You’ve just gotten engaged to be married! So naturally, you go on Facebook announcing your upcoming nuptials and pics of that awesome ring are being shared by hundreds of your friends and family! Now, all you’ve got to do is agree on a date and figure out how to negotiate all the moving parts of a modern wedding to make it one you’ll remember as long as you live!
After much back and forth with your better half, you have arrived at the decision that you both want a destination wedding in Boston!
Destination weddings often attract many out-of-town guests. These wonderful people will rearrange their lives, book flights and all the rest of it in order to witness your rite of passage into a whole new world of commitment and responsibility. In addition to planning a wonderful ceremony and reception, you’ll want to make sure they have a great time if they spend a few extra days exploring the city. That’s where we come in!
Because of Boston’s geographic location way up in the Northeast, not all activities can be enjoyed year round. Those famous swan pleasure boats that couples like to ride in the Public Garden? Not a good idea in January. Conversely, don’t bother bringing your ice skates to the Frog Pond at the Boston Common in May. So, with these climate considerations in mind, here are some great things to do in Beantown during your visit.
Old Town Trolley Tours has been showcasing Boston to visitors and locals for more than 30 years. With the single largest fleet in the city, you’ll spend less time waiting and more time sightseeing. The friendly and knowledgeable conductors will take you on a fully narrated journey filled with humor and history as you explore the must-see sights of Boston. A really handy component built into this tour is the freedom to hop on and hop off at any of the 18 stops they service. This means you can take as much time as you like in the historic North End then continue your journey when the next trolley arrives. This pleasant jaunt through American history and the Boston of today includes stops at the Old State House, where patriots would hold fiery debates decrying the oppressors’ back in England, a visit to the oldest floating warship, the U.S.S. Constitution, and a stop at the oldest home in the city where silversmith and Sons of Liberty Thomas Paine once lived.
Even for those who don’t follow sports, a day out at the old ballpark is a fun time to while away the hours with some friends. For those who do fancy themselves sports nuts, Fenway Park is a bucket list destination packed full of hardball history. The Boys of Summer will be in mid-season form at this time of year chasing down fly balls and swinging for the fences. The left field fence at Fenway, dubbed ‘The Green Monster’, is almost 40-feet high and over 300 feet from home plate and has been a part of baseball lore since 1912. If your taste buds are in need of a home run, Fenway boasts some excellent grub. Try one of the Yankee Lobster Rolls, a classic New England staple served cold on a warm, buttered roll with celery, herbed mayo, and lettuce. To wash it down, try a Monster Mule, Fenway’s version of the classic cocktail that substitutes vodka for Irish whiskey. Because of its relatively small size and high demand, tickets can be tricky to get, so try and purchase them well in advance.
Established in 1837 as America’s first public botanical garden, this iconic park with its winding paths and stunning floral species from annuals to greenhouse-grown, is an ideal place to stroll and get lost in. The Victorian era ushered in a period of high-level gardening elevating the science to art and the Public Garden is a direct beneficiary of this aesthetic. There are lots of cool things to do up and down the 50 acres of the Common and they’re really easy on the wallet but no less fun. Throw a frisbee around, ride the over 100-year-old Swan Boats, take in some street performers and simply marvel over venerated landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s stroke of genius.
There are a lot of seafood restaurants and oyster bars in this town and many of them are exceptional. That said, only one can boast to be America’s oldest restaurant, as it opened its doors in 1826. While the word ‘oyster’ does appear in the name of this highly praised establishment, there are menu items that feature some of the best old school seafood cookery anywhere in the country – Lobster Newburg, broiled scrod, Littleneck clams and the revered, almost sacred, creamy New England Clam Chowder finished with a little Sherry. This is classic Boston on a plate!
As a world-class city with a thriving arts and culture scene, Boston has few equals; so why not venture off into the world of one of the theaters’ most influential playwrights and enjoy a little Shakespeare! With performances in July and August, the Boston Common transforms into an outdoor theater and features selections from the legendary repertoire performed by the highly-regarded Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC). Performing annually at the Parkman Bandstand, centrally located, handicapped-accessible and accessible to all by public transportation, CSC has become one of Boston’s most attended annual arts events. And to make it even better, the event is FREE to the public!
When Old Man Winter is out and about frosting up windshields and giving grateful children a day off from school, it’s nice to escape to the cozy confines of a museum. What you’ll find here, in an elaborate setting that evokes a 15th-century Venetian palace, is a collection of art comprised of more than 7,500 paintings, sculptures, furniture, textiles, silver, ceramics, 1,500 rare books, and 7,000 archival objects from ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, Asia, the Islamic world and 19th-century France and America. In addition to all the antiquities, the museum also features a whole wing of contemporary art as well. There is also the added mystique that this is the place where two men, disguised as police officers, made off with 13 precious works of art by some of the most world-famous painters in history. It still ranks as the costliest property theft ever!
It doesn’t matter what the weather portends to the thousands of aquatic animals that make their homes in the aquarium’s meticulously designed controlled habitat. Explore the fearsome lionfish, the delicate leafy seadragon, lumbering green sea turtle, and spry California sea lions in action, along with all the other marine animals that call the New England Aquarium home!
The aquarium residents that get the most attention are the more than 80 African, rockhopper and little blue penguins that live in the gigantic coral reef exhibit known as the Giant Ocean Tank. The clever, organic design of this underwater world allows you to view the penguins and hundreds of other Carribean marine life in action from multiple vantage points. This show-stopper attraction is 4-stories tall and contains over 200,000 gallons of water! The New England Aquarium is one of the most prestigious attractions of its kind anywhere in the world and more than worthy of a deep dive next time you’re in town!
In a town with an overwhelming Irish-American diaspora, it’s no wonder that Boston is a city with wall-to-wall pubs. With so many to choose from, this tried and true institution checks off all the boxes for what constitutes a proper Irish pub; friendly crowds, tasty pub fare, a gorgeous dark wood bar, live music, and a strong beer list, including impeccably-poured pints of Guinness. One of the area’s most competitive trivia nights is hosted on Wednesdays. And there’s live traditional Irish music on Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons. Faith and Begorrah!
Boston is a big place brimming with history and fun. Use this guide to plan your very own Boston adventure. Regards to the happy couple!