Special Places Where Most Visitors Don't Go
You've probably already realized that Boston hosts plenty of tourists, and maybe you're one of them. But did you know that Boston has a large number of historic sites, parks, museums, and neighborhoods that are very interesting and entertaining without huge crowds of tourists? Yes, indeed, Boston has a large number of hidden gems that will occupy your time for days. So, for your next trip, check out this list of the best hidden gems in Boston.
deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum
This 30 acres outdoor park and museum offers a peaceful place to explore with fields, gardens, lawns, forests, and terraces. It's located about 20 miles to the west of Boston, so if you're looking for a peaceful place to escape the city, this is a nice option.
51 Sandy Pond Rd, Lincoln, MA, 01773
Spectacle Island is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. It's just 20 minutes by ferry from downtown Boston and it offers a sandy oasis that's the perfect day trip from May through Columbus Day. There are lifeguards available during the summer months and a visitor center with a few exhibits. Many locals consider this to be one of the best beaches in the area. It also offers nice views of the city skyline when the weather is clear. For runners and walkers, there's a five mile loop that goes around the island.
Gibson House Museum
This 1859 house on Beacon Street was designed with an Italian Renaissance style. There are guided tours available that take you through the four floors that are ornately decorated with elegant staircases and Victorian style furniture. A highlight of the tour is seeing the kitchen and bathroom from the turn of the century.
137 Beacon St, Back Bay, Boston, MA, 02116
Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation
Located at Massachusetts General Hospital, this museum highlights the accomplishments of more than 200 years of research in the medical field. There are exhibits on various medical breakthroughs, as well up frequently updated features on the latest in medical technology. On the third floor there's a roof top garden that offers beautiful views of the Beacon Hill skyline. The Ether Dome is an amphitheater where anesthesia was first successfully used in 1846.
2 N Grove St, West End, Boston, MA, 02114
Castle Island Park & Fort Independence
Located in South Boston, this is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. There's a nice white sand beach where you can relax. Fort Independence is a granite fort dating back to 1851. Within the park there are two walking and running trails. For the easiest and shortest option, try the Castle Island Loop. The longer trail is the Pleasure Bay Loop. There are also great areas where you can enjoy a picnic and a nice playground that is perfect for kids who like to climb, jump, and run.
2010 William J Day Blvd, South Boston, Boston, MA, 02127
The Plumbing Museum
Located in Watertown, this unique museum is dedicated solely to the art of plumbing. It has historical plumbing fixtures and a number of unique, if not unusual, exhibits. It's a small museum, but if you're looking for something totally off-the-beaten-path, this is it!
80 Rosedale Rd, Watertown, MA, 02472
Back Bay Fens
Where Back Bay merges into Fenway, this large green space has a variety of interesting things to do and see. In addition to walking and biking trails, visitors can explore the rose garden and World War II memorial. Also here is an area of community gardens, a playground for the kids, and ball fields.
73 Park Dr, Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts
Nichols House Museum
The Nichols House Museum is located in an old Victorian mansion that was once owned by Rose Standish Nichols. This is a small and unique Boston museum that has a collection of art and furniture.
55 Mt Vernon St, Beacon Hill, Boston, MA, 02108
Part of Zoo New England and affiliated with the Franklin Park Zoo, this location is in the northern suburbs of Boston. Visitors here can view a variety of animal exhibits including monkeys, cougars, otters, porcupines, snakes, jaguars, and more. This is a great spot for kids if you're looking for something different outside of town.
149 Pond Street, Stoneham, Massachusetts, 02180
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $4 to $1,493. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $173. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in Boston
How much do vacation rentals cost in Boston? Prices vary by location, date, size of the place, and the level of luxury. See below for options.