Boston Magazine’s Summer Bucket List

Break out the beach towels and boat shoes—the best three months of the year are (finally) here!

Photos via Waypoint/iStock, espiegle/Anthony Adamick/,PGIAM

It’s time to stash the winter garb and break out the beach towels and boat shoes—summer is finally here! You’ve waited patiently (or not so patiently) for long enough, so now it’s time make the most of these coveted warm days.

Want some help making plans? Whether you enjoy getting the heck out of dodge to soak up the sun on a beach somewhere, or you’re looking for things to do closer to home, we’ve got you covered. You better get moving, though. It’ll be over before you know it.

Photo via

☑ Spend your summer Fridays at the best beaches in Massachusetts

☑ Enjoy free concerts and movies at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade

Photo by Lisa Decotis

☑ Rent a kayak and paddle down the Charles

Lobster bake at Legal Sea Foods

New England lobster bake is a menu staple at Legal Sea Foods. / Photo provided

☑ Eat lobster for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

☑ Hop on a ferry to explore one of the harbor islands 

Flavor overload at the Ice Creamsmith / Photo by Anthony Adamick (OV Stills)

☑ Treat yourself to a double-scoop of ice cream

☑ Take the kiddos to the Greenway Open Market for food trucks and a ride on the carousel

☑ Pack a picnic and head to the Esplanade

boston pride parade

Photo by Simone Migliori

☑ Celebrate Pride at one of the music-pumping block parties 

☑ Trade in four wheels for two and hit these bike paths

public pools

Mirabella pool in the North End / photo provided

☑ Cool off at a public pool 

☑ Go on a whale watch

Whole-belly fried clams and clam cakes at Captain Frosty's Fish & Chips in Dennis, on Cape Cod

Whole-belly fried clams and clam cakes at Captain Frosty’s Fish & Chips in Dennis, on Cape Cod / Photo by Jacqueline Cain

☑ Eat fried clams. Or other fried seafood, but mostly clams

☑ Be sure to attend the Best party of the season

free outdoor fitness

Photo credit Boston Seaport

☑ Take advantage of all the free outdoor fitness

☑ Spend the day at Crystal Lake where the water is actually warm (or check out one of these other swimming holes

Photo provided

☑ Try oysters from every Cape Cod oyster company/farm

The Night Shift Owl’s Nest on the Esplanade. / Photo by Tim Oxton/Night Shift

☑ Visit all the beer and wine gardens

☑ Get a blanket and sit on Prospect Hill all afternoon enjoying the view

The City Tap House patio hosts a Shuckfest of Memorial Day

City Tap outdoor patio / Photo provided

☑ Dine al fresco on all the patios

☑ Go river tubing at Saco River 

Photo by Jamie Ducharme

☑ Attend the roaring 20s party at Crane Estate

☑ Spend a night on Commercial Street in Provincetown  

☑ Hit up BAMS Fest in Roxbury for music, art, and a live graffiti exhibit 

Martha’s Vineyard / Photo via iStock/Rolf_52

Plan a trip to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard (or both)

☑ Eat way too many burgers at Battle of the Burger 

Boats in front of the Boston skyline on a sunny day

Boats on the Boston Harbor / Photo via iStock/espiegle

☑ Listen to live music at the Boston Harbor Hotel

☑ Take the free water taxi from the ICA to the Watershed in Eastie 

A view on the Great Island Trail on Cape Cod / Photo by Madeline Bilis

☑ Hike one of these trails on Cape Cod 

☑ Finally, subscribe to Boston magazine  

What did we miss? Let us know: @BostonMagazine.