Best Time to Visit Boston: Month-by-Month Guide (+Map)

One of the most important cities in the history of the States, Boston is renowned not just for its monuments and museums but its top-class Ivy League schools and sports teams. Aside from learning about the Revolutionary War, visitors come to delve into its arts scene, try out its breweries and take whale-watching cruises along the coast.

The vast majority of people visit Massachusetts’ capital between April and October when the weather is warmer and the days are longer and sunnier. Outside of these months, the colder temperatures make ambling along the Freedom Trail a bit less enjoyable. Prices are cheaper though and there are fewer crowds around.

To help you plan your trip, let’s take a look at what the climate, crowds and cultural events are like each month in New England’s largest city.

What’s the Weather Like in Boston?

Lying along Boston Harbor, just inland from the Atlantic Ocean, the Commonwealth’s capital has four very distinct seasons. While its summers can be hot and humid, averaging around 77 to 82°F (25-28°C), winter temperatures often dip below freezing at night.

Due to its coastal location, the city receives quite a lot of wind and rain throughout the year. Although each month sees between 8 to 12 days with at least some rain, Boston is actually rather sunny for its latitude.

Springs are prone to fog and are quite unpredictable overall while severe thunderstorms can occur in summer. Snow also falls almost every winter, turning its pavements quite slippery and treacherous.

Best months to visit Boston


As both its center and sights swarm with tourists in summer, many consider either spring or autumn the best time to visit Boston. While still quite busy, the blooming flowers and fiery fall foliage make the city even prettier to explore.

Although they are more expensive (along with autumn), June, July and August are the peak season when all its hotels, restaurants and attractions are rammed. As the temperatures are hottest, some take trips to nearby beaches and isles or Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.

Throughout all these warmer, sunnier months, people make the most of the lovely weather by dining outside, attending baseball games and enjoying all the exciting festivals going on.

A trip in winter can also be magical if you don’t mind the cold as bright twinkling lights and decorations are strung up everywhere. The cosy Christmas markets and centuries-old historic sights look particularly enchanting, all covered in snow.

Boston in January

Boston January

Besides being the coldest month of the year, January is also one of the quietest tourist-wise as most people are put off by averages of just 34°F (1°C). The days are darker and shorter with temperatures dropping below freezing at night. The Christmas decorations and markets thankfully stay up the first week, bringing some much-needed cheer to the gloomy city.

After the Christmas holidays and New Year’s celebrations are over, prices are much cheaper, with barely any crowds found at its sights. While wandering along the Freedom Trail is much less fun in the biting cold, there are lots of great museums and the Quincy Market to check out.

You can also skate about its ice rinks and see amazing frozen waves piling up along the coast. The brilliant Boston Wine & Food Festival also begins, continuing til the end of March.

Boston in February

Boston Winter

Along with January, February is the month that sees the most snow in Boston with at least one, if not more, big snowstorms coating the city in white each year. While everything looks magical, the slippery streets can make sightseeing quite challenging. Most locals stay inside or wrap up warm and hit the slopes at ski resorts further to the north.

As it is the low season, both airfares and accommodation options are very affordable with no queues forming at its attractions. Aside from celebrating the Lunar New Year in its large Chinatown, there are some exciting sporting events to keep an eye out for.

The Beanpot, for instance, sees some of the nation’s best collegiate ice hockey teams compete at TD Garden. If the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl, you’ll want to catch the game at a local sports bar before taking part in the jubilant parades and parties if they win!

Boston in March

patrick's day parade

While March is technically the start of spring, snow still regularly falls up until the middle of the month. Temperatures are slightly warmer though and the days are longer, seeing about 7 hours of sunshine on average. Prices start to rise, particularly around St. Patrick’s Day – a huge event in Boston as it is the most Irish city in America.

Evacuation Day – celebrating the expulsion of the British occupying forces from the city – also takes place the same day. Other than a gigantic green parade, plenty of pub crawls and parties pop up everywhere. Once you’ve recovered from the festivities, you can try some of the best restaurants in town during Dine Out Boston. Its Wine & Food Festival is also still on while its fantastic Comedy Festival puts on a packed schedule of hilarious shows.

Boston in April

Boston Spring

With temperatures finally rising to 57°F (14°C) and the Easter holidays taking place, the number of tourists visiting Boston shoots up enormously in April. Both hotels and flights are more expensive as more visitors are seen along the Freedom Trail and in its museums. Boat cruises about Boston Harbor also start up again though ferries don’t yet run to its islands.

The famous Boston Marathon also draws heaving crowds on Patriot’s Day as does the Red Sox’ first game of the season at Fenway Park. There is also its acclaimed International Film Festival and colourful Japan Festival going on.

Later in the month, the blooming flowers and trees make walking about the Boston Common, Public Garden and Charles River Esplanade a delight. Before they get too busy, it’s worth taking trips to either Provincetown and the Plimoth Plantation or Salem, Concord and Lexington.

Boston in May

Boston in May

Along with the autumn months, May is, for many, one of the best times to visit Bean Town. All its blossoming parks look very pretty with average temperatures hitting 68°F (20°C) and there now being 8 hours of sunshine and 15 hours of daylight each day.

Its lovely local SoWa Open Markets start up again as do ferries to the Harbor Islands. It still rains quite a bit though, as it always does in Boston.

