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Harvard Yard fall foliage
Photograph: Courtesy GBCVB/Kyle Klein Harvard Yard fall foliage

How to have an amazing fall

Here’s how to make the most of Boston’s best season in 2020.

By Eric Grossman and Time Out Boston Staff

Fall in Boston brings cooler temps and some of the best fall foliage around. It’s that awesome time between the hot summer and frigid winter, when you can get outside and really enjoy the best of the city and its surroundings. Whether you’re looking for a seasonal activity like apple picking near Boston or something cozier like a nice cup of Boston’s best hot chocolate, here are the top things to do to make the most of the season. Enjoy now before temps drop even more, when half of us will head out to the best skiing near Boston while the rest of us will hibernate and live off the best delivery in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best things to do in Boston

29,000 square feet of socially-distanced cuisine, cocktails and culture

Time Out Market Boston
Photograph: Eva Sakellarides

Time Out Market Boston

Restaurants Fenway/Kenmore

Like some variety when you go out to eat? Time Out Market Boston has you covered. Boston's first contemporary culinary hub boasts a tantalizing variety of curated food offerings, two top-notch bars and lots more. There is plenty of seating—both indoors and on a roomy, sun-splashed patio—and some of the biggest culinary names in Boston are delivering a varied assortment of delicious dishes and 'Gram-worthy bites.

How to have an amazing fall

Boston fall foliage
Photograph: Courtesy GBCVB/Kyle Klein

1. See the beautiful fall foliage

Things to do

Each fall, Boston and much of New England come alive with blazes of yellow, orange and red. Leaf-peepers descend updon the area for a real dose of fall. Whether you stick close to home or travel further afield, get out there and hit up these spots for seeing the best of the changing colors around the region.

Boston whale watching cruise
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Go on a whale watch

Things to do Walks and tours

Get out on the water before it gets too cold. If you've been putting off going on a whale watch, now is the time—prime whale watching season is March to November. There are plenty of whale watching cruises departing from Boston and surrounding harbors, and all make a beeline for Stellwagen Bank, one of the best spots for whale watching in the world.

Road trip
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Take a foodie road trip


It doesn't get much better than food and travel—why not combine the two and take a food-focused road trip? There are several easy road trips to take in some of the best bites in the region. Given New England's relatively small footprint, you can mix and match these culinary stops based on your liking.

deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Museums and galleries, Things to Do, Boston
Photograph: Elan Fleisher

4. Discover the deCordova

Museums Art and design

The deCordova Museum & Sculpture Park lures art lovers year-round to its a 35-acre spread in leafy Lincoln. The region’s premier outdoor sculpture park is the perfect place to get some fresh fall air while checking out world-class art.

Concord Bridge
Photograph: Courtesy GBCVB

5. Take a hike


Taking a hike is one of the best ways to take in the fresh fall air. Serious local hikers may head farther afield to the White Mountains or the Appalachian Trail, but when you just need a little bit of nature, there are plenty of worthy hikes near Boston that are easy to get to, whether it’s climbing a lung-busting hill or exploring trails through scenic wooded preserves.

Apple picking
Photograph: Pixabay

6. Go apple picking

Things to do

Apple picking is one of the quintessential autumn activities in New England. Fresh, crisp apples in multiple varieties taste even better when you pick them yourself. Head to these farms within an easy drive of Boston to pick apples, sip hot apple cider, and get your fill of fresh cider donuts.

Arnold Arboretum, Boston, park
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. Enjoy a picnic

Things to do

While the city boasts plenty of great restaurants with outdoor seating, there's something wonderfully old school about going on a picnic. The best part? You don't need a reservation—just grab a blanket, pack up some food or order takeout and find your way to one of the most peaceful picnic spots in Boston, including parks, gardens, and the waterfront.

Private cabin in West Bolton, VT
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

8. Rent a cozy Airbnb cabin


Sometimes we all just need to escape the city for some rest and relaxation. A cabin in the woods is the perfect place to recharge. Round up some friends for a weekend getaway filled with outdoor adventure or just take your sweetie to the middle of nowhere for a romantic retreat. These cozy cabins will fit the bill, with rustic charm and easy access to outdoor adventure.

Dorchester Brewing Co.
Photograph: Courtesy Dorchester Brewing Co.

9. Hang at a beer garden


There’s no better way to spend a sunny fall afternoon than sipping a world-class beer beneath an umbrella in a beer garden. Many of these outdoor drinking locales are known for their scenic patio bars, while some serve their wares in taproom parking lots or on rooftops. Bundle up and grab a beer at these top spots.

Arnold Arboretum, Sights and attractions, Boston
Photograph: Elan Fleisher

10. Stroll the Arnold Arboretum

Attractions Parks and gardens Jamaica Plain

This living collection of thousands of trees, shrubs, and woody vines is recognized as one of the most comprehensive and best documented of its kind in the world. If you've seen the Arboretum in summer, take an autumn stroll to see the seasonal changes.

Stowe Mountain Lodge
Photograph: Courtesy Stowe Mountain Lodge

11. Plan a weekend getaway


Sometimes you just need to get away from Boston, and fall is the perfect time. Heading out to do some leaf-peeping? Add on some other activities and make it a weekend getaway. Here is a list of easy options for getting out.

More things to do in Boston this fall


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