Destination

A trolley in the middle of the street with several people and buildings around it

If you ask me, Boston is the most exciting city in New England to explore. Between the incredible history, charming character, coastal scenery, and amazing culinary scene, it offers such a diverse mix of things to do for just about any kind of traveler.

If you’re planning your trip to Boston, and are wondering if there’s a best time to visit Boston, you’ve come to the right place. This post details what my pick is for the best season and month to visit, and breaks down different suggestions based on your budget, seasonal activities, and so much more.

The Best Time To Visit Boston Depending on Your Preferences

Generally, May-October is the best time to visit Boston, with the fall season being especially nice because the city bursts with foliage color.

This general time frame is also the busiest season for the city, and when you can expect the biggest crowds and highest prices.

But because many of the best things to do in Boston are a lot more fun in nicer weather, it’s worth it to visit this time of the year.

When To Visit Boston For The Best Weather

This really depends on what you consider nice weather!

To avoid as much rain as possible, July and August are your best bet. The trade off is that you’ll experience the hottest days of the year during these months, but summer is most definitely in full swing in Boston around this time!

For more mild weather, late May, June, and September most closely resemble summer weather with slightly higher chances of rain, but also lower temperatures.

October tends to strike a great balance of weather with cooler temperatures and more of a chance of rain, but generally is very pleasant and comfortable for walking around.

The winter season will provide some of the worst weather, where you’ll experience cold temperatures and snowfall. Sometimes even winter rain and slush.

The Best Month To Visit Boston – My Pick

Overall, October is my pick for the best month to visit Boston, and this is also one of the best times to visit New England in general.

There is something very magical about the fall foliage color around the city in October, which perfectly enhances the New England charm and architecture you’ll see during your visit.

The weather in October is also really nice. It tends to be a bit warmer than other parts of New England, but still usually offers that crisp autumn air everyone loves. The heat and humidity are also typically gone by this point.

You do experience a higher chance of rain in October, but with an average of 7 days of rainfall during this month, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy the city on a sunny day, too.

When To Visit Boston For Fall Foliage

fall foliage in a park with highrise buildings in the background
Fall, one of the best times to visit Boston

Boston tends to peak a bit later than most parts of New England, with the best time to visit being the third week of October.

It’s good to know that with fall foliage, it’s never an exact science, though. It could arrive a bit earlier, or a bit later, and it all depends on several factors throughout the year.

Weather conditions as late as the first part of October could impact when foliage decides to peak in Boston, so it’s best to be flexible if that’s your main reason for visiting.

Generally speaking, though, late October is a good bet.

When To Visit Boston For Whale Watching

Whale watching season is such a treat. Tours from Boston take you to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, which is a world-class destination for viewing wildlife!

The season in this region typically runs from April to November, with tours in Boston running from May through mid-November. Within these months, there is no best time to take a tour, as marine life is active during the entire time frame.

The Most Expensive Time To Visit Boston

June through August and October are the most expensive times to visit Boston. The summer months are expensive because this is when you’ll find the best weather with lots of outdoor activities and concerts, and October hotel prices will spike because of fall foliage.

The Cheapest Time To Visit Boston

A snow covered street with brick buildings on both sides and an American flag

The cheapest time to visit is January to mid-April, when the weather is the worst in Boston.

That said, the city is such a great place to explore year-round due to the variety of things to do. So, if you’re on a budget, this could be the perfect time to visit, as you’ll save quite a bit on hotel rates!

When To Visit Boston To Start A New England Road Trip

A lot of people use Boston as the starting point for a road trip around New England, and this is exactly where you should start your adventure!

If you’re planning a coastal drive, like a Boston to Bar Harbor, Maine road trip, the best time to plan this drive is June through early September, as this is when all seasonal businesses along the coast will be open.

If you’re planning a fall foliage trip around the region, a good time to start is early to mid-October, and it’s best to enjoy the fall foliage around Boston at the end of your itinerary, since it peaks later than other places around New England.

A Seasonal Guide To Boston

Summer In Boston

Most definitely a top time to visit the city, summer in Boston is, in a word – lively.

Everyone loves to be outdoors in the summer in the city, so you’ll find restaurants opening up sidewalk dining, beer gardens abuzz with people, and in general, most everyone is enjoying the outdoors.

The trade off to this, though, is the very hot and humid weather. It’s common to experience highs in the mid-80sF (30C) in July and August, and the high humidity will often make it feel much warmer.

Since this is a popular season to visit, you’ll want to make reservations well in advance.

Fall In Boston

An aerial view of Boston during fall with lots of trees with fall foliage

As mentioned, fall in Boston offers the best of both worlds – generally pleasant, cooler weather mixed with amazing fall colors.

This is also another popular season to visit, so you’ll want to make plans in advance for dining reservations, hotels, and tours.

Since this is another popular time to visit the city, you’ll also want to anticipate crowds.

Winter In Boston

Winter is typically cold and snowy in Boston, but it also kicks off with a very festive holiday season in December, which is a great time to visit.

January-March, however, you can expect below-freezing temperatures, the occasional snowstorm, and also fluctuations in weather that include freezing rain and slush.

