The most exciting things to do in Boston in July move outdoors as beaches, cruises, walking tours, outdoor dining, and Red Sox games define summer in the city.

And as a bonus, some of the best things to do in Boston in July are free...enjoy the greenery or a picnic in Boston's many gorgeous parks, catch the July 4th Boston Pops virtual concert and fireworks online, and soak up sun on a city beach.

Hot July days and warm nights make this one of the best months of the year in Boston to head to the beach or have a picnic in a park.

For more choices, check out the Boston Event Calendar for July and Boston's Best Summer Activities.

Find top July Events

Top photo:  Cooling off on a July day at the splash pool on Boston's Greenway near Faneuil Marketplace

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1.  Cruise around Boston Harbor

Boston sailing and yacht cruises

Tour Boston by boat - the best way to see the city!   Check out these fun sightseeing, music, and entertainment Boston Harbor cruises on the Yacht Northern Lights and Schooner Adirondack III:

 Popular Cruises on the Northern Lights:

  • Northern Lights Sunset Cruise - Grab a refreshments from the bar and then relax as you watch the sun set on this sail around the Harbor, just in time to catch the USS Constitution fire its cannons as the sun dips down past the horizon
  • Brunch Cruise on the Northern Lights - Savor a delicious 3-course brunch on this relaxing sightseeing cruise around Boston Harbor
  • Boston Harbor Cruise on Northern Lights - Soak up Boston's unique sites and rich history on this comfortable sightseeing cruise around the Harbor - perfect friends and family experience!  Food and beverages available for purchase at the bar

Sailing on the Adirondack III:

  • Adirondack III Day Sail - Enjoy cool breezes and the afternoon sun on this relaxing sightseeing sail around Boston Harbor and the Inner Harbor Islands - Starts May 2
  • Adirondack III Sunset Sail - Relax as the setting sun turns the sky brilliant colors - Starts May 2
  • Adirondack III 90-Minute Mimosa Day Sail - Soak up the sun on this afternoon sail through the Inner Harbor and Harbor Islands with drinks available for purchase at the bar - Starts July 6

Mothers Day Cruise

Fun Book Your July 4th Cruises Now (because they sell out far in advance)!

2.  Relax on a Boston Beach

Pleasure Bay Beach in Boston
Pleasure Bay Beach in Boston

Did you know that even though Boston's main waterfront is a harbor, you can reach several nice city beaches as easily as hopping on public transportation?

From Revere Beach where a huge sand-sculpting contest takes place this year in August (moved back a bit from its usual July) to Pleasure Bay Beach next to Castle Island, these beaches are perfect for a quick visit.  

For a day trip from Boston, head to Rowes Wharf and board the fast ferry to Provincetown. 

For other water adventures, check out Boston whale watching cruises.

More Fun Boston Activities for July

Whale Watching Cruise Tickets

Whale watching cruise
Tail of a humpback whale, seen on a whale watching cruise - Photo credit:

Join one of the exciting 3-hour Whale Watching Cruises departing from the Downtown Boston Waterfront, and experience the thrill of spotting whales off the coast of Boston. 

You'll see magnificent creatures such as Humpback and Finback whales close-up from the deck of your ship, and spot White-Sided Dolphins frolicking in the waters.

These cruises sell out quickly, so don't wait to get your tickets now for this iconic Boston experience!

3.  Tour Boston - By Land or Water

A Boston tour or cruise gives you a fun way to see parts of Boston you might not see on your own. 

An inexpensive option is the 15-minute ferry ride to the Boston Harbor Islands.  Once there, you can explore, hike, take photographs, swim, bird watch, go on free tours led by the Park Rangers, picnic, and much more.  You can even take another ferry to several smaller islands.  You'll feel like you're in a different world - and you are!

Check out more options for Boston cruises.

You can also do a self-guided Freedom Trail tour, or check out one of the popular city bike tours.

Easy Ways to Save BIG in Boston

Save BIG with Go Boston discount card
CityPASS Boston discount card at

Find out more about Boston discount cards, and how they give you big savings on top attractions.

4.  Watch the Red Sox

Red Sox Game
Fenway Park

Winning or losing, the Boston Red Sox put on the best show in town.  If you're visiting Boston and love baseball, attending a home game at Fenway is a "must do."  No matter which team you root for, being in Fenway Park on a balmy evening is one of the best things to do in Boston in July.

If attending a game is the focus of your trip, you may even want to stay in one of the hotels near Fenway Park.  You'll also find a great range of Fenway restaurants for a bite before or after the game, plus of course the famous Fenway bars and nightspots near the stadium.

Get Schedule & Tickets

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Find All Red Sox Tickets for Fenway Park during July

Find Red Sox Tickets for the rest of the season

5.  Go to a Summer Concert

Concert venues have opened, but are scrambling to book acts.  There's not much listed yet, but more concerts are being added daily, so keep checking back.

Concert Schedules & Tickets

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Top Boston July concerts include the Foo Fighters and Blink 182 at Fenway Park, the annual July 4th Boston Pops Independence Day free concert at the Hatch Shell, and lots more top artists to be announced:

More Boston Concerts for July

Boston Concerts during other months

More July Concert Information

6.   Enjoy Shakespeare on the Common

Shakespeare on the Common in Boston MA
Shakespeare on the Common - Outdoor theater on Boston Common

Boston's most popular free outdoor theater event is the annual production of Shakespeare on the Common.

