Things to Do

Your guide to the best museums, galleries, sights and attractions in Boston




Outdoor Boston

Arnold Arboretum

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The arboretum, one of the world's leading centres for plant study, was established in 1872. In a beautiful, 265-acre park setting, this living museum is administered by Harvard University. Open to the public, it provides the opportunity to see more than 7,000 specimens of trees and plants from around the world. Free guided tours are available on designated days throughout the year - phone for details. In May, Lilac Sunday is a day-long celebration of the fragrant, flowering shrub.

  1. 125 Arborway, (at Centre Street)
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Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald Greenway

The Greenway is one of the most celebrated results of the now-infamous Big Dig (a kind of street-level answer to New York's High Line). Formed when I-93 was sunk underground, this verdant, mile-long ribbon of grassy parks and outdoor resting places invites the weary traveler (or office warrior) to stop and take a moment to appreciate the city's fleeting sunshine. There are also periodic festivals, events, and parades located on or near the park.

  1. Along Atlantic Avenue
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Castle Island Park & Fort Independence

  • Critics choice
  • Free

South Boston lays claim to one of the city's most appealing shoreline parks: the 22-acre Castle Island. It's also among the oldest fortified military sites in North America, centerpieced by Fort Independence, a pentagonal granite structure that was finished in the 1850s. Prior to its construction, seven other forts had been built and destroyed in the area, occupied by American and British troops in turn. Today, the island's green space and open air make for a pleasant outing.

  1. East end of William J Day Boulevard at Shore Road
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