Things to Do

More Than Foliage: 8 Great Fall Activities In Boston

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Boston Common pond in autumn under a willow tree.

When you think of Boston in the fall, the New England countryside likely comes to mind, with its epic fall foliage and the changing colors of autumn. And while we love that (like, really love it), Boston has a lot more to offer you during the fall season than just apple orchards, pumpkins and aesthetically pleasing photos. There are tons of fall activities in the city worth checking out that are just as fun and Insta-worthy. So, park the car (must be pronounced like “pahk the cah”), grab your coziest fall sweater and a PSL to-go (or whatever your fall drink of choice is) and get exploring.

1. Whale Watching Along the Coast

While aboard a 7 Seas Whale Watch cruise, you can observe whales and other marine life in their natural habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, blue whales, seals, humpback whales and so many more! Perfect for all ages, these whale tours are ​​designed to educate and provide a deeper appreciation of the marine environment. But catch ’em fast — the whale watching season in Boston runs from April to October.

A whale's tail about to sink into water.

Book a whale watching tour with our deal.

2. A Lighthouse Tour

Brighten up your day with a two-hour tour of Boston Harbors’ historic lighthouses. You’ll learn about maritime traditions as you marvel at some of Boston’s most iconic lighthouses (including Long Island Light, Graves Light, and Boston Light). Each tour has onboard narration by volunteers from the United States Coast Guard to personalize and guide your trip.

More sightseeing tours in Boston.

3. Guided Running Tour

If you love staying active even on vacation, this heart-pumping tour led by Run Through Boston is for you. Jog over century-old cobblestone streets and past some of Boston’s most popular destinations like Newbury Street, Copley Square and even across the Boston Marathon finish line! This guided running tour is the perfect way to explore Boston in the fall, both for the gorgeous views and the breezy autumn weather. End your educational and endorphin-releasing tour at a local coffee shop for a refreshing beverage of your choice.

Reserve your spot with Run Through Boston.

4. Fall Foliage Cruise

Maybe you’ve gone leaf peeping before, but have you done it on a 1920s-style yacht? Enjoy Boston Harbors’ breathtaking views aboard the elegant Northern Lights Cruise as you wrap yourself in a blanket and breathe in the autumn air with a hot cider in hand. With both brunch and lunch options available, you can take in the changing colors of the New England coast as you enjoy a delicious catered meal.

Boston Common pond in autumn under a willow tree.

See more Boston boat tour deals.

5. Boston Ghost City Tours

Autumn means Halloween, and Halloween means ghosts. You can see where we’re going with this, so brave yourself for a fright-filled evening on this chilling adults-only tour. Named the “Death and Dying Ghost Tour,” this creepy adventure from Boston Ghost City Tours explores the darker side of the city. If you dare, you’ll visit and hear the stories of Boston’s most-haunted locations, such as King’s Chapel Burying Grounds, Boston Commons and the Omni Parker House Hotel. 

Book your ghost tour.

6. A City Photo Tour

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a sightseeing tour, and this one from Photowalks ventures all over the city. Enjoy crisp fall weather as you walk the picturesque tree-lined streets of Beacon Hill and Back Bay, renowned for their architecture and grand Victorian brownstones. The changing colors of trees from crimson red to pumpkin orange complement the beauty of the old buildings. Be sure to bring your camera for some epic fall-inspired pics.

Woman walking down cobblestone street in Back Bay with pumpkins on stoops.

Book your tour here.

7. Cider Hill Farms

OK, you didn’t think we’d complete the list without at least one orchard, right?! Pack all your favorite fall activities into one spot at Cider Hill Farm in nearby Amesbury. This place has it all: pick-your-own fruit and flower options, hard cider, donuts and an onsite bakery and food truck. We love all the events they offer, too, including an annual peach festival and a hard cider bar and music fest. 

Explore more food and drink options in Boston.

Charles River in Boston with rowers at sunrise

8. Boston Esplanade

This leafy three-mile park stretches along the Charles River and draws you in with a breathtaking view of Boston in the fall. The park hosts lots of free concerts, movies, shows and festivals that overlook the river. But on an average day, you can expect to find the idyllic park filled with locals watching sailboats drift by or taking a scenic stroll. (Insider tip: you can only access the park by footbridges across traffic-filled Storrow Drive.)

We love that the Esplanade is a bit off-the-beaten path. It makes the park feel like a hidden gem and an even more desirable destination. When it comes to things to do in Boston in fall, this should def be on your list!

Check out more fall activities in Boston.

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