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Things to Know Before You Go: Visiting Boston in Winter

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Things to Know Before You Go: Visiting Boston in Winter
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
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
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, with more than 600 interactive exhibits, plus the world’s largest lighting bolt generator and the vast Mugar Omni Theater. The New England Aquarium is also a great family spot, where 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 Go Card. 

Bundle up and brave the chill
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
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 on Dec. 16, and sports fans can cheer on Boston college hockey teams at the Beanpot on Feb. 6 and 13. 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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Boston Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour with 18 StopsHistorical & Heritage Tours

Boston Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour with 18 Stops

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Explore the best that Boston has to offer on this hop-on hop-off tour of the city. See Boston’s top attractions—like the USS ‘Constitution’ and the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, to name a few—on the loop. Enjoy discounted admission to attractions like the Old State House, Dreamland Wax Museum, and the Old North Church with the purchase of your tour.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Admission to Boston Tea Party Ships and MuseumAttraction Tickets

Admission to Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

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Relive the most important event leading up to the American Revolution on this tour of the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Follow your guide and 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. There are interactive exhibits, authentically restored tea ships and a gripping, multi-sensory documentary that’s not to be missed.
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  • 1 hour
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 1 hour
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  • Free Cancellation

Skip-The-Line: New England Aquarium Admission TicketAttraction Tickets

Skip-The-Line: New England Aquarium Admission Ticket

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From seals and sea lions to sea turtles, seadragons, and stingrays, the New England Aquarium is the place to discover more than 800 different marine animals under one roof—or in one big tank. Check out the four-story Giant Ocean Tank, featuring a brand new coral reef, underwater communications system and hundreds of Caribbean reef animals. Grab an admission ticket and movie pass and have an unforgettable aquarium adventure.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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North End History & Pizza Walking Tour with Admission to Old North ChurchLuxury Tours

North End History & Pizza Walking Tour with Admission to Old North Church

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Enjoy some of the best pizza in Boston on this walking food tour. Stroll through the city’s oldest neighborhoods, including, appropriately, Little Italy on the North End. Walk along the Freedom Trail that leads to 16 historically significant sites, like Paul Revere House, Old North Church, and the USS ‘Constitution,’ to name a few. Visit some of Boston's best pizzerias and enjoy a slice at each. It’s a fun and flavorful way to get to know Boston.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Boston to Salem Day Trips

Boston to Salem "Witch City" Day Trip with Round-Trip Transportation

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Step back in time to the era of the Salem witch trials on this guided day trip from Boston to Salem, Mass. After a visit to Marblehead, birthplace of the American Navy, visit the Salem Witch Museum (there is an admission fee to enter) and learn about the trials, where 20 innocent people were put to death in 1692. Enjoy time on your own to see the U.S. Custom House and the House of the Seven Gables. Stop by local Halloween shops and other witch-themed attractions in Salem. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included from select downtown Boston hotels.
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  • 7 hours
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  • 7 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Go Boston All-Inclusive PassBike & Mountain Bike Tours

Go Boston All-Inclusive Pass

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Seeing the best of Boston doesn’t get any easier, or more economical, than with the Go Boston Pass. This flexible sightseeing pass allows visitors to pick and choose from a wide variety of Boston’s top attractions, almost 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 one year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for the number of days purchased.
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  • 7 days
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  • 7 days

Boston Guided Brewery Tour with Tastings & Lunch or DinnerDining Experiences

Boston Guided Brewery Tour with Tastings & Lunch or Dinner

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Learn about Boston’s thriving craft beer scene and sample a variety of libations on this morning or evening brewery tour. Get an inside look at how beer is made and learn about their operations as you visit breweries, cider houses, and distilleries. Visit brewpubs that may include the well-known Samuel Adams or gastropub Meadhall. Round-trip transportation in downtown Boston by air-conditioned van is included.
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  • 5 hours
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$112.20 
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  • 5 hours

Sip of Boston Guided Brewery TourHalf-day Tours

Sip of Boston Guided Brewery Tour

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Home of the famous Samuel Adams and Harpoon breweries, Boston has a thriving culture of microbreweries, distilleries, and cider houses. A brewery tour is one of the best ways to experience Boston’s beer scene, and on this half-day excursion you can taste award-winning beer and cider, learn about the history of each brewery, and explore the brewing process.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes

Round-Trip Transport to Wrentham Village Premium Outlets from BostonDay Trips

Round-Trip Transport to Wrentham Village Premium Outlets from Boston

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Relax in an air-conditioned, luxury coach on this 7-hour shopping excursion to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets. Save 25 to 65 percent every day on designer and name brands like Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and many more. Also, receive a free VIP coupon book for additional discounts on brand name merchandise. Pickup and drop-off at specified downtown Boston hotels during the summer and fall is included.
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  • 7 hours
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  • 7 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Boston CityPASSAttraction Tickets

Boston CityPASS

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Experience Boston’s must-see tourist attractions — and enjoy considerable savings — on this exciting Boston CityPASS tour. Visit the popular New England Aquarium, Museum of Science and the Skywalk Observatory. Choose from Boston Harbor Cruises or the Harvard Museum of Natural History to complete the tour. This Boston CityPASS is valid for nine consecutive days from date of first use. Voucher must be presented in exchange for CityPASS ticket booklets, within 6 months of purchase date. Transportation to and from the attractions is not included.
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  • 9 days
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  • 9 days
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  • Free Cancellation

Go Boston Explorer PassAttraction Tickets

Go Boston Explorer Pass

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See more of Boston for one low price by purchasing the Boston Explorer Pass. Save big off regular prices as you get admission to your choice of three, four or five Boston attractions, picking among top city highlights like a Fenway Park Tour, USS Constitution Cruise, Freedom Trail Walking Tour, and much more. An included guidebook helps design the perfect itinerary. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes are valid for one year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for 30 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased.
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  • 30 days
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  • 30 days

Christmas in Newport Day-Trip from Boston with Breakers & Marble House AdmissionDay Trips

Christmas in Newport Day-Trip from Boston with Breakers & Marble House Admission

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so escape the hustle of city life and get away to the festive tranquility of Newport, R.I., on a guided, small-group day tour from Boston. This quaint coastal town, also known as America’s First Resort, is the perfect holiday getaway, just 70 miles south of Beantown. Explore the grand mansions of the Vanderbilt family, the Breakers and Marble House, both decked out in Christmas decor. Then travel along popular Ocean Drive and enjoy the holiday season with shopping and sightseeing.
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  • 10 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 10 hours
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