Visitors arrive in Boston all year long to explore all that this fascinating city offers. Winters can be quite cold, so a coat and a pair of boots will be necessary. The snow in winter varies from a small amount to heavy snow storms. The best time to visit Boston is between June and November. Summertime is quite busy with many visitors and hotel room rates can be high.
But there are many things to see and do in the summer, like eating at sidewalk cafes, attending a concert, or watching a baseball game. Fall is a good time to visit because the weather is mild and visitors enjoy exploring Boston on foot. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Boston Weather & Temperature by Month
2.Getting to Boston
3.Getting to Boston – by Airplane, Train, Car or Bus
4.Transportation From and To the Boston Airport
6.Getting Around Boston by Public Transportation
7.Getting Around Boston by Bike
8.Getting Around Boston On foot, Taxi, Water Taxi, Car
10.Shopping in Boston
11.Boston Neighborhood Guide
12.Getting Married in Boston
13.Where to Stay in Boston
Best Time to Visit Boston, Massachusetts - Weather Year Round
- Boston Weather & Temperature by Month, Photo: Courtesy of djvotour - Fotolia.com
- Getting to Boston, Photo: Courtesy of lunamarina - Fotolia.com
- Getting to Boston – by Airplane, Train, Car or Bus, Photo: Courtesy of lunamarina - Fotolia.com
- Transportation From and To the Boston Airport, Photo: Courtesy of f11photo - Fotolia.com
- BostonVisitor Centers, Photo: Courtesy of rabbit75_fot - Fotolia.com
- Getting Around Boston by Public Transportation, Photo: Courtesy of Natalia Bratslavsky - Fotolia.com
- Getting Around Boston by Bike, Photo: Courtesy of spvvk - Fotolia.com
- Getting Around Boston On foot, Taxi, Water Taxi, Car, Photo: Courtesy of Mr Doomits - Fotolia.com
- Boston Restaurants, Photo: Courtesy of SOMATUSCANI - Fotolia.com
- Shopping in Boston, Photo: Courtesy of Tupungato - Fotolia.com
- Boston Neighborhood Guide, Photo: Courtesy of Bastos - Fotolia.com
- Getting Married in Boston, Photo: Courtesy of photographmd - Fotolia.com
- Where to Stay in Boston, Photo: Courtesy of Stephen Orsillo - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Bastos - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Franklin Park Zoo
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the Franklin Park Zoo is a 72-acre wildlife habitat housed within the Emerald Necklace park system. Along with the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, the Franklin Park Zoo is part of the nonprofit network Zoo New England, which aims to foster conservation through research and educational programs, offering Massachusetts families an opportunity to experience the natural world in an up-close and personal setting.
Original blueprints for the zoo, which opened on October 4, 1912, were included as part of designer Frederick Law Olmstead’s overall plan for Franklin Park. While Olmstead’s original concept was to avoid the traditional zoo structure of exhibits and incorporate natural habitats within the landscape of the park, financial and maintenance troubles during the Great Depression and World War II shifted the zoo to a more conventional format. A children’s zoo was added in 1962, which became the zoo’s most popular exhibit after renovations and expansions in 1984. In 1991, Zoo New England acquired the facility, introducing a number of new exhibits throughout the next decade, which revived the zoo’s attendance and invigorated its presence as a cultural destination in Boston.
The zoo is divided into eight major exhibit areas, featuring over 220 species of wildlife from around the world.
The Bird’s World exhibit is the zoo’s oldest exhibit, with its main aviary structure still intact as it stood at the park’s 1912 opening. Inside, visitors can meet bird species from around the world, such as the great Indian hornbill, Australia’s tawny frogmouth, and the kea, the world’s only alpine parrot. Insects and reptiles, such as the Madagascar hissing cockroach and the blue-tongued skink, fill out the exhibit’s natural habitats. Outside the building, a flight cage allows patrons to see the birds in action, while an exhibit of Chilean flamingos provides color and flair.
The popular Tropical Forest has been a zoo favorite for decades, housing a recreated rainforest paradise under its dome. Western lowland gorillas, ring-tailed lemurs, Baird’s tapirs, and pygmy hippopotamuses roam the exhibit’s lush streams, waterfalls, and rock structures, with dozens of free-flight birds taking flight over visitors’ heads.
Serengeti Crossing is a 4-acre grassland enclosure that opened in 1997. Visitors can view ostriches, warthogs, and crested porcupines alongside the iconic stripes of Grant’s zebras in this recreation of the African savannah terrain.