As more people pour in, prices continue to rise, particularly during graduation weekends and Memorial Day weekend. Loads of special concerts and events are held all around town with the Boston Calling Music Festival also being a big deal.

As the weather is better, hiking and cycling are both popular pastimes as is taking whale-watching cruises along the coast.

Boston in June

Boston in June

With summer officially starting and lots of college graduations taking place, June sees peak season arrive and the high prices and huge crowds along with it. While the beginning of the month is still rather rainy, the days are longer and sunnier later on with temperatures rising to 77°F (25°C).

When the weather is hottest, some head to nearby beaches or Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
Others instead take in a Red Sox game or enjoy its Summer in the City Concert Series along the Harborwalk Terrace. Fabulous music, dance and theater performances are also organized for the Cambridge Arts River Festival.

Besides commemorating Bunker Hill Day, there are entertaining parties and parades to partake in for Pride.

Boston in July

Boston July

July is even busier as the sun is shining, people have holidays and countless events are held around the city. As well as being the hottest month of the year, the weather is usually quite humid though its seaside setting does help cool things down a bit. Other than relaxing at its parks or beaches, you can amble along the Freedom Trail or enjoy scenic harbor cruises.

While flights and hotels are at their priciest, there are at least tons of fun festivals going on. Stunning fireworks shows are put on for the Fourth of July with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra also performing along the Esplanade.

Its week-long Harborfest also has concerts, art markets and historical reenactments, celebrating both Boston’s maritime history and its revolutionary past. In contrast, its Fan Expo has all the latest comics, anime and games to peruse while cosplayers and celebs mill about.

Boston in August

Summer Day Sunset in Boston

As it is very similar weatherwise, August is also a great month to enjoy some of its outdoor activities and open-air concerts. With 9 hours of sunshine a day and 14 of daylight, there is loads of time to see the centre or sunbathe at nearby beaches.

The sea will always be chilly though, no matter the time of year you go! Although everywhere is packed, people still flock to the Boston Harbor Islands or Salem, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

While Saint Anthony’s Feast showcases Italian culture in the North End neighborhood, Cape Cod’s Provincetown is full of wild parties and parades for Carnival Week. Besides watching a baseball game, you can try some of the city’s best restaurants thanks to Dine Out Boston. To top it all off, its August Adventures initiative means many of its main sites and museums are free to visit on certain days of the month.

Boston in September

Boston Summer

Another of the best months to visit Boston has to be September as the weather is still warm and the worst of the summer crowds have headed home. While flights are now way cheaper, accommodation remains expensive as thousands of students arrive for college. After its hot, humid summer months, the cooler days are arguably more comfortable for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

At the start of September, you can still lounge on the beach or try its famous clam chowder and lobster dishes while they’re in season. Many people also attend concerts or take cruises about the harbor to see the fireworks displays for Labor Day weekend.

Aside from enjoying the events put on for it and the Boston Arts Festival, tons of screenings are held for its Film Festival. You can also watch the Patriots play in the NFL or catch a Red Sox game.

Boston in October

Boston Autumn

Early-to-mid October is also an awesome time to visit as the fiery autumnal foliage in all its parks makes for some fantastic photos. Averages of 62°F (17°C) are still perfect for strolling along the Freedom Trail though you’ll need to layer up. This is also the last month to peruse the SoWa Open Markets or take ferries to its islands and take whale-watching tours.

As lots of people still visit, hotel prices remain high with its museums and main sights being quite busy. The Head of the Charles Regatta – the world’s largest rowing event – attracts big crowds while Franklin Park Zoo is also magically lit up for its Festival of Lights.

As everything is so delightfully decorated for Halloween, it’s worth taking a day trip to Salem – the State’s spookiest city. Famous for the witch trials, it has countless parades and special events going on for its month-long Haunted Happenings festival.

Boston in November

Boston in November

With the days turning colder, darker and shorter, November finally sees fewer people arrive in Boston. As it also rains more, you’ll want to wrap up warm and spend more time inside at museums and markets. Snowstorms also sometimes occur later on in the month. Prices are much cheaper though and the leaves on its trees still look amazing. With the holiday season starting and loads of lovely lights and decorations strung up, it can be a nice time to visit.

Other than attending the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, you can catch wonderful performances of Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. If you want to get your present shopping done early, then head to either the SoWa Winter Festival or the New England Christmas Festival.

Many events are also held around the city for Thanksgiving. In addition, you can watch the Boston Celtics play or go ice skating and skiing if you can stand the cold.

Boston in December

Boston Christmas

In December, average temperatures fall to just 39°F (4°C) with it often raining and snowing too. Despite its off-putting weather and overcast skies, tourist numbers pick up again (as do its prices) during the Christmas holidays. Besides enjoying its cheery lights and decorations, you can wander about its winter markets and ice skate at the famous Frog Pond rink.

Exciting live reenactments of the Boston Tea Party are also held while the Boston Symphony Orchestra hosts special seasonal shows. If you don’t mind the cold or layer up, you can visit its main attractions with barely anyone around.

For New Year’s Eve, dozens of concerts, art exhibits and dance performances take place for the First Night Boston festival. At midnight, phenomenal fireworks displays light up the entire sky above the city.

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