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Katie Sagal

10+ Things to Do Near Faneuil Hall, Waterfront & North End During Your Trip to Boston

One of Boston’s most famous areas, Faneuil Hall, attracts visitors in droves each year. It's located right near the Waterfront and historic North End, so it's easy to build into a larger Boston itinerary. There’s a ton to do in this vibrant area, so understandably it can be hard to figure out what are the best attractions and activities. Whatever you choose to do, we are sure you and your family will have a great time. So, if you’re looking for things to do near Faneuil Hall during your trip to Boston, check out our list of the best local activities and attractions, including...

  • New England Aquarium
  • Whale Watch
  • Boston Duck Tours
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour
  • And more!

Save on Faneuil Hall & North End Attraction Admission

Admission to a number of these top Boston attractions and activities and more are included on the Go Boston® Card. Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate. See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

Things to do at the Boston WaterfrontNew England Aquarium

Image of Animal, Bird, Penguin, Visit this lively waterfront aquarium for a chance to see all your favorite sea creatures, from playful seals to friendly penguins to colorful tropical fish. Their penguins in particular are quite famous locally, so don't miss out on a chance to pay them a visit! A particularly popular exhibit is the shark and ray touch tank exhibit, which kids and adults of all ages love. Your visit also contributes to their conservation efforts, which helps to support research and other important marine science developments. Be sure to check out our guide and tips for visiting the New England Aquarium before your visit. Getting In: New England Aquarium tickets are included on the Go Boston® Card.

New England Aquarium Whale Watch

Image of Animal, Mammal, Sea Life, Whale, Adult, Male, Man, Person, Female, Woman, Boy, Child, Do you never want your aquatic experience to end? Then hop aboard a New England Aquarium Whale Watch for the ride of a lifetime. Head out to the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, where you’ll find whales, dolphins, and plentiful sea birds. The entire experience is narrated by professional researchers from the Whale Center of New England, so you know it’s bound to be educational, too. For more information about whale-watching in Massachusetts, check out our recent post on the subject. Getting In: Boston Whale Watch tickets are included as an option on 3, 5, and 7-Day Go Boston® Cards.

Boston Duck Tours

Image of Boat, Vehicle, Water, Boating, Water Sports, Person, When you’re exploring a city with such a vibrant waterfront culture, you know you need something a little bit beyond your standard tour bus. So check out a Boston Duck Tour for a truly unique way to explore the city by land and by sea. It’s the perfect way to tour Beantown! These iconic vessels are such a part of Boston culture that you may recognize them from various victory parades of the Celtics, Bruins, Patriots, or Red Sox. Be sure to check out our guide and tips for taking a Boston Duck Tour before your visit. Getting In: Boston Duck Tour tickets are included as an option on 3, 5, and 7-Day Go Boston® Cards.

CityView Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Image of Bus, Vehicle, Person, Hat, Another great option for exploring more of the city at your own pace is a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. This charming trolley option gives you the flexibility to explore at your leisure and hop off when something interests you. Of course, you always have the freedom to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the whole route. The trolley makes 9 stops including:

  • The New England Aquarium/ Shuttle & Ferry/ Quincy Market/ Faneuil Hall
  • Paul Revere House/ Little Italy
  • North End/ Old North Church
  • USS Constitution “Old Ironsides”
  • North Station/ TD Bank Garden Sports Museum
  • Old State House / Faneuil Hall/ Boston Massacre Site/ Government Center
  • Boston Common/ Public Garden
  • State House/ Beacon Hill
  • South Station/ Convention Center/ Children’s Museum

As you can see, the trolley can actually take you to a number of top areas throughout the city, so it's a good complement to larger plans. Getting In: Hop On Hop Off Boston Trolley tickets are included on the Go Boston® Card.

USS Constitution Cruise

Image of Water, Waterfront, Vehicle, Yacht, Boat, Cruiser, Military, Navy, Ship, Sailboat, The USS Constitution Cruise is a perfect opportunity to incorporate historical sightseeing with waterborne fun. Sail out to Old Ironsides, one of the city’s best-loved historical treasures, and scope out the Bunker Hill Monument and a Boston Tea Party ship. The tour itself is fully narrated, and takes about 45 minutes. You'll enjoy informative background information on the sites you're sailing past, as well as on Boston's history and culture. Getting In: USS Constitution Cruise tickets are included on the Go Boston® Card.

