Boston: Off the Beaten Path Things to Do

Fun, Irreverent, Quirky, and Different

Looking for something different on your next trip to Boston? Fortunately, this dynamic city offers some amazing things to do and attractions that are not on everyone's radar. And that's great for you if you want to explore some of the off-the-beaten-path places in Boston. So, for your next trip, check out some of these lesser-visited places that are just as interesting as their touristy counterparts.
Armenian Heritage Park
The Armenian Heritage Park is a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. It includes a sculpture and a reflecting pool.
79 Cross Street, Dock Square, Boston, Massachusetts, 02109
Improv Asylum
Improv Asylum is a popular improvisational comedy theater that has several shows a week.
1 Cambridge Street, Downtown Crossing, Boston, Massachusetts, 02201
Planning a trip to Boston? You might also be interested in Boston for Music Lovers and Boston: What to See and Do in the Spring.
The Institute of Contemporary Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art is in the Seaport District by the harbor. From the location you can enjoy impressive views of the Boston Harbor. The beautiful museum features 20th and 21st century work by notable women including Louise Bourgeois, Doris Salcedo, and Eva Hesse. There is also a satellite space that is opened seasonally during the summer months. It's accessible by shuttle but must be booked in advance.
25 Harbor Shore Drive, Seaport District, South Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, 02210
USS Cassin Young
The USS Cassin Young was a Fletcher-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy.
10 Third Street, Dock Square, Boston, Massachusetts, 02128
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
Boston has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: The Most Instagrammable Spots in Boston and A Culture Lover's Guide to Boston.
Arnold Arboretum
The Arnold Arboretum spreads out over 281 acres and is a major horticultural research institution. The arboretum was designed by C.S. Sargent working with Frederick Law Olmsted. It was designed with a less formal intent than most botanical gardens and today it offers a relaxing place to explore and enjoy nature.
125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA, 02130
First Harrison Gray Otis House
This 1796 Federal-style house has been fully restored with bright colors, and elegant but timely furnishings. It offers a glimpse at upper class life in Boston during the late 1700s and early 1800s. There's also an interesting architecture museum in the basement.
141 Cambridge Stree, West End, Boston, MA, 02114
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
Stone Zoo
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
Boston Nature Center
The Boston Nature Center is divided into three sections. There's the pollinator garden, which is designed to attract butterflies and other insects, the Clark-Cooper Community Gardens, which is a public garden for Boston residence, and the Boston Food Forest Coalition, which features edible plants. There's also a sensory trail and many birds throughout the grounds.
500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan, MA, 02126
The West End Museum
This local museum is focused on the history of the West End neighborhood in Boston. It's a smaller museum, but it's a fun and unique place to visit that offers a glimpse into the real West End neighborhood, it's history and culture, and everything that makes it special.
150 Staniford St Suite 7, West End, Boston, MA, 02114
Boston has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: A Nature Lover's Guide to Boston and Activities and Things to Do in the Fall in Boston.
Moakley Park and Carson Beach
Located in South Boston, this large park sits on the shore and has a beach and a kids playground, along with ball fields, too. The Dorothy Curran Playground has a terrific nautical theme that can keep your kids entertained for hours (and it also has a spray area in the summer months). Or, stroll over to either Carson Beach, L Street Beach, or M Street Beach on the other side of the field for some fun in the sand. The South Boston Bark Park at the upper end of the park will keep the dogs happy, too. Tennis courts, basketball courts, ball fields, and more can be found here, too. And finally, this is a good spot to hop on the trail that runs along the waterfront for your walk, run, or bike ride.
1005 Columbia Rd, South Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
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