Best Time to Visit Boston for Weather, Prices, and Crowds

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A city with many buildings and skyscrapers with trees and a street
The best time to visit Boston depends on the type of experience desired

When is the best time to visit Boston? That depends entirely on what kind of experience you're looking for from your trip.

Do you plan to spend most of your time indoors getting a closer peek at the area's history or outside taking in the sprawling parks and natural scenery?

For some visitors, the peak season summer months (June to August) are ideal, while others prefer the slower-yet-temperate spring (March to June) and fall (September to December).

Others swear by the city's dreamlike charm when covered in white snow during the winter (December to March).

With so much history in one place, there's no shortage of famous landmarks and world-class events to keep you busy no matter when you visit. From the dead of winter to the bustling hum of summer, every season in Boston offers a unique vacation experience.

In this article, you'll find a wealth of information about the different months and seasons in Boston and how the time of year you visit will impact your trip.

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There are some things to consider when planning a vacation to Boston
A grey stone building with a walkway and grass by the water
The best time to visit Boston is in the late spring and early fall months

When is the best time to visit Boston?

For most travelers, the late spring months of May and June are the best time to travel to Boston. That's because the weather is pleasant, flowers are beginning to bloom, and the crowds haven't quite set in for the summer.

The early fall months of September and October are equally popular times as the summer (June to September) heat dies down and fewer families travel to the city. This equates to cheaper prices and fewer lines while avoiding the chilly weather of the wintertime (December to January).

If you're planning to spend time outdoors on activities like walking the Freedom Trail or visiting Castle Island Park, it's tough to beat the mild temperatures of the spring and fall.

While the weather typically stays comfortable during the summer, the sheer number of tourists can make some of the most popular destinations feel overwhelmingly crowded.

Regardless of whether you're planning an action-packed 3-day trip or taking in the sights over a longer visit, May-June and September-October are the best times to visit for most itineraries.

A snowy park with benches and trees as well as buildings in the distance
Boston still draws tourism in the winter months despite the colder weather

When is the worst time to visit Boston?

Boston is a lively city all year round, with plenty of reasons to visit regardless of the month or season.

For most people, however, the worst time to visit Boston is during the winter (December to March) when snowfall and freezing temperatures make the area's numerous outdoor attractions less accessible.

January and February are, however, the cheapest months in terms of airfare and hotels, so the city still draws its fair share of tourism even during the off-season.

That's because there are still plenty of indoor attractions and events throughout the city, and tours like the Independence Pub Crawl, which remain popular as history-steeped pubs keep patrons warm with free-flowing libations.

Crowd-adverse travelers choose to avoid the busy summer season from June until September. The comfortable weather and school breaks bring an influx of people to the city. In addition to long lines at some attractions, this peak season also brings higher airfare and lodging costs.

A boat docked at a pier with a red building titled "Boston Tea Party Ships - Museum"
Boston receives an average of 14 inches of snow in January and February

What is the average snowfall in Boston?

If you're thinking about visiting Boston in the winter (December to March), expect some snowfall. Snowy days are commonplace from November until March, and you may even see the occasional flurry in October and April.

The bulk of the snowfall comes down in January and February. It's not uncommon to see more than 14 inches during these months.

If you're planning a trip to Boston during the winter, you may want to consider December or March. Snowfall then averages around 9 inches, offering a picturesque winter wonderland and a lower chance of snow-related travel disruptions.

Despite the seasonal snowfall, the colder months are considered by many travelers to be the best time of the year to visit Boston.

The Boston Tea Party reenactment draws huge crowds every December. During this annual event, participants celebrate the 1773 protest that saw Massachusetts colonists board three British East India Company ships and dump more than 90,000 pounds of tea into the harbor.

A park with a bench and cherry blossom trees
Boston Springtime travel draws fewer crowds and prices are reasonable

When is the best season to visit Boston?

Choosing the best season to visit Boston will depend on your personal preferences and interests. Some visitors enjoy the snow-lined streets and holiday lights of the late fall and early winter months of November through January.

