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Experience Summer In Boston: Must-Do Activities and Events

June 20, 2023 By CityPASS

In the summertime, Boston comes alive with exciting events and activities. Summer in Boston, the capital city of Massachusetts, is full of memorable things to do, from outdoor adventures to cultural delights.

With so many magical options available, the only challenge is whittling them down. It can be overwhelming to plan every detail of a summer trip, but rest assured some of your legwork is already done.

Here, explore a list of must-see highlights to help you savor New England's most vibrant season. When it comes to summer in the city, Boston is simply the place to be.

Experience the Summer Fun in Boston

Don't miss these epic activities in the vibrant city of Boston this summer.

Embark on a Nautical Adventure: Boston Harbor Cruises

Getting out on the water is a perfect way to make the most of the summer weather in Boston. With Boston Harbor City Cruises, you can explore the beautiful harbor and Boston Harbor Islands, and enjoy scenic views of the city's skyline and waterfront as you sail along.

The sightseeing cruise is one of the most popular ways to discover the city's landmarks and attractions. The narrated tour will take you on a journey around the harbor and teach you about Boston's fascinating history and culture.

Some key sites you'll see and learn about include:

  • The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
  • The USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”)
  • The Bunker Hill Monument

If you're a nature lover, why not head out on a whale-watching tour? You'll have the chance to see humpback whales, fin whales, and even Atlantic white-sided dolphins. Or, for a little more thrill and excitement, take the Boston Codzilla high-speed thrill boat ride. A Boston Harbor Cruise is certainly a more exciting alternative to public transportation.

Immerse Yourself in Wildlife: The Franklin Park Zoo

Do something out of the ordinary and take a trip to Franklin Park Zoo. The 72-acre park hosts creatures from across the globe. It's perfect for a family day out, a special occasion, or simply an enjoyable afternoon for any animal lover.

Lions, giraffes, gorillas, tropical birds, reptiles, and amphibians — the zoo houses diverse animals to observe and appreciate. This all-weather park has multiple different habitats to explore. One of the highlights is the tropical forest, where you can find rainforest plant life and waterfalls in a 3-acre dome. Discover tropical birds and animals, like tapirs, pygmy hippos, and western lowland gorillas.

Learn fascinating facts about the animals through the schedule of interactive chats and shows. You can even catch animal feedings and behind-the-scenes tours. Look out for seasonal events and exhibits, too.

Explore Botanical Delights: Boston Public Garden

This beautiful Victorian garden is a must-visit oasis any time of year. But in the summer months, it really shines. Stroll through 24 acres of colorful flowers and picnic-worthy grass, and make sure to admire the lush foliage of over 600 native and imported trees. In terms of outdoor activities, Boston truly delivers with this immersive natural landscape.

Kids love to spot the duckling statues around the park, which serve as a sweet photo opportunity. There are also many monuments housed in the gardens. See if you can spot the Ether monument commemorating anesthesia's invention, or the stately statue of George Washington. Adjacent to the park is Boston Common, a historic site where you can enjoy more open green spaces.

On a hot summer day, catch a tranquil ride on the 4-acre lagoon in a swan-shaped boat. You can even delight in watching the real swans from aboard. Top off the afternoon with an ice cream cone for an idyllic, and affordable, activity for the summer season.

Dive into Marine Life: New England Aquarium

Many people love Boston beaches. But if you're fascinated by life under the sea, you can't miss a trip to the New England Aquarium this summer.

Open since 1969, the aquarium houses thousands of aquatic animals from the giant Pacific octopus to playful sea lions. It inspires visitors to protect and conserve the oceans and its inhabitants.

The centerpiece of the aquarium is the 200,000-liter Giant Ocean Tank. This three-story-high cylindrical habitat is home to a colorful coral reef ecosystem. You can view marine species from the Caribbean, like sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, and colorful fish.

Discover other exhibits, like the Science of Sharks, where you can get up close and personal with some of the world's shark species and learn about conservation and care. Or why not meet the Atlantic Harbor Seals, and get to know their talented trainers.

Unveil The Treasures of Natural History: The Harvard Museum

If you catch Boston on a rainy day, expand your mind at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. This collection of museums and galleries is a treasure trove of rich history and interesting artifacts. The most iconic of the museums is the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Inside you will find some of the city's most spectacular exhibits. Discover impressive specimens from the natural world, including fossils, minerals, gems, and animals. Be sure to check out the collection of glass flowers, renowned for its botanical accuracy and stunning artistry. Animal lovers can discover sharks' vital role in balancing marine ecosystems in the latest exhibition on these majestic marine animals.

Dive deeper into other topics, like the iron age, Native American history, or astronomy, by visiting the other Harvard Science and Culture Museums, including:

  • The Harvard Museum of the Near East
  • Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
  • Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments

If you're spending the whole summer in the city of Boston, why not visit them all?

Experience the Beautiful City of Boston in the Summer

With so many things to do in Boston in the summer, it can be hard to decide on your favorites. But you can't go wrong when you build an itinerary full of the top historical sites, outdoor activities, and cultural gems.

Your Boston CityPASS® ticket makes planning trips even easier. Don't worry about booking multiple tickets or missing out on top summer activities. Boston CityPASS® tickets include the most beloved attractions so you never need to worry about researching what simply can't be missed. Attractions include:

With plenty of Boston summer events, you'll enjoy every moment of the sunny season in one of the country's most exciting and historic cities.

Boston Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in Boston, we recommend finding lodging near Boston's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

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