The Best Way to Spend a Day in and Around Faneuil Hall in Boston

August 11, 2023

Boston is a historic city chock-full of attractions, but iconic Faneuil Hall is at the top of the list. Built in 1742, this meeting hall and central marketplace has served the citizens of Boston for nearly 300 years, and it’s just as popular today as it was when it first opened to fishermen, merchants, and the public.

With over 80 retailers populating the 200,000+ square feet of space, restaurants galore, and frequent festivals, Faneuil Hall is a can’t-miss experience for visitors to Boston. 

There are also plenty of activities and businesses to explore in the vicinity. If you want to make a day of wandering around the harbor, there are a few other places you should pencil in when you stop in at Faneuil Hall.

Downtown Crossing

This idyllic shopping area, centered on the intersection of Washington and Winter Streets, is filled with a plethora of historic buildings that now serve as shops. So whether you’re on the hunt for souvenirs, a bite to eat, or fine Italian suits, you can easily engage in a few hours of retail therapy as you wander this bustling commercial center. After you’re done, you can head across Tremont St. to find the iconic Boston Common Park.

Boston Common

The oldest park in the city, and the oldest public park in the U.S., centrally-located Boston Common is about a 10-minute walk from Faneuil Hall and well worth it. With 50 acres of land, there’s plenty of open space to stroll, including grassy and shaded areas.

The park is studded with statues, monuments, water features, and even a cemetery with the gravesites of famous artists, poets, and composers. Right across Charles St. is the Boston Public Garden, where you can see a rich array of plant life and tool around the lagoon in a swan boat.

New England Aquarium

So you’ve stopped at Pure Oasis dispensary at 85 Devonshire St. to pick up your favorite recreational flower strains or tasty edibles. You’ve hit up the shops at Faneuil Hall and popped by Boston & Maine Fish Company for their famous clam chowder or lobster roll. What’s next?

It’s just a 5-minute walk to the Central Wharf, where you’ll find not only great selfie opportunities but also the New England Aquarium, where you can ogle all manner of marine life, from African penguins and California sea lions to sea turtles, cephalopods, and a wide range of fish.

Freedom Trail Tours

One of the city’s biggest attractions, the Freedom Trail, takes you from Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument, covering about 2.5 miles. 

While you can walk the trail without a guide or visit locations piecemeal, guided tours will cover all 16 significant historic sites along the route, including Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House, and the site of the Boston Massacre, just to name a few.

At each stop, your knowledgeable guide, costumed in 18th-century attire, will speak about the historic significance of the location. While tours don’t include admission to the sites, they can help you decide which ones you’d like to investigate further. 

Guided walking tours are roughly 90 minutes long, and tickets can be purchased at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center or online.

Endless Attractions

There’s no shortage of sights and experiences in Boston, from visiting Chinatown to hitting up museums and historic sites to booking a fishing charter. The hardest part of your visit will likely be narrowing down your must-list. 

However, if you happen to be in the environs of Faneuil Hall, you can’t go wrong picnicking at Boston Common, marveling at the New England Aquarium exhibits, and taking a walking tour of some of the most famous historic sites in the city.

Shop Cannabis