“Should I visit Boston in winter?”
This is a question I get a lot from readers who know that this city is my beloved hometown. The answer is simple: the weather in Boston from October to April is a game of roulette. You can win big, or get slapped in the face!
Winter in Boston Can Be Great!
On one hand, you may luck out with your winter visit to Boston. It MAY be ridiculously warm and gorgeous here, making your tourism in “America’s Walking City” a breeze. This winter we’ve had two days in the 60s!
OR Boston Snow Can Wallop Us
The danger of traveling to Boston during our cold season, however, is clear for anyone who’s watched the news recently: We MAY get massive loads of snow without warning! These storms can cause your travel plans to be canceled, delayed, or generally thrown into a tailspin.
Boston Can Get Major Blizzard Action
In 2015, we beat the all-time record for snow in Boston and achieved NINE FEET of the white stuff over the course of multiple back-to-back blizzards. That was insane, and undoubtably wreaked havoc on the travel plans of our city’s tourists, not to mention the lives of us locals!
Pigeons huddled together for winter warmth.
But Some Years, Boston Gets Almost No Snow
In 2016, we only had one major blizzard, and that was cleared up quite quickly. Before the plows worked their magic, though, I was able to spend a day photographing Boston under that frosting.
Boston is Beautiful in Winter Snow!
The resulting lovely photos are displayed here for your enjoyment, and these images reveal the other way you could luck out in winter travel here: You might get to see how pretty Boston is under a fresh blanket of snow! So what are the best places to gaze at this city in winter? Here is my suggestion for…
A Great Boston Walking Tour:
If your winter travel timing does work out fortuitously, I recommend you stroll through the following areas to see some of Boston’s prettiest spots. (Note: This walking tour itinerary is gorgeous in any season! I just took the photographs in winter this round.)
Begin at Copley Square (by the Copley stop on the Green Line and Back Bay station on the Orange Line MBTA trains). Pop into the stunning Copley Library, and admire the mirrored Hancock Building and how it reflects Trinity Church.
Walk Newbury St. for a European Feel
From there, walk northeast along Boylston Street (lots of fun shops) or Newbury Street (such European flair!) towards the Boston Public Garden. Now, during the summer, the Public Garden is known for its heavenly Swan Boats, Make Way For Duckling statues, and romantic marriage proposals. But is it worth a visit during the colder months? Yes!
Stroll through Boston Public Garden
During the winter, the Boston Public Garden is transformed into a wedding cake of white-laced willows and water. It’s a sight not to be missed if you’re lucky enough to have any time in Boston! (This is not to be confused with Boston Public Market, which is named as an homage to the park.)
The Esplanade Along the Charles River
After wandering the Public Garden, head northwest on Arlington Street towards the Charles River. If you follow Arlington Street, it will take you on a pedestrian bridge over Storrow Drive and plop you safely on the gorgeous Charles River Esplanade: the garden park along the river!
During colder months, the esplanade can be blustery and frigid as the wind whips off the water, but odds are just as good that the sun will be sparkling off the ice under a bright blue winter sky, and you’ll see some unforgettable scenery.
When you’ve had your fill of the wintry water sights, head back over the bridge to Arlington Street and walk along the southwest border of the Public Garden until Arlington intersects with Commonwealth Avenue.
The Tree-Lined Strip of Commonwealth Ave.
Dear “Comm. Ave.” as it is called, is a classic Boston street with a wide green park running down the middle of the street. As you can see from the lead photo of this article, its towering trees look luscious in the snow!
More Photos of Boston in Winter Snow
All these photos show the beauty you can see along this route, so let’s take a moment to sit back and admire more of Boston in winter.
See? Boston in Winter Can be Awesome!
Despite the risks of travel delays due to blizzards, I hope these photos make it clear why the odds are good that visiting Boston in winter is still worth it! Now I’m curious to hear from YOU. What’s your take on this fine city during our colder months? Do share!
Save Money and Time on Your Boston Trip:
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Hostels and Hotels in Boston:
- XV Beacon (click for details) is a lovely hotel right next to the Boston Common, Downtown.
- The Kimpton Nine Zero is great for families and couples.
- The Four Seasons is a centrally-located Boston classic.
- Hotels in Copley Square like The Copley Westin are ideal for visiting the city.
- The most affordable, central place to stay is the Hostelling International Boston Hostel.
Want more Boston beauty? See my round-up of Emerald Necklace Parks in the city. Any purchases through the affiliate links in this article support this site at no cost to you. Thank you!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!