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By Scott Roberto / April 19, 12:00 AM
10 Great Spring Destinations in Boston

Savor the warmer weather by enjoying these unique outdoor attractions

Photo: Derek Kouyoumjian


Faneuil Hall Marketplace

The historic open-air shopping and dining destination (pictured) located right on the Freedom Trailboasts a flurry of free al fresco activities come spring, including live music, street performers, art and fitness classes, chess lessons and games like ping pong and billiards.  

617-523-1300, faneuilhallmarketplace.com

Swan Boats

A Boston Public Garden fixture since 1877, these elegant vessels have delighted visitors for generations.

Public Garden Lagoon, 617-522-1966, swanboats.com

Commonwealth Avenue 

Colorful magnolia blossoms punctuate Boston’s grandest boulevard in early spring.

Back Bay between Arlington Street and Massachusetts Avenue

Boston Public Garden

America’s oldest public botanical garden hosts the 31st annual Return of the Swans in early May, while Mother’s Day, May 12, boasts the annual Duckling Day, which honors the legacy of Robert McCloskey’s Public Garden-set Make Way for Ducklings.

4 Charles St., 617-635-4505, friendsofthepublicgarden.org

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Stretching from the North End to Chinatown, this strip of green comes to life in spring. A custom carousel, an artisan market (Saturdays beginning May 4), a farmers market (Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning May 14), and live music, wine, beer and lawn games at the Boston Calling Block Parties (Thursday evenings beginning May 16) are just a few of its warm-weather highlights.

617-292-0020, rosekennedygreenway.org

Boston By Foot 

Tour the city’s one-of-a-kind historic sites and neighborhoods—from the North End to the Back Bay—on an excursion with one of this non-profit’s expert guides.

617-367-2345, bostonbyfoot.org

SoWa Open Market 

Sundays beginning May 5, check out this eclectic blend of art and farmers market that also features beer, food trucks and live music.

460, 500 & 540 Harrison Ave., 857-362-7692, sowaboston.com

Arnold Arboretum

This botanical gem, home to countless plant species, hosts the popular Lilac Sunday on May 12 from 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

125 Arborway, 617-524-1718, arboretum.harvard.edu

Emerald Necklace 

Consisting primarily of parks crafted by pioneering landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in the late 19th century, this lush chain of urban oases welcomes more than one million visitors every year, with a free guided bike tour on May 4 and a Back Bay Fens tour May 18. Also enjoy Party in the Park, a lavish outdoor luncheon fundraiser, at the Franklin Park Playstead, Pierpont Road, on May 15 at 11 a.m.

Shattuck Visitor Center: 125 The Fenway, 617-522-2700, emeraldnecklace.org

Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill 

On May 16 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., this annual tour sponsored by the venerable Beacon Hill Garden Club offers visitors a glimpse of some of the most exquisite private gardens in one of Boston’s toniest neighborhoods.


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