Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Boston
Autumn is coming in fast, which means that New Englanders and those traveling here can get ready for the gorgeous changing of the leaves. As the trees dry out for winter, the color of the leaves morphs into beautiful blends of oranges, reds, and browns. The fall foliage in Boston is such a sight that it attracts a wave of tourism and appreciation year after year.
If you’re in town this fall, you can discover a ton of vibrant foliage right here in the city of Boston. Looking around town, here are a few hotels, neighborhoods, and outdoor attractions for this year’s leaf-peepers to consider.
Near The West End
Starting from The Boxer Boston Hotel
Located in Boston’s West End neighborhood, The Boxer Boston is a boutique hotel with an ideal location for guests setting off to see the city’s best foliage. With a number of sights within walking distance from the property, it’s also easy to set off from here to see the additional suggestions near Beacon Hill and even the Seaport. But let’s start off nearby.
For those who are interested in seeing the city from the outside and getting to see more trees in a single outing, we also recommend checking out the Boxer’s Boston by Boat Special, which promises some foliage sightings in the fall.
Just a ten-minute walk north of The Boxer Boston, Langone Park is a historic local park on the water. Along the way, you can hit classic city attractions like the Old North Church before checking out the changing trees and bocce ball courts beneath Langone.
Nashua Street Park
Nashua Street Park is just a bit west of Langone. With some of its own trees, it should have some nice shade and colors. This park is also set right on The Charles River with upfront views of the water and North Point Park across the way in Cambridge. The combination of looking at the water and changing trees on the other shore offers a special way to kick off your foliage tour.
South of Nashua Street Park, Lederman Park offers an even larger public greenspace and hangout along the Charles River. This is a great park to see foliage in Boston, and it also offers views of the river, Cambridge across the way, and easy access to more landmarks and tree-filled spaces further south.
Near Beacon Hill
Starting from The Whitney Hotel Boston
Just south of Lederman Park, The Whitney Hotel Boston offers another luxurious jumping-off point for exploring the city. Those staying at The Whitney will be slightly closer to neighborhoods like Beacon Hill and Downtown Boston, which reveal even more gorgeous places to visit.
With foliage-chasing being one of the more family-friendly tourist attractions in Boston, we recommend guests traveling with little ones also consider the Whitney Hotel Boston’s Make Way for Duckling Package featuring special take-home amenities your young ones are sure to love.
As we continue to move down along the city’s west side and the Charles River coastline, the Charles River Esplanade is just a short walk from The Whitney Hotel Boston. This is the city’s most famous park on the river, and it features a lot of towering trees that change brilliant colors during the fall months.
Just east of The Esplanade, the Boston Common is America’s oldest park and a sprawling collection of fields and trees right in the heart of the city. Come here for the best views of the changing trees set directly in front of the urban skyline surrounding in all directions. From here you can check out other sites like the State House and Government Center.
The Boston Public Garden
Next to the Boston Common is The Boston Public Garden, which is another large, famous park that features swan boats, trees, and plants from around the world, as well as local trees with colorful fall foliage. The Common and the Garden are a great one-two punch for those looking to enjoy the city for the first time. From the Garden, you can walk right onto the world-famous Newbury Street for shopping and dining if you’d like.
If you keep following Newbury Street, you will hit the Back Bay Fens, which is arguably the city’s most attractive collection of public parks. With public gardens, the gorgeous James P. Kelleher Rose Garden, and plenty of water views, this series of parks known as the Emerald Necklace also brightens up with beautiful foliage every fall.
Near The Seaport
Starting from The Envoy Hotel
Located in the Seaport neighborhood of Boston, The Envoy Hotel offers a slightly different jumping-off point for exploring the city’s best foliage, while still being within an easy commute of all the above recommendations.
The Envoy’s Lookout Rooftop also features views of nearby parks and foliage in the fall. For a drink credit with your stay, check out this Experience Whenever Weekends At The Envoy Package.
Fan Pier Park
Right next to the hotel, Fan Pier Park is a well-landscaped public greenspace looking out on Boston Harbor and the city across the water. With a few trees, it’s a nice place to get your first taste of the local color changes before venturing off for more sightseeing.
Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park
North of The Envoy Hotel and a reasonable walk across the Seaport Boulevard Bridge, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park offers another scenic hangout to see some trees and look out on the harbor. On this walk, you can catch some more foliage along Rings Fountain Park, and even head over to some famous nearby attractions like the New England Aquarium and Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway
If you take the bridge into the city from the Seaport, you can also turn left on Purchase street and head towards the famous Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Here you might catch some more foliage set against the backdrop of Boston’s busiest neighborhoods.
Right here in the Seaport, Martin’s Park is another coastal outdoor space that’s tucked right between Seaport Boulevard and the magnificent Boston Children’s Museum. Super close to The Envoy Hotel, this outdoor destination is quite scenic and rarely overcrowded during the fall months.
As you push further south and the city grows, your options for leaf-peeping really open up. For those who want to keep exploring, we heavily recommend checking out the following:
The Arnold Arboretum is a botanical research institution and free public park in Jamaica Plain. On top of being the oldest public arboretum in North America, it also features tons of hiking trails, seemingly endless species of plants and trees, and of course breathtaking foliage in the autumn months. There are over 8,300 trees here!
We also recommend checking out Olmstead Park also in Jamaica Plain, which is one of the more southern parts of the Emerald Necklace chain of parks mentioned above. It was designed by the well-known Frederick Law Olmstead, and provides lush wooded areas that burst with color in the fall.
The Chestnut Hill Reservation in Brighton, and the Fresh Pond Reservation in the Cambridge Highlands are also really worth the trip in the fall, if you’re up for slightly longer commutes through the lively city.