What to Do With A Day in Boston

So you’ve got 24 hours in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. When there is so much to see and do and so little time, how do you possibly decide? That was the boat I found myself in when I visited Boston. I had originally gone for the Boston Career Forum, which is a big job fair for people who speak both Japanese and English. I ended up not being at the career fair for as long as I thought, so I was left with some extra time to do some sightseeing before heading home. Here is what I chose to do with a day in Boston.

What to Do With a Day in Boston - Footsteps of a Dreamer


Boston Common and Public Garden

Similar to Central Park in New York City, Boston Common and Public Garden are two parks located in downtown Boston. Personally, I liked Boston Common and Public Garden more than I liked Central Park in New York. However, when I visited Boston, the leaves were changing colors and made the whole area look especially beautiful, so I might be a little biased.

Boston Public Garden

Boston Common

Boston Common was established in 1634, making it America’s oldest public park. Public Garden was established later in 1837. The history of the park is represented in the many statues and monuments that have been erected across the two parks. Some of the statues and monuments include:

  • Soldiers and Sailors Monument – commemorates those who died in the Civil War
  • Boston Massacre Memorial – commemorates those who died in the Boston Massacre
  • Oneida Football Monument – memorializes Boston Common as the site of the first organized football game
  • Ether Monument – the oldest monument in Public Garden, it commemorates the first use of ether as an anesthetic
  • Equestrian Statue of George Washington – constructed entirely by Massachusetts artists and artisans

Boston Common is also one of the major attractions along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile trail that leads you through various historic sites in Boston.

Equestrian Statue of George Washington in Boston Public Garden

Monument in Boston Common


Faneuil Hall and the Quincy Market

Quincy Market, Boston

Like many other places in Boston, Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market are rather historic. Faneuil Hall was built in 1742 by Boston’s wealthiest merchant, who donated it to the city. Quincy Market was built later, between 1824 and 1826, by the mayor who organized its construction without any tax or debt. Today, both function as large marketplaces full of shopping and entertainment.

Some of the shops were for big name brand companies like Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, and more, but others were stores I didn’t recognize. One of the stores we stopped in was called Christmas in Boston, and as you can imagine, they sold Christmas decorations (mostly tree ornaments). The place was absolutely huge. I’ve never seen so many ornaments in my life. You could even personalize many of the ornaments for no additional cost.

It’s also common to find many street performers just outside Faneuil Hall. If you’ve got a few minutes, I suggest staying to watch a few. I thoroughly enjoyed the few performances we were able to watch while wandering around the marketplace.



Downtown Crossings

If you didn’t get your fill of shopping at Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, head over to Downtown Crossings! It’s a very popular shopping area and is considered one of the most bustling intersections in Boston during weekdays.

Downtown Crossings was actually one of my favorite parts of Boston. I was there during the weekend, and while it was busy, I didn’t feel like it was crowded. It’s hard to describe, but I liked the “feel” of the area. There’s so much to do and enjoy. In contrast to New York’s rush, rush mentality, at Downtown Crossings, I could relax and just wander around at my own pace. I felt comfortable.


Walk Along the Boston Harbor

Boston Harbor

As somebody who lives in a rural area, far from any decent sized body of water, I particularly enjoy walking along the water, whether it be on a sidewalk or beach. That, of course, meant that I had to make a stop at the Boston Harbor. It was nice to take a stroll along the harbor and watch all of the ships. I was surprised to find that there were many ships that offered all sorts of tours and cruises. If I’d had more time, I probably would have considered actually going on one!


Skywalk Observatory

I suggest ending the day at Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Center. The observatory is on the 50th, and there aren’t too many other tall buildings around, so you can get some great views of the city. Many of the pictures you see on Boston postcards were taken from the Skywalk Observatory.

I chose to get to the observatory in the late afternoon so I could get pictures of the city when there was still daylight. Then, I hung around until after the sun went down so I could appreciate the city when it was all lit up. If you decide to hang around like I did, you won’t have to worry about being bored. Along with breathtaking views of the city, Skywalk Observatory also shows information videos and has other interactive items to help you learn about the city.

View of Boston from the Skywalk Observatory - Daytime

View of Boston from the Skywalk Observatory - Night time


Have any other suggestions of things to do with a day in Boston? Let me know in the comments below!

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What to Do With a Day in Boston - Footsteps of a Dreamer

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