Boston Public Garden

You are reading the second part of our list 50 Best Things to See & Do in Boston, Massachusetts. Visit Copley Square, Castle Island, George's Island and other famous attractions. Family favorites include the Mapparium, the New England Aquarium and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. Photo: Bastos/Fotolia


»Copley Square

Copley Square


Located in the heart of the city, Copley Square is a public square dedicated to native Bostonian artist John Singleton Copley. Known as Art Square until 1883, the square also acts as a favorite gathering place for people to meet, as it features outdoor markets, restaurants, cafés and bars, and live entertainment.

Several buildings of architectural importance, including Trinity Church, Old South Church, the Boston Public Library, the John Hancock Tower, the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, and the Bostix Kiosk surround the square. The world-renowned Boston Marathon finishes in Copley Square, which features a memorial celebrating the race on the corner Boylston and Dartmouth streets.

560 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

Next read: Old North Church, Boston Common, Boston National Historical Park, Boston Public Library 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: Bastos/Fotolia

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»Castle Island

Castle Island


Located on the southern shore of Boston’s Harbor, Castle Island is a 22-acre urban park jutting out from the mainland. It is home to Fort Independence, a granite fort built between 1834 and 1851 with five pentagonal shaped bastions. The island is connected to the mainland by pathways that both pedestrians and vehicles can use and features three beaches, namely Carson, M Street, and Pleasure Bay, which form a three-mile segment along the shoreline of Dorchester Bay, boasting beautiful views of the area.

The island and beaches offer modern amenities, including a rehabilitated Mothers' Rest, public restrooms, and exhibition spaces, as well as outdoor courtyards for relaxation and recreation. Carson Beach also features a promenade that runs along the water’s edge from Castle Island to the a href="http://vacationidea.com/massachusetts/john-f-kennedy-presidential-library.html">John F. Kennedy Presidential Library where visitors can walk, jog, run, and bike while enjoying the views. Castle Island is open to the public year-round with guided tours offered every Saturday and Sunday.

2010 Day Boulevard, South Boston 02127, 617-727-5290

Next read: Franklin Park Zoo, Harvard Museum of Natural History, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: diak/Fotolia

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»The Mapparium

The Mapparium


The Mapparium is a three-story tall globe located at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston Massachusetts as an active exhibit. It is made out of stained glass and can be viewed from a 30-foot long bridge that runs through the interior of the globe. The aim of the globe is to take individuals to the middle of the world and provide an inner look at the climate of the political world during 1935 when Rand McNally created the political maps.

In addition to the globe, there is a video presentation that uses music, LED lighting, and words to illustrate how ideas have travelled across time and geographic borders.

200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, 617-450-7000

Read more: Best Time to Visit Boston, Massachusetts & Other Travel Tips. 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: The Mapparium

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»Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet


Founded in 1963, Boston Ballet is a professional classical ballet company with a world-renowned reputation. Founded by E. Virginia Williams and Sydney Leonard, Boston Ballet is under the current artistic direction of Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Meredith (Max) Hodges, who maintain an internationally recognized repertoire of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary works.

Performances range from full-length story ballets to masterworks, new works, and world premieres by contemporary choreographers.

539 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111, 617-695-6955

Best Boston museums for art lovers: the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: Boston Ballet in Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake; photo by Rosalie O’Connor

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»TD Garden

TD Garden


The TD Garden (nicknamed the Boston Garden) is a multi-purpose arena that serves as a venue for a variety of sporting events, including basketball and ice hockey. Named after its sponsor, TD Bank, the arena is the home of the NHL’s Boston Bruins and NBA’s Boston Celtics. In addition to hosting a range of hockey and basketball tournaments, the stadium also serves as the venue for over 200 other events throughout the year such as concerts, sporting events, family shows, wrestling matches, and ice shows.

The state-of-the-art 19,600-seat arena is fully equipped with three private restaurants, 90 executive suites, a multi-million dollar high definition video scoreboard, and complete 360-degree LED technology, and it hosts up to 3.5 million people each year.

TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114, 617-624-1050 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: TD Garden

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»The Shops at Prudential Center

The Shops at Prudential Center


The Shops at Prudential Center is an urban shopping center located at the base of the famous Prudential Tower in the heart of the city. The center features a range of high-end boutique shops, specialty retailers, and luxury brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, LaCoste, Sephora, and Club Monaco.

There is also an array of restaurants and cafés, both casual and fine dining to cater for every taste; one example is Wagamama, 5 Napkin Burger. A fully functioning Roman Catholic chapel known as the St. Francis Chapel is located inside the shopping center, and there are a variety of entertainment options for the whole family that leave from the center, including the Boston Duck Tours, Old Town Trolley Tours, and the Skywalk Observatory.

