• 14 January 2020

Boston is a charming New England city in Massachusetts. The city provides an incredible combination of culture, architecture, and picturesque scenery. If you’re touring the east coast of the United States, it’s the perfect place for a stopover. 

With the right amount of planning, you can easily see the highlights of Boston in one day. We’ve mapped out the perfect itinerary to help you discover the best areas of Boston during your precious travel time in this historic city. 

All the attractions we’ve included here are within walking distance to one another. However, if you’re trying to save time you might want to consider using Boston’s excellent public transportation system. This will make getting around Boston in a day easy and convenient.

So here it is, the best way to spend 24 hours in Boston!

The famous Boston harbor
The famous Boston harbour
Discover the classic beauty of Beacon Hill 

Beacon Hill is the postcard picture of Boston. With red-brick mansions, narrow cobblestoned streets, and quaint street lamps, this historic neighbourhood is quintessential Boston. 

Acorn Street is the main focus of the neighbourhood, and one of the most photogenic spots in Boston. It’s also one of the very few streets in the United States with its original cobblestones still in place. 

This historic district is filled with cosy cafes, small antique shops, and plenty of local eateries. Grab a coffee and pastry from a neighbourhood bakery and enjoy a peaceful stroll down a picturesque street; the perfect way to start your one day in Boston! 

Acorn street in Beacon Hill
Acorn Street in Beacon Hill
Wander through the Boston Public Garden and Boston Common 

The Boston Public Garden is a large urban green space nestled in the heart of the city. It was the first public botanical garden in the US. The Boston Common is the oldest city park in the US, dating from 1634. 

Technically these two gardens are separate attractions. However, considering they’re directly next to each other, they can easily be visited in one trip. 

George Washington monument at the public garden
George Washington monument at the public garden
Walk along the historic Freedom Trail 

The Freedom Trail is a 2,5-mile route that runs next to 16 of the main historic sites in Boston. These include several stops from this 1 day in Boston itinerary. 

The trail is very pedestrian-friendly and labelled with proper signage that makes following it easy. Although you can walk the whole Freedom Trail, if you’re only spending a day in Boston, you might want to take public transportation between certain points to save time. The walk leads from the Boston Common to the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill. 

The end of the Freedom Trail at Bunker Hill monument
The end of the Freedom Trail at Bunker Hill Monument
Visit the Granary Burying Ground

The Granary Burying Ground was founded in 1660 and is Boston’s third-oldest cemetery. It’s the final resting place of many early Americans and famous Bostonians. 

The most notable gravestones belong to Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock. 

Five victims of the Boston Massacre have also been buried here. The cemetery is located along the Freedom Trail and is free to enter. 

Monument to Benjamin Franklin at Granary burying ground
Monument to Benjamin Franklin at Granary burying ground
Experience the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum 

This museum operates a little differently than your typical history museum. Rather than exploring at your leisure, for 1 hour, guests are guided through the museum by an 18th-century costumed host. It’s a fully immersive tour where visitors can engage in interactive exhibits. 

You’ll even get a chance to dump tea bags into the Boston harbour! This museum is designed for all ages to enjoy. 

Boston tea party floating history museum
Boston Tea Party floating history museum
Step back in time at the Old State House Museum 

This small but lovely museum focuses on the revolution of Boston- specifically the Boston Massacre. It details the steps leading up to American independence and utilizes interactive exhibits so that all ages can enjoy the museum. 

While you’re here, make sure to check out the Boston massacre site, located next to the building. This is the site that spurred on the revolution and the birth of a nation! It’s an amazing piece of American history that should not be missed on your Boston one day itinerary. 

Old state house for the commonwealth of Massachusetts
Old statehouse for the commonwealth of Massachusetts
Enjoy the local vibe at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace 

The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a buzzing Boston market with a large and diverse variety of locally produced goods. There are plenty of shops and food vendors, selling anything and everything! Try out the local flavours of the city and pick up all your unique Boston keepsakes. 

This is a great place to break up the historic stops and get a glimpse of local life on your day trip to Boston. 

Faneuil Hall marketplace
Faneuil Hall marketplace
Dive deep into history at the Paul Revere House

The Paul Revere House is another stop along the Freedom Trail. Built-in 1680, this iconic house is the oldest remaining building in downtown Boston. 

The house belonged to the famous American patriot, Paul Revere. The building operates as a museum and is one of the most important places to visit in Boston to learn about the American Revolution. 

Paul Revere house
The Paul Revere house
Explore the north end neighbourhood

North End is Boston’s oldest neighbourhood and another historic site found along the Freedom Trail. Here you’ll find narrow streets lined with some of the city’s oldest buildings. 

Stop by the Old North Church where the famous “one if by land, and two if by sea” signal was given to Paul Revere- an event that sparked the American Revolution! 

If you’re hungry, head into the historic Union Oyster House restaurant for Boston specialities like New England clam chowder. Even if you’re only on a Boston one day trip, this is a local dish you have to try! 

Beautiful architecture in the North-end neighbourhood
Beautiful architecture in the North End neighbourhood
Visit the USS Constitution Museum 

The USS Constitution Museum is another site located along the Freedom Trail. Step aboard the historic ship and explore Boston’s rich history. There are interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and a vast collection of artefacts that are geared towards all ages. 

This vessel is a national treasure and the world’s oldest commissioned naval ship still afloat.

As you tour it you can feel the energy that resonates from the very soul of the wood! 

The oldest battleship in American history - USS Constitution
The oldest battleship in American history – USS Constitution

And there is our guide of the best places to see in Boston in one day. This iconic harbourside city is where modernity meets history. It’s where the founding of America has roots and where the past comes alive once again. 

It represents the best of America and you’ll truly feel like you’re stepping back into colonial times when you visit. From its early American architecture to its diverse culture and charming scenery, you’ll find it all in Boston!

Questions & Comments

  1. is there a famous pier/waterfront area, with dinning

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Bill,

      Thank you for your message! Yes, there is a great waterfront area in South Boston. The Seaport District, which faces the harbour, is home to a number of great restaurants.

      Yours in travel,
      Expat Explore

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