Boston activities for summer celebrate our warm but mostly comfortable weather, extensive city parks and paths, and our waterfront location.
If you're visiting during the summer, you can combine some of these outdoor summer activities with your sightseeing to get a flavor of the "real" Boston slightly off the typical tourist path.
Boston's outdoor warm-weather activities that you can participate in as a visitor include sailing lessons, bike tours, outings to local beaches, walking along the Freedom Trail, exploring neighborhoods, and watching (or even competing in) the Boston Marathon, Dragon Boat races, the Head of the Charles Regatta - and more!
Tours accommodate all skill levels and most are for kids as well as adults. One of the most popular summer activities in Boston!
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Boston's summer concert season moves outdoors to the waterfront Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Fenway Park, and Gillette Stadium, with amazing shows by megastars - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Aerosmith, Coldplay, the Beach Boys. Plus, you'll hear plenty of free concerts and jazz along the waterfront, in Copley Square, at the Hatch Shell, and plenty of other locations throughout the city. Check the Boston concert schedule to find out what's going on this summer.
Another of the top Boston activities for summer is going on a whale-watching cruise out to a nearby coastal feeding ground for finback, humpback, and right whales, pluse many Although not right in the city, whale-watching cruises are among the biggest Boston attractions. Finback and humpback whales gather at nearby coastal feeding grounds. More about Boston whale watching cruises
Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy summer in Boston at its best.
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Water surrounds Boston on 3 sides, making it one of the best spots on the East Coast for sailing. Of course, you can enjoy the water on one of the many Harbor cruises - but if you'd like more active involvement, spend a few days taking sailing lessons and you'll be addicted to this favorite local sport. Find out about Boston sailing lessons, charters, clubs.
Forget your hotel gym - stay in shape during your Boston visit and enjoy spectacular waterfront views at the same time by running or jogging (or even walking) along the Boston Esplanade. Bridges connect the Boston and Cambridge sides of the river at multiple points, so you can set the length of your course to meet your needs. More about the Esplanade
Running in the world-famous Boston Marathon takes some planning and preparation, but for many people, it's the highlight of their Boston visit. Find out about Boston Marathon qualifying times. Meanwhile, get the Marathon date, and come watch for inspiration. Check for best watching spots along the Boston Marathon route. Or consider a shorter race - BAA's 10k race in June.
Although the Boston waterfront is a harbor, lined with wharfs and piers, several Boston and nearby beaches are easily accessible by public transportation and are perfect places to enjoy the sun and perhaps a swim or walk - a favorite Boston summer activity. True, they're not Cape Cod - but you can still have fun! More about Boston beaches, and one of our local favorites, Castle Island.
Only 20 minutes from the city, you'll find long stretches of gorgeous sandy beaches, a Civil War fort, miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, and even camping grounds. More about Boston Harbor Islands
Boston has magnificent gardens, both public and private. Whether you're an avid gardener or just like flowers, garden tours in Boston and Cambridge from May to September let you view these special and sometimes hidden paradises - plus they provide a great way to explore the parts of the city where they're located - Beacon Hill, Fenway, the South End, Cambridge, and more. Find out more about these colorful garden tours.
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Get some exercise and learn about Boston and American history at the same time when you walk the length of the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail, starting at Boston Common. The Trail takes you to 16 sites crucial to American liberty in historic downtown Boston, the North End, and Charlestown. Check out the Freedom Trail, as well as other Boston tours and trails
On balmy July and August nights, it's easy to understand why dropping by to see a free Shakespeare on the Common production is a favorite Boston activity for summer as the grassy slopes of this centrally located city park transform into an amphitheater under the stars. More about Shakespeare on the Common
Watch the Dragon Boat races on the Charles River in June - or gather a group of friends and colleagues together to enter and complete. Boston's Dragon Boat races are the biggest and longest-running in the U.S, and whether you're racing or just watching, you'll find a lot to enjoy at the festival. Check the Boston Event Calendar for June for dates.
This annual April kayak and canoe race on the Charles River is the biggest in New England, attracting more than 1,500 paddlers and many more participants. Whether you're competing or just watching, it's the perfect excuse for enjoying a day on the river, and perhaps a weekend visit to Boston. More about the Run of the Charles
If you're visiting the city in June, this favorite Boston summer activity is a must-do event! Scooper Bowl lets you eat all the ice cream you want, and help support cancer research at the same time - a real win-win! Top local and New England ice cream makers donate all the ice cream, including some special flavors you'll never see in a store. More details on the Boston Event Calendar for June
Boston Swan Boats
Since 1877, the Swan Boats have glided across the tranquil waters of the lagoon in Boston's Public Garden, providing 15 minutes of delight for just a couple of dollars. The pedal-powered boats transport passengers from mid-April through mid-September. A swan boat ride is one of my personal favorite Boston activities during summer months. More about the Swan Boats
Head of the Charles Regatta
Almost 10 thousand elite athletes from Boston and around the world participate in this 2-day rowing event on the Charles River. Depending on the weather (like summer during some years, but sometimes more like winter), over 300,000 spectators line Boston's bridges and the banks of the river to watch the event. More about the Head of the Charles Regatta
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