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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Boston (Updated for 2024)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Boston (Updated for 2024)

What's the best time to visit Boston?

The best time to visit Boston is in the summer, with its warm weather perfect for exploring outdoors and attending its many festivals. Despite crowds, the lively city buzzes with activities, including Boston Pride and Independence Day celebrations. With comfortable temperatures around 80°F, Boston’s rich culture and history are best enjoyed during these sunny months.

The city of Boston is one of the most important historic sites in the United States and a must-visit destination even if you’re not necessarily a history buff.

The Boston area was the site of many important events during the Revolutionary War, like the Boston Tea Party, and you can see many of these places on the Freedom Trail. The city also has a lot of fine museums, like the Museum of Fine Arts.

If you need a break from arts and culture, have some Italian food in the famous North End or head outdoors if the weather is nice to Boston Common. Boston has a lot to offer visitors, but it’s located in a place with a famously harsh climate. We’ll show you the best and worst times to visit below.

The Overall Best Time to Visit Boston

People enjoying the open green field in front of an old structure surrounded by modern buildings during the best time to visit Boston.

CO Leong/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Boston is in the summer, when the weather is glorious and you can enjoy the most that Boston has to offer. The city has four distinct seasons and a cold, temperate climate.

Winters are long and difficult, with snow possible in late fall and even in the early spring. However, summers are truly exceptional. They may not last long, but they make it worth your while.

Boston summers aren’t usually overwhelmingly hot, although you will get a few hot and muggy days. Average high temperatures in July and August are 80–81 degrees Fahrenheit.

Summer also has the sunniest months of the year in the city, with each month averaging nearly 300 hours of sunshine. Summer storms happen occasionally, but not too often. This is the perfect weather for exploring.

The compact city is one of the most walkable in the United States, so you can get around and see many of the important attractions on foot. Following the Freedom Trail or the Black Heritage Trail is also best done in the summer, when you won’t freeze or get caught in the rain while walking around.

Bostonians know how to make the most of their brief but amazing summer, so expect the city to be at its liveliest. Everywhere you look, there are people enjoying coffee or a meal outdoors on improvised terraces.

The parks are also full with people—places like Boston Common or the Boston Public Garden are at their most beautiful during this season.

The city and local businesses organize the most events during this time—and many are free. Wherever you go, you have a chance of running into a block party, street festival, free outdoor concert, or movie screening.

Summer is also when most of the city’s popular festivals take place, like:

As you’d probably expect from the city where it all began, Boston puts on a show for every Independence Day. Boston Harborfest, in early July, celebrates U.S. independence with Revolutionary War reenactments and more modern fun like chowder festivals and fireworks.

Keep in mind that summer is the most popular time to visit Boston, so expect plenty of people around. However, with so many things to do, you’re bound to do everything you set out to do as long as you have a bit of patience.

Cheapest Time to Visit Boston

Spring scene in front of the George Washington Monument at Public Garden in Boston during the city's cheapest time to visit

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Boston is in the winter, when many hotel rooms are offered at discounted rates. The most expensive part of your trip to Boston will probably be accommodations.

It isn’t a cheap city to visit, and the price of hotels tends to fluctuate a lot based on the season. From January to mid-March, you can find the best deals on hotel rooms in Boston.

Top hotels offer discounts of 20% compared to more popular times to visit, and if you are flexible with your dates and shop around, you can find even bigger discounts in the thick of winter. If you are flying into Boston, winter and early spring are also the best time to visit.

The cheapest flights to Boston Logan International Airport are usually in January and February, when airlines across the United States tend to offer discounted rates (of course, if you are driving to Boston, prices stay the same throughout the year).

With some shopping around, you can save money on your day-to-day expenses as well. Visiting in late winter and early spring is the best time to save money on restaurants because you can take advantage of one of Boston’s yearly Restaurant Weeks for good deals.

Many museums offer discounted entry one day a week or month—it just takes some research to figure out when.

Least Busy Time to Visit Boston

A woman walking on a beautiful scenery during an autumn season where leaves covers the ground and trees are turning crimson, the overall best time to visit Boston.

Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Boston is in the winter, but for the best combination of good weather and fewer crowds, try to visit during one of its shoulder seasons, spring or fall.

Autumn in Boston has its own charm. New England is widely considered one of the best places in the United States to experience the changing of the leaves. While the vistas are more spectacular in the countryside, Boston has its own fair share of beautiful changing trees in the autumn.

There are still plenty of visitors around in fall, although much fewer than in the spring. The many seasonal events keep them around, like the Head of the Charles Regatta, a massive rowing race that happens every October.

Spring has even fewer crowds than fall and is the best time to visit to have the city to yourself. The weather is a bit more unpredictable than in the summer or the fall.

Average temperatures are in the high 40s and low 50s well into April, and gusts of strong winds can make it feel even colder. Just be sure to pack the right clothing. Spring arguably has even more fun festivals than the fall and is a great time to check out some of what makes Boston feel so unique as a city.

In March, Boston’s massive Irish community celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a parade through South Boston. Come for beer and Irish-themed fun. Spring is also the best time to visit for fans of sports and Boston sports teams.

Every April, Boston hosts Patriots’ Day, a massive sports extravaganza that includes the Boston Marathon and a Boston Red Sox home game, along with reenactments of historic Revolutionary War battles (this is Boston, after all).

Worst Time to Visit Boston

Picturesque Acorn Street pictured in the middle of winter with snow on the ground and tall Colonial style homes on either side

Nate Hovee/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Boston is the winter due to the weather. However, the city is a great destination all year round as long as you prepare properly. Make no mistake—Boston’s winters are bitterly cold.

While weather statistics give the average winter temperature at 36 degrees in January, most days are much colder due to the frequent wind. Nighttime temperatures are well below freezing.

You’ll need warm clothing to explore Boston in the winter—otherwise, your fingers and toes will freeze. If you’re driving to Boston, you definitely don’t want to come in the winter. The city is frequently covered in snow, which makes navigating difficult.

Parking becomes even harder after a snowstorm, and in some neighborhoods, fist fights break out over cleared parking spots. If you prepare the right clothing and the right transportation, you can make the most of a winter visit to Boston.

The main attractions, like the museums and restaurants, are open all year round. Plus, you’ll get to see how the locals live when they’re not surrounded by the frenzy of tourists.

Frequently Asked Questions

A night view of a street where on signage uses neon lights saying "PARAMOUNT", an image for the guide about the best time to visit Boston.

BOSTON- MAY 30: The main Washington Street in downtown Boston at night on May 30, 2014, Washington Street as the first street that connected peninsular Boston to the mainland./f11photo/Shutterstock

Here are some of the most common questions people ask about finding the best time to visit Boston:

What is the best month to go to Boston?

The best month to go to Boston is September, which has mild weather. There are also fewer crowds, and the leaves are beginning to turn.

What is the cheapest month to visit Boston?

The cheapest month to visit Boston is January, when you can get good discounts on hotel rooms.

What season is best for Boston?

Summer is the best season to enjoy Boston since you can walk around outdoors, and there are plenty of free events.

How many days do you need in Boston?

You need four days in Boston to see all of the historic attractions and museums, plus check out some of the diverse neighborhoods.

What is the rainiest month in Boston?

November is the rainiest month in Boston, but the city receives consistent amounts of rain throughout the year.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Boston?

Summer in Boston can’t be beat—thanks to the great weather and scores of outdoor events. If you prefer the excitement of summer with fewer crowds, then visit in early fall, when you can also catch the leaves changing.

So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Boston has to offer. Happy travels!