The best time to visit Boston is during the summer. There are plenty of outdoor activities, attractions, and events to enjoy from June to September.
However, the “best time” to visit Boston looks different for everyone. As a local, I get to enjoy Boston in all its seasons. In this guide, I share what you can expect from each season (including major events) to help you plan the perfect time to visit.
After reading this article, you will have a better idea of when to travel to Boston. After reading, check out my guide to the best areas to stay in Boston.
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When is the Best Time to Visit Boston
Boston is busiest during the summer months. There are so many outdoor attractions, water activities, and local events to enjoy. Early June is the best time to visit Boston to enjoy good weather with fewer crowds.
Overall, the summer is fun, but early fall is also a great time to visit for pleasant weather and some fall foliage. Winter is cold, but the holiday season is magical. Spring in Boston feels brief and rainy, but baseball season begins.
Nonetheless, Boston is such a fun city to visit year-round. You can plan your travels for any time of the year and still have a wonderful trip. Of course, some seasons are more enjoyable than others.
When to Visit Boston for Good Weather
The overall best time to visit Boston is between June through October. These are the best months to wander and enjoy the city on foot. Boston becomes vibrant with outdoor dining, baseball games, and outdoor concerts.
July and August tend to have hot and humid days, which are perfect for water activities. The middle of summer can be unpleasant in Boston for those who aren’t used to heat and humidity. The summer also tends to be more crowded with tourists visiting the area.
September and October have mild, pleasant fall weather. The mornings are cool and the afternoons are somewhat warm. The weather is perfect for enjoying nature and walking through local parks.
When to Visit Boston for Cheap Prices
The cheapest time to visit Boston is after the holiday season. January and February are cold, dark, and snowy. However, winter weekends are slow, so rates tend to be cheaper.
Business travelers still come to Boston during January and February, but there are fewer tourists overall. It’s the perfect time to enjoy Boston attractions and museums without the crowds.
When to Visit Boston for Families and Kids
Summer is a great time to visit Boston for families with kids, as there’s plenty to do around the city. June through August offer fun and educational activities in Boston.
There are plenty of outdoor kid-friendly activities. Go on an interactive Boston Duck Tour to learn history and interesting facts about the city. You will travel by land and water, all the while quacking like a duck. Take your kids on a swan boat ride in the Public Garden. Or, have them pick a horse to ride on a carousel in Boston Common.
Museums offer lots of programming for children during the summer as well. The Boston Children’s offers discounted entry for $1 on Sunday afternoons. Just reserve your tickets in advance.
Keep in mind that the summer season in Boston is the most crowded and most expensive. Save your museum visits for trips in late summer. This will help you keep your kids from getting sweaty, sticky, and cranky.
When to Visit Boston to Avoid Crowds
Boston is a popular city and receives over 19 million visitors year-round. However, traffic starts to slow down after the holiday season.
Mid-January through early April tend to be less crowded. The weather can be cold and wet, but there are plenty of indoor attractions to keep you busy.
Head to the Museum of Fine Arts and stroll through over 100 galleries. It is consistently rated as one of the top things to do when visiting Boston. But there are plenty of Boston museums to choose from.
When to Visit Boston for Foliage
New England is known for its fall foliage where the leaves turn into gorgeous colors. The peak season to see fall foliage in Boston is from late September through late October.
The best part about Boston in the fall is that you can enjoy stunning foliage without ever having to leave the city. Spend some time in a few of Boston’s best parks to enjoy the blazing colors. Some top spots I would recommend are the Arnold Arboretum, Boston Common, Boston Public Garden, and the Esplanade.
When to Visit Boston for Skiing
You have access to some amazing skiing destinations if you visit Boston during its snowy winters. The perfect month for skiing is February. The weather and snow conditions are usually favorable for hitting the slopes.
Blue Hills is only a 20-40-minute drive from Boston. This small ski area is perfect for the day. It’s also perfect for beginners and families with over eight trails.
When to Visit Boston for Sunny Beach Days
New England is very busy and crowded during the summer. Tourists come from all over to enjoy beaches at Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, which are some of the most popular places in Massachusetts.
