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.

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

Find top July Events

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:

Fun Boston Harbor Cruises To Do Right Now:

Starting in November:

  • Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise - Sip hot chocolate and treats as you listen to jazzy holiday favorites on this festive cruise - Book now
  • Holiday Brunch Cruise - See historic sights and panoramic views around Boston Harbor with friends and family as you enjoy this relaxing cruise with brunch, hot chocolate, and holiday cheer - Book now
  • Holiday Sunset Cruise - Watch passing landmarks as soft music plays in the background and the sunset displays brilliant colors behind Boston's city skyline - Find out more
  • An Irish Christmas Carol Cruise - Get into the holiday spirit on the Northern Lights as you raise your glass and toast the holidays with festive holiday music playing in the background on this popular Harbor cruise - Book now

2.  Relax on a Boston Beach

Boston beaches - Revere Beach

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 TicketsWhale watching cruise

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 and capacity is currently limited to 15 participants per cruise, so don't wait to get your tickets now for this iconic Boston experience!

3.  Tour & Cruise Boston Inexpensively

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

A fun and 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.

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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

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.

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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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Schedules & Tickets

More Boston Concerts for July

More July Concert Information

6.   Enjoy Shakespeare on the Common

Shakespeare on the Common in Boston MA

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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More Shows for July

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

Cruise to Bermuda from Boston and enjoy this pink sand beach

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 - 2021

Boston Fireworks

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 - TBD for 2021

Tall ships in Boston

Harborfest gets bigger and better every year as more and more events and participants join this gala celebration of Independence, Boston, and summer.  With over 200 events daily, you'll find something going on almost all the time.  

Highlights this year include Chowderfest and a gala boat parade and fireworks on July 2nd.

Find out more about Boston Harborfest events and schedules

Best Boston hotels for Harborfest

More Articles about What to Do in Boston in July

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