The 1997 opening of Kalahari Kingdom brought African lions back to the park for the first time in decades, which visitors can safely meet up close through a unique “crashed” Land Rover viewing platform. The exhibit also features two kori bustards, one of which was received as a gift from the Smithsonian National Zoo and hatched from an egg on site in 2003. Adjacent is the Tiger Tales exhibit, which is home to two tigers, Anala and Luther, who were rescued from illegal ownership and brought to the park by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The seasonal Butterfly Landing is an outdoor tented space filled with more than 1,000 butterflies in free flight. Gardens and ponds create a peaceful atmosphere for visitors to watch and interact, and an activity corner offers tips on how to create a personal butterfly garden. Also opened in 1998 is the Outback Trail, which takes visitors on a trip down under to view kangaroos, emus, and kookaburras. The Giraffe Savannah, opened the following year, is a free-roaming habitat for Masai giraffes.
In addition to the eight main exhibits, the popular Children’s Zoo area offers free play adventures for young visitors. Unique playgrounds such as the Bamboo Climber and Eagle’s Nest allow children to roam and explore structures that mimic the landscapes of natural animal habitats. Additionally, the area houses a number of small animal “neighborhoods” from diverse ecosystems, enabling children to meet red pandas, Asian deer, and prairie dogs up close.
The park offers several more interactive attractions for an additional fee, including camelback rides and the budgerigar and parakeet feeding zone Aussie Aviary.
Education and Conservation
Zoo New England is committed to natural habitat preservation and conducts a variety of conservation programs dedicated to protecting New England wildlife. At an exhibit inside the Children’s Zoo, visitors can meet hatchlings from the Blanding’s Turtle Project, a safe hatching project conducted annually at the Stone Zoo. The zoo’s Quarters for Conservation Program works in conjunction with the Neponset River Watershed Association to ensure clean, safe drinking water for more than 160,000 people in the greater Boston area. Additionally, Zoo New England’s work with a number of national organizations, including FrogWatch USA, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' SAFE Initiative, and the Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Restoration Project, aims to ensure protection of threatened species that are vital to global ecosystems.
Youth and families can enjoy a number of educational and interactive programs throughout the year, including the popular Breakfast with the Animals mornings and the Snoarin’ Roarin’ Sleepover overnights.
1 Franklin Park Rd, Boston, MA 02121
Venue Spotlight: The College Club of Boston
The College Club of Boston is the oldest women's college club in the United States and historical eleven-room bed and breakfast in the heart of Boston's Back Bay. Based in an elegant Victorian brownstone, the Club also hosts to a wide variety of events and is available for both member and non-member use. The College Club of Boston can accommodate up to 80 guests for a cocktail style reception or 50 for a seated dinner with custom-designed menus available to suit your personal taste and budget. The Club also features 11 guest rooms available for out of town guests.
Amenities & Services
Amenities and services with the rental of the College Club of Boston include the set up and clean-up of the venue, event planning and management for the day of the function, a dressing area for the bride and groom, a dance floor, a coat check room, full kitchen facilities for catering and food preparation, and a public garage with parking for guests. Other amenities include tables and chairs, linens, silverware, and glassware, a grand piano and votive candles, and wireless Internet access.
44 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02116, Phone: 617-536-9510
Venue Spotlight: The Exchange Conference Center
Located on Boston's Historic Waterfront, the Exchange Conference Center is one of the city's most unique sites for social and corporate events. Boasting a beautiful combination of rich history, modern amenities, award-winning cuisine, and gracious hospitality and service, the Exchange Conference Center provides the perfect place for elegant private functions and events. Located in the heart of the thriving Seaport District on Boston’s historic waterfront, the Exchange is a multi-purpose event venue managed and exclusively catered by East Meets West with dramatic architecture, soaring ceilings, and spectacular panoramic views of Boston Harbor.
Amenities & Services
The Exchange is a stunning backdrop for any celebration with floor-to-ceiling windows and four-season, panoramic views of Boston Harbor. The venue features several spaces for different types of events, including the Exchange Hall/McKay Room, the Harbor Terrace, and the Second Floor Cocktail Space.
The Exchange Hall/McKay Room is a grand three-story event hall with a sky-lit atrium and stunning panoramic views of the Boston skyline and Boston Harbor. The gallery features 1,444 square feet of social event space with tables, chairs, and a hardwood dance floor and is ideal for elegant receptions.
The Harbor Terrace is located right off of Exchange Hall and offers a beautiful space for a waterfront ceremony or cocktail reception. Bordered by white fencing with tenting if required, the terrace can be used for ceremonies and receptions, alfresco dining, or cocktail receptions on the water.
The second floor of The Exchange features a Harbor View Cocktail area that can be used for cocktail receptions and features breathtaking views of the water and a bird’s eye view of Exchange Hall. This space can make a cocktail reception and dining distinctly different during an event. The space offers a range of table and chair layouts, two separate beverage service stations for larger parties, and large picture window allows stunning views of the Harbor.
