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.

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.

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)

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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