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Know Before You Go: Visiting Boston in Winter


Know Before You Go: Visiting Boston in Winter
Hi, I'm Caeleigh!

Caeleigh MacNeil is a writer and editor who's found her home base in the San Francisco Bay Area—after stops in Boston, North Carolina, and Denmark. When she's not stirring up content, you can find Caeleigh hiking the Berkeley hills, searching for the perfect avocado at farmers markets, and planning her next backpacking trip.

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For a true taste of New England, head to Boston in winter. Cold weather gives Beantown a special charm and often brings falling snow and freezing temperatures—perfect for cozying up indoors or even braving the winter chill. Here are some tips for making the most of a low-season visit.


Get cozy with a Boston brew

Warm up with a pint in a pub.

Nothing says “Boston” like a good brew on a blustery winter day. The Samuel Adams Brewery is perhaps the city’s most iconic spot, known for its rich Boston Lager and well-stocked brewery taproom. In the waterfront Seaport District, visitors to the Harpoon Brewery can warm up with freshly made pretzels and craft beers in a German-inspired beer hall, while clientele at Cambridge Brewing Company can enjoy fresh, handcrafted beer in Boston’s oldest brewpub. For an in-depth experience, get to know the city’s thriving beer scene on a brewery tour

Take advantage of indoor attractions

There's nothing wrong with escaping the chill.

Boston is famous for its museums. At the Museum of Fine Arts, visitors can admire works from around the globe, including one of the richest Edgar Degas collections in the world and a 13-foot (4-meter) statue of the Roman goddess Juno—the largest Roman-era statue in North America.

For families with kids, Boston’s Museum of Science is an educational playground, while the New England Aquarium is also a great family spot—highlights include penguin presentations, sea otters, and the 4-story Giant Ocean Tank. Save yourself the hassle of driving by visiting the Museum of Science and New England Aquarium on a hop-on hop-off trolley tour, or get free entry to all three museums with a Boston attractions pass

There's nothing quite like a wintery walk in Boston. Photo: CO Leong / Shutterstock

Bundle up and brave the chill

Embrace the city's icy temperatures.

Travelers who brave the outdoors will be rewarded with picturesque winterscapes and peaceful, uncrowded streets. Bundle up for a walking tour of the city’s famous red-brick Freedom Trail, which features historic sites such as Beacon Hill, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House. When the trail takes you to Faneuil Hall, head inside Quincy Market for a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and stop off for ice skating at the Boston Common. If the weather is right, skiers and snowboarders can hop on the Boston Ski Bus and head out to carve up the slopes of the Sunday River ski resort in nearby Maine

Enjoy winter festivities

Make the most of Boston's seasonal offerings.

In December, Boston’s Festival of Lights at the Museum of Fine Arts features musical performances, tours, and free museum admission, while the borough of Somerville blazes with lights and house decorations crafted by its residents. History buffs can join a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party and sports fans can cheer on Boston college hockey teams at the Beanpot. On New Year’s Eve, the city’s First Night Celebrations involve ice sculptures, live entertainment, fireworks, and discounted admission to local attractions.

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Hi, I'm Caeleigh!

Caeleigh MacNeil is a writer and editor who's found her home base in the San Francisco Bay Area—after stops in Boston, North Carolina, and Denmark. When she's not stirring up content, you can find Caeleigh hiking the Berkeley hills, searching for the perfect avocado at farmers markets, and planning her next backpacking trip.

Keep exploring
See all Boston tours
247 tours & tickets
Things to do in Boston
See all things to do in Boston
6 Must-See Boston Neighborhoods & How to Visit
6 Must-See Boston Neighborhoods and How to Visit