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  • Writer's pictureDylan Kelly

Explore Boston's Top Summer Activities to Enjoy After July 4th

As the fireworks fade and the festivities of July 4th come to a close, Boston’s summer season is just heating up. Whether you're a local or a visitor, the city offers an array of activities to enjoy in the warm months that follow. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, here are some of the best summer activities to keep you entertained in Boston.

1. Explore the Boston Harbor Islands

Take a ferry from Long Wharf to the Boston Harbor Islands, a group of 34 islands offering a perfect escape from the city without actually leaving it. Enjoy hiking trails, picnicking spots, and even camping opportunities. Spectacle Island provides stunning views of the skyline, ideal for photography enthusiasts, while Georges Island is home to the historic Fort Warren, a Civil War-era fort worth exploring. Activities such as bird watching, swimming, and ranger-led tours add to the adventure.

2. Stroll Through the Boston Public Garden

Boston Public Garden, established in 1837, is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. During the summer, the garden is in full bloom, offering a colorful array of flowers and lush greenery. Don’t miss a ride on the famous Swan Boats, a tradition that dates back to 1877. As you stroll through the garden, enjoy the serene lagoon, the various statues, including the iconic George Washington statue, and the beautifully landscaped flower beds.

3. Catch a Red Sox Game at Fenway Park

There’s nothing quite like a summer evening at Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Even if you're not a die-hard baseball fan, the energy and history of Fenway make it a must-visit. Grab a Fenway Frank, some peanuts, and enjoy the game. The atmosphere is electric, and the experience offers a glimpse into Boston’s rich sporting culture. Be sure to take a tour of the park to learn about its storied past and iconic features like the Green Monster.

4. Take a Cruise on the Charles River

Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard from Charles River Canoe & Kayak and explore the Charles River from a unique perspective. If you prefer a more leisurely experience, opt for a sunset cruise. The Boston skyline, illuminated against the evening sky, is a sight to behold. Paddle along the calm waters, taking in the scenic views of the Esplanade, MIT, and Harvard. Many rental companies offer guided tours, which can provide interesting insights into the history and ecology of the river.

5. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

Beat the heat by exploring the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the country. The MFA offers a diverse collection ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary art. Be sure to check out the special summer exhibitions and take advantage of the museum’s outdoor spaces. Participate in art-making activities, attend lectures, or simply enjoy a quiet moment in the courtyard surrounded by sculptures and greenery.

6. Relax at a Rooftop Bar

Boston’s rooftop bars are perfect for unwinding with a drink and enjoying panoramic views of the city. Some popular spots include Lookout Rooftop and Bar at The Envoy Hotel, Legal Harborside Roof Deck , and Rooftop@Revere. These bars often feature live music, making them ideal for a summer night out. Sip on a craft cocktail or a locally brewed beer as you watch the sunset over the city, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife scene that Boston has to offer.

7. Attend the Boston Landmarks Orchestra Concerts

Every summer, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra hosts free concerts at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. These concerts, held on Wednesday evenings, offer a fantastic way to enjoy classical music in a picturesque outdoor setting. Bring a blanket, pack a picnic, and enjoy an evening of beautiful music under the stars. The orchestra performs a diverse repertoire, often featuring guest artists and collaborations with other cultural organizations.

8. Explore the Freedom Trail

Immerse yourself in history by walking the Freedom Trail. This 2.5-mile-long path takes you to 16 historically significant sites, including the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s House, and the Old North Church. Guided tours are available, or you can explore at your own pace. The trail is marked by a red line on the sidewalk, making it easy to follow. Along the way, you’ll learn about the key events and figures of the American Revolution, gaining a deeper appreciation for Boston’s pivotal role in the nation’s history.

9. Discover the Seaport District

Boston’s Seaport District has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. It’s now a bustling area filled with restaurants, bars, and cultural attractions. Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), dine at one of the many seafood restaurants, or simply enjoy a walk along the waterfront. The Seaport District is also home to outdoor art installations, green spaces like the Seaport Common, and seasonal events such as farmers markets and food festivals. It’s a vibrant neighborhood that showcases Boston’s modern, innovative side.

10. Enjoy a Day at the Beach

Yes, Boston has beaches! Head to Carson Beach or M Street Beach in South Boston for a day of sun and sand. These urban beaches offer a quick and convenient way to cool off during the summer months. Carson Beach, part of the Boston Harborwalk, features clean sands, lifeguards, and facilities like restrooms and picnic areas. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or a game of beach volleyball. The nearby L Street Bathhouse offers showers and changing rooms, making it easy to transition from beach to city activities.

11. Take a Historic Neighborhood Tour

Explore Boston’s unique neighborhoods like the North End, Beacon Hill, and Back Bay. Each area has its own charm and history. Enjoy delicious Italian food in the North End, known as Boston’s Little Italy, where you can savor pastries from famous bakeries like Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry. Admire the beautiful brick sidewalks and gas lamps in Beacon Hill, a neighborhood with Federal-style row houses and hidden gardens. Stroll down Newbury Street in Back Bay for some shopping, dining, and people-watching. The mix of historic and modern architecture makes these neighborhoods a delight to explore.

12. Experience a Whale Watching Tour

Boston Harbor is a prime location for whale watching. Hop on a tour boat from Boston Harbor Cruises and head out to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. You’ll have the chance to see humpback, finback, and minke whales, as well as dolphins and seabirds. Most tours last around three to four hours and include knowledgeable guides who provide information about the marine life and their behaviors. The sight of a breaching whale or a pod of dolphins is an unforgettable experience that connects you with the natural world.

13. Visit the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Step back in time and relive a pivotal moment in American history at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. This interactive museum features live actors, multimedia exhibits, and the chance to throw tea overboard just as the colonists did in 1773. The museum’s blend of education and entertainment makes it a hit with visitors of all ages. Learn about the events leading up to the American Revolution and the impact of the Boston Tea Party on the fight for independence. The museum also offers a unique perspective on Boston’s role in shaping the nation’s history.

With so much to see and do, Boston is the perfect summer destination. Whether you're exploring historical landmarks, enjoying the great outdoors, or taking in a baseball game, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Get out there and make the most of your summer in Boston!


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