Other's opt for the late spring, May to June, or early fall, September to November, because of the temperate weather, reasonable prices, and fewer crowds.

Without a doubt, though, the most popular time to visit Boston is during the summer (June to September). This is when tourism is at its peak.

If you're planning a summer visit to the city, be prepared for flights and hotels to be at their highest prices. The upside of visiting during the summer is that nearly all attractions will be open--some close during the winter because of inclement weather and decreased patronism.

From June until September, there is no shortage of things to do both during the day and throughout the city of Boston at night.

An outdoor skating area at night with neon "Boston" letters and a Christmas tree
Outdoor skating is a popular activity during the winter months in Boston

When is the cheapest time to go to Boston?

Want to explore Boston while the prices and crowds are at their minimum? Visiting in the winter--primarily in January and February--will offer you the most bang for your buck. This is when you'll find the best prices on flights and the lowest rates on high-quality lodging around the city.

These months can be the best times to visit Boston for anyone who wants to enjoy winter activities such as ice skating on the famed Boston Common Frog Pond or February's annual Chinese Lion Dance Parade celebrating the Chinese New Year.

Prices begin rising in March and steadily increase until the busy summer (June to September) season. December and March see both fewer visitors and cheaper prices.

But value travelers would be wise to plan their trips before major events like the Boston Marathon and Boston International Film Festival as these bring throngs of tourists in April.

The best time to visit Boston for flight and hotel deals is in January and February
January and February months offer the best deals for flights and hotels in Boston

When is the cheapest time to fly to Boston?

If you're looking for cheap airline tickets to Boston, you'll find the best deals during the winter months of January and February. Not only are flights most affordable then, but hotels often offer rock-bottom pricing and crowds across the city are at a minimum.

Be prepared to face weather-related issues if you travel during these months, as more than a foot of snowfall is common during January and February. This can occasionally lead to flight delays and make traversing the city far more difficult. Especially if you plan to explore the historic sites on foot.

But for travelers unfazed by the cold weather and sometimes unfavorable conditions, the January and February months provide great value while offering a unique snow-capped Boston experience that presents the city in a different light from that which most travelers get to see.

Al Munroe/
A group of swan boats in a river with a bridge and trees in the distance
Boston Public Garden is one of many attractions to visit during the summer months

What is the average temperature in Boston?

Boston's temperatures vary significantly depending on the season you choose to visit. The temperature in the summertime (June to September)--considered by many to be the best time of year to go to Boston--averages around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, although highs in the 80 degrees Fahrenheit during July and August can be warm for some sightseers who want to spend a lot of time visiting outdoor attractions.

May and October are popular travel times to the city, with daily highs in the 60s and nighttime lows averaging around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Those weather conditions provide the perfect setting for popular walking and food tours throughout the city.

Temperatures plummet during the winter months of December through February. During this time of the year, it's not uncommon for averages in the mid-30 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime lows to drop well below freezing. Don't forget to pack appropriately if you're planning to visit Boston over the winter!

A large ornate building and staircase along with pillars and statues on either side
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of many indoor attractions to visit in Boston

When is the rainy season in Boston?

Unlike more tropical locales, there is no set rainy season in Boston. That's because rainfall is common all year long, with March, October, and December seeing slightly more precipitation than the rest.

You're likely to encounter more rainy days during spring (March to June) and early summer (June to September). These storms, however, are often short-lived and rarely interfere with your entire day. During the fall (September to December), you'll find that it rains less frequently, but when it does rain, you can plan on it lasting for hours.

A little bit of rain doesn't curtail activities in a lively destination like Boston, though. Travelers to the city have plenty of indoor activities to choose between, from visiting the historic Faneuil Hall to being chauffeured around on a tour of famous Boston breweries. The New England Aquarium is another popular rainy-day attraction that brings in more than 1.3 million visitors annually.

