The City of Boston combines historic New England with fast-paced cosmopolitan life. Each year, the Port of Boston boasts fascinating museum and artistic exhibitions, wonderful theater, a wide range of tour opportunities, ethnic festivals, and the best of food and drink. The Port of Boston's Public Garden is a favorite spot for residents and visitors alike throughout the year. Boston Harbor boasts activities that range from romantic harbor cruises to ocean whale watches to people-watching on the popular new HarborWalk. Shoppers can browse high-brow shops, brownstone boutiques, and historic open-air markets. The Port of Boston offers more history than most other cities in the United States and some of the best and freshest seafood available. The Port of Boston has great something to offer for the pickiest traveler. For complete information on the many things to see and do in the Port of Boston, please visit the city's tourism website.
The Port of Boston has a humid continental climate typical of New England. Summers are humid and warm. Winters are cold, snowy, and windy. Spring is unpredictable, ask likely to be sweltering hot as to be uncomfortably cold. Autumns are glorious with the wonderful colors of fall foliage. While its North Atlantic location moderates the temperatures, it also makes the Port of Boston subject to Nor'easters that can generate heavy snow or rain. The warming influence of the sea limits snow at the coastline, but snowfall increases dramatically the further it is from the sea. Fog is common in the spring and early summer, and tropical storms threaten in early autumn. Temperatures range from an average high of 28 °C (82 °F) in July to an average low of -6 °C (22 °F) in January.
Visitors to the Port of Boston who love history will be delighted. The city's most popular attraction is the "Freedom Trail," a four-kilometer line of red brick or paint that takes walkers through the most historic and interesting locations in the city. The walk can take most of a day, but many visitors choose to focus on the 2-hour downtown portions. Beginning at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center where self-guided tour information is available, or visitors can take one of many scheduled tours. The Freedom Trail visits 16 nationally-significant historic sites including churches, museums, meeting houses, burial grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution.
One of the most popular stops on the Freedom Trail, and a popular gathering place in its own right, is the Port of Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which is made up of Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market. Crowds walk the cobblestone promenade lined with street entertainers and go into the huge Quincy Market food court. Faneuil Hall was built in 1742 by the city's wealthiest merchant. It was used by fishermen, merchants, and sellers of meat and produce and by the country's best-known orators. It was here that the colonists first protected Britain's 1764 Sugar Act. Samuel Adams rallied citizens to the cause of independence here, and George Washington celebrated the Nation's first birthday here. Other speakers over the course of America's history have included Oliver Wendell Holmes, Susan B. Anthony, Ted Kennedy, and Bill Clinton. Quincy Market was added to the complex in 1826. Destined to be demolished in the 1970s, Quincy Market was saved in 1976 and fully renovated and revitalized. Today, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is still one of the central meeting places in the Port of Boston with a wide range of shops, restaurants, and outdoor entertainment that attracts over 18 million people each year.
The Port of Boston's Waterfront in downtown is small but wonderful. Just a short walk from the North End, the beautiful harbor is the base for sightseeing cruises and ferry rides. It is also home to the New England Aquarium and the Children's Museum, and it is a 30-minute walk from the Institute of Contemporary Art. The HarborWalk traces the waterfront neighborhoods and downtown areas from Chelsea Creek to the Neponset River and links the water to the city's system of open spaces and parks including the Emerald Necklace, the Charles River Esplanade, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway. In the future, the trail will also go to the Ruggles MBTA station through Lower Roxbury, the South End, and Chinatown to end at Fort Point Channel.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Boston by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.