Spring has arrived! Trees are starting to bloom, birds are on the wing, and we are excited to spend more time outdoors and explore fun cultural activities. Springtime in Boston for conference attendees—it just doesn’t get better! The city is alive and there is so much to do in and around Boston. Here are the 12 largest attractions in Massachusetts according to the Boston Business Journal:
1) Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Located in Downtown Boston, steps away from the waterfront, Faneuil’s Hall Marketplace’s roots date back to 1742. The marketplace is actually four places in one location all set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians and musicians entertain the passers-by. Over 40 food vendors serve local specialties in the marketplace and you can enjoy the nearby restaurants or shop for Boston souvenirs. faneuilhallmarketplace.com
2) The Freedom Trail
Put your walking shoes on! The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads to 16 nationally significant historic sites including museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, ships, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. The red brick line connects the sites on the Trail and serves as a guide. thefreedomtrail.org
3) New England Aquarium
The 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank is the centerpiece of the Aquarium. Enjoy sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, seals, seadragons, giant octopuses, moon jellies, and much more. In addition to the main aquarium building, go on a whale watch cruise or enjoy a 3D movie at the IMAX theater. Founded in 1969, the New England Aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. neaq.org
4) Minute Man National Historical Park
Travel back in time! At Minute Man National Historical Park, the Battles of Lexington and Concord are brought to life through the preservation, restoration and interpretation of significant sites from April 19, 1775, when Colonists took up arms in defense of liberty and touched off the American Revolution. Along a five-mile trail, retrace the steps of the British through a restored colonial landscape and stop for a drink at the 18th century Hartwell Tavern. nps.gov
5) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world. The collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. It welcomes more than one million visitors each year to experience art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs. The museum is affiliated with an art academy, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and a sister museum, the Nagoya Museum of Fine Arts in Japan. mfa.org
6) Cheers Boston
Cheers to you! Cheers Boston is the inspiration for the setting of the TV series Cheers with two Boston locations. The first one is the pub known internationally as the exterior of the bar and is on Beacon Hill, one of the most historical and beautiful neighborhood in Boston. The second pub is at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and was built with a replica of the TV show set. The NBC television sitcom ran from 1982 to 1993. cheersboston.com
Stay put for Part 2 and visit the Boston Attractions section of our website for more information.
The Freedom Trail
The Museum of Fine Art
Minute Man National Historical Park
For the fourth year running, the Lonely Planet’s travel experts have scoured the States to help their readers pick the best destinations. Boston was rated as one of the top 10 places in the U.S. that should be on travelers’ radars this year!
Lonely Planet is one of the largest travel guide book publishers in the world with over 100 million books printed in nine different languages. Lonely Planet enables curious travelers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place. It has offices in Melbourne, London and Oakland, with over 450 employees and over 200 authors.
Here is a sample of what Lonely Planet suggests when visiting Boston: “Year-round, the past is very much alive here, follow in America’s revolutionary founders’ footsteps on the Freedom Trail, stopping to imbibe a bit of history at the Bell in Hand Tavern, the oldest tavern in the USA. Once summer hits, the city’s usual festivities are in full swing: all sorts of festivals abound, beer gardens and restaurant patios overflow, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene keep Bostonians content as the humidity yields to stunning, vibrantly colored autumn. A favorite place to stay is the Omni Parker House, a historic hotel overlooking the Freedom Trail that has employed Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh, and accommodated Charles Dickens and JFK.”
Boston is indeed America's most historic and storied city in the U.S. It offers an incomparable mix of history, culture, entertainment and sports, which has a huge appeal. It’s also an outstanding destination for your events as it attracts more attendees and provides them with more compelling things to see and do. Boston is easy to access, can accommodate any size event, offers impeccable services and gives you the flexibility to do your event your way!
Find out why Boston is the perfect fit for your event by visiting the Boston section of our website >>
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) is predicted to break two major records in 2014, hosting events generating more hotel room nights and more economic impact than ever before in the city’s history, according to MCCA Executive Director James E. Rooney. The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
More than 750,000 attendees at roughly 250 events at the BCEC and Hynes are projected to spend 629,000 nights in hotels and drum up $680 million in economic activity, breaking the 2006 record of 616,000 room nights and the 2012 record of $656 million.
“Breaking these records in 2014 is more proof that Boston has arrived as a premiere convention destination in the world,” said Rooney.