The best time to enjoy sunny beaches is on the hottest days between June and August. However, you don’t have to make a trip all the way to Cape Cod just to enjoy some sand and waves.
Take the “T” on the Blue Line over to Revere Beach. Revere Beach has miles of shoreline and every summer, Revere Beach welcomes world-class sculptors to the International Sand Sculpting Festival.
When to Visit Boston for Sporting Events
Boston is known to be a sport-crazy city. Boston fans are famous for their deep-rooted devotion to their teams. Sports are an integral part of Boston’s culture. Here’s when to see what sport:
- ⚾ Baseball – The best cultural experience to have in Boston is a Red Sox game at Fenway. There are plenty of opportunities to sing “Sweet Caroline” with fans at Fenway. Opening day is in April and games run through September. Check MLB.com for a full schedule.
- 🏀 Basketball – Head to the TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics for an NBA basketball game. The preseason starts in November and the regular season runs through April. Check NBA.com for an updated schedule.
- 🏒 Hockey – The TD Garden is also home to the Boston Bruins hockey team. They have won the Stanley Cup six times. The preseason begins in September and the regular season runs through April. Check NHL.com for their schedule.
- 🏈 Football – Head to Gillette Stadium to watch the New England Patriots play. Note that Gillette Stadium is not in Boston and requires a bit of a commute. However, you can hop on the “T” to Foxborough station to attend a game. The NFL preseason begins in August and the regular season continues through January. Check out NFL.com for their schedule.
- 🎽 Boston Marathon – The Boston Marathon is hosted each year in April and sets the entire city in a buzz. The race begins on Beacon Street and finishes near Copley Square on Marathon Monday. Check baa.org for more information.
📚Related Reading: Catching a game at Fenway Park is an iconic Boston activity. Read our list of best things to do in Massachusetts for more helpful travel ideas!
Boston Travel Seasons
Spring feels like the shortest season in Boston. On occasion, people are still wearing their winter coats through mid-April. Daytime temperatures range from the mid-40s in March and creep up to the mid-60s come April.
Spring is a rainy season in Boston, especially late spring. Make sure to pack your umbrella. Mud Season isn’t necessarily a thing anymore, but it can still be experienced in the parks throughout Boston. The terrain becomes very muddy due to the rain and melting snow.
Here are places to visit and events to attend and be mindful of come spring:
- 🌳 Public Garden – Enjoy tulips and magnolia blossoms throughout Back Bay and the Public Garden. The trees are full and lush in late April and flowers are in full bloom by early May.
- 🍀 St. Patrick’s Day – There is a large Irish community in South Boston. They celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a big way. There is usually a parade that takes place the weekend after St. Patrick’s Day.
- 🎽Boston Marathon – The marathon takes place every third Monday of April on Patriots Day. It is a very busy time in Boston and hotel rates can be very expensive.
- ⚾ Boston Red Sox Game – Grab a Fenway Frank! The Red Sox baseball season opens in April and runs through September.
- 🎵Boston Calling Music Festival – This Independent Music Fest is a three-day concert held during Memorial Day Weekend.
- 🎓 Graduation – Late May is full of college graduation weekends. Boston can get very busy and crowded.
Summer is the busiest season of the year in Boston. The city comes alive between late June to mid-September especially.
Visitors can enjoy the Boston Harbor, outdoor dining in the South End, and shopping on Newbury Street. There are plenty of free live outdoor concerts during the summer, too.
The hottest months are July and August. Summer temperatures are high above 80 with high humidity. This is the best time to be on the water.
Here are the best ways to enjoy summer in Boston:
- 🧳Day Trip – Take a day trip to visit a coastal town such as Newburyport.
- 🐋Whale Watching – Go whale watching right out of the Boston Harbor with the New England Aquarium Whale Watch.
- 🍦Ice Cream – Grab a cold scoop at Quincy Hall in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
- ⛵Esplanade – Rent a sailboat from Community Boating Inc., and sail down the Charles River.
- 🇺🇸Bunker Hill Day – This is a fun event for history buffs. The state holiday takes place on June 17th and commemorates the Bunker Hill Battle that took place during the American Revolution. It is celebrated with a parade that goes into Charlestown.
