What should I pack for a trip to Boston?

Answers from Our Experts (4)

If you’re only going to pack one thing for a trip to Boston, it should be your walking shoes. The Hub is one of America’s most walkable cities, so you’ll be spending a lot of time on foot exploring the city’s winding cobblestoned streets and historic sites. No matter what season you go, you’ll probably want to spend a lot of time outside. From the Freedom Trail to the Esplanade, most of Boston’s must-see sites are out in the elements. And since New England winters are not exactly kind, you should be prepared with layers — and boots, if necessary. Next up, be sure to pack a camera, gear to wear to a Red Sox game (Yankees fans, beware) and upscale attire to wear out to dinner or for strolling the luxury shops on Newbury Street.

Jonathan Nicholson

For a trip to Boston, be sure to pack:

1. Comfortable walking shoes

2. A sweater or jacket (we’re on the water, and some nights can get become cool)

3. Your appetite (there are a lot of great restaurants)

When traveling to Boston there are two main things that should determine your packing list: the season and the activities. Boston is “America’s Walking City,” so be sure to bring sneakers or comfortable shoes. In the spring, bring a wind jacket, lightweight clothing, and cardigans. In the summer, pack lightweight clothing, a bathing suit (if visiting the nearby beaches), sunglasses, baseball cap, flip-flops and sunblock. In the fall, bring a jacket for cool evenings, pants and layering clothes. For the winter, pack a heavy jacket, gloves, a hat, scarf and boots.

Melanie Nayer

There are a few essential items you'll need to bring with you on your trip to Boston, no matter what time of year:

  • Comfortable pair of walking shoes. Boston is a walking city and the best way to see it is on foot. Bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes so you can enjoy the city in any season.
  • Light sweater. Regardless of what season you visit, you'll want a light sweater to wear during the evening. Even in the winter, restaurants and museums can get cold and you won't want to wear a heavy jacket the entire time. In the summer and fall months, the evenings can get chilly and you'll want to keep the chill off.
  • Sunglasses and swim wear. Most hotels in Boston have swimming pools, which make for a great bad-weather day activity. Don't forget your swimsuit, and be sure to bring a pair of sunglasses, too. Even in the winter, the sun shines bright in Boston.

Boston is a casual city, so you won't have to worry about packing a suitcase full of fancy wear when you visit. A few nice items like jewelry, a scarf, or dress shoes, will dress up any casual outfit and make it appropriate for nighttime. There aren't too many restaurants in Boston that have with dress codes.

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