Among the biggest events for next year: the American College of Rheumatology’s November convention with 38,358 room nights, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s April gathering with 35,475 room nights, and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans with 33,450 rooms nights.
The year kicks off with a skating rink built at the BCEC for the Prudential US Figure Skating Championships followed by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Jan. 12-15, a group representing more than 6,000 meeting industry leaders and decision makers from around the world. In addition, 2014 marks the debut of two Boston events that will be co-owned by the MCCA—the Culinary Intelligence Summit and the Advanced Audio & Applications Exchange.
Annual events in Boston continue to thrive in 2014, including the amazing gaming conference PAX East, which sold out in November. Other annual events include Yankee Dental Congress, the International Boston Seafood Show, Anime Boston, and New England Grows.
Continuing our effort to attract multicultural conventions, Boston will also see a significant number of diversity-based events in 2014, including Sigma Pi Phi Beat Boule, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Eastern Regional Conference.
International rotating events coming to Boston this year include the World Congress on Biomechanics, The World Congress on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Telecommunications and the International Society for Computational Biology. These knowledge-based events bring thought leaders and scientists from around the world in Boston.
“The record 2014 for hotel room nights in Boston and all of our other robust activity points to the growing need to expand our capacity in the meetings and convention industry and secure our future role.“ said Michelle A. Shell, chair of the MCCA Board of Directors. “With the hopeful passage of legislation next year to expand the BCEC and the push to build more hotel space around the BCEC, we are on firm ground to break even more records in the coming years.”
Find out more about the BCEC expansion plans by visiting the Expansion Plan page of our website.
This is the second part of our free and exciting things to do in Boston post! There is no shortage of things to see and do in the Boston area, even for those of your attendees on a tight budget. Click here if you missed the first part >>
Gaze at the Stars
Pick out your favorite constellation at the Coit Observatory at Boston University, which offers free stargazing Wednesdays after 7:30 p.m. during the fall and winter and 8:30 p.m. during the spring and summer. Observe the night sky through telescopes and binoculars and learn some astronomy.
Taste our local beer
Sam Adams Brewery offers tours of the Jamaica Plain facility with discussion of how founder Jim Koch brews the beer. Tours and tastings are Monday through Saturday starting every half hour. Similarly, Harpoon Brewery hosts tastings every weekday at 4 p.m., with additional tastings on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Enjoy Fine Arts
As part of Free Community Days, the Museum of Fine Arts offers days of free admission. The collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. Check the museum's calendar. Meanwhile, girls named Isabella get in free at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the museum also offers free birthday admission!
Tour the State House
Explore the magnificent Massachusetts State House and its golden dome. It’s a beautiful building on the inside with Italian marble and lots of paintings and antique furniture and it’s located in the historical Beacon Hill area. Tours last 45 minutes and include an overview of the history and architecture. Visitors can see the House and Senate Chambers, learn about the “Ladybug” and the “Sacred Cod". The tours are given weekdays and year-round.
Visit an art gallery
Last week, paintings by Rolling Stone guitarist and artist Ronnie Wood hang on the walls at Newbury Fine Arts on Newbury Street during an opening gallery reception. More than 15 art galleries showcasing a unique assemblage of contemporary artists line either side of Newbury Street. Also enjoy the hundreds of shops and restaurants that make the street a popular destination for tourists and locals.
Enjoy Modern Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art not only has a great unconventional art collection but is also very interesting for its architecture. The museum is all glass and sharp angles, a stark departure from the city’s presiding aesthetic. The rear of the museum is a cantilevered glass expanse that hovers over Boston Harbor. The museum is free on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Please your ears
Listen to jazz and rock performed by Berklee College of Music’s seniors in the Red Room at Café 939. Berklee is one of the most prestigious school of music in the world. Or if you have a more classical taste, go to the Boston Landmarks Orchestra for a classical performance.
Isabella Stewart Gartner Museum
Massachusetts State House
Institute of Contempory Art
Samuel Adams Brewery
Museum of Fine Arts
Cafe 939 at Berklee
Your attendees will never be bored in Boston. There are so many things to see and do in Boston and its surroundings, even for those on a tight budget! Check out the following free attractions and stay put for more.
Climb Bunker Hill Monument
Climb the 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument for unparalleled views of the Boston skyline. The Bunker Hill Monument was built to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill. The 221 foot (67 m) granite obelisk erected between 1827 and 1843 in Charleston.