That said, winter in Boston isn’t always bad when it comes to weather. It’s just, unfortunately, unreliable. You can also experience mild and sunny days this time of the year, but it’s hard to guarantee or plan when those will be.

Spring In Boston

A park with a lake and trees in spring

Spring in Massachusetts is generally a season of transition, and Boston is no exception. The weather can be a bit volatile in the spring, but the later in the season you visit, the better it gets.

Late March through April is when you can expect the worst spring weather, which will vary between cold and snow, to warmer and more mild.

Once May arrives you’re more likely to have warmer days and sunshine, with some rain mixed in. Of all the spring months to visit, June is the best in terms of weather.

What To Expect Each Month in Boston & Seasonal Events

January

This is the coldest month in Boston, but you’ll often find the cheapest hotel rates. So, while it may seem risky to visit in January, it could pay off if you plan your trip just right.

Upscale hotels in Boston will offer deep discounts and special winter getaway packages, which are great to take advantage of. Additionally, there are so many wonderful things to do indoors to make a January trip worth it, including theater shows and concerts, museums, fun dining experiences, and the New England Aquarium.

You won’t find many crowds this month, making this a great time to visit if you’re looking for a more peaceful getaway.

You can also head outdoors, and go ice skating in Boston Common and the adorable ice rink at Frog Pond.

Average weather in January in Boston: 37/22F (3/-6C), with 8 days of snowfall.

February

A snow covered statue surrounded by snow covered trees
Boston Public Garden in winter

Much like January, February in Boston is cold, and likely snowy, as this is the second coldest month of the year. Hotel rates continue to stay pretty low, but may increase the week of Valentine’s Day.

There are lots of fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Boston, too, so this is a wonderfully romantic winter getaway to plan. Plan a romantic night out at the Candlelight Concert series, book some luxurious spa treatments, grab some amazing chocolate and hot cocoa from L.A. Burdick, and hold hands ice skating at Frog Pond.

Crowds continue to be pretty light in February, making this another great month to visit for a less hectic visit, and explore all the indoor attractions.

Average weather in February in Boston: 39/24F (4/-4C), with 7 days of snowfall.

March

March is the month when things begin to warm up a bit, and you’ll experience those “teaser” days when it feels like spring is definitely on the way, but also, days that still very much feel like winter.

It’s a bit of a mixed bag this month! Boston has also been known to have snowstorms in March, but this is generally not as common.

March also brings Restaurant Week to the city, so this is a great time for foodies to visit! Hotel prices begin to rise just a bit, but are still generally much lower than peak season pricing.

This continues to be another great month for exploring indoor activities like museums and theater shows, but one exciting event takes place in March – the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. You may see a spike in hotel rates for the holiday, and you’ll definitely experience a lot of people around the city around this time.

Average weather in March in Boston: 46/31F (8/-1C), with 8 days of snowfall or rain.

April

An aerial view of the city of Boston with Fenway Park most prominently pictured
Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox

One of Boston’s most famous events takes place in April – Opening day for the Red Sox at Fenway! Because of this, you’ll start to see a few more crowds around the city, but generally, April continues to be more on the quiet side.

The weather in April is also a bit iffy. While warmer than March, there’s a small chance for a random snow shower, but there’s also a good amount of rain. Toward the end of the month, the city begins to turn green again, and some spring flowers begin to bloom, too.

Average weather in April in Boston: 57/41F (14/5C), with 8 days of rain.

May

May is an exciting month for Boston, as it begins to consistently feel like spring (finally!), and lots of fun events take place around the city.

The first thing to have on your radar is the beautiful flush of tulips blooming at the Public Gardens, which typically happens the first two weeks in May. With over 25,000 sprinkled around the park, you can imagine what a beautiful and colorful display this creates! This alone makes May one of the best times to visit Boston.

Coinciding with Mother’s Day, families with younger children can also participate in the Duckling Day Parade for an especially adorable event to attend.

Lastly, Memorial Day brings not only special observances, but the Boston Calling Music Festival, which is one of the best music festivals to experience in the Northeast.

With all these fun events in May, this is the month where you’ll start to see a bigger increase in crowds around the city, as well as higher hotel prices.

Average weather in May in Boston: 67/50F (19/10C), with 8 days of rain.

June

A harbor surrounded by high-rise buidlings
Boston Harbor

June brings some of the best, most comfortable weather to the city with warm days that aren’t overly hot just yet, making this a nice month to visit toward the end of the spring season.

This is the month when boat cruises around the harbor are in full swing, and the city really starts to feel busy. Beer gardens are opening up, the Red Sox have lots of home games, and outdoor dining is taking over the sidewalks.

June is also a great month to book some outdoor tours because of the mild weather. Whale watching tours, historic walking tours, and food tours are especially great in June.

Hotel prices begin to really spike in June, but the very nice weather makes it worth it!

Average weather in June in Boston: 77/59F (25/15C), with 8 days of rain.

July

July brings the true high season to Boston, along with hot and humid weather.

