Things to Do in Boston: Outdoor Adventures

Boston is not located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, nor does it find itself pounded by the wild surf of the Pacific Ocean, which means that extreme adventures in this city are typically off the table. However, within a very small area that is coastal, wooded and mountainous, Boston offers moderation in all things: grand hills, rushing rivers, lapping ocean, forested hiking trails, and historic islands. Those with active lifestyles looking for soft to moderate adventures have traveled to the right destination.

Spring, summer and fall are prime seasons for adventure. Cool breezes make activities on open water, like cruising, speedboating or roaming harbor islands ideal for sweaty Northeast summers. Head for Boston Harbor, where ferries, passenger ships and old-fashioned sailing ships wait at wharves from Charlestown down to Black Falcon Terminal in South Boston. Hiking activities at nature reserves like Arnold Arboreutum, the Emerald Necklace and Blue Hills Reservation during a New England autumn offers miles of scenic views in a kaleidoscope of fiery and golden tones.

Essentials to pack for these outdoor adventures:

  • Sunglasses and sunscreen, even in cooler weather if you're out on the water
  • A waterproof windbreaker because Boston weather can change on a dime
  • Sneakers or boots, whether you're walking on cobblestones or uphill at Great Blue Hill
  • Plenty of water; it's hard to find when you're off the beaten path