Best Time to Visit Boston, Massachusetts

The best time to visit Boston is in the late spring and early fall. These shoulder season months offer warm weather without the humidity and crowds of the peak summer months.

Boston has snowy winters and hot summers with thunderstorms. The weather can be temperamental year-round, so you should always prepare for a little rain.

As the winters here are cold, Boston has lots of indoor activities; even if you visit when the weather isn’t great, you’ll still find plenty of things to do to fill up your itinerary. Of course, many of Boston’s highlights shine in the warmer months when you can enjoy being outside in comfortable temperatures.

Boston is fantastic for offering travelers four distinct seasonal experiences. Work out when to visit and pick the best month and season to travel with this complete Boston weather guide!

Weather in Boston

By season

Spring

The weather in Boston can be unpredictable at the start of the spring. March and April are classed as Boston’s shoulder season, with risks of snow, rain, and colder temperatures.

Spring

While visiting Boston in spring, keep your plans spontaneous. You might get a pleasant day on the Freedom Trail, or you might have to make a last-minute museum visit to escape the rain.

By May, you’ll be approaching Boston’s high tourist season. Signs of spring are starting to show with flowers in bloom and vibrant displays at Rose Kennedy Garden and Back Bay.

In late spring, temperatures will be pleasant during the day, so you’ll need fewer layers. The evenings, however, are still chilly.

The rain starts to ease towards the end of spring, so you’ll have more days to enjoy the outdoors. Boston is a major university city; expect it to be busy with college graduations at this time of year.

Summer

Temperatures in Boston peak in the summer months. In summer, you’ll want to plan any active sightseeing for the mornings before the heat of the day sets in.

Summer

You’ll want to take a hat and sunscreen if you’re taking part in any walking tours. Rain is less likely at this time, so it’s not as risky to plan your outdoor activities in advance.

Luckily, Boston’s waterfront location offers plenty of fun ways to cool down. You can spend your afternoons on cruises around the harbor, at the beach, or on whale-watching tours.

A lot of the students have left for the summer, but at this time of year, Boston experiences a rush of family tourism. The city comes alive with street markets and art festivals. Take part in North End Feasts, a summer-long celebration of Boston’s Italian American food and culture in the North End neighborhood.

With long days and warm temperatures into the late evening, summer is the perfect time to make the most of Boston’s outdoor social scene.

Fall

The fall is a beautiful time to visit Boston, with vivid autumnal foliage woven throughout the city. The warm colors of the leaves and the varied architecture give Boston a cozy, old-world atmosphere.

Fall

In fall, the air is crisp, but the days are sunny and dry, making this the ideal time to get out and explore this fabulous walking city. Autumn is a great season to get into the heart of Boston to explore its historical sights and natural urban spaces. Just be sure to pack multiple layers as temperatures can fluctuate in and out of the sun.

You’ll find the accommodation prices rising at the peak of the fall, with events like the Head of Charles Regatta drawing big crowds to the area. Sports lovers will be in heaven with the baseball season coming to a close and the hockey, basketball, and football seasons starting to ramp up.

Winter

If you’re looking for a white Christmas, Boston is the place to be. It’s a charming time to visit, with twinkling lights and frosty cobblestoned streets.

Winter

But winters in Boston are also very cold, with temperatures dropping to near freezing at night. Sometimes your idea of a romantic winter wonderland may look more like a slushy mess. Pack your warmest winter coat and waterproof boots to avoid ending your days cold and wet.

You probably won’t want to experience the delights of exploring Boston on foot at this time of year. The city has a great public transport network, though, so it’ll still be possible to discover some of Boston’s top sights.

A lot of outdoor attractions, like the swan boats in Boston in the Public Garden, shut down for the winter, but you can take part in cozy seasonal activities. Go ice skating, shop at the holiday markets, or watch a live performance of The Nutcracker.

By month

January

January is the cheapest and quietest time to visit Boston. The bad weather has chased away most visitors, and you can enjoy luxury accommodation at low season prices.

Park in January

It’s the coldest month to visit the area, though. Average temperatures sit just below freezing, and the average snowfall is 13 inches. Prepare for icy streets and lots of hot chocolate breaks.

January is the ideal time to enjoy Boston’s buzzing theatre season or warm up with hearty Italian food in Little Italy.

February

Although slightly warmer than January, February in Boston is still frosty. Daily highs reach the high 30s and the low 40s by the end of the month. The amount of snowfall varies each year, but the average is around five days of snow.

Chinatown in February

With colorful events like Chinese New Year and the New England Boat Show, expect plenty of life to be injected into those winter blues. While not as comfortable as the summer months, wrap up warm and enjoy some of Boston’s top historical tours without the crowds.

March

The weather in March can be mixed and gets warmer towards the end of the month. It’ll probably snow in the first couple of weeks, but it’s unlikely to settle.