This is an especially exciting month to visit because of the Boston Pops July Fourth concert and fireworks, the special fireworks cruises around the harbor, and Harborfest.

Beyond all the July Fourth celebrations, this is one of the best times to visit Boston for reliable summer weather, scenic summer sunset cruises, and whale watching.

Average weather in July in Boston: 82/66F (28/19C), with 6 days of rain.

August

Taylor Swift perfroming at a crowded Gillette stadium
Taylor Swift at Gillette Stadium

Much like July, August continues to be hot and humid, but the city is abuzz with so many great ways to enjoy the outdoors.

At the big music venues around Boston like the Xfinity Center and Gillette Stadium, the concert schedule is usually packed with scheduled performances.

Rooftop bars are a great way to cool off with a cold cocktail while enjoying the city landscapes, and grabbing an ice cream cone is going to be a good idea!

Average weather in August in Boston: 81/65F (27/18C), with 7 days of rain.

September

September brings the official end of the summer season in Boston, but unofficially, summer is still in full swing in September.

The upside to visiting Boston in September is saving just a bit on hotel costs, and less humid temperatures outside. But you’ll still experience warm days perfect for cruises on the harbor, whale watching tours, and dining outdoors.

Quite a few fall festivals will begin to take place in September, too, including Oktoberfest (despite what the name suggests!), and Ciderfest.

In the beginning of September, there’s also usually a free movie night at Frog Pond, which is a great way to celebrate the end of summer.

Average weather in September in Boston: 73/58F (23/14C), with 6 days of rain.

October

A street with brick buildings, an American flag and fall foliage

As mentioned, this is my top pick for the best month to visit Boston, and for very good reason! Not only is the weather a lot more mild, the trees around the city begin to burst with fall color for a city escape that also feels very cozy.

Despite this being pretty much a perfect month to visit, it’s another high tourist season in the city, so you’ll want to prepare for high prices at hotels, and big crowds.

In addition to October being a great month for pretty much everything Boston has to offer in the way of attractions, food tours, shopping and more, Boston is also very close to Salem, which has their own Haunted Happenings event all month long. You can take a ferry from Boston to Salem, which makes it the perfect place to plan a day trip to enhance your October visit.

This is the month when many boat tour operators end for the season, and while some continue through early November, it’s a good idea to check prior to planning your visit if this is something you definitely want to do.

Average weather in October in Boston: 62/47F (17/8C), with 7 days of rain.

November

One of the most underrated months to visit Boston is November. This is another season of transition in the city, but depending on when you visit, it could very much still feel like fall, without the hefty price tag.

Since fall foliage doesn’t peak until later in October in Boston, it often sticks around through the first part of November. Of course, this entirely depends on the year, and if foliage peaked on-time, or later than usual. But the first part of November often provides all the fall vibes.

The second half of November usually brings much chillier weather, so you’ll want to plan accordingly to stay warm.

Some boat tours may still run during the first part of November, but many have closed for the season. It could also depend on the year, and some may decide to extend their season if it’s been especially warm. This is just something to know ahead of time if you were planning on booking a tour around the harbor.

November also tends to be a more affordable month to visit, so you’ll likely find some nice deals at hotels. You’ll also experience a lot of holiday kick-off events around Thanksgiving.

Average weather in November in Boston: 52/38F (11/3C), with 8 days of rain or snowfall.

December

Christmas decorations in a typical American shopping street with several people

December, of course, brings the magic of the holiday season, and you’ll find so many beautiful light displays around the city, festive decorations, and lots of fun holiday events to check out.

Weather wise, December is another month of unpredictable forecasts. Some days, it could be mild and sunny, and others, cold and snowy. It really just depends on your luck when you visit.

That said, the holiday festivities will keep your spirits up, and there are several big trees around the city to enjoy, a festive hot cocoa cruise around the harbor, the Boston Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker, and great little holiday markets to enjoy.

Average weather in December in Boston: 42/28F (6/-2C), with 9 days of rain or snowfall.

Also Read: Planning a Trip to New York For Christmas

Where To Stay In Boston

The best areas of the city to stay in are definitely downtown, the North End, or Back Bay. These areas are walkable to most of the city’s best attractions, as well as lots of dining and shopping.

Here are some of the best hotels in these areas to check out:

Also Read: Boston Highlights – Places to Visit, Where to Eat & Where to Stay

Conclusion

Now you have the inside scoop on the best time to visit Boston!

Depending on what your priorities are, the city really has something exciting to offer in all the different seasons.

Whether you’re all about that summer weather, or the fall season is more your style, or you’re excited to plan a magical Christmas getaway, one thing’s for sure – Boston is always a memorable experience!

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Author: Samantha Hamilton
Sam is the creator and writer of New England Wanderlust, a leading online resource for traveling the New England region. She lives in Upstate New York, and for over 10 years, she’s made it her mission to explore as much of the Northeast as possible. Boston and Cape Cod are her most frequented destinations, and they almost feel like a second home to her. She loves to inspire her readers to explore this corner of the world by showcasing its incredible beauty, while sharing her expert tips and insider knowledge on the region.

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