Quincy Market

Image of City, Urban, Downtown, Road, Street, People, Person, Handbag, Adult, Female, Woman, Bicycle, Neighborhood, Box, By Chris Wood (User:chris_j_wood). [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This eclectic and bustling shopping district is a must for those visiting the neighborhood. Faneuil Hall is located smack dab in the middle of Quincy Market, so it shouldn't be too hard to find. In addition to your favorite chains stores with extensive offerings, you’ll also find unique boutiques including a store run by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. There are also plenty of delicious dining options, including the iconic New England pub Durgin-Park Restaurant. Another one of our favorite food options is the lobster roll sold at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace (the center building). You'll also find great ice cream and chowder, among scores of other New England favs. Getting In: Admission to Quincy Market is free.

The New England Holocaust Memorial

Image of City, Urban, High Rise, Office Building, Metropolis, Condo, Housing, Neighborhood, Skyscraper, Person, Car, By Aashish Dutta Koirala ( [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
This inspiring and thought-provoking outdoor space is a somber memorial erected by Holocaust survivors who moved to Boston. It’s designed to honor those who lost their lives and to educate new generations about that horrific history. School groups in particular often visit this site. Getting In: Admission to the New England Holocaust Memorial is free.

Things to Do in the North EndPaul Revere House

Image of Siding, Outdoors, Shelter, Housing, City, House, Roof, All American school children learn about Paul Revere – now’s your chance to visit his historic home! This National Historic Landmark provides insight into the way eighteenth-century people lived in Boston and is a popular tourist destination for those interested in the history of Paul Revere’s famous Ride. A visit to the Paul Revere House is really one of the top things to do in Boston's North End, not just for history buffs. Getting In: Paul Revere House tickets are included with the Go Boston® Card.

Boston Bike Rental

Image of Helmet, Child, Female, Girl, Person, Adult, Male, Man, Shoe, Boy, Teen, Bicycle, Vehicle, Cycling, Glasses, Want to explore the city in a more creative way? Hop aboard two wheels and get pedaling! Boston is a very bike-friendly city, with frequent bike lanes on major roads, as well as bike paths and trails all throughout the city and along the waterfront. So feel free to paddle on the big roads or the waterfront trails. Use it to get around like Bostonians, or just for fun and exercise. You can't go wrong! Getting In: Boston Bike Rental tickets are included with the Go Boston® Card.

Old North Church

Image of City, Road, Street, Urban, Spire, Tower, Bell Tower, Neighborhood, Clock Tower, Person, Brick, Alley, Condo, Housing, Car, By Adavyd (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
A great companion attraction to the Paul Revere House, the Old North Church is Boston’s oldest surviving church building and is among the city’s most-visited historic sites. The church itself has charming historic architecture, and there are other fascinating buildings on the campus as well. Getting In: Admission to the Old North Church is separately priced and is not included with the Go Boston Card. For more information, please visit the attraction website.

Things to do Nearby at the Seaport DistrictBoston Children’s Museum

Image of Person, Shop, Shopping Mall, Cafeteria, Indoors, Restaurant, Convention Center, This attraction is incredibly popular with local and visiting families. A kid-specific attraction filled with tons of interactive and traditional exhibits, the Boston Children’s Museum is a must for those with young kids. Don’t miss the Science Playground exhibit! Families love this option among the many things to do near Faneuil Hall. The Boston Children's Museum also hosts a number of special events and family programming year round, including play-dough sessions, art sessions, poetry workshops, and much more. Getting In: Boston Children’s Museum tickets are included with the Go Boston® Card.

Institute of Contemporary Art

Image of Office Building, Water, Waterfront, Convention Center, City, Urban, One of the city’s best art institutions (and that’s saying something in a city with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts), the ICA is immensely popular with art-lovers. Gorgeous exhibit space is filled with inspiring art in both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. They also have a top-notch gift shop. Getting In: Institute of Contemporary Art tickets are included with the Go Boston® Card.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

There you have it - a few great recommendations for things to do near Boston's Faneuil during your trip to Boston. Don’t forget that many of these great attraction options and more are included on the Go Boston Card, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate. We hope you consider adding a few of these fun options to your Boston vacation itinerary.

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