Bring a blanket, buy something yummy to eat from one of the gourmet food vendors who arrive for the event, and enjoy the bard under the stars.

More about Shakespeare on the Common.

Hotels near Boston Common

More Shows in Boston's Theatre District in July - Schedules & Tickets

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Check out the Boston theater schedule for July with its exciting mix of acrobatics and comedy:

More Shows for July

More Boston theater shows - other months

7.   Cool Off Under the Stars

July days can be steamy - so escape the heat at an outdoor movie under the stars. 

Cool off on Friday evenings at Free Friday Flicks on the Esplanade.  Bring a blanket, a snack, and relax while watching family-friendly favorites.

Find details for all on the Boston Events Calendar for July.  Also, check out indoor Boston movie theaters.  

8.   Cruise to Bermuda

 Bermuda beach - Photo credit: AdobeStock
 Bermuda beach - Photo credit: AdobeStock

For a quick change of scenery from Boston during mid-summer, consider Bermuda. 

Bermuda cruises from Boston depart weekly from April through September. 

Boston's cruise port, the Flynn Cruise Terminal located in the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood, is so easy to get to, plus you can leave your car in their parking lot while you're away - or even better, get there on the T's Silver Line. 

You have a couple of days each way to enjoy the amenities and ocean views from the 11-deck Norwegian Spirit cruise ship, plus 3 days on land in Bermuda to explore the famed pink-sand beaches, great shopping, and other fun activities. 

Boston Hotels with Outdoor Swimming Pools

Boston hotels with outdoor swimming pools:  The Verb
Enjoy your summer vacation to the fullest in when you stay at a Boston hotel with an outdoor swimming pool:

Find more Boston hotels with outdoor swimming pools 

9.  Head to Gillette Stadium - and Shop Nearby

You'll find New England Revolution games as well as some of the biggest concerts of the summer at Gillette Stadium, just 22 miles south of Boston.  

Patriot Place, where Gillette Stadium is located, is packed with interesting shopping, nice restaurants in all price ranges, the only Bass Pro Shop in New England, a cool sports museum, a theater, and much more.  You can stay over at the spectacular Renaissance Hotel right next to the stadium. 

Wrentham Village Premium Outlets are nearby - shop enough, and your savings can pay for the whole weekend!

Gillette Stadium & Tickets

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See Gillette Stadium games & concerts schedule

10.  Celebrate Independence Day

Fireworks celebration- Photo credit: AdobeStock/Teerapun Fuangtong
Fireworks celebration- Photo credit: AdobeStock/Teerapun Fuangtong

The July 4th Pops Concert and Fireworks Spectacular is Boston's biggest July event - as well as being the biggest Independence Day celebration in the country.  If you're visiting Boston for this holiday, you'll have a memorable experience.

Normally, on both July 3rd and 4th, Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in playing familiar favorites and rousing patriotic music, complete with real cannon fire, on the Boston Esplanade, a grassy embankment along the Charles River.  On July 4th, a spectacular display of fireworks above the Charles River follows the concert.  It's the quintessential summer experience in Boston, and if you've seen it broadcast on television - well, it's even more wonderful in person! 

Find out more

Top Hotels near July 4th Fireworks & Pops Concert

More hotels close to Boston's July 4th fireworks

11.  Have Fun at Boston Harborfest

Fife and Drum band playing on Washington Street in Downtown Crossing
Fife and Drum band playing on Washington Street in Downtown Crossing during Harborfest

Harborfest gets bigger and better every year as more and more events and participants join this gala celebration of Independence, Boston, and summer. 

With numerous events each day, you'll find something going on almost all the time.  

Highlights include Chowderfest, musical performances, and fireworks over Boston Harbor.

Find out more about Boston Harborfest events and daily schedules

Best Boston hotels for Harborfest

12.  Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach

Over 1 million spectators gather at Revere Beach during the course of the big 3-day International Sand Sculpting Festival to watch 16 renowned master sculptors from around the world work their magic with individual 12 ton allotments of sand imported from Hudson NH, plus water. 

Sculptors compete for $14,000 in prize money, and the sculptures they create will amaze you with their detail and artistry. 

Sand sculpture at Revere Beach near Boston MA
Sand sculpture at Revere Beach near Boston MA

With music performances, a food truck festival and local food vendors lining the boardwalk, entertainment, and of course the gorgeous beach, you'll find plenty of family fun.  

On Saturday night, a Fireworks Extravanza lights up the sky.

Don't forget to bring your swimsuits, sunscreen, and towels for the beach!

When:  Normally the last weekend in July; sculptors work from 8am until 8pm - plus (maybe) fireworks at 9pm on Sunday

Where:   Revere Beach, Revere (about 2 miles north of Boston, but easy to get to by subway); nearest T station:  Blue Line/Wonderland - the beach is just 2 blocks away

Cost:  Free

Find details about dates, times, and more

Find out more about Revere Beach and other Boston beaches

More Articles about What to Do in Boston in July

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