We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

How long in boston and best time of year to go

Which Boston hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
UK
Level Contributor
53 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
How long in boston and best time of year to go

I am in the early stages of planning a holiday to Boston and then planning on travelling down the east coast to Wash DC. Can anyone tell me how long you would recommend we spend in Boston and what time of year is best (or what time of year it is best to avoid)? We would be in the US for three weeks in total.

Thanks!

Cambridge, MA
Level Contributor
791 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: How long in boston and best time of year to go

Without knowing more about what your intentions are it's difficult to say how many days here would allow you to satisfy them. Would you be wanting to set aside time to amble through art museums? Are historic sites high on your list? Is taking advantage of the exchange rate and "shopping 'til you drop" a priority? Are you looking to do side trips out from town for scenery or education, or just experience the cities? You would want to set aside a minimum of 3-4 days regardless, but a more in-depth advisement would help.

How many intermediate stops are you looking to do? Only NYC and Philadelphia, perhaps Baltimore? Or would you allow for a day in Newport, Mystic Seaport/Mohegan Sun, ...? Three weeks sounds ample taken at face value, but the exploration of Boston and New England could easily use it all up! So could DC and New York, respectively.

Our summers and winters can get "beastly," but spring and fall are both fantastic weather-wise along the entire Eastern Seaboard. In this region, the best intervals of all to visit in would be between mid-April and late May or between mid-September and late October: mild, if not warm, days and cool nights. Then again, beach bums would say "June through August" and ski fanatics would vote for January.

Kent, UK
Level Contributor
279 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: How long in boston and best time of year to go

Hi Kath04

We did this trip in August. Had to do it in August because I work in education. We too did three weeks.

We started in Boston - New York - Washington DC - Niagara - Toronto - Lake Placid - Lincoln - Salem - Boston. The only two I would skip would be Toronto and Salem. The rest were brilliant.

If I were to do it again I'd say May / June or Sept / October.

Happy Planning.

Shell

Staffordshire...
Level Contributor
303 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: How long in boston and best time of year to go

Lucky you, the planning stage is always fun. I'm a huge Boston fan and have visited in all seasons. By far, my favourite is the fall not only because the scenery is so awesome, but also because the temperature is usually lovely. Cool mornings, warmish days. I'd say that a week in Boston is just about right, it gives you time to do all the usual museum touristy things, but also time just to wander around the city. Washington DC is my 2nd favourite city so you'll have a great time.

Sterling, VA
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
12,141 posts
139 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: How long in boston and best time of year to go

Mid-May is when College commencements occur---not only in Boston but in DC, too. In Boston, college students move into their rooms on Labor Day Weekend (1st Monday in September). So if you do plan to visit at either of these times, make your hotel reservations well in advance. Having said that, spring or fall in terms of weather, would be best. You don't want to be in DC during the summer---too hot and humid! While Boston can be humid in the summer, it is much easier to take than DC.

Boston
Level Contributor
130 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: How long in boston and best time of year to go

Being a lifelong Bostonian and avid skier, I used to love winter the best. But for visiting, I'd definitely say a fall visit is the best. Mid-Sept thru Oct. Staying in Boston proper, though, keep in mind that the Head of the Charles Regatta weekend is around the 3rd weekend in October. This is the great big rowing competition on the Charles River near Harvard U. The hotel rooms book up solid for this. But like others have said, the temps are just right. Worst case, you don a sweatshirt or comfy fall coat. Boston is plenty full of excitement in the fall. All the students are back on campus. The Red Sox are hopefully making a stretch run for the baseball playoffs. The Patriots football season is back under way. So there's lots of sports excitement in the bars. And there are a plethora of short day trips that you can make, from apple picking along the Rt 495 belt to pumpkin picking to viewing the fall colors along the Common/Public Garden/Comm.Ave. or even out to Amherst/hadley/Northampton in the Pioneer Valley. Enjoy!!!