Things to Know Before You Go: Visiting Boston in Winter

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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 perhaps 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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SPECIAL OFFER

Boston Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour

Explore the best that Boston has to offer on this hop-on hop-off tour of the city. Visit Boston’s top attractions — like the USS ‘Constitution’ and the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, to name a few — on a 1.45-hour loop. Enjoy admission to the Old State House, Dreamland Wax Museum as well as half priced admission to Old North Church with the purchase of your tour.
  • Duration: 2 days
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$44.05 USD
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  • Duration: 2 days
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$44.05 USD

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Newport Mansions at Christmas: The Breakers and Marble House

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.
  • Duration: 9 hours
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$84.15 USD
$99.00 USD  $14.85 USD savings
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  • Duration: 9 hours
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$84.15 USD
$99.00 USD  $14.85 USD savings

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Go Boston Card

Seeing the best of Boston doesn’t get any easier, or more economical, than with the Go Boston Card. 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 download the pass on your mobile device and go. No voucher redemption is required.
  • Duration: 7 days
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$57.00 USD
$60.00 USD  $3.00 USD savings
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  • Duration: 7 days
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$57.00 USD
$60.00 USD  $3.00 USD savings

New England Aquarium Admission

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 IMAX movie pass and have an unforgettable aquarium adventure.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$27.95 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$27.95 USD

Round-Trip Transport to Wrentham Village Premium Outlets from Boston

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.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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$49.00 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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$49.00 USD

Boston Brewery Tour plus Lunch or Dinner

Learn about Boston’s thriving brewpub scene and taste roughly 18 types of beer on these guided morning and evening brewery tours. Get an inside look at how beer is made and chat with brewery owners about their operations. Visit brewpubs that may include the well-known Samuel Adams or gastropubs Cambridge Brewing Company and Meadhall. Round-trip transportation in downtown Boston by bus is included.
  • Duration: 5 hours
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$99.00 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours
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$99.00 USD

North End Pizza Tour

Enjoy some of the best pizza in Boston on this 2-hour walking food tour. Stroll through the city’s oldest neighborhoods, including, appropriately, Little Italy on the North End. Walk along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route that leads to 16 historically significant sites, like Paul Revere House, Old North Church and the USS ‘Constitution,’ to name a few. Visit three pizzerias, including Boston’s oldest, Regina Pizzeria. Enjoy a slice at each. It’s a fun and flavorful way to get to know Boston.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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$44.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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$44.00 USD

Admission to Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

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 spend the next hour on 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.
  • Duration: 1 hour
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$29.95 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour
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$29.95 USD

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Boston Explorer Pass

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.
  • Duration: 2 to 12 hours
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$72.00 USD
$74.00 USD  $2.00 USD savings
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  • Duration: 2 to 12 hours
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$72.00 USD
$74.00 USD  $2.00 USD savings

Sip of Boston Brewery Tour

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.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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$70.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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$70.00 USD

Boston Pizza and Taverns Tour

Get a taste for Boston’s best pizza and beer on a guided, 2.5-hour pub crawl around the city. Boston taverns are legendary. In fact, our founding fathers planned the American Revolution in one of them, and it’s still open today. Step inside this historic pub and grab a cold one (or two) along with some of Boston’s best pizza. During the tour, you’ll explore some of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, like Beacon Hill, the Blackstone Block, the North End and Charlestown and two taverns.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$69.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$69.00 USD

Newport Mansions Small-Group Day Trip from Boston

Escape the hustle of the city and get away to the tranquility of Newport, Rhode Island, on a guided, small-group day tour from Boston. This quaint coastal town, known as America’s First Resort, is the perfect getaway and just 70 miles south of Beantown. Explore the Breakers mansion, the most grandiose of Newport’s summer mansions. Visit attractions like the Ocean Drive Historic District, the St Mary’s Church complex and the U.S. Naval War College, among others. Hotel pickup and drop-off plus a snack, guidebook and discount offer card are included.
  • Duration: 10 hours
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$105.00 USD
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  • Duration: 10 hours
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$105.00 USD

Boston Beantown Trolley Tour

Easily experience the breadth of Boston by hopping on the Beantown Trolley. This 3 hour narrated sightseeing tour offers 3 photo stops plus more than 125 points of interest along the way. See top Boston attractions like the Boston Common, Freedom Trail, Copley Square, and Fenway Park on this trolley tour through historic Boston.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$40.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$40.00 USD

Boston CityPASS

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.
  • Duration: Flexible
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$59.00 USD
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  • Duration: Flexible
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$59.00 USD

Sunday River Ski Bus from Boston

Head to Sunday River for a daylong ski or snowboard trip with some of the best powder in the region. Bring your own gear or rent equipment on site. Choose from 135 slopes on 8 peaks in Western Maine, with runs to suit skiers of all levels. Break to enjoy the restaurants, cafés, and food courts at Sunday River before heading back to Boston.
  • Duration: 13 hours
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$50.00 USD
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  • Duration: 13 hours
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$50.00 USD


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