Soak up the energy of Harvard Square
Harvard Square is not only home to the esteemed Harvard University, but also to more than 300 registered street performers. Also check out the Author Event Series, lectures, and signings at the Harvard Book Store.
Walk along the Freedom Trail
Get a real taste of history by taking a self-guided tour along all or part of the 2.5 mile trail. Just follow the red-brick or red-painted line from the Visitor Information Center on the Boston Common and enjoy the 16 historic stops along the way, including Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere's house, and the Old North Church.
Blink! At Faneuil Hall
Blink! featuring the music of the Holiday Pops, is a state-of-the-art light and sound extravaganza that has transformed every inch of America's first open marketplace. This magical new tradition uses over 350,000 LED lights to illuminate Boston’s skyline. This is a summer event only.
Tour the USS Constitution
The USS Constitution, also known as "Old Ironsides," cruises Boston Harbor. Take a tour of the Navy yard, exhibit hall, and oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.
Work out on the Esplanade
Take a sunset yoga class, a zumba class or join the run club on the Esplanade. If walking is your exercise then join a power walk through the beautiful park. The Esplanade extends for three miles along the Boston shore of the Charles River. This program is only offered in the summer.
Take a stroll along the Harbor
The Boston Harborwalk is a broad public walkway that has been highlighted by cafes, artwork, parks, museums and water taxis. You can take a self-guided tour of any part of the 40-mile path, which stretches from Charlestown to South Boston, by downloading an audio guide onto your MP3 player.
This list is a good complement to our older post “10 top Things to Do in the Boston Area in the Spring and Summer”
that you should check out if you are planning a summer event in Boston
Every year, Boston adds new venues and attractions to its long lists of things to see and do. Last year, we featured the reopening of the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Here are 5 new things that your attendees will have fun doing:
Experience the Coolest Bar in Boston
Frost Ice Bar will be the first ice bar in New England and the largest in the world! It’s scheduled to open in early July at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The entire surroundings from the walls and bar to the furniture and drink glasses will be made of ice. Also featuring attractions such as ice sculptures, Frost Ice Bar will provide a unique, multi-sensory, and constantly changing experience.
Laugh on the Waterfront
Laugh Boston is a new 297-seat comedy venue scheduled to open this summer at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in South Boston. Laugh Boston will specialize in stand-up comedy on a grand scale and showcase both local and national acts, as well as offer unique corporate training opportunities. This is a great venue for group outings and is next door to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Capture the Eternal Warrior Spirit
The Samourai Armor exhibit is at the Museum of Fine Art! Go back in time and discover remarkable objects that illuminate the life, culture, and pageantry of the Japanese Samourais from one of the best and largest collections in the world. The exhibition illustrates the evolution of the distinctive appearance and equipment of the Samurai warrior from the 12th through 19th centuries and examines their history.
Travel Back in Time
The Harvard Museum of Natural History recently renovated their Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery. The gallery displays thousands of rare minerals and gemstones in both rough and cut forms. The exhibits highlight new research and offer an overview of the dynamic processes and events that formed our planet and that have shaped its evolution. Visitors can touch specimens that date back to the beginning of our solar system.
Explore Further by Boat
Bay State Cruises is introducing the Provincetown IV that was under construction since September 2012. The new ship will be sailing between Boston and Provincetown by early July. Go explore the sandy shores of Cape Cod, its beauty, beaches and fun. Provincetown is also one of the oldest artist colonies in America and has produced a large number of galleries, cutting edge theatre and unique shops.
Harvard Museum of Natural History Museum
Frost Bar Boston
Samourai Armor at the Museum of Fine Art
Watch our new video showcasing Boston and our two Boston convention centers: The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center. It’s a short—2 minutes—and upbeat video perfect for your promotional needs!
This video gives you an overview of the different spaces at the BCEC and Hynes as well as the services offered by the two facilities. It also gives you highlights of what the city of Boston has to offer to your attendees.
Find out why TSNN ranks Boston as a Top 10 Destination in the U.S. for tradeshows!
Visit our YouTube Advantage BOSTON channel to find more videos on our convention centers.
Watch our video showcasing Boston as a historical and cultural destination, a home for innovators, and a perfect fit for successful events!
Boston area attractions provide your attendees with more compelling things to see and do than any other convention city in North America. From America's history found along the Freedom Trail to world-famous museums, musical institutions, local and international cuisine, and spectator sports like the Red Sox and Patriots, Boston has it all!
