22 Free Things to do in Boston
If there is any city in the United States that is worth a visit, it’s Boston. With a perfect blend of history and modernity, an array of impressive landmarks, and a number of renowned universities, this city is indeed legendary and definitely worth that plane ticket. However, your time in Boston may not need to be worth anything with the list of free activities and free tours in Boston that we have compiled today. It’s normal to be overwhelmed by the majesty of a new place and to be unsure of what to do or where to visit. Rest assured, simply follow this information guide to free activities in Boston to make the most out of every minute you’re in Boston. Free things are the cherry on the top of everyone’s vacation. And to make your Boston trip more efficient, Vertoe Boston Luggage Storage services are conveniently located to help you make the most of your time here.
The Freedom Trail: As mentioned above, the city of Boston is a cultural hub, full of remnants from its Revolutionary War era and its colonial era. While both of these periods happened centuries ago, they are brought back to life when hiking the Freedom Trail, a walking tour. Stretching nearly 2.5 miles across the city, the trail has several historical sites chronicling the birth and rise of the United States in the late 18th century. When visiting sites such as the old Massachusetts State House, the street of the infamous Boston Massacre, or the Park Street Church, you develop a deeper understanding of history. Even if you aren’t too well versed in colonial American history, the Freedom Trail can still be a rewarding and engaging experience with the downloadable self-guided tour. So start at whichever site you’re nearest to, turn on your AirPods, and take a walk through history. And besides who doesn’t love free tours.
Black Heritage Trail: You may be thinking “Oh gosh, more walking tours?” But if the Freedom Trail covers Bostonian History, the Black Heritage Trail covers the other side of that coin. Massachusetts was the first state to abolish slavery, and this meant that there was a place of safety for Black Americans. The community they built in Boston became its own self-guided tour. Popular sites along this Trail include the Abel Smith School, the Charles Street Meeting House, the African Meeting House, and the Smith Court Residences. The most notable site along the Trial is the 54th Regiment Memorial. Covered in the film Glory with Matthew Broderick and Morgan Freeman, this regiment was the second black military unit, and it participated in many battles during the Civil War. There is no better place than here to explore what the lives of Black Bostonians were like in the 18th century, and to be reminded of how far America has come since the dark days of sectionalism and racism.
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Museums and Institutions
Harvard University: Harvard, the place, the legend, the home of the greats. One of the most prestigious schools in the world, it’s a rare opportunity to see it in person. The beautiful campus is located near the Charles River across from Boston and consists of several buildings around Cambridge. Luckily for you, Harvard offers free tours, or as they say in Latin “liber”. Wander around the campus, visit the Widener Library, or the iconic Harvard Hall, maybe even pay a visit to HBS or HLS if time permits. Additionally, Harvard’s several gift shops are ready to cater to your needs with authentic Harvard University merchandise. This way you can irrefutably prove, one way or another, that you went to Harvard. Veritas!
Bunker Hill Monument: Ever heard the phrase “Don’t fire when you see the whites of their eyes!” Well, the eyes of the British were as big as dinner plates during the bloody battle that took place on Bunker Hill. The original phrase was spoken by American Officer William Prescott, whose regiment was low on ammunition and could not afford to waste a single shot against the advancing British forces. While the militia managed to hold back the British for an extended period of time, a lack of ammunition forced them to abandon Bunker Hill and cede it to the British. If you’re going to visit Boston, take advantage of the opportunity to visit this historic site, where the British first began to understand how determined these people were to break free from their empire.
The Holocaust Memorial: This beautiful and intricate memorial is comprised of six glass towers, representing each of the Nazi extermination camps. Many people have also taken it to mean the six years of the genocide, or the six million victims of the Nazis. While a sad and horrifying event in history, it is a beautiful monument, and many Bostonians can be seen daily paying their respects to the victims of war and hate. The memorial is conveniently located along the way of the Freedom Trail, so it takes one or two minutes to access it from the trail. While there are Holocaust Memorials all over the world, this one is absolutely one of the most thoughtful. It can also be viewed at no charge.