800 Boylston Street Prudential Tower, Boston, MA 02199-8142, 617-859-0648

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»New England Aquarium

New England Aquarium



The New England Aquarium offers both an educational and entertaining experience on various types of sea animals. The aquarium has over thirteen different exhibits showcasing sea turtles, anacondas, fish, seals, penguins, whales, and even sea-dragons. Throughout the aquarium there are interactive exhibits, including the new turtle exhibit, which provides a learning experience on diagnosing, rehabilitating, and treating this endangered species.

The aquarium also has many programs, classes, and lectures for members, adults, and families who want to learn more about conversation or the impact of climate change. The New England Aquarium is a global leader in both ocean exploration and marine conversation and has educated the public for over forty years since opening its doors in 1969.

1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, 617-973-5200 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: New England Aquarium

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»Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy


The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy is the only non-profit organically maintained public park in the Boston area, and its use of organic and sustainable management programs keeps the park and its features in top shape. This means that there are no chemicals or pesticides used throughout the park, providing visitors and animals with a safe area to roam.

The park has free Wi-Fi networks, food trucks and carts, and a carousel for children. The park has seven different water features that visitors can use to cool off during the summer months, and there are always free events going on throughout the year, including an open farmer’s market and concerts.

185 Kneeland Street, Boston, MA 02111, 617-292-0020

Related vacation ideas: Best Weekend Getaways from Boston. 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

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»Boston Symphony Orchestra

Boston Symphony Orchestra


After its inaugural concert on October 22, 1881, the Boston Symphony Orchestra has continued to play an important part of Boston culture, and they have performed for 132 seasons. Go behind the scenes with a free guided tour of Symphony Hall. Learn about the history and traditions of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the musicians, conductors and supports, and the hall itself.

If you are lucky enough, you might just get tickets to one of their open rehearsals where you will see the dynamics between conductor and orchestra unfold. With a full calendar of events, there is something for everyone’s tastes. After a full day of exploring, what better way to relax than to listen to the sounds of Beethoven, Lash, and many others.

301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston 02115, 617-266-1492 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: stokkete/Fotolia

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»Trinity Church

Trinity Church


Trinity Church is one of the most recognized buildings in America. Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and constructed in 1872, the building takes the form of a modified Greek Cross with a central tower that stands 211 feet (64 meters) tall and from which four arms extend.

The interiors feature more than 21,500 square feet of richly colored murals completed entirely by American artists and stained glass windows designed by William Morris. The church is situated in Copley Square in the Back Bay area and is the parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, as well as home to several renowned choirs, including the Trinity Choir and Trinity Chamber Choir.

206 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116, 617-536-0944 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: Chee-Onn Leong/Fotolia

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»The Printing Office of Edes & Gill

The Printing Office of Edes & Gill


The history of printing during the colonial era springs to life at the Printing Office of Edes & Gill in Boston's North End where visitors can experience Boston’s only colonial-era printing experience. Located at the historic Clough House, the printing museum offers visitors unique personal encounters with history and the printing industry, as well as the opportunity to engage with living historians working their printer’s trade in pre-revolutionary Boston.

The printing office brings to life an enlightening colonial experience with historic printing equipment and settings, live demonstrations, and interpretations of how printing affected communities. Printers Edes and Gill were the proprietors of The Boston Gazette and Country Journal, one of the most influential newspapers in the country at the time, and visitors will learn how they played a significant role in sparking America’s rise to rebellion and independence and ultimately, the American Revolution.

21 Unity Street, Boston, Adjacent to Old North Church 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: The Printing Office of Edes & Gill

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»King's Chapel

King's Chapel


Built by the Royal Governor, the King's Chapel is an independent Christian Unitarian congregation and traditional site on the Freedom Trial. Designed by renowned colonial architect Peter Harrison and completed in 1754, King’s Chapel is housed in an 18th-century stone structure known as the "Stone Chapel," located on the corner of School and Tremont Street, and it is a National Historic Landmark.

The church’s magnificent interior is hailed as one of the finest examples of Georgian church architecture in North America, while the towering exterior columns are painted in a tromp l’oeil to appear as stone, though they are, in fact, wood.

58 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108, 617-523-1749 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: pixs sell/Fotolia

»Boston Athenaeum

Boston Athenaeum


The Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest independent libraries in America. Founded in 1807, the library has a vast circulating book collection from which patrons can borrow through a membership service. It also boasts a rare books collection of over 100,000 volumes, an impressive art collection of sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and more than 100,000 paintings, and a beautiful public gallery.

