museums in boston travel

5 Must-See Museums in Boston

If you’re a museum enthusiast who’s recently purchased one of the homes for sale in Boston, it’s going to take a while before you get through all the institutions this city offers, but these five are a great start.

USS Constitution Museum

Boston is home to the world’s oldest commissioned warship. Launched in 1797 under George Washington, the greatest glory of the USS Constitution came during the war of 1812 in which she played a big part of the British defeat, earning the nickname “Old Ironsides.” Tours of the ship are conducted by Navy crew, and just next door, the USS Constitution Museum tells more about her story and how she remained undefeated. It houses the largest collection of objects related to the ship in one location, including records and artifacts that span a more than 200-year history.

The Museum of Science

The Museum of Science is the most popular museum in all of Massachusetts, seeing the greatest number of visitors than any other in the state, with some 1.4 million visitors annually. It’s a favorite with adults and kids alike, offering the opportunity to learn about astronomy, anatomy and earth sciences through fun, interactive exhibits that include digging for dinosaurs and even playing on swings. There are natural animal habitats too, butterfly gardens and a replica of the first space capsule. The museum also features a planetarium and an IMAX theater.

The Old