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Ways to Beat the Crowds in Boston

Ways to Beat the Crowds in Boston

More than 12 million people visit Boston every year, keeping its American Revolution sites, seafaring attractions, and museums quite busy. Here’s how to avoid the main crowds,  from prebooking admission tickets to exploring lower-profile sights.

 

Choose skip-the-line tickets.

Many of Boston’s flagship attractions offer skip-the-line tickets that let you avoid long ticket lines. With fast-track entry, you breeze past the ticket booth lines and beat the rush.

 

Visit Boston in winter.

Boston’s peak season is June to October, when visitors come to enjoy the warm weather—expect an average high of 80°F (26.6°C) in August—and the full gamut of the city’s attractions and cruises. For fewer people crowding the top spots, visit in early spring or winter. The weather might be cold (and possibly snowy), but Boston’s big-ticket museums, leisure attractions, and even select harbour cruises remain open and operating.

 

Buy a sightseeing pass.

Purchasing a Boston sightseeing pass maximizes your freedom, letting you visit attractions when it suits you and allowing you to steer clear of the busiest times. Select Boston cards provide entry to multiple attractions over your choice of one, two, three, five, or seven consecutive days—you choose the time and length of your visit—while other city passes offer skip-the-line entry at top attractions so you can escape any long ticket queues.

 

Book ahead.

Take time before you travel to check out the opening times at Boston’s museums and attractions and purchase admission tickets in advance. Prebooking often enables you to pick time slots and departures that attract fewer visitors—such as early morning whale watching or harbor sightseeing cruises.

 

Go beyond downtown Boston.

Boston boasts many tucked-away neighborhoods that feel light years away from its busy center. Escape the crowds of downtown on a food tour of the quieter North End or Beacon Hill districts; book a bike tour around tranquil green spaces such as the nine Emerald Necklace parks, or stroll around Harvard University’s campus when students are on vacation.

 

Opt for private tours.

Private tours of Boston’s top attractions are great ways to enjoy more elbow room. Consider exploring the must-see Freedom Trail in a private chauffeured vehicle or taking private walking tours with flexible itineraries—they enable you to skip any crowded spots at the last minute and enjoy a more personalized experience.

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7 Tours and Activities

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Boston Whale Watching Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Boston Whale Watching Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran

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1354
Experience the best of New England’s marine wildlife on this guided whale-watching cruise around the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Hop on a high-speed catamaran that gets to and from the whales in the least amount of time possible. See humpback and fin whales, plus Atlantic white-sided dolphins with the help of a naturalist guide. The on-board galley offers food and beverages for purchase during the trip.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$62.85
From
$62.85
Taking safety measures

Boston Historic Sightseeing Harbor Cruise with Up-Close View of USS Constitution

Boston Historic Sightseeing Harbor Cruise with Up-Close View of USS Constitution

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367
See some of the top attractions in Boston from the waterfront on this narrated sightseeing cruise. Explore Boston Harbor and see the city’s historic sites while listening to live commentary on board. Pass landmarks like the Boston Tea Party ships, USS Constitution, and Boston Light—the oldest continuously manned lighthouse in the United States.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$36.71
From
$36.71
Taking safety measures

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Admission

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Admission

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502
Relive the most important event leading up to the American Revolution on this self-guided tour of the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Take a journey back in time to the famous Boston Tea Party, an incident that changed the course of American history. It’s more than a stroll through historic artifacts, though. It’s truly one of the top-rated museums in the city of Boston. Explore authentically restored tea ships and throw the fated tea into Boston Harbor.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.95
From
$29.95
Taking safety measures

Boston's North End Secret Food Walking Tour w/ Private Tour Option

Boston's North End Secret Food Walking Tour w/ Private Tour Option

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130
Get to know Boston through its food on this small-group walking tour limited to 12 people. With a guide, you sample seafood, Italian dishes, and other fare as you explore the city's North End neighborhood. Along the way, learn about the history of the area.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.23
Price varies by group size
From
$95.23
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Go City: Boston All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions and Tours

Go City: Boston All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions and Tours

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185
Seeing the best of Boston doesn’t get any easier, or more economical, than with Go City's Boston All-Inclusive Pass. This flexible sightseeing pass allows visitors to pick and choose from a wide variety of Boston’s top attractions, over 40 in all, at any pace desired over the course of one, two, three, five, or seven consecutive days. Enjoy immediate entry to attractions. Simply save the pass (available as your 'ticket' after purchase) on your mobile device and go. No voucher redemption is required. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes are valid for two years from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for the remaining number of days purchased.
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  • 1 to 7 days
From
$76.00
From
$76.00

Boston CityPASS

Boston CityPASS

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50
Experience Boston’s must-see tourist attractions — and enjoy considerable savings — on this exciting Boston CityPASS. Visit the popular New England Aquarium, Museum of Science and relax on a Boston Harbor Cruises. Choose between the Harvard Museum of Natural History or the Franklin Park Zoo to complete the experience. This Boston CityPASS is valid for 9 consecutive days from date of first use. Convenient mobile tickets are valid for 1 year from the date of purchase. Transportation to and from the attractions is not included.
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  • 9 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.00
From
$64.00

Boston's Emerald Necklace Guided Bicycle Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Boston's Emerald Necklace Guided Bicycle Tour

star-5
8
Discover Boston’s fall beauty on this guided, 4-hour, small-group bike tour around the North End of the city. Explore the historic Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of parks linked by parkways and waterways in Boston and Brookline. Visit the shaded boulevard on Commonwealth Avenue, the shores of Jamaica Pond, and the popular, winding paths of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Also, see the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston’s newest public park; the famous Charles River Esplanade; the Boston Common and Public Garden and much more.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$89.00
From
$89.00
Taking safety measures