Weather, Prices, and Crowds in Boston

A city with buildings and a clock tower with a dusting of snow on the ground
Weather, prices and crowds are all factors to consider when planning a trip to Boston

Boston in the summer

Boston becomes a busy destination during the summer months. With kids out of school and more families traveling over the break, June through September see some of the biggest crowds and the highest prices.

This is especially true over Labor Day weekend when public concerts, fireworks, and city-wide celebrations make September the best month to go to Boston in the eyes of many visitors who return yearly for the holiday.

For those not intimidated by the crowds, summertime in Boston offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy all of the city's outdoor attractions, from a scenic stroll through Boston Common to a relaxing afternoon soaking in the natural beauty of the Arnold Arboretum.

The comfortable weather and drier days make June through September the prime season to get out on the water and enjoy kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or even a Boston Harbor sunset cruise.

Boston in the fall

If you're looking for moderate weather, fewer crowds, and color-changing foliage, you'll be well suited to visiting Boston in the fall (September to December).

The warm summer (June to September) months and throngs of visitors will have cooled off by late September, making the fall--and October in particular--one of the best times to visit. Outdoor attractions are at their peak in the fall, with activities like walking the Freedom Trail and exploring the Seaport District, popular during these months.

The fall is also prime time for visitors to take a guided tour of Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox and one of the most iconic baseball stadiums in the United States.

If you plan to visit later in the fall--during November and early December--you might run into some chilly weather. Travelers during these months, however, enjoy the myriad of holiday lights and decorations strewn across the city. Popular events during this time include the Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting and the Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll.

Boston in the winter

The winter months of January and February are unquestionably the best time to see Boston covered in snow. This provides a very different city experience from what you'll find throughout the busy summer (June to September) months.

During the winter, many outdoor attractions are closed with the focus instead on indoor activities such as touring the Museum of Fine Arts or catching a performance at the Citizen's Bank Opera House.

You'll also find the cheapest flights to Boston during the winter as the chilly nights and substantial snowfall keep many tourists away.

But for those travelers unfazed by a little cold weather, the winter months provide a tremendous opportunity to see the city at a far better price than you'll get during the peak summer season.

You'll want to bring some extra layers if you plan to visit Boston during the winter. Nighttime lows are typically below freezing and the weather doesn't usually get much warmer during the day when the high rarely tops 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Boston in the spring

The arrival of spring (March to June) brings big changes to Boston. As the winter (December to March) snow melts away and outdoor life returns to normal, visitors flock to the city for the comfortable weather, blooming flowers, and some of the most popular events of the year.

One of the biggest musical gatherings--the Boston Calling Music Festival--takes place over Memorial Day weekend and attracts some of the most popular artists from around the world.

In June, the Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, an annual tradition since 1979, draws tens of thousands of attendees and competitors to its races and cultural events.

The crowds and prices aren't as high in the springtime as they are later during the peak summer (June to September) months. This makes April and May desirable times to visit Boston while avoiding both extreme weather and crowded attractions.

In Summary

Deciding when to visit Boston depends a lot on what you hope to get out of the city. If you're looking for the cheapest prices, fewer crowds, and aren't intimidated by a little cold weather, the winter (December to March) months offer a unique experience at the lowest cost.

The spring (March to June) brings a warmer average temperature, albeit sometimes rainy while hosting some of the city's most popular and well-known events.

Summer (June to September) offers great weather, the fewest days of rainfall, and an abundance of visitors in town for the peak tourism season.

During the fall (September to December) you'll once again find milder weather, fewer tourists, and maybe even catch the leaves changing color.

No matter when you choose to take your trip to Boston, the one certainty is that you'll find no shortage of history, beautiful scenery, and an abundance of tours and attractions that make the city the perfect destination for travelers of all types.

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Written by Jonathan Davis

JDavis WRITER Jonathan is a Florida-based travel writer who can't seem to stay in one place for long. With more than two decades of trips under his belt, Jonathan has a wealth of information to share about travel within the United States and abroad.

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