One Day in Boston Itinerary – How to Spend a Perfect Day in Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is one of the oldest cities in America and has played an important role throughout the country’s history. Harvard university was the first university to be built in America (1636), the Revolution began here, the first public school was built here, and the first state constitution was written here. Boston has given to the world the Kennedys, Sam Adams (and his beer), and Aerosmith. In this city, you will find friendly locals, die hard sports fans (home of the Red Sox and Celtics), great bars, good restaurants, and a mountain of American history. Do not miss out.

One day in Boston Itinerary

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Plan your trip

1. What’s the best time to visit Boston?
2. What’s good to know about Boston?
3. One Day in Boston Itinerary
3.1. Freedom Trail
3.2. Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market
3.3. Boston Common
3.4. George Washington Memorial
3.5. Boston ‘NEW’ Statehouse And Beacon Hill
3.6. Boston ‘OLD’ Statehouse
3.7. Holocaust Memorial
3.8. Boston Harbour
3.9. If you have the time…
4. Where to stay in Boston?
5. Day trips from Boston
6. Camping in Boston

What’s the best time to visit Boston?

Boston is a very popular city break destination for both Americans and for the wider world. The mercury in the thermometer will rise into the mid-80s during the summer months when days are long. The winter months can fluctuate. They can be either cold and damp or cold and shoulder deep in snow. Of course, the most impressive season to visit New England is autumn, when the trees change color to all sorts of beautiful hues.

Boston Skyline
Boston Skyline, Author: Ariane Middel, Source: Flickr

What’s good to know about Boston?

– Architecture! The buildings are stunning. Boston is very British colonial from back in the day, and the city oozes of 17th century Georgian architecture. The history of this city is incredible. There is so much to see and do.

Boston Architecture
Boston Architecture, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr

– From Boston Logan Airport, the cheapest and fastest route into the city is to use the Silver Line which is FREE inbound to South Station (including a free transfer to the Red Line).

– The Silver Line Route SL1 (Logan Airport – South Station via Waterfront) bus rapid transit service is your best direct option to South Station Rail & Bus Terminal, for connections to Commuter Rail, Amtrak and bus and to the Red Line.

– For foodies, Boston serves some incredible seafood. Make your way down towards the harbor front and Quincy Market for some great treats.

One Day in Boston Itinerary

To do this city in 24 hours would actually be an injustice. However, if 24 hours is all you have, then get out early and explore! Boston offers a bunch of tours. Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Boston.

 Walk the Freedom Trail

Starting your one day in Boston by walking the Freedom Trail certainly seems like a great idea. It is really easy to follow because of the red bricks and metal seals that will lead you along. Thanks to them, you can easily tour the trail by yourself, but there are also guided tours you can book (like self-guided tour or a Boston history tour). Get to Paul Revere’s House, for example, or explore the venue where Boston Tea Party took place, check out USS Constitution and do so much more.

Freedom Trail, Boston
Freedom Trail, Boston, Author: Andrew Malone, Source: Flickr

 Check Out Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market

Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market is a popular place for locals and visitors to hang out. During the day, a lot of people go shopping. At night, the restaurants are filled with people and the spot is one of the biggest bar destinations in the city. The cheap Irish pubs that fill the area are widely popular.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, Author: 6SN7, Source: Flickr

Everyone should eat in Quincy Market at least once. Grab your meal from one of the many restaurants in the colonnade, head outside to watch the people go by, and enjoy a street performer’s show.

Quincy Market, Boston
Quincy Market, Boston, Author: Andrew Malone, Source: Flickr

 Head to Boston Common

Boston Common is a huge outdoor open public park. On a summer day this park is filled with locals looking to enjoy the nice weather. Lie down, play some sports, read a book or just relax. Wander around to the Public Gardens, or sit by the Frog Pond. It is a great way to enjoy the city without spending a penny.

Boston Common Park
Boston Common Park, Author: Robert Linsdell, Source: Flickr

 See the George Washington Memorial

Boston Common is also home to the George Washington Memorial. The height of the statue is 22 feet, and the fine granite pedestal is 16 feet high. The foundation is of solid masonry, resting on piles 11 feet deep. The location of the statue is most attractive. It is placed in the centre of one of the finest thoroughfares of the Garden, handsomely enclosed, and surrounded by beautiful flower beds. It was placed into position and unveiled on July 3rd, 1869.