- 🎆Boston Pops Fourth of July Spectacular – This annual concert takes place at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade on Independence Day. Famous singers and local talent perform with fireworks to close the show.
🚗 Where to Rent a Car: Planning to take a day trip and visit a coastal town not far from Boston? Renting a car will help you get there quickly and securely.
Fall is the best time of year to visit Boston aside from the spring. The leaves begin to change color and the air becomes cool and crisp.
The Boston area is covered in beautiful foliage in the fall. Leaves start to turn bright yellow, orange, and red in mid-September. Fall temperatures start in the mid-70s and begin to drop to mid-60s. Boston reaches peak foliage in early October. It starts to officially feel cold in November and heavier coats are needed.
Crowds and tourists begin to wind down in the fall. However, this is a busy time for college drop-off. Students begin to move in around September 1 and Labor Day. Moving trucks are known to fill the streets of Boston.
Here are ways to enjoy fall in Boston:
- 🍁Harvard Arnold Arboretum – Head to this hilly park and enjoy a walk among the trees. The top of Peters Hill offers my favorite foliage view with the Boston cityscape behind it.
- 🇺🇸Freedom Trail – This is one of the most popular walking tours in Boston. This tour will take you to 16 historic sites significant to the American Revolution.
- 🚣♂️Head of the Charles Regatta – On every 3rd weekend of October, the world’s largest rowing event takes place on the Charles River.
The winter months are a magical time in Boston. There are fewer travelers, massive window displays, and bare trees are covered in lights.
Winter days are shorter, darker, and colder. However, the average snowfall doesn’t occur until after January. The months of January through March are cold, windy, and very snowy. Come to Boston prepared with a heavy winter coat, scarf, gloves, hat, and waterproof snow boots if you visit during this time.
The winter might not be a friendly time for those with mobility challenges. Pathways can be obstructed by snow banks and not everyone opts to shovel their sidewalks.
Here’s how to enjoy Boston in the winter:
- ⛸️ Boston Common – Head to Frog Pond for seasonal ice skating. What is a kid’s spray pond in the summer, is converted into an ice skating rink in the winter.
- ❄️Snowport – This is the largest Holiday Market in the Boston Seaport District. Snowport is a German-style winter market with over 140 vendors.
- 🍾First Night – This is Boston’s popular New Year’s Eve celebration. Tickets give you access to interesting events all around the city.
- 🥠Chinese New Year – This is one of Boston’s favorite cultural events in the Chinese community. A Chinese New Year Parade takes place in Chinatown every second Sunday in February.
👉 Pro Tip: Have a plan in place just in case a snowstorm happens during your trip. There is a possibility you could be stuck for extra days. Travel insurance can be helpful for a situation like this.
Boston Weather and Climate
Boston is known for its temperamental weather. However, extreme weather in Boston is uncommon. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures well over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Boston winters are windy and cold with lows that fall below freezing temperatures.
Due to its coastal location, the ocean can cool and regulate temperatures in the summer. However, it can feel warmer in the winter months due to the moderating effects of the ocean water.
It’s possible to experience unseasonably warm days sandwiched between icy days in Boston. It’s also possible to experience some snow as early as October or as late as April. It is best to stay informed as the climate can be unpredictable. Make sure to check the forecast before your trip and pack clothes that layer well.
FAQs About When to Visit Boston
When is the high season in Boston?
The high season in Boston is during the summer months. The city is busiest during June through August.
What is the best month to go to Boston?
The best month to go to Boston is September. The fall weather is perfect for navigating the city on foot and there are fewer crowds.
What is the cheapest month to visit Boston?
The cheapest month to visit Boston is in February. Winter weekends are slow in traffic and hotel rates tend to be much cheaper.
How many days do you need in Boston?
Three days in Boston is plenty of time to enjoy the historical city and its attractions. Extend your trip to five days to accommodate weather conditions and a longer itinerary.
I hope this article gave you a better sense of the best time to visit Boston and what the four seasons are like. Pick a time that accommodates your itinerary and weather preferences and you’re sure to have a memorable time. Next, read our guide on Boston safety.
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