24 Hour Itinerary for Boston, MA

Updated: Feb 28

While visiting Salem, MA, (20 Things to do in Salem and Two Day Itinerary for Salem, MA) my mother and I took a day trip to visit Boston. With less than 24 hours in a city we both love, we made the most of it. Here’s how you can too!

Start your day by visiting the iconic Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. This is one of, if not the most, beautiful museums I have visited in the United States/ Mrs. Gardner’s world travels are evident in the architecture of the immaculate courtyard and rooms throughout the property. Upon her death, she provided an endowment to keep the museum operating and stated that nothing in the galleries should ever be sold or changed. Unfortunately, this wish was not respected by a group of bandits who in 1990 stole thirteen works of art from the museum, making headlines as the largest property theft in the world. To this day, the art has still not been found. Get yourself in the mood before visiting by watching the Netflix series This is a Robbery. There are also tours and audio guides available on premise.

Explore the beautiful Beacon Hills neighborhood on your way to Tatte Bakery and Cafe where you can fuel up with some lunch and caffeine. For coffee, they use Stumptown beans, a personal favorite of mine. While in the area, snap a pic at the Instagram-famous, and rightfully so, cute, cobblestoned, Acorn Street.

Take your time enjoying the nearby Boston Common and Boston Public Garden. These two parks offer nearly 50 acres of nature in the heart of the city and are featured in Good Will Hunting, Ted, Little Women, and many of your other favorite movies. Our highlight? Finding delicious empanadas from a street vendor.

Head through the park to Granary Burying Grounds. Among the approximately 2,300 markers, there are stones and tombs for Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and many other patriots. This is Boston’s third oldest cemetery, founded in 1660. As you are leaving the cemetery and walking the rest of the day, you may notice a red line under your feet marking that you are on the Freedom Trail, a path that connects the many of the major revolutionary locations across the city. On a trip when you have more time, it’s worth walking it in full.

For dinner, follow the red line and grab a bite at Quincy Market, also known as Faneuil Hall Market. The market first opened to the public by mayor Josiah Quincy in 1826 and received a multi-million dollar restoration in the 1970’s. It serves as a perfect place for food, shopping, and meeting up with friends. It’s one hell of a good spot to get some New England clam chowder, a must-do during your time in Boston.

Continue on the red line to the Paul Revere House. Built around 1680, this home is the oldest standing building in downtown Boston and was owned by Paul Revere from 1770-1800. You can just shout “the British are coming” as you walk by, or you can tour the home and see artifacts of the patriot as well as gain an understanding of what life was like for the 18th century family.

Make Old North Church your final historic stop. If you have followed this itinerary, you won’t be arriving to the church before 4pm so sadly you will not be able to tour the church or the crypt underneath, but keep this in mind for a trip where you have a bit more time. Regardless, as a history nut I think it is worth seeing the starting point of Paul Revere’s ride. You will still be able to view the Church’s peaceful surroundings. Old North Memorial Gardens honor fallen soldiers of various wars.

I’m a sucker for ending travel days with an adult beverage. Less than a ten minute walk from the church grounds you’ll find Night Shift Brewing at LoveJoy Wharf. Grab a beer and enjoy the waterfront views of the illuminated Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge.

This itinerary is planned strategically to make logistical sense if you are navigating the streets by foot and want to make the most of your time. Boston is beautiful and one of my favorite cities in the U.S. It’s a great place to simply walk around and absorb your surroundings, allowing you to get a true feel of the vibrant life here. 24 hours gives you a taste, but it is a trip worth expanding. Here are some honorable mentions to consider if you have an extended stay:

Fenway Park

Though I’m not much of a sports fan, I do like the Red Sox (mainly from watching Fever Pitch as a child which I know will make every true fan cringe). If you are in season, catch a game at the world famous Fenway Park. Or, go see about a girl - your call.

Newbury Street

An elegant eight block strip of shops and restaurants in brick buildings that scream Boston architecture.

Liberty Lobby Bar

Located in the Liberty Hotel, the Liberty Lobby Bar is in an elegant ninety foot rotunda. While only guests are allowed to access the seating on the catwalk, anyone can make a reservation to enjoy food or cocktails in the jail cells of Alibi or Clink.

New England Aquarium

View thousands of aquatic animals. The New England Aquarium takes it to the next level with a four story ocean tank, a shark and ray touch tank, a sea lion exhibit that is viewable even if you don’t pay to go into the aquarium, and whale watches that leave from their harbor.


Grab some dinner in historic Chinatown and walk under the famed gate, gifted to Boston by Taiwan in 1982.

Boston Tea Party Museum

The Boston Tea Party Museum’s replica and reenactments bring to life the momentous event of 1773. Perfect for families or history nerds like myself.

Lookout Rooftop and Bar

Located across the bridge in the Seaport district, this rooftop bar boasts great skyline views and is close to the Boston Tea Party boats.

An extra tip: As with many major cities, parking is not easy and your trip will be significantly less stressful if you leave your car in one place. Here is the link to Boston Common Garage, where we parked on our trip. While we opted to spend the full day on our feet, the T is convenient and budget friendly as well.

Bonus Picture: Thanks for traveling with me, momma <3

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