George Washington Memorial, Boston
George Washington Memorial, Boston, Author: Robert Linsdell, Source: Flickr

 Stop by Boston’s ‘NEW’ Statehouse and Beacon Hill

If you visit Boston Common, then you need to visit the Statehouse and Beacon Hill. The Statehouse forms a part of the Freedom Trail, this is a neighborhood that is brimming with history. Beacon Hill backs onto Boston Common: this area was home to the likes of John Adams and John Hancock (Colonial Revolutionaries) and resembles parts of historic Philadelphia.

New Statehouse, Boston
New Statehouse, Boston, Author: Tony Hisgett, Source: Flickr

 Don’t forget Boston’s ‘OLD’ Statehouse

Following the Freedom Trail will take you past the Old State House before it moved towards Beacon Hill. The Old State House stood as an emblem of liberty in Boston for over 300 years. Built in 1713 to house the colony’s government, the Old State House was at the centre of civic events that sparked the American Revolution.

Old State house, Boston
Old State house, Boston, Author: Robert Linsdell, Source: Flickr

Visit the Holocaust Memorial

The Holocaust Memorial is an outdoor space, open and accessible to the public at all times. It is located in Carmen Park near Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, on Boston’s historic Freedom Trail.

 Take a Stroll in Boston Harbour

Boston Harbour is a long stretch of pedestrian walkways that incorporate the Charles River where you can take a ‘Duck Tour‘, catch the Harbour Islands Tour, or catch a ferry to Provincetown and Cape Cod. The area is accessible from Quincy Market and during the summer months is a hive of activity.

Boston Harbour
Boston Harbour, Author: Owen Byrne, Source: Flickr

If you have the time…

If you really do have enough time in Boston, make your way to the harbour and catch a ferry that takes 1 hour 30 minutes to Provincetown on Cape Cod. Even if you only have a couple of hours to spend here (and trust me, you will need much longer) it would be a trip worthwhile. The area is best known for its scenic beaches, art galleries, and the Pilgrim Monument. Many people do not know that Provincetown was actually the first landing area of the first Pilgrims coming across from England on the Mayflower in 1620.

Provincetown, Boston
Provincetown, Boston, Author: Tom Head, Source: Flickr

Where to stay in Boston?

TIP: Click here to find the best accommodation deals in Boston.

Charlesmark Hotel

Charlesmark Hotel

655 Boylston Street, Back Bay, Boston, MA 02116, United States of America

Charlesmark Hotel is a boutique hotel, located in a historic building in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood at Copley Square. The hotel is one of the best value deals in the city. Compact rooms come with modern furniture and great lighting.


Harborside Inn

Harborside Inn

185 State Street, Financial District, Boston, MA 02109

Harborside Inn is a modern and stylish hotel located in Boston’s waterfront district, only a 10 minute walk from the beach. The cream-colored rooms provide a relaxing and comfortable stay. The hotel features an on site restaurant and a business center.


YOTEL Boston

YOTEL Boston

65 Seaport Boulevard, Waterfront, Boston, MA 02210

YOTEL Boston is a 4 star hotel offering a tech-forward concept of living. The hotel is situated in Boston’s Seaport District, and offers a rooftop terrace with the panoramic views of the city. The compact cabin rooms provide tech and trendy features like SmartBed, mood lighting etc.


HI - Boston Hostel

HI – Boston Hostel

19 Stuart Street, Theater District, Boston, MA 02116

HI – Boston Hostel is an ultimate hostel experience in the heart of Boston, only a five minutes’ walk to Boston Common. The hostel offers both dormitory style rooms and private rooms. The hostel features a game room with a pool table and TV.


Day trips from Boston

US East Coast has plenty to offer, no matter what you’re looking for. Therefore, day trips from Boston are a good idea indeed. Explore this area of the United States through one of these great destinations.

Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is an island near Cape Cod you reach by boat (about half an hour’s ride). It has several very pretty and quaint towns you can explore, so this is a perfect way to escape the city crowds. Additionally, great beaches can be found on the island, too. Therefore, Martha’s Vineyard is a complete package of rest and relaxation. Come and see why this is the favorite holiday destination for people from this part of the country.


New England

The states known collectively as New England are also a great day trip destination because it’s easy to cover a lot of ground. Drive along the coast for some beautiful sights, explore the interesting lighthouses you will find along the way and check out the fascinating architecture of the area. The village of Kennebunkport is a particularly attractive destination not just because of its beauty but because of its great food scene and numerous shopping options. So, you are in for quite a day, no doubt about that.


Wrentham Village

How about some shopping? Like, really serious shopping. Wrentham Village is the largest outlet center in the New England area with almost 200 different outlet stores. Less than an hour away from Boston, it’s quite easy to reach and lose an entire day there browsing all the shops and getting some great deals. A shopping dream come true. Don’t worry – a pretty good selection of restaurants is here too, so you can always sit down and take a break from shopping.


Camping in Boston

Make the most out of your Boston experience by camping even just for a day. Boston Harbor Islands are available for camping, including the Bumpkin Island, Grape Island, Lovells Island, and Peddocks Island.

Here are important things to bring when camping:

  • Tent: highly recommends a lightweight tent for backcountry camping for solo or two-person trips. A cabin-style tent is recommended for multiple campers that can accommodate up to six people. When choosing a tent, there must be a space of at least 30 square feet per person for the sleeping area. A simple A-frame tent is easy to set up and also affordable on the pocket. One the other hand, a dome-shaped tent provides more headroom.
  • Inflatable Sleeping Pad: Backpackers are using inflatable sleeping pads because of more comfortable and thicker material than closed-cell foam. Also, inflatable sleeping pads are lighter in weight compared to self-inflating pads. Sleeping pads provide a cushioned sleeping surface, keeping you comfortable and insulation from very cold ground temperatures.
  • LED Headlamp: LED headlamps provide a hands-free option to a flashlight. By using an LED headlamp, you don’t have to be scared whenever the sun goes down, and you can still have late-night runs.
  • Camp Chair and Table: Get a comfortable camp chair to sit on, and a camp table to prepare food on.
  • First Aid Kit: You’ll never know when an emergency occurs, so it’s crucial to always have a first aid kit available with wound care supplies and basic medications for fever, allergy, and food poisoning.
  • Sleeping Bag Thermal Liner: Prevent nighttime shivers using a thick thermal liner for a sleeping bag.
  • Clothesline: If you don’t want your clothes hung on tree branches or anywhere in the wild, bringing a clothesline is highly recommended.
  • Thermos Container: It’s a great solution to keep drinks and food hot, including coffee, soup, and broth.
  • Firestarter: Don’t tire yourself making your own fire, so bring a firestarter for more enjoyable and convenient camping.

Final word

– Getting travel insurance is never a bad idea – being extra careful can never hurt. So, when you’re planning your trip to this amazing destination, take a peek at the World Nomads’ website. It will allow you to buy travel insurance in a jiffy, even if your trip has already started. More than 150 activities are covered by these guys, so you really have nothing to worry about once your vacation gets started and you will definitely be able to enjoy everything much more knowing that somebody’s got your back no matter what. Visit World Nomads today!

– Boston has what I call the “Cool Vibe” like those of San Francisco (California), Manchester (England) and Melbourne (Australia). The city has a great relationship with itself and the surrounding harbour.

– The people are friendly. The history, something much of the US lacks, is vibrant and the city is clean. There is so much to do and see and surprisingly many outdoor activities are free. It’s a great place to chill out and grab a few drinks in the many bars or public parks. The skyline views from the harbour front are stunning and the weather favorable. If you are still new to the idea of Boston, you will not be disappointed at all. Go and do it!


Boston USA Top things to doBoston USA One day itinerary

If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Boston Itinerary feel free to share it in the comments below!

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

Keith Evans
Keith Evans
Travel Blogger at My Passport To Shangrila

British Born and raised in "Alice in Wonderland" country. From a small village known as Daresbury, Cheshire where the infamous story was fabricated. Traveling around the globe is not only a hobby but a true life experience. The World and Geography have always been of interest since a child and it was not uncommon for me to be seen reading atlases and maps rather than storybooks. South-East Asia is my happy place. Its where most of my memories are made. Life is a rich tapestry.

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