Summer is a great time to explore Boston. Affectionately known as "America's Walking City," you can stroll the city's sidewalks, wander its abundance of green parks, or just people-watch at one of the many outdoor cafés. Discover Boston’s vibrant culture while strolling historic streets through diverse neighborhoods. The unique personality of each neighborhood can be found in the cuisine of the restaurants and in the style of the shops, galleries and open markets and above all, in its people.
Music fills the air throughout the summer with concerts of all genres on the Esplanade, the Greenway, City Hall Plaza and neighborhood centers. Cross cultural festivals are popular with locals and visitors alike — passports not required to immerse yourself in the cuisine, music, dance and artisan works from Italy, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Asia and around the world. There are also festivals celebrating Independence Day, Chowder, Seafood, Jazz and Sand Sculpting. Of course, Dine Out Boston is always on the menu every August.
Boston museums offer a remarkable selection of exhibitions — from Toulouse-Lautrec, the Andy Warhol of late 19th-century Paris, to the monumental nine-channel sound and moving-image installation The Visitors to the Greenway’s Augmented Reality exhibit, which superimposes historical images onto contemporary views. Spend time at the Watershed for an immersive video installation Purple, and find out what makes us human at Body Worlds & the Cycle of Life . For a special treat, visit with the Crawley family at the Downton Abbey Exhibition.
For sports fans, catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park is a must when you're in Boston. Outdoor recreation beckons along Boston’s beautiful Harborwalk, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Lawn on D, and out on the Boston Harbor Islands.
All summer long, catch Concerts in the Courtyard at the Boston Public Library and at the Museum of Fine Arts, or listen to live music at city parks, squares and out on the Harbor Islands. Starting on July 5, you can see a star-studded lineup take the stage at Fenway Park, from country acts like Zac Brown Band to rock legends like The Who. Movie buffs will line up for the Roxbury International Film Festival from June 19-29. Starting mid-July, Boston Landmarks Orchestra will play harmonious tunes in the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell at the Charles River Esplanade from July 17 to August 21. To pay or not to pay, that is the question. The answer, of course, is not to pay with free Shakespeare on the Common performances from July 17 to August 4. And don’t forget the Boston Jazz Fest 2019 starts at noon August 30-31 at Boston Maritime Park in the Seaport District.
Fun if by land, fun if by sea. Enjoy both with Boston’s many diverse tours, trails and sails! Fun if by land, fun if by sea. Follow the Whale Trail, Walk the Freedom Trail, Black Heritage or Equality Trail. Take a harbor cruise or tour by foot, bicycle, trolley or "duck". Discover it all – your journey through Boston begins here!
In the summer, the shops on Boston's Newbury Street prop their doors open and the bars and restaurants set up their outdoor patios. Greenway Block Parties will get things going, the Food Trucks are out in full force, and the beer gardens are buzzing.
The Boston area offers an abundance of free activities for everyone.
Boston is always changing. Check out what's new in and around the city!
North of Boston
Head to the waterfront where Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC) ferry service will take visitors to the Boston Harbor Islands and to Salem, the "witch city" of 17th century lore, where you can also visit the Peabody Essex Museum and of course the Salem Witch Museum. Both BHC and Bay State Cruises offer fast service to Provincetown, located on the tip of Cape Cod, an eclectic artists’ community teeming with galleries, restaurants, quaint shops and beautiful beaches.
South of Boston
Head south by car or rail to see Plimoth Plantation, and a replica ship, the Mayflower II, based on the vessel that brought the Pilgrims to the New World in 1620. Learn about the native Wampanoag Tribe that encountered the Pilgrims, as well as life in a 17th century English village. Continue south and arrive on Cape Cod, a summer destination featuring gorgeous locales and beaches from Falmouth to Hyannis, Harwich to Truro. From Falmouth or Woods Hole you can ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. In Hyannis you can board a ferry to Nantucket. Why rush? Spend a night or two at the award-winning White Elephant.
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Bostonians dress smartly and simply. Prepare for hot and humid days and cool nights.
Day: If you're touring, wear comfy sneakers or sandals. Shorts and T-shirts are common. Bring sunglasses or a hat. Most tourist venues don't have dress codes, but check to be sure.
Evening: Consider your agenda; the theater tends to be dressier.