The USS Constitution: This warship, nicknamed “Old Ironsides”, is sure to interest the kids. The museum is dedicated to the USS Constitution, the oldest American warship still floating. The ship itself is most famous for its service during the War of 1812, where it notably defeated five British warships. It’s subsequent nicknaming and public pressure led to the US Navy choosing to preserve it instead of scrapping it. Although Old Ironsides has long since been retired from service, its legacy on the battlefield is preserved by the USS Constitution Museum (the museum tours are free, but the ship tours are separate and have different working hours). Keep in mind that while the tours have free admission, they operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Be sure to arrive early in order to visit this once-mighty naval vessel.
Museum of Fine Arts: People under 17 years old or Tufts University members can tour this establishment with free admission. Being the 17th largest Art Museum in the world, this institution has no shortage of exhibits to offer its visitors. Its magnificent collections include Imperial Chinese Art, French Impressionist Art, Japanese Art, Native American Art, Ancient Egyptian Artifacts, Contemporary Art, and 19th Century American Art. The Japanese Art collection in the Museum of Fine Arts is the largest collection in the world outside of Japan itself. Have an easy museum trip by storing your bags at baggage storage in San Francisco and explore different cultures and the genius of many artistic masters. Gain a deeper understanding of each individual artist and time period as you observe every brushstroke of contemporary art. MFA is more than an art collection, but it provides a level of intimacy between visitors and the art that simply cannot be replicated in many other places other than the city of Boston.
Granary Burying Ground: Located on Tremont Street, the Granary Burial ground is the third-oldest cemetery in Boston, and is famous for holding the remains of many American historical figures. Here you would find the graves of people such as John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, as well as a few other famed Bostonians. For a tourist wishing to know more about Boston and its inhabitants, this place is ideal for brushing up on their knowledge. You can almost for a moment imagine yourself in 19th century Boston when you explore these grounds. It’s a great place to gain insight into the history and into the great city you’re in the midst of exploring.
King’s Chapel: It’s a place not only to be seen but to be heard. Sermons take place often in King’s Chapel. Originally founded in 1686, the chapel has been servicing Bostonians for over three centuries. Aside from being a holy site, it has been designated a national historical landmark. So explore the structure, and if you’re religious, indulge in the holy aspect of it. Aside from the sermons, its architecture and history will prove vastly interesting to those who are interested in that knowledge. Tour this landmark to gain historical insight, or simply go for the sermon and religious services. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Castle Island: Ironically, the “island” is actually a peninsula, and there is no actual castle. Home to the iconic Fort Independence, this landmark offers free guided tours on the weekends and excitement for kids. Obviously, Fort Independence is well known in popular culture, and seeing it in person only makes it more exciting. It is also rumored to be part of the inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”. Explore the rich history behind this landmark, learn of the famous battles that took place with this fort. Put yourself in the place of young soldiers who first entered to marvel at its structure. And hey, don’t forget you get to look around a military fort. You’ll also earn the right to brag about visiting Castle Island.
Massachusetts State House Tour: The Massachusetts State House is what some would call the roots of Boston, after all this is where it all began. Politicians would flood this building to determine the course of the colony that would soon become the state we all know and love today. Its history was written right in this building. Tours of this building are free and provide an opportunity for travelers to understand the government of old Boston and how it determined the course of American History. Educational, entertaining, and inspiring, it’s a golden opportunity! Make the most of this opportunity into a comfortable tour by leaving your bags in the most capable hands of Vertoe San Francisco services.
Food and Beverage
Sam Adams Brewery Tour: Samuel Adams (also known as Sam Adams), a revolutionary fighter, member of the Sons of Liberty, organizer of the Boston Tea Party, is the quintessential Bostonian to the locals. Considered a philosopher, hero, and patriot, he has no shortage of fans in New England. As such, the Boston Beer Company named their brewery after him. All beer fans (also non-beer fans) have the unique opportunity to view the beer-making up close and to even sample the delicious variants made by the Boston Beer Company as an extra special treat. Of course, if you’re underage you can simply appreciate the view without sampling the beer. The best part about this is the brewery tours have free admission and occur daily in the afternoon.