St Patrick's Day Parade in March

Average temperatures increase from the low 40s to the low 50s by the end of March. Boston’s coastal location brings cold rain and lots of wind. Pack waterproof clothing and plenty of layers, so you’re prepared to brave the elements.

If you make it outside in March, the leafless trees provide great views of the city’s period architecture. Get a taste of Boston’s Irish heritage with the St Patricks Day Parade and Irish Film Festival taking place this month.

April

April is the wettest month of the year in Boston. Around half of the days will have rainfall, usually averaging 100mm. As temperatures increase to an average high of 56°F, people will start to emerge from hibernation and spend more time outdoors.

Boston Marathon in April

Flowers start to bloom again, making this an idyllic time to spend time in the great selection of city parks. Many people take this opportunity to try the swan boat rides at Boston Public Garden without the queues. Enjoy iconic events like the Boston Marathon and the Patriot’s Day Battle Reenactment.

May

May is a great month to visit Boston. Temperatures reach the low 70s by the end of the month, providing pleasant weather to walk Boston’s top tourist trails. May will still have rainfall, but the showers are much lighter than the downpours of April, averaging around 80mm.

Children's Museum in May

In May, the city is in bloom, with colorful flower displays filling the Public Garden and Rose Kennedy Garden. Memorial Day brings lots of fun events, but many locals leave town for a few days; you may benefit from smaller crowds and easier access to events and activities.

June

Things start heating up in Boston in June, with average daily highs reaching 80°F. There’s less rainfall, but the humidity ramps up, reaching an average of 75%.

Charles River in June

With 15 hours of daylight, you have plenty of time to get out and explore all the city has to offer in June. Evenings get warmer, too, so you’ll only need a light sweater while walking around at night.

Boston’s best beaches start to open again in June, but the water may still be too cold to do more than a quick dip. Feel the wind in your hair by sailing in the harbor or renting a boat on the Charles River.

July

July is the hottest month in Boston, with temperatures in the low 80s and humidity around 73%. Expect shady and waterside locations to be crowded with locals and tourists seeking shelter from the heat. While sightseeing, you’ll usually be comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt, but things cool off slightly in the evenings.

Harborfest in July

The month of June is a pleasant time to enjoy the city’s open-air concerts and festivals. Independence Day brings back the popular Boston Harborfest. The unique festival involves parades, performances, and spectacles to celebrate Boston’s rich history.

August

August is another hot month in Boston, with humidity peaking in the morning at 82% and average daily highs of 82°F. The beaches are popular in August, both for the cooler sea breeze and because the water temperatures are at their warmest.

Beacon Hill in August

Hotel rates remain high, but August Adventures offers you one free admission per day to some of Boston’s top attractions. Or take part in Dine Out Boston, where some of the best restaurants in the city offer discounted 3-course meals.

September

September is another popular month to visit Boston, thanks to sunny, dry days without the summer humidity. Average high temperatures are in the mid to high 70s, with around 20 days of sunshine.

State House in September

Signs of fall emerge towards the end of September, with golden colors lingering on the trees. Get into the fall spirit with plenty of seasonal adventures.

Spend sunny days picking your own apples or getting lost in the corn maze. Visit traditional farmer’s markets like SoWa Open Market or head to Ciderfest for a taste of the best New England brews.

October

October is the most popular time to visit Boston, which also makes it among the most expensive. The top-rated hotels in Boston will be charging peak rates, and you may need to book in advance.

Charles River Regatta in October

Things cool off in October, with average temperatures in the 60s. With around 12 rainy days, you’re likely to get some wet weather during your stay.

The fall foliage is at its most stunning in October, with reds and golds framing the views of the historical city. See it from all the best angles at some of Boston’s top outdoor events. Every year thousands of people attend the Charles Regatta, one of the largest regattas in the world.

November

Temperatures in Boston plunge in November, with average daily highs sinking to 47°F. There are still some traces of the golden fall leaves, but you won’t be getting out as often to enjoy them.

Granary Burying Ground in November

November is the second wettest month of the year in Boston, so make sure you pack an umbrella. Mornings start comfortably, but the afternoons bring cold winds and rain; dress in layers to prepare for all weather.

Get in the holiday mood at the Boston Christmas Festival. You can shop for unique artisan gifts under the shelter of the World Trade Center.

December

December is cold and unpredictable, with average highs and lows spanning from 41°F to 28°F. Expect intense winds and anything from torrential downpours, to muddy sleet, to flurries of snow. With short days and freezing nighttime temperatures, you’ll be wrapping up warm and spending much more time indoors.

Central Park in December

The most popular December event is the Boston Tea Party Reenactment. The iconic festival features a theatrical meeting, march, and recreation of this significant event in period costumes.

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