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How to dress for the snow in Boston and what to do in the cold weather

Visiting Boston for a week on a business trip. Coming from California, I don't really know what do in winter weather. What do locals like to do when its cold out besides staying in? And what do I need to prepare myself for clothing wise?

9 Answers

top answer by
Anna from Athens

If you'll be here next week you're bound for some "warmer" weather...And let me tell you, snow doesn't stop people moving around! coming from Greece I understand where you come from, so I'll give you some handy tips.

I keep warm by wearing a down feather jacket, boots with insulation, wool tights, wool beanie and gloves.

I definitely advise you to bring the warmest coat/jacket you have and some wool sweaters. As I said warm boots and gloves are essential (those are the parts of the body that need better insulation). Uniqlo has a lot of thermal underwear and a pretty light down feather jacket if you'd like. 

Now as for what to do. Museum of Fine Arts is a nice place if you're into museums. Also the 1st weekend of each month (that would be March 7th and 8th) entrance is free for Bank of America cardholders.

As Rocio suggested you can visit Quincy Market Boston which is an indoor food hall with lots of options. 

Sightseeing wise, you can do the Freedom Trail starting off from Boston Common and ending at Charlestown (but you can cut off at North End, where you'll also find lots of Italian Restaurants).

Harvard University is a must visit and Harvard Square has lots of options for dining/cocktails and such. I suggest Alden & Harlow Kennedy's on the Square Gastropub Toscano Harvard Square

The Back Bay and most notably Newbury St also have a lot of hustle&bustle. You can also find 2 indoor malls here The Shops at the Prudential Center and Copley Place

Ending my long post here are some posts I've written about the various neighborhoods of Boston:

Let me know if you need more info!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Museum of Fine Arts (attraction)
  2. Quincy Market Boston (restaurant)
  3. Freedom Trail (attraction)
  4. Boston Common (attraction)
  5. Charlestown (neighborhood)
  6. Harvard University (attraction)
  7. Harvard Square (attraction)
  8. Alden & Harlow (restaurant)
  9. Kennedy's on the Square Gastropub (restaurant)
  10. Toscano Harvard Square (restaurant)
  11. Newbury St (attraction)
  12. The Shops at the Prudential Center (restaurant)
  13. Copley Place (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Kenbla from Salem, Massachusetts

You'll certainly need a warm coat! Faneuil Hall always has a great crowd and then aquarium is a short walk from those shops. We're used to the cold here so you'll see lots of people out and about - the night life is great in that area as well. I also recommend going on a Tour at Samuel Adams Brewery Co the guides are hilarious and there is a party trolly to Doyle's Cafe you can't miss - I met some incredible people that day being a tourist in my own city!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Faneuil Hall (attraction)
  2. Samuel Adams Brewery Co (attraction)
  3. Doyle's Cafe (attraction)
2 thanks

answered first by
Rocio from Costa Rica

Boston is a beautiful city. A coat will be a must! I would suggest that you visit Faneuil Hall Marketplace and try the clam chowder at  Quincy Market Boston. Not sure what else to do as it is too cold right now, but probably visit Harvard University, Cambridge St and Downtown Crossing will be a good idea as well.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Boston (city)
  2. Faneuil Hall Marketplace (attraction)
  3. Quincy Market Boston (restaurant)
  4. Harvard University (attraction)
  5. Cambridge St (attraction)
  6. Downtown Crossing (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

Go to thrift store. Order online LLBean. You need heavy duty gloves, hat, boots, snow pants, and parka.

1 thanks

answered by
Abbie from Kingston, Rhode Island

Luckily for you, it's getting warmer here! I would pack layers, a sweater and a coat (peacoat, patagonia, etc.). You can start with touristy things like the museums or walking around historic streets like Beacon St and seeing the Boston Common and the public garden. You can't go wrong with hitting the bars at night or grabbing dinner on the North End for great italian either. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Beacon St (attraction)
  2. Boston Common (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Kathleen from Boston, Massachusetts

You better be prepared for the weather in Boston. Today is March 1 & it's snowing again!

1 thanks

answered by
Kara from Boston

Boston is great anytime of the year! The museum of science is also a fun spot if you want to get out of the cold for a while. If they are running, I personally think it is worth paying for the guided freedom trail. I've done it both ways with visitors, and you definitely get more out of the guided tour. If you do find yourself in Copely Square, the architecture inside Boston Public Library is beautiful and worth checking out. 


Only other thing I would add that hasn't already been said is to check out the esplanade. If you are a runner, it's perfect, but you can also bundle up and walk along the Charles with great views of the city from the Mass Ave bridge.

1 thanks

answered by
Flor from Massachusetts


While Boston anytime of the year, it can be especially cold during the winters. I would suggest wearing an insulated coat or wool lined pea pat (whatever your personal style calls for). Gloves, hat, and good snow boots are a must.  


As for things to do around Boston, all of the previous suggestions were good ones but I would also add in ice skating at Frog pond since the weather might be nicer next week and it's a winter activity outdoors. If you have a rental car, it's worth driving an hour away to get some skiing in at wachusett mountain. All of our snowfall is perfect for skiers. Hope you enjoy Boston!!

1 thanks

answered by
Matthew from Boston

Yes it is cold, so what most people have already said bring a solid coat, something like a wool peacoat should suffice, but also if you layer up, with sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves you should be fine. 

Pretty much what Anna said hits a lot of the places necessary to see, I would also include the North End (Hanover St), where you can find the Italian neighborhood of the city. 

I highly recommend Alden & Harlow. Also I'd check out Sarma Restaurant, if you can make out that way, as it was just labeled one of the top 25 outstanding restaurants of 2015 by GQ. 

Boston is a great drinking city so you should definitely check out the many bars and pubs. If you want something more old school Bostonian you could try something like J.J. Foley's Bar & Grill. If you like cocktail bars, then I'd highly recommend Drink (they don't really have menus, you just tell the bartenders what you want, either specifically drinks, or be as obscure as what flavors you enjoy and they will create a drink off of the info you give them).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hanover St (attraction)
  2. Alden & Harlow (restaurant)
  3. Sarma Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. J.J. Foley's Bar & Grill (restaurant)
  5. Drink (attraction)
1 thanks

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