- Not to be confused with Eastern Massachusetts, a broader definition of Greater Boston.
The most densely populated region in Massachusetts, Greater Boston is roughly bounded by the I-95 beltway, Boston Harbor, and Massachusetts Bay.
Directly abutting Boston proper, these cities offer years of communal history and a multitude of shared transit options. To the casual visitor, it can be difficult to tell when you've left one town for another. Visitors can easily fill itineraries with just the offerings found here.
- 1 Boston — The Hub of the Universe
- 2 Brookline — a suburb tucked inside the city, ranging from urban bustle to peaceful streets and birthplace of John F. Kennedy
- 3 Cambridge — highly urbanized city across the Charles River from Boston; home to prestigious universities such as Harvard and MIT
- 4 Somerville — Working Class city with a vibrant community of Blue Collar workers, immigrants, students and artists.
Connected to public transit, these destinations have expanded in popularity as rising housing prices push folks further and further from the city. You won't find many "must see" tourist sights, but reclaimed industrial spaces and the closeness of the ocean do offer options.
- 5 Everett — working class city much like Chelsea, home to Encore Casino
- 6 Malden — suburban city along the Northeast Expressway, similar to Everett
- 7 Medford — home to Tufts University.
- 8 Revere — home to Revere Beach
- 9 Winthrop — across the harbor from Logan Airport
Similar to the northern suburbs, this collection of towns is also feeling the squeeze of the increasing Boston metro population. These places are generally leafy and exclusive, and are sometimes rooted in an agrarian heritage instead of an industrial background.
- 10 Arlington — residential communities along Route 2 and close to Cambridge
- 11 Lexington — historic town, site of the first battle of the American Revolution
- 12 Newton — upscale suburb directly west of Boston.
- 13 Waltham — center of the Route 128 technology corridor, and home to Brandeis University and Bentley College
- 14 Watertown — home to an Armenian immigrant community
- 15 Wellesley — wealthy suburb, home to Wellesley and Babson Colleges
- 16 Weston — one of the most affluent towns in the United States
Thoroughly suburban, this collection of towns boasts a proud colonial past. Today, their transit connections to Boston put these locations on the radar of many recent arrivals.
- 17 Milton — a wealthy suburb, home to Milton Academy, the Blue Hills Reservation, and former home of George H. W. Bush
- 18 Needham — middle class residential suburb
- 19 Quincy — "City of Presidents", home to the Adams family
Far northern suburbsEdit
The main attractions in this area are its many large parks and lush green spaces.
- 20 Reading - similar to Burlington, but further up 128
- 21 Saugus - north of Malden, home to a lengthy commercial strip along Route 1 with anything you could ever want
- 22 Stoneham — a good zoo and some nice countryside here
- 23 Wakefield — a commuter suburb along 128 with a 4 mile walking trail near the town center
- 24 Woburn — wealthy suburbs along Route 3/Route 128/I-93
- 1 Boston Harbor Islands — Where you can remove yourself from civilization without having to give up good cell phone reception.
- Greater Boston is home to more than 110 institutions of higher education, including Harvard University in Cambridge, the nation's oldest.
- Greater Boston has some of the oldest and most visited historic sites in the country.
- 1Boston Logan International Airport (BOS IATA). Offering a wide variety of international and domestic carriers and serving over 25 million passengers a year, Boston Logan will be your best bet for finding the most direct and affordable route.
- 2South Station, 700 Atlantic Ave. In the center of downtown Boston, this is the largest bus terminal and railroad station in New England. All northbound Amtrak and Commuter Rail trains, as well as all bus service ends here. The Acela Express connects with New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C..
- 3 North Station, 126 Causeway St. This railroad station in Boston's West End is the last stop for all southbound Amtrak and Commuter Rail lines. The massive sports arena TD Garden is built into the station. The Downeaster connects to Portland, Maine.
- Masspike — The Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate 90, begins in the western part of the state at the border with New York and travels all the way to Logan National Airport. It’s an easy route from the New York Thruway or from Connecticut, by traveling through or around either Springfield or Worcester.
- Route 128/I-95 — is the 70 mi (110 km) beltway that surrounds the Greater Boston region, separating the region from the rest of the state.
- Other major highways in the area radiate from Boston in almost every direction. Route 2 in the northwest suburbs, Route 1 in the northeastern suburbs and Interstate 93 to the north and south.
- See also: Boston#Get around
- Mass Bay Transportation Authority, MBTA. Commuter rail service to Worcester, Providence and most of the Boston suburbs. Offers extensive bus and subway service throughout Boston and bordering cities.
Traffic congestion on the highways and major arterials are notoriously bad in this part of Massachusetts, even on the weekends, given the limited coverage of transit and bike networks in the area. Check travel times before heading out, and a GPS is quite useful for navigating the streets.
- Boston Common
- Boston Public Garden
- Holocaust Memorial
- Museum of Science
- New England Aquarium
- Fenway Park
- Black Heritage Trail — This trail covers ten sites important in American black history scattered throughout Boston's Beacon Hill.
- Freedom Trail — Seventeen historical sites in downtown Boston that are crucial to understanding revolutionary era America.
- Boston Duck Tour
- Freedom Trail
- 1 Boston Children's Museum.
- 2 Frog Pond.
- 1 The Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St, ☏ +1 617-236-3100.
- Samuel Adams Brewery (Many locations).
- Merrimack Valley — Along the mighty Merrimack river you'll find 19th-century industrial mill towns blended with modern suburbs, rural farms, and quaint orchards.
- North Shore — A charming collection of wealthy towns and fishing villages; this region's many beaches make it a notable summer destination.
- MetroWest — As the name implies, this is a collection of commuter suburbs and superb historic attractions just west of Boston.
- Bristol-Norfolk — A collection of forests, rural communities and bedroom suburbs on the way to Providence, Rhode Island.
- South Shore — Stretching south to the Cape, it's here where you'll find the "Irish Riviera"; a handful of beach communities nestled along the Atlantic.