Boston also stands out for its history of being home to innovators and revolutionary thinkers and has a long track record of making history—from the beginnings of the American Revolution to the beginnings of the Internet and Facebook.
View more videos of Boston and our Boston convention centers--The Boston Convention & Exhibitors Center and the Hynes Convention Center--by clicking here >>
Coming to Boston for a conference or tradeshow during the holiday season? Lucky for you, you’re in the right spot! There is so much to do and see in our upbeat and busy metropolitan city of Boston.
Boston has it all and we have made it easy for you by listing the “Top 5” things to do and see while staying here during the most wonderful time of the year.
GO SKATING ON BOSTON’S FAMOUS FROG POND
Boston’s Frog Pond is located right in the center of Boston Common Park. Boston Common Park is one of the oldest and most prized public parks in all of America. The Frog Pond transforms into an ice rink in the winter where you can enjoy a day of skating. When you are done, don’t forget to grab your hot cocoa at the Frog Pond Café!
GET ALL YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING DONE
Boston is your one stop spot for all of your holiday shopping! Enjoy an all-weather shopping experience at The Copley Place Shopping Galleries and The Shops at Prudential Center located in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay. They offer more than 175 elegant stores and restaurants and are connected to the Hynes Convention Center. Boston's Newbury Street offers everything from high-end retailers to local boutiques in a unique outdoor setting that captures the neighborhood spirit of Boston. Also check out the Downtown Crossing Holiday Market where you will find over 30 vendors selling crafts, jewelry, housewares, and more.
GO SEE A HOLIDAY SHOW
This is the season to go enjoy many of Broadway’s favorite classics. The Nutcracker is back in Boston with all new sets and costumes. Considered Boston’s #1 Holiday Tradition, Boston Ballet will put on a performance you will never forget.
EXPERIENCE A TOUR OR TWO IN THE CITY
In the winter, the famous Freedom Trail Tour is transformed into a historic holiday classic that will bring you back into the Charles Dickens times. Understand how Christmas and the holidays evolved in Boston. At the end of the tour, try the famous Boston Cream Pie. History is all over Boston, and also at the Sam Adam’s Brewery Tour. Experience the entire brewing process along with samples of the many different flavors of the famous Sam Adam’s beers.
ENJOY THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is another must see. During the holidays, historic Symphony Hall is transformed to one of the most magical theatres in all of Boston. The Boston Holiday Pops is a show that Bostonians wait all year to see. If world class performing music is your thing, then purchase your tickets now!
The thrill and excitement of Boston’s attractions do not stop there. There are limitless activities all around the city. Visit our website to find out more options. Boston is one of the best cities to explore; we can guarantee you will want to come back for more!
Frog Pond on Boston Common Park
The Freedom Trail
| Boston Symphony Orchestra
Many think of Boston as a charming, historic city with a healthy helping of hometown pride. Others may think of it as a city alive with students and world-renowned medical facilities. Any way you experience Boston, there is no denying that it is a popular and accessible international destination!
In 2011, visitors from 65 countries and 25 international events were hosted in our two Boston Convention Centers: The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center. Boston Logan International Airport, which is just a few minutes from both the BCEC and the Hynes, offers nonstop service to 32 international destinations, including Tokyo, Frankfurt, Munich, Rome, Madrid, and Lisbon. Logan International Airport services over 125 non-stop international flights daily.
Did you know that Boston…
- Has been ranked since 2009 as a top US destination for international association meetings (1)
- Is the 11th most competitive financial center worldwide (2)
- Ranks #1 as most innovative city out of 325 benchmark cities worldwide (3)
- Ranks 10th in overall competitiveness out of 120 of the world’s major cities based on 31 indicators including economic strength, human capital, institutional effectiveness, global appeal, and social and cultural character (4)
In addition to being an industry hub, Boston is home to 12 beaches, 101 miles of waterfront, 1,500 miles of sidewalk, and 7,000 acres of green space!
Conference attendees enjoy wandering around Beacon Hill to time travel back in history, shopping on Newbury streets in the Back Bay, trying a Cannoli in the North End, or attending a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. No matter how you slice it, Boston offers an incomparable mix of history, culture, entertainment, and sports, which has great appeal to an international audience. Learn about our international clients and why they come to Boston by visiting our website.
(4) Economist Intelligence Unit
Source: 2011 MCCA Survey Data
Source: Boston Logan International Airport
Sources: (1) airport-technology.com (2) bizjournals.com (3) gibsonsothebysrealty.com