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One of the first areas settled by Europeans in the Americas, Boston is both steeped in history and a modern metropolis. The things to do in Boston are many and vary widely from exploring the fascinating history of this town to attending a sporting event. Some attractions cost money, while many fall into the category of free things to do in Boston. No matter what your budget or interests, in Boston things to do are so varied that there is something for anyone.
Exploring Boston's history along the Freedom Trail takes visitors to many great historical sites, and is also one of the best free things to do in Boston. Beginning at the Boston Common, a red brick or painted line guides visitors to the 16 Boston attractions on the Trail, including the Paul Revere House and Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Many sites on the trail are full Boston tourist attractions in their own right so allow a full day or more. Guided tours are available from the National Park Service, and trolley tours go to most of the sites on the Freedom Trail with frequent stops for visitors to get out and explore.
The Emerald Necklace
For a romantic stroll or perfect day out with the kids, visit one of Boston's public parks--another of the best free things to do in Boston. Nine parks are chained together via walkways, the most famous being the Boston Common and Public Garden. The Boston Common is America's oldest park. So many great figures in American history have stood on the ground here that the list is almost mind boggling. The Public Garden is a botanical garden founded in 1837. Cruise the lake in a swan boat or simply take a stroll.
For over 250 years, the Faneuil Hall Marketplace has been one of the best Boston tourist attractions. Situated in eighteenth-century warehouses, the market includes modern chain and independent stores as well as vendor stalls, places to eat, and tourism offices. There are often street performers for some free entertainment as well.
Go to a sports game
The list of Boston attractions includes the well-known sports teams that reside in this city. The Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, and Boston Red Sox all play here. A site to see for any baseball fan is the famous Fenway Park. Opened in 1912, Fenway is home to the Green Monster, the formidable 37-foot-high wall along left field. Just about any other type sports team can be found in Boston as well, including major league soccer team the New England Revolution.
While many things to do in Boston are family friendly, few are probably as enjoyable for kids as the New England Aquarium. Aside from the usual aquarium fare, the aquarium presents IMAX movies and whale watching tours.
The Boston Museum of Science is another family friendly option with exhibits examining all aspects of the scientific world. Like the Aquarium, this museum has an IMAX theater, but offers a wider array of other shows including laser and sound shows, a Planetarium, 3-D movies, and live presentations which are often free with museum admission.
Boston Duck Tours
Like many other cities throughout the U.S., Boston has tours in WWII amphibious landing vehicles, aka Ducks. A guide explains many of the famous sites on land before these vehicles drive right into the Charles River and continue with the tour floating down the river. While there are many ways to visit the popular Boston attractions, the Duck tours are one of the coolest things to do in Boston, and riding a Duck is quite the experience in its own right.
Visit the Islands
With 34 islands to choose from, the Boston Harbor Islands are a nice way to escape from the city and get back to nature. Swim, hike, go on a tour, visit a lighthouse, fish, or participate in a special event. From May through October, ferries run out to the islands. Check out the Boston Islands website to look at what events take place on which islands and figure out ahead of time where to go. It is best to choose just one or two islands to visit in a day.
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