The library is also home to an extensive research collection, including materials on the American Civil War, as well as an array of unique treasures such as busts of Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Lafayette that were once owned by Thomas Jefferson. In addition, the library has a significant portion of President George Washington's library, which was once housed at Mount Vernon, and original portraits by Gilbert Stuart, Chester Harding, and John Singer Sargent. The magnificent building boasts various styles of architecture, ranging from Renaissance to Palladian and Neoclassical and is located on Beacon Street.

10 ½ Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108, 617-227-0270 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: Boston Athenaeum

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»The Paul Revere House

The Paul Revere House


Built around 1680, the Paul Revere House was once the colonial home of famous American patriot Paul Revere and is now the oldest remaining structure in downtown Boston. Located at North Square in the North End District, the National Historic Landmark house was purchased by Paul Revere in 1770 and was his home when he made the famous messenger ride to Lexington in 1775.

After his tenancy, the house served as a boardinghouse for sailors and tenement for foreign immigrants who lived in the North End throughout the 19th-century. Today, it is a museum run by the Paul Revere Memorial Association that visitors can explore for a small admission fee. The museum offers a range of formal guided tours and special educational programs for families, schools, and tour groups.

19 North Square, North End, 617-523-2338 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: Bastos/Fotolia

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»Captain Jackson's Historic Chocolate Shop

Captain Jackson's Historic Chocolate Shop


Captain Jackson's Historic Chocolate Shop is a one-of-a-kind chocolate shop where visitors can explore the history of chocolate, its production and consumption during the American colonial period, and its historical connections to the Old North Church and Boston. This cute little chocolate shop is based at the Clough House next to Old North Church on Unity Street and is a fantastic outing for chocolate-lovers and history-buffs alike.

Costumed interpreters discuss the ways in which colonial Americans prepared and consumed chocolate, and daily demonstrations show how chocolate was made and offer visitors the chance to touch, taste, smell, and experience the 18th-century sweet treat.

The Clough House, 21 Unity Street, Boston, MA 02113, 617-858-8231 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: Captain Jackson's Historic Chocolate Shop

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»Boston Duck Tours

Boston Duck Tours


Take a legendary Boston tour down Newbury Street, past the Quincy Market, and straight into the Charles River. Boston Duck Tours might not be the only way for Boston tourists to enjoy the city, but it is definitely the most fun – their looney ConDUCKtors such as Dr. Fabulous and Amelia Airhead take visitors on a fun-filled tour through exciting areas such as the New England Aquarium, King’s Chapel, and the Holocaust Memorial.

The duck then dives straight into the Charles River, giving visitors a breathtaking view of Boston and Cambridge skylines. Throughout the tour, visitors can learn many little known facts about and interesting insights into the city of Boston. A part of the city for over twenty years, the Boston Duck Tours is a fun family activity. (website) 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: f11 photo/Fotolia

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»George's Island

George's Island


George’s Island is one of the islands in the Boston Harbor and is home to the historic Fort Warren, a Civil War-era fort known for its beautiful granite archways and reputed resident ghost, the Lady in Black. Situated just over seven miles from downtown Boston, the island spans 39 acres and can be reached by ferry from the harbor, making it easily accessible and a popular tourist destination. The island features a grassy parade ground within the fort where picnics can be enjoyed in the shade of the trees.

Visitors can also admire beautiful views of the surrounding islands and Boston Light. They can even take ranger-guided tours of the island to learn more about its rich history or visit the new museum, which boasts excellent exhibits about the fort and the role it has played throughout the history of Boston. Georges Island opens in May and closes on Columbus Day each year.

Office: 15 State Street, Suite 1100, Boston, MA 02109 (website) 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: spirit of america/Fotolia

»Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House


The Massachusetts State House has been designated as a National History Landmark due to its architectural significance as a masterpiece of Federal architecture.

Charles Bulfinch completed the building in 1798, and it is considered one of his finest works. The land on which the building sits used to be owned by the first elected governor of Massachusetts, John Hancock, and the building has two major symbols incorporated into its architecture. The first is a Sacred Cod, which signifies the importance of fishing, and the second is a wooden pinecone, which symbolizes logging; both of these were important industries for the Commonwealth. The dome was made out of wood, but is now sheathed in copper and is covered in 23 karat gold.