Quincy Market: In every city, there’s always an area where the culture is showcased in its shops and foods, and there is no place that fits that description more than Quincy Market. Located in South Boston, here you can explore Boston’s local foods from a selection of over 50 restaurants. Besides food, Quincy Market is also famous for having performances from the buskers that usually frequent the area. The market is not only a place for you to enjoy, but it makes it easy to access many other attractions in the city, considering it’s located near iconic places such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the New England Aquarium. Also, it is next to the historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It’s right in the middle of everything, full of entertainment, has delicious foods. What else is on your wishlist? If roaming handsfree and bagless is one of them, worry not for San Francisco luggage storage services is here to assist you.
Hatch Shell: This venue is extremely welcoming to all travelers and Bostonians. Located by the Charles River, there is no better way to end the day than to catch a concert at the Hatch Shell underneath the night sky. There is a certain feeling of satisfaction that people seek when they travel. And that satisfaction can be got relaxing on a blanket, looking into the night sky, and enjoying some authentic Bostonian music. The Hatch Shell is not limited to concerts, but they occasionally show movies. It’s a fantastic place to hang out, especially during July. Pay it a visit.
Colt Observatory: Maybe you’re a hopeless romantic, maybe you’re an astronomer, or perhaps you’re a psychic trying to define the future, everyone loves stargazing no matter the motive. Luckily for you, Colt Observatory has free stargazing telescopes and other apparatus for viewing. It isn’t every major American city that makes it so convenient to stargaze, it is an opportunity that many have taken advantage of. Stars play an important part in our lives, and we are prompted to ponder our own existence when we see them twinkle down at us. Take a friend, drive to the observatory, and bond under the stars while searching for a view of faraway galaxies, constellations, and planets.
The Boston Common: The Boston Common might be the oldest park in America, but it’s also the most beautiful. It consists of a wide, lush open space surrounded by Boston’s buildings in the distance. Basically, it’s a great place to have a picnic. When the city feels overwhelming and sightseeing begins to exhaust you, the Boston Common area is the perfect place to grab a break from all of it, being a safety bubble of peace above the chaos of the city. So sit down, pull out your blanket, and grab a book. Boston Common is also suitable for playing sports (weather permitting), taking photos, meeting new people, or simply taking a nap. It’s all fair game.
Arnold Arboretum: How about a break from history? Lush open spaces, stunning flora, and no admission fee, what’s to stop you from paying a visit to paradise, aka a public garden? The arboretum has several hiking trails for public use as well as a variety of flowers for observation. With peace and serenity on your mind during travel, why not visit the gardens where serenity is in abundance. The gardens also double as a research facility for Harvard University. Take your kids and immerse them in nature, you’ll be glad you made the trip. Getting in touch with nature is no easy task, but Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum public garden is able to do the job.
Beaches: Who doesn’t love a beach day? Beaches are the key image that people think of when they hear the word “vacation”. Your trip to Boston would be incomplete without a trip to one of the local beaches. The beaches that are most convenient are Carson Beach, Constitution Beach, and Malibu Beach. Beaches are great places to spend your downtime between sightseeing, walking the various Bostonian trails, learning about history, and exploring the city. Take some blankets, some swimsuits, a couple of towels, and you’ll be all set for your beach day. Nothing more is required for these public beaches.
Blue Hills Trails: Massachusetts is somewhat known for its wilderness and green spaces. For the ultimate hiking experience, you need to drive no further than 30 mins to reach the Blue Hills, where a vast selection of hiking trails await you. The Blue Hills offer an intense nature experience as you travel through the elements. When you’ve had enough of the city, this natural forest is the perfect place to go for a change of scenery. There is no better place to strengthen your connection with Mother Nature. Relish the press of the dirt beneath your feet, take joy in hearing the surrounding wildlife, and enter Nature’s embrace.
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