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10 Fresh Reasons to Visit Boston

10 Fresh Reasons to Visit Boston this Summer

Boston’s storied past and engaging historic sites are admittedly part of its allure, but the dynamic city teems with new energy year after year. And there’s no better time to visit this coastal capital than summer. Here are 10 of the best new things to do, eat, and enjoy in Boston during the summer of ’24.

Sip a storied cocktail on the 17th story 

The luxe hotel brand Raffles unveiled its first American property in Boston last year with a 17th-floor homage to the Singapore original. With sweeping views of the South End, Back Bay, Charles River, and Cambridge via floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor deck, Long Bar & Terrace at Raffles Boston has all-day food offerings and cocktails like the Boston Sling, tinted pink with pomegranate liqueur and cranberry compote. 

Hit the Walking City Trail

Visitors and locals alike will want to explore one of the most walkable cities in the country via a newly mapped-out network of park paths, city streets, and built features. Devised by local writer and urbanist Miles Howard, the Walking City Trail connects 27 miles from Dorchester to Charlestown with free, easy-to-follow GPS and PDF guides at

Sofra’s cardamom-spiced morning buns with orange-blossom glaze.
Photo Credit : Kristin Teig

Savor a second helping of irresistible baked goods

One of New England’s favorite bakeriesSofra is opening a larger second location this spring in Boston’s Allston neighborhood. Led by James Beard Award-winning chef Ana Sortun and multi-year Outstanding Baker semifinalist Maura Kilpatrick, the second Sofra will have more seating (a major upgrade from the Cambridge original!), host classes, and showcase the illustrious lineup of sweet and savory Middle Eastern-inspired treats for which the spot is known, such as cardamom-spiced morning buns with orange-blossom glaze.

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Stock up at a non-alcoholic bottle shop

The sober-curious movement has a new beacon in Boston. Dray Drinks, the city’s first “packie” dedicated to non-alcoholic spirits, beer, wine, canned cocktails, and more, carries more than 200 different zero-proof products. Whether you’re abstaining from alcohol entirely or just moderating your day drinking this summer, Dray has something fun and festive in store.

Dray Drinks in South Boston is devoted to non-alcoholic adult beverages.
Dray Drinks proves adult bevvies don’t have to contain alcohol to be fun.
Photo Credit : Courtesy of Dray Drinks

Whether or not you golf, the public green and driving range in Brookline is worth checking out for lunch. Alex Saenz, a venerable chef formerly of local fine-dining kitchens, helms Hemlock Grill at the Robert T. Lynch Municipal Golf Course. Grab a seat on the porch and order at the counter to try satisfying salads and sandwiches like the signature fried chicken with house pickles and ranch and a side of perfectly seasoned chips. Don’t skip a cold can of IPA from nearby Trillium Brewing Company.

Paddles up at PKL Boston

Here’s hoping for a sunnier summer this year, but it’s still smart to be ready for some rainy-day activities. PKL Boston is a locally owned, totally fun indoor emporium for pickleball—the easy-to-learn sport beloved by retirees, college kids, and pretty much everyone else who’s picked up a paddle. The South Boston spot has five courts for pickleballing, plus shuffleboard and cornhole, as well as a dining room and multiple bars.

Joyfully celebrate diversity and freedom

Now in its third year, the Embrace Ideas Festival celebrates Juneteenth in Boston with three days of art, ideas, culture, and scholarship. This summer’s fest kicks off June 19 with a Juneteenth Concert at the Embrace Monument on Boston Common, with more activities amplifying anti-racism through June 21 to be announced.

Score a seat at the city’s newest sports brewery

Boston famously eschewed English culture some 250 years ago, but today it’s mad for football (though it’s soccer, to us). The city will have its own professional women’s soccer team in 2026. Meanwhile, it recently welcomed Drawdown Brewing just down the hill from the proposed stadium site. Owned by sports fan Liz Nicol, Drawdown has a diverse draft list of malt-forward styles like Altbier and Porter, plus big plans to highlight this summer’s Euro soccer tournament on the TVs in its Jamaica Plain taproom.

Cocktail at Old Wives' Tale Speakeasy Encore Boston Harbor
The cocktail presentation game is strong at Old Wives’ Tale: Boston’s newest speakeasy.
Photo Credit : Courtesy of Encore Boston Harbor

Take a gamble on a new seafood spot and speakeasy

Vegas-style casino Encore Boston Harbor feels like a vacation no matter how you experience it—but we highly suggest you take the free shuttle boat there from Boston Harbor. This summer, the Everett resort unveils a new take on local flavor, Seamark Seafood & Cocktails, with pier-to-plate lobster, shellfish, and more, plus a 16-seat speakeasy called Old Wives’ Tale. With James Beard Award-Winning chef Michael Schlow overseeing the culinary program, dining here sounds like a sure bet.

Catch a taco pop-up by a top chef

James Beard Award-nominated chef and Dorchester’s own Valentine Howell Jr. is contending on Top Chef this season. If his turn on the hit Bravo TV reality competition is making you hungry, give his pop-up @blackcattacos a follow on Instagram to see where he’ll be next. Howell recently left his role as executive chef of acclaimed Back Bay wine bar Krasi to focus on his own flavor of Caribbean Latin cuisine.

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