24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133, 617-727-3676 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: marcorubino/Fotolia

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»Boston Opera House

Boston Opera House


The Boston Opera House has been in business for over eighty years, providing audiences with top-of-the-line Broadway shows, dance performances such as ballet, and cultural presentations. The Boston Opera House partners with various presenters, including the Boston Ballet, Live Nation, World Music Crash Arts, and the Celebrity Series of Boston.

The Opera House went through an entire restoration process that took place over an eighteen-month period during which the establishment saw its old dressing rooms demolished to make way for a state-of-the-art stage house. The Boston Opera House is known for its acclaimed staging of opera performances and was on the Most Endangered Buildings list until its restoration in late 2002.

539 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111, 617-259-3400 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: Stephen Orsillo/Fotolia

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»Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area


The Boston Harbor Islands offers a long list of activities, from exploring old forts to heading out on ranger-led tours – there is something for everyone. For those who like adventure, there are plenty of lush hiking trails and camping under the stars as well as swimming, fishing, and lounging on the beach.

For those who would rather take part in organized activities, the Boston Harbor Islands has youth and volunteer programs, as well as events and tours available to the public throughout the operating year. One of the highlights of the islands is America’s oldest light station, which you can tour.

15 State Street, Boston, MA 02109, 617-223-8667 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: urazovsky/Fotolia

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»Charles River Esplanade

Charles River Esplanade


The Charles River Esplanade is a public park that millions enjoy throughout the year. It allows guests to walk alongside the river, attend concerts, play baseball, sail, use exercise machines, and even take their children to the playground. It is a privately funded park that allows space for programs for the city such as yoga or dancing.

Its mission is to provide residents with a safe and protected green space that all can enjoy regardless of what activities visitors want to do. The park has three unique playgrounds that are suitable for year-round use. There are also running and bike paths, and there are even docks for those who want to sail or lounge.

376 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116, 617-227-0365 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: lunamarina/Fotolia

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»Granary Burying Ground

Granary Burying Ground


The Granary Burying Ground was established in 1660 but received its present name when a small granary moved to the grounds in 1737. Originally, the gravestones within the burying ground were haphazardly placed until the invention of the modern lawnmower and the arrival of nineteenth century, leading people to call for the rearrangement of the gravestones into straighter rows.

The main draw for visitors who come to the Granary Burying Ground are the tombstones of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Robert Treat Paine, all of whom were signers of the Declaration of Independence. Plus, there is a 25-foot-tall obelisk that commemorates the tomb of Benjamin Franklin’s parents, as well as five victims of the Boston Massacre. Over the years there have been various landscaping changes; visitor pathways were added as well as an interactive map to guide those who want to see historic stops along the Freedom Trail.

117 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108, 617-635-4505 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: gburba/Fotolia

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»Old Boston Tours

Old Boston Tours

Since 2001, Guild Nichols has been providing a unique tour to visitors of North End because he knew that both the visitors and Boston’s North End deserved justice; the area required more than the usual “high school history book” tour that was being offered.

Old Boston Tours offers a distinctive take on Boston, answering age-old questions such as “What caused the great molasses flood of 1919?” and “What is the Boston Floating Hospital?” Tourists keep coming back for more, delighting in the entertaining and startling secrets of North End with Guild Nichols and Old Boston Tours. (website) 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: Elena the wise/Fotolia

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»Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library was established in 1848 and was the first large free municipal library in the United States; it is now the second largest library in the US, following the Library of Congress.

Visitors can revel not only in the historic architecture of the building itself, from its oak bookcases to its majestic barrel-arched ceiling, but what it contains inside: first edition folios by William Shakespeare, the personal library of John Adams, Mozart’s original music scores, and an extensive collection of rare books, prints, maps, and manuscripts. Murals by famed artists from around the world grace the walls of the library, making it a pleasure to walk through and admire. Guided tours, classes, and other programs are available throughout the year.

700 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116, 617-536-5400 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/Fotolia

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»Old North Church

Old North Church

Situated on the Old North Historic Site is the Old North Church. The 250-year-old church is steeped in history; it is the oldest church left standing in Boston and a National Historic Landmark. This church is one of four churches along on The Freedom Trail. Old North Church is open to all who wish to visit, whether in worship or to see the historic landmark.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour, where over the course of thirty minutes you will be given an in-depth view of the church and its history. Visit the Bell Ringing Chamber where the teenage Paul Revere worked as a bell ringer and walk among the 37 tombs down in the crypt.

193 Salem Street, Boston 02113, 617-858-8231

Click here for Part 1: 50 Best Things to Do in Boston. 50 Best Things to Do in Boston - Photo: AndreasJ/Fotolia

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50 Best Things to Do in Boston