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A 48-Hour Guide To Boston

For centuries, visitors have made their way to Boston to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of the city. There are so many historic areas to explore, including the Freedom Trail, mixed with some new waterfront developments, that it may feel like it is near impossible to fit it all in during a quick 48-hour getaway. However, with some creative planning and knowing exactly what you want to see, you will be able to explore the must-see areas of Boston and see everything you want to see.
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There are many different tours available throughout Boston, including guided, self-guided, walking and bus. Taking a tour makes it possible to visit all of the different must-see sites in a short period of time. One tour that is a must-experience while in Boston is the self-guided tour along the Freedom Trail. Though there are guided tours available for a small fee, self-guided tours are free and allow visitors to explore the trail at their own pace. There are 16 different historic sites along the trail including the Boston Common, Paul Revere House and the site of the Boston Massacre.

For historic sites and other points of interest in Boston, you can stop by the Boston Common Visitor Center for maps of the area. These maps can be used to follow self-guided tours and to make up your own self-guided tour of historic Boston, perfect for those wanting to explore the city at their own pace.

Another great tour to try to get in during your visit includes the Boston Duck Tours. These offer a unique tour through the city, including stops at many of the must-see attractions. Combined with the self-guided walking tour of the Freedom Trail, taking a guided tour with Boston Duck Tours is the perfect way to see all of the must-see attractions and historic sites in Boston.

Related: Boston's Best Brewery Tours

Skywalk Observatory

If there is only one thing you do while in Boston, you have to visit the Skywalk Observatory. This observatory offers the highest vantage point in the city, overlooking 360 degree views of Greater Boston and surrounding areas. An audio tour will show you the different historic and cultural points of interest in the area. Set 50 floors above the city below, the Skywalk Observatory offers the best view anyone visiting Boston will have.

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The streets of Boston used to be lined with rows of industrial warehouses that stored and sold sugar, molasses and wool. These locations now supply residents and visitors with plenty of shopping opportunities. Visitors with only 48 hours in Boston need to do some shipping at Made in Fort Point, where they can shop from a various works of arts by local artists. Other must-shop at locations while in Boston include Sault, Uniform, Bobby From Boston, the International Poster Gallery, Flock and South End Open Market at SoWa.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

In addition to the Freedom Trail, history buffs must visit the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum during their short stay in Boston. This historic site does more than allow you to stroll through rooms filled with artifacts; visiting the Boston tea Party Ships and Museum is an experience and an adventure. Visitors will be treated to a multi-sensory experience that takes everyone back in time on a journey that changed the course of our nation's history. Tours of the museum last approximately one hour and take visitors through virtual exhibits and through restored tea ships.

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Fenway Park

Sports fans have to make their way to Fenway Park, the nation's oldest major league ballpark. Baseball fans can see more than 4,000 artifacts including ticket stubs, bases, bats and uniforms that showcases this history of both the ballpark and baseball. Founded in 1912, Fenway Park is one of baseball's iconic stadiums and a "must" experience for any baseball fan — even if you are not a Red Sox fan. If you are visiting during baseball season, make sure to include a game while you are in the area.


The hardest part of dining in Boston is deciding which restaurants to fit in during your 48-hour getaway. There are so many amazing options for travelers, offering everything from quick-service to fine dining. Popular restaurants to try while in Boston include Roxy's Grilled Cheese, Clover, Craigie on Main and Area Four. If you are looking for some dessert, visit Toscanini's for some ice cream, where you can try some of the most unusual flavors around.

Related: Boston's Best Bourbon Cocktails

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There are tons of different places to stay in Boston, and many of these hotels are located in historic buildings. Popular places to stay for those only spending 48 hours in Boston include The Revere Hotel Boston Common, The Boxer Boston, Omni Parker House, Liberty Hotel, The Lenox Hotel and The Copley Square Hotel.


Boston is a very walkable city — almost any site you wish to see is within walking distance. However, Boston also offers visitors other methods of transportation to get around to the different sites. Visitors can explore Boston using the Hubway, a bike-share system that offers one and three-day rentals. These bikes can be used to tour the city while traveling along the 50 miles of bike paths available. The "T" Is America's first subway system and offers underground trains to visitors wanting to get around town.

With so many things to see and do in Boston, it is difficult to get everything in during a short 48-hour visit. However, if you know what you want to see and map out the must-see attractions before your arrival, you are sure to get it all in during your getaway.

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions - writing and travel - to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at
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