Blooming flowers and rising temperatures can only mean one thing: the advent of summer. As the last exams are completed and dorms are deserted, students pack their bags for a long awaited hiatus from the doldrums of school. While many may be traveling to exotic lands or the West Coast’s blissful shores, Boston’s own backyard also has much to offer. For those staying in Boston this summer, there are a plethora of activities and sights to enjoy. From idyllic scenery to succulent dining and unique excursions, the city is an epicenter of entertainment during one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. So there is no need to cast a jealous eye towards your jet setting companions (or at least not to the extreme). Here is your guide to spending summer in Boston.
1. Shakespeare in the Park
Whether you are on a date or simply out with friends or family, Shakespeare in the Park is a fun way to spend those hot summer nights. Amidst the sun’s fading rays, audiences can find a spot on the Commons and watch the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company put on a variety of literary productions. These outdoor performances take place against the backdrop of the park’s gorgeous scenery and are illuminated by the glow of the State House dome, adding to the event’s ethereal quality. All performances are free and open to the public.
2. Relax in the Boston Commons
A local and tourist favorite, the Boston Commons is a relaxing haven from the hustle and bustle of the city. Curl up with a book on the park’s grassy shores and watch as the swan boats float by on the pond’s placid waters. A truly peaceful and magical setting, the Commons is abundant with life and a wealth of different stories. It hosts wedding proposals, picturesque photo shoots, families doting beaming toddlers, lovers, painters, and dog walkers – you name it. Flowering cherry blossom trees litter their petals on smiling passersby and bright tulips greet patrons at the park’s entrance. Stop by on your way into town and enjoy the Common’s tranquil atmosphere and stunning landscape.
3. Coolidge after midnight
Tucked away in the quant surroundings of Coolidge Corner, the district’s local theater showcases a range of niche or avant-garde films for the appreciative cinephile. During the summer, the theater hosts a late-night film series featuring 90s classics such as Space Jam and regular screenings of the cult favorite Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you are looking for a movie-going experience slightly off the beaten path, ditch AMC Loews for these quirky and unique options.
4. Go to the beach
Although far from California’s illustrious coastline, Boston is just a short train ride away from some of New England’s best beaches. Crane Beach, located in Ipswich, is a great place to cool off from the sweltering heat as mild waves lap the the sandy shore. You may even spot a variety of wildlife convening at the beach’s famous salt marshes. Crane Beach can be reached by taking a shuttle bus from the Ipswich commuter rail stop. You can also utilize public transportation to visit other hot spots, including Singing Beach and Good Harbor Beach. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, take a trip out to the Cape or Martha’s Vineyard to experience some of the most notable beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.
5. Whale watching
When you think of Boston, whale watching may not immediately come to mind. However during the summer months, boats head out daily from the Boston Harbor in search of these cetaceans. Although some may conjure up images of third grade field trips, this magnificent excursion proves that you are never too old to observe the world’s largest mammals on the high seas. Each boat also boasts a full snack bar and drink selection, which is always a plus.
6. Get tan at the Colonnade rooftop pool
For those not seeking a trek to the beach in order to cool off, the Colonnade Hotel has one of the few public rooftop pools in Boston. It’s swanky setting, a result of newly completed renovations, is replete with full food and beverage service as well as a killer view. The rooftop will also headline a concert series as part of its summer agenda.
7. Try out some new restaurants
No other amenity in Boston tops its world renowned food. From succulent fish to Italian delicacies, the Bean town is home to some of the most mouth-watering restaurants around. While locals are familiar with the most iconic dining options the city has to offer, a crop of new (and delicious) restaurants have recently stepped onto the scene. Check out the branch of Totto Ramen in Allston for a variety of homemade Asian noodle recipes or The Trophy Room, an American bistro with amazing signature burgers, located in the South End.