212 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210, Phone: 617-790-1900
Attraction Spotlight: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Located on Columbia Point in Boston, Massachusetts, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum commemorates the life and work of one of America’s most iconic former presidents. The library serves as the official national repository for original documents from the Kennedy Administration, while the museum chronicles Kennedy’s greatest achievements as well as the enduring legacy of his family in American culture.
Since 1939, the National Archives and Records Administration has established a presidential library in the home state of each American president, honoring their service, preserving their personal and professional legacy, and housing important documents from their administration. Plans for the Kennedy Administration’s library had already begun prior to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, with Kennedy personally selecting a site on the Charles River in Cambridge near his former Harvard dormitory. After his assassination in November 1963, the project took on double duty as a memorial, spearheaded by his widow, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, alongside his closest family and friends.
After several years of controversy, including zoning disputes with the city of Cambridge, the location of the library was moved to Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, overlooking the University of Massachusetts campus. Financial setbacks limited architect I. M. Pei’s budget to $20.8 million; nevertheless, the project is credited with skyrocketing the Chinese architect to international acclaim. On October 20, 1979, President Jimmy Carter, along with members of the Kennedy family, officially dedicated and opened the facility.
Permanent Museum Collections
The first floor of the library houses a museum complex dedicated to the most influential achievements of Kennedy’s term in office. After viewing a short orientation film, visitors can relive the administration’s greatest moments, from the campaign trail to the Space Race, through a series of exhibits.
1960 Presidential Election: Titled “A New Frontier,” the museum’s campaign trail exhibit is an immersive multimedia experience, featuring audio and video footage of the 1960 Democratic National Convention as well as archived television coverage of the first presidential debate between Kennedy and opponent Richard Nixon. Visitors can step into a recreation of Kennedy’s campaign office, read the original teleprompter text from his Democratic nomination acceptance speech, and relive the excitement of electoral results returns with a detailed map.
The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy: This exhibit brings Kennedy’s memorable January, 1960, inauguration to life with complete video footage of the event, along with a preserved working draft of his speech and the original Fitzgerald family Bible on which he swore his oath of office.
JFK Meets the Press: Memorabilia from Kennedy’s press conferences, which were also the first televised presidential press conferences, is on display in this exhibit, including his Radio and Television Executive Society Medal. Visitors can test their own quick-thinking skills on today’s relevant issues in front of an imaginary press corps with an interactive mock briefing activity.
Gifts from Heads of State: Original artifacts once displayed in the Oval Office are preserved in this exhibit, including ornate vases and intricate sculptures presented to Kennedy by dignitaries from around the globe during foreign diplomacy visits.
Ceremonial and State Events: Artifacts document the glamorous State Dinners of the Kennedy Administration, known for their guest lists featuring elite names from the worlds of art and culture.
Lift Off! The US Space Program: The Mercury missions of 1961 and 1962 are commemorated in an exhibit where visitors can view the original Mercury-Redstone 3 capsule Freedom 7 alongside photographic timelines and archival video footage of United States astronauts.
Robert Kennedy’s Attorney General Office: Documents and personal items belonging to Kennedy’s brother Robert are showcased, highlighting his term as Attorney General and his noted influence on the administration’s involvement in the Cuban missile crisis and Civil Rights Movement.
The Oval Office: A replica of Kennedy’s HMS Resolute desk displays preserved Oval Office personal items, including the rocking chair presented to him on June 6, 1963, by U.S.S. Kitty Hawk crew members. Multimedia presentations focus on Kennedy’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.
First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy: This exhibit documents the life and influence of America’s most beloved First Lady, focusing on her work as an arts and culture ambassador. Visitors can see the famous red day suit she wore during her CBS televised White House tour in 1962 as well as artifacts from her tenure as a Washington Times-Herald reporter.
Permanent Library Collections
The site’s library collection serves as a complete documentation of all Kennedy Administration papers, with thousands of archived documents written by the president, First Lady, Attorney General, and other staff and family members. A large audiovisual archive contains more than 400,000 photographs and 11,000 reels of audio recordings documenting more than a century in the history of the Kennedy family. An oral history project, which began in 1964, now contains more than 1,100 archived interviews with Kennedy’s friends and colleagues. The library is also the site of the world’s largest collection of Ernest Hemingway manuscripts and materials, as a result of the friendship between Mary Hemingway and Jacqueline Kennedy. The “Access to a Legacy” Digitization Initiative aims to index these materials online for easy database access and permanent preservation.
Ongoing Programs and Education
Every year, the library invites high school students from around the country to submit essays to the Profile in Courage essay contest. Modeled after Kennedy’s book, Profiles in Courage, the contest invites students to write 1,000-word profiles of acts of political courage by United States elected officials, analyzing the obstacles, risks, and consequences of the act. Three winners are selected annually, with the first-place essay receiving a $10,000 prize. Additionally, the museum offers a number of curriculum-incorporated programs for guided school group visits with students in grades 3-12.
Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125