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.

first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

Which Boston hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Thornhill, Canada
Level Contributor
79 posts
72 reviews
Save Topic
first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

We would love to visit the city and stay somewhere central but the rates in the summer, actually most of the year, are very high. It is great value in Feb. but I wonder if we are foolish to think of it. We want to visit the art museums and see all the main sights. Is it worth waiting and paying almost twice as much or is public transportation good enough that we will manage without freezing? Is the city full of wind tunnels like Toronto is in the downtown core? Would appreciaate feedback.

Boston
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
16,232 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

Boston has great public tranportation system, mostly underground. However, when you do surface, you will have to face the wind. There's a reason why it costs less in winter, but only you can make that trade-off.

MA
Destination Expert
for New England
Level Contributor
6,103 posts
189 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

It's cold. And yes, there are wind tunnels. But, just layer up and dress warmly. Look ahead at the weather forecast and pick the sunniest day to walk the Freedom Trail. Be aware that the third week of February is school vacation week and the museums may be more crowded during the weekdays than usual.

Somerville...
Level Contributor
1,406 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

Summer, summer, a thousand times summer!!

Boston
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
6,290 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

Summer. Deals can be had through travelzoo, and hotwire.

February only if you plan to be spending a lot of time indoors i.e. museums, theater.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
349 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

If you can do a last-minute booking, start checking 10-day forecasts and pick a period where it looks like it's not going to be bad before booking. We do get lucky with warm days even in February sometimes.

Cambridge...
Level Contributor
477 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

Summer is really a glorious time to be in Boston and I would say its at least double the enjoyment you are likely to have in February. Many Bostonians are desperately trying to leave town in February. I'd shoot for a summer visit and look for deals or ways to economize. Many of the Boston area's charms are related to water (visiting Cape Cod, whale watching, strolling along the Charles River) or the outdoors (a baseball game at Fenway Park, a walk on the Freedom Trail or in Minuteman National Park) and all of these are going to be unpleasant if even possible in February. Sure there are things to keep you busy in February - live theater, all sorts of music, fine dining, the Museum of Fine Arts - but summer beats February by a long shot.

Boston
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
16,232 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

Good response!

Dallas, Texas
Destination Expert
for Boston, Orlando, Walt Disney World, Las Vegas
Level Contributor
25,053 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

Winter you freeze like we are doing now,Summer is the time to go.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
506 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

Having spent 6 days in a very cold Boston over New Year, my vote would go for summer as well.

Interestingly, I found it colder in the built-up central areas than the exposed waterfront. The winter sun can be so low in the sky that much of the built up city is in constant shade, the wind felt stronger in the wind tunnels around Boylston than out on the waterfront.

No matter how well wrapped up you are, there comes a point when it's just too cold. If you're normally outdoors walking type of people, you may find the weather a bit restrictive.

Boston...
Level Contributor
12,883 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: first time visit to Boston - summer versus winter

Does it have to be either/or? How about a compromise? Spring and fall can be comfortably warm and lovely.