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Boston’s historic harbor, leafy parks, and skyscrapers provide a picturesque backdrop for visitors throughout the year. From sightseeing cruises around the city’s naval yards and waterfronts to fall foliage tours, here are some ways to soak in the best views in and around Boston.
For the best vantage point over Boston Harbor, hop aboard a sightseeing cruise to glide by the historic USS Constitution, the tall-masted Tea Party Ships, and picturesque waterfront and skyline. The options are numerous, from dinner cruises aboard modern motor cruisers to trips on 1920s-style yachts with live music or sunset cocktails served onboard.
Boston and the wider New England region are famous for their autumnal displays, when trees and forests burst into vivid golds, oranges, and reds. Sign up for a fall foliage tour that takes you deep into New England to see the colors, or pedal around Boston’s parks to admire the city’s homegrown display.
Related: 9 Incredible Leaf-Peeping Trips That Aren't In New England
Ride the elevator up to Boston’s Skywalk Observatory for 360-degree views over the city from 700 feet (213 meters) above the street. Take in the panoramas—on a clear day they can stretch as far as 100 miles (161 kilometers)—and use the audio-guide handsets to identify and learn about the different sights.
Enjoy views of Boston on land and then from the Charles River courtesy of a tour on the Boston Duck. Step aboard the amphibious, World War II–inspired craft, and after splashing down into the river, soak in unobstructed panoramas of Boston’s and Cambridge’s sights from the water.
Boston is a great jumping-off point for visiting Niagara Falls—one of the world’s most powerful sets of waterfalls. Take the opportunity to see its crashing cascades on a day trip by air, which includes a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat for incredible, close-up views.
The seas off Boston attract migrating humpback, minke, pilot, and other species of whales from April to October, offering the chance of once-in-a-lifetime sightings. Book one of the many whale-watching trips that leave during the season, and, with luck, enjoy unforgettable views of these gigantic mammals in their natural habitat.