to do: Market Square has a variety of specialty shops, art galleries and historic buildings. Prescott Park is a great spot to sit, take in the scenic waterfront and people watch. Across from the park, Strawberry Banke Museum is a neighborhood of homes dating to the 1600’s. On the way home, drive through New Castle, the state’s smallest town made up entirely of islands. It features some of the state’s oldest homes and lies just across a small bridge at Portsmouth’s south end.
Sit back and enjoy the ride as old-fashioned trolleys take you on half-day, day-long or two-day rides through the historic streets of Boston and Cambridge. Get on and get off whenever you want to see more of the city, or museums, to shop, to dine, or stroll. Bean Town Trolley or Old Town Trolley. Pick up your ticket and your trolley at the Boston Common Visitors Information Center. Open all year round!
For over 130 years, the Swan Boats have been a part of the Boston experience. As a welcome sign of Spring, they grace the waters of the Boston Public Garden, the first botanical garden in the United States. Famed in the stories Make Way for Ducklings and The Trumpet of the Swan, the Swan Boats are the only boats of their kind in the world.
Take a ride along the streets and waterways of Boston on an amphibious tour with Boston Duck Tours.
Boston Tours will design personalized 6-hour sightseeing tours year-round.