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Many people travel to Boston for just a weekend for an excursion from New York or a jumping-off point to elsewhere in New England. Fortunately, you can see and do a lot in Boston with just a couple days if you have some insider tips on what to squeeze in on a tight schedule. Here are our top 10 picks for how to spend your next 48 hours in Boston.
Browse the Historic Quincy Market
One must-see place during your short stay in Boston is Quincy Market. This market was opened to the public in 1826 and is a favorite spot of both locals and visitors. This is an ideal place for foodies, travelers who love to shop, and a central hangout spot for anyone and everyone. Come here to get your fix of local favorite foods like clam chowder, Bostonian baked beans, seafood, and Boston cream pie. You can find a listing of restaurants here on the venue’s website, as well as shops that range from big brands you love to regional stores you won’t find anywhere else in the country.
Stroll Through Boston Commons
Boston Common is where the locals go to get outside and enjoy a picnic. This is America’s oldest park, founded in 1634, and was a significant site during the Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. This is also a lovely place to relax and feed the ducks or just take a few photos on our way to one of the nearby shopping areas. It’s fun to take a ride on one of the swan boats when you’re here to get out on the water or go ice skating on the rink during wintertime.
Freedom Trail History & Architecture Walking Tour
The city of Boston is just brimming with American history, and you can learn a lot by taking a tour at the Freedom Trail. This trail connects over a dozen of the main attractions in the city, such as the Old South Meeting House, Granary Burial Ground, and Massachusetts State House. You can either join a guided walking tour or do the trail on your own to see the sites. The Freedom Trail Foundation offers daily tours that last about 90 minutes long and that you can book year-around by appointment. The trail spans about 2.5 miles and is a perfect way to spend an afternoon in Boston.
Taste Locally Caught Seafood
Seafood lovers will definitely enjoy visiting Boston because of all of the amazing restaurants and foodie scene here. There are lots of great places serving lobster rolls, clam chowder, and other seafood specialties in Boston. Some restaurants to check out include the Atlantic Fish Company, Ostra, Neptune Oyster, Barking Crab, and the Yankee Lobster Co.
Catch a Comedy Show
Boston is also a city that has a sense of humor, which means that it’s a great place to catch a live comedy show while you’re in town. There are a few great comedy venues, including Laugh Boston, Improv Asylum, and Nick’s Comedy Stop. Nick’s, for example, has been bringing local and national comic talent to the city for over 35 years and is a real comedy institution in the city. Improve Asylum has shows seven nights a week, and you can buy tickets online for shows in Boston’s historic North End. And Laugh Boston on Summer Street always has an exciting lineup of talented comics too. Check the venues’ schedules before your trip to see which shows look the most interesting to you!
Go to a Game at Fenway Park
Baseball is a big deal in Boston, and the Boston Red Sox play at the beloved and historic Fenway Park. This is the oldest baseball stadium in the United States, so you’d better bet that catching a game here is an iconic experience. Even if there is no game going on during your 48 hours in the city, you can still look into getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium. On non-game days, you can take a tour between 9am and 5pm, and game day tours depart three hours before the game starts. These tours are available to the public year-round and depart at the top of each hour. The adult price for a tour is typically $20 and tickets for children 12 and under are $14.
Slow Down as a Boston Public Library
Many people wouldn’t think of visiting a library while on vacation, but the Boston Public Library has historical significance as the first free municipal library in the country. In addition to the central branch, here are a couple dozen other branches you can stop by to relive this part of bookworm history as well.
Visit the New England Aquarium
Boston is also full of amazing museums and the New England Aquarium, which draw in over 1.3 million visitors each year. Come see the sea lions, lionfish, penguins, sea turtles, and many other marine creatures at this exciting aquarium when you’re in town. Adult admission tickets are $27.95 and children ages three to 11 are $18.95.
Sample Beer at a Local Brewery
Boston is also a great place to visit if you enjoy locally brewed craft beer. Harpoon Brewery is one of the most recognizable names in town, as well as the famous Sam Adams Brewing Company. Sam Adams offers brewery tours during the late mornings and afternoons every day. Harpoon also offers guided tours that last about an hour and cost $5 per person. Enjoy other local brews in town at Dorchester Brewing Company and Trillium Brewing Company.
Indulge in a Boston Cream Pie for Dessert
Before you head back to the airport or travel to your next destination in New England, be sure to enjoy a slice of Boston Cream Pie. This is the official dessert of the state and a delicious treat to try locally. The Omni Parker House created the dessert in the mid-1800s, and you can still stop by the restaurant here today for a famous slice of Boston cream pie at Parker’s Restaurant. It’s open for breakfast, weekend brunch, weekday lunch, and dinner and has an elegant dress code.