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Katie Sagal

10+ Things to Do in Boston for Adults

Boston is a great family city, with tons of attractions just perfect for school field trips and kid-centric vacations. But it’s also a perfect city for adults to explore, too, from its wealth of cultural attractions to its stellar dining and shopping scene. Whether you love prestigious art museums, leisurely cruises, or some good old-fashioned American sports, there’s something wonderful for you to explore in Boston.

If you’re looking for things to do in Boston for adults, check out our list of the top activities that couples and groups of friends will enjoy, including...

  • Boston Duck Tour
  • New England Aquarium
  • Fenway Park Tour + Red Sox Game
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Trolley Tour
  • Freedom Trail Walking Tour
  • Popular Art Museums
  • Sam Adams Brewery Tour
  • JFK Presidential Library & Museum
  • And more!

Boston Duck Tour

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If you’re new to Boston, a fun way to explore the city is with Boston’s signature Duck Tours. This part-land, part-water excursion truly showcases how versatile a city Beantown is, and is tons of fun to boot. The tour will escort you past many top landmarks and sites throughout Boston, so it’s a great overview of the city as a whole as well.

Don’t forget to “quack” at passersby, and hopefully they’ll “quack” back!

New England Aquarium

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Animal lovers won’t want to miss out on a chance to visit the immensely popular New England Aquarium. It’s filled with fascinating marine life, from tiny jellies to massive sharks. Favorite exhibits include their playful penguin colony and their four-story Caribbean reef.

If marine life on a larger scale is more your style, opt for a whale watch cruise out to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, where you’ll get to see whales, dolphins, sea birds, and more.

Fenway Park Tour + Red Sox Game

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Sports fans of all stripes will love a chance to tour one of Major League Baseball’s most famous stadiums: Fenway Park. Go behind the scenes and scope out all the iconic sites in the park, from Pesky’s Pole to the Lone Red Seat and more.

If you really love baseball, consider picking up some tickets to a game if they’re in season. Love sports, but baseball’s not your thing? Boston is also home to the Bruins and the Celtics as well as the Revolution soccer team (if you’re willing to drive a bit afield).

Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Trolley Tour

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Another popular way to tour the city is with a Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour. Because of how compact Boston is as a city, it’s sometimes misleading to think that you can easily escort yourself past all the major sites. A tour like this allows you to skip the driving and the transferring between train lines and just enjoy the sights and sounds of beautiful Boston.

The flexibility that comes with a hop-on hop-off option can’t be underestimated, either – find something you love and explore, then rejoin the next trolley that comes around. Plus, who doesn't love the charm of riding around in a trolley?

Historic Attractions

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Boston is a city that’s full of history, and anyone with an interest in early America will treasure the wealth of attractions found in downtown Boston. Pay a visit to the Old State House, where you can find artifacts and objects that hail from the Revolutionary period.

Or, opt for a trip to Paul Revere House, the home of Revolutionary who rode through the night to warn the colonial militia about British troops en route to Concord. This National Histroic landmark dates from 1680 and is full of colonial history. It's located in the historic North End (also a great place for boutique shopping and sumptuous dining).

Of course, if you want to see it all, then the Freedom Trail Walking Tour is a great, guided excursion that allows you to meander past most of the biggies. You can also walk the Freedom Trail yourself (it's marked with red brick) but that takes some of the fun (and all of the insider info) out of the equation.

Art Museums

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Boston also has an incredibly artsy side. Whether you’re thinking in terms of the prestigious Museum of Fine Arts, or even just of the unique stuff produced by the students at MassArt, you’ll be able to find inspiration in this city. The MFA is perfect for those looking for a comprehensive artistic experience, with everything from early colonial furniture to modern painting.

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) has a much more current focus, with some really striking and distinctive exhibitions you won’t find elsewhere. Then there’s the inimitable Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a historic home and gardens that house a fine collection of art and sculpture from across history.

Swan Boats of Boston

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If you’re looking for something fun to do, or perhaps a romantic outing, then a ride aboard the Swan Boats of Boston is a smart choice. These charming historic vessels were designed by the ingenious Robert Paget, who came up with the idea of using swan cutouts to disguise the means of propulsion.

Today, they’re mostly something that couples or friends do in the springtime to enjoy the cool breezes and blossoming flowers around them.

Harvard Museum of Natural History

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Nature buffs will thoroughly enjoy an hour or two spent at the modest but diverse Harvard Museum of Natural History. They’ve got everything from a particularly impressive collection of minerals and gemstones to some pretty awesome dinosaur fossils. One of their coolest exhibits, however, is their expansive collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, which is like a botanical garden crafted out of glass.

It’s also conveniently located in Cambridge, right by a number of other museums and local attractions like Harvard University, the Harvard Art Museums, and all the dining and shopping of Harvard Square.

Sam Adams Brewery Tour

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It’s no question that Sam Adams is the brewery credited with starting the micro-brew craze that’s been sweeping the nation for a couple of years now. See where it all began with a tour of this famed local brewery and learn about the process of brewing your favorite adult beverages.

Beer lovers may also want to check out Harpoon’s Brewery and Beer Hall, located in the Seaport neighborhood, which also offers tours and tastings. Trillium Brewing also hosts a beer garden on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in the warmer months.

JFK Presidential Library & Museum

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Another one for the history buffs – especially those interested in the unique character of Massachusetts politics – is the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. This institution tells the story of one of our nation’s most beloved presidents and his famous family, from the early years to his Presidency and the aftermath of his death. See everything from rare family photos to transcripts of speeches and more.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

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Can’t get enough Kennedy? The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is a great attraction for those looking to learn more about the career of Ted Kennedy and his immense contributions to American politics during his long career. It also highlights the work of the Senate as a body, and explains complex things like how a bill becomes a law (these days, a little bit more complex than that awesome cartoon), and how debates are held.

Boston Bike Rentals

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Get out and get active in this very bike-friendly city. With bike lanes and riverfront trails abounding, you’ll find that many Bostonians bike for work and play on a daily basis. Rent a bike yourself and see what all the fuss is about as you pedal throughout this amazing city. Use the map provided with your rental to map out a route, or explore on your own. You could also choose to upgrade to a guided tour, if you’d like a little bit of help on your wanderings.

Charles River Cruise

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The river that cuts through the heart of the Boston metropolitan area is the Charles. On any given day (with some seasonal variation), you’ll find a variety of birds, kayakers, rowers, cruises, and more meandering along the Charles River. Hop aboard a cruise to see the landmarks on both shores, including everything from the striking campus of MIT to the beautiful, gold-domed Massachusetts State House. Plus, your departure point is right by a popular mall, so you can get in some fun shopping afterwards!

Save on Attraction Admission

That should do it! Our list of some of the most fun things to do in Boston for adults during your vacation. These ideas are great for couples or if you are traveling with a group of friends. Remember, many of these great activities are included with Go City®, where you can save on combined admission vs paying at the gate. Consider adding a few of these fun options to your kid-free vacation itinerary.

See all available passes and Boston based attractions. Enjoy!

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