Boston is a historical city in the United States of America and its roots stretch back to when the country was found. As this city has a lot of students, recent graduates and young people, Boston is relatively cheap to visit as a place and it also has a lot of free things to do or see. From music events to museums to walking tours to parks and beaches, there are many ways to save money when you visit Boston. Being listed below are ten things to do and see in Boston without spending any money.
Walk the Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail was established in 1951. It stretches over 2.5 miles and covers 16 historical sites. This red-bricked trail is a way to learn almost everything about Boston’s history. An audio podcast can be downloaded to accompany your walk if you are someone who enjoys solitude. If not, you can sign up for an organized tour led by one of the many historic characters in Boston. The walk takes a couple of hours but much much longer if you enter every historical site on the way. This is a great way to get a feel of the city and its history.
Lay Out in the Common
The Common dates back to 1634, making it the oldest park in the country. This is Boston’s version of a central park. You can lie out, take a book to read, play some sports or just relax and enjoy the weather. You can even wander to the nearby public gardens or sit by the Frog pond. Without spending a dime, you can enjoy your day this way.
Head to Castle Island
Castle Island is located in the south of Boston. It is famous for the fort located on it called the Fort Independence. The island spreads out on 22 acre and it extends into the harbor. It has excellent beaches along with running trails that are popular with the locals. There is a picnic area here and the old fort can be explored for free. The place gets pretty busy on weekends in the summers though.
Explore the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain
Over 260 acres of free public space is open here from the time sunrises to the time it sets. There are running trails, gardens, open lawns, and tons of flowers from all over the world. You can relax among the plants and take a step back from the fast pace of the city to enjoy the nature. This place is much quieter than the Public Gardens and offers a bit more variety in plant life. They also have a huge Bonsai tree collection which can be of interest to nature lovers.
Explore the Black Heritage Trail
There are fourteen sites located around Beacon Hill that make up this walking tour which covers important parts of African-American history. Massachusetts was the first state to declare slavery illegal. This tour is very knowledgeable if you want to learn a lot about the history of slavery and the African-American experience. Free maps are available at the Abiel Smith School if you want to do a self-guided tour though there are several arranged and guided tours available by companies.
The Coit Observatory at Boston University offers free stargazing with telescopes and binoculars every Wednesday evening if the weather permits. It takes place outside so just make sure to dress according to the weather. There is limited space though so you need to reserve your spot in advance as to not miss out on the chance.
Take a Free Walking Tour
While the city has plethora of food tours, wine tours, and historical tours, they will all cost you money but Free Tours by Foot and Strawberry Tours offer free walking tours around the city. They are a great way to get oriented with the city and see the major sights without emptying your pockets. Just be sure to tip your guides though.
Go Hiking in the Blue Hills
Blue Hills Park is a bit out of the way but it is definitely worth a visit. The 7,000 acre park is home to over hundred miles of trails and offers some panoramic viewpoints if you feel like going for a hike. There are also plenty of activities to keep you entertained, besides hiking, such as boating, fishing, skiing, and rock climbing. The availability of these activities depends on the season though. If you go on the weekends in the summer, get there early to beat the crowds.
Stroll Along the Charles River
The Charles River Esplanade stretches for 17 miles along the banks of Boston’s Charles River. It is a great place to go for a walk or a run. You can enjoy the view from a café or even head out onto the water to canoe or kayak. On a sunny day tons of locals will be found here.
Tour the Custom House
Custom House was built in the 17th century. It is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city. It was built right up against the water on reclaimed land. When the customs office moved a tower was added to the original foundation which made it the tallest building in the city, in 1915. It is currently owned by Marriott Hotels though you can still take a free tour by booking an appointment to go up to the observation deck located on the 26th floor.