How to Spend 1 Day in Boston
One of the oldest US cities, Boston blends historical sights from the American Revolution with an arty culture, collegiate buzz, and harborside skyscrapers. Getting to know the city in a day is a big ask, but can be done with savvy planning. See our tips for getting the best from Boston in one memorable day.
Morning: Check Out the Sights
Start by taking one of Boston’s hop-on hop-off trolley tours. Stay aboard to view the major sights in one trip: seeing landmarks such as Boston Common and Faneuil Hall or hopping out at any of the many stops to explore on foot. Consider purchasing a city discount pass for complimentary access to top attractions if you want to stay and visit. For a more comprehensive introduction to Boston, opt for a full-day coach tour, instead, which usually stops at highlights such as the restored USS Constitution tall ship and Harvard Square.
Afternoon: Take the Revolutionary Road
Boston’s Freedom Trail is lined with historic 18th-century buildings that tell the story of the patriots whose protests lit the touch for the 1776 American Revolution. Book a private or group tour to see trail highlights, such as the 1770 Boston Massacre site. Then, head to the harbor to explore the Boston Tea Party Ships, from which a group of patriots dumped British tea into the sea in 1773. Alternatively, see more sights on a bike tour, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, a Boston Duck excursion—riding an amphibious vehicle around the city before splashing into the Charles River to view its skyline.
Night: Relax with a Cruise
After a day’s sightseeing, admire Boston’s skyscrapers from the water on a sunset cruise. Choose a cruise that’s right for you. Perhaps stay in a historical mood with a trip on a 1920s-style yacht, or pull out the stops on a state-of-the-art motorboat cruise that includes a buffet dinner, live cabaret, and stellar views of Boston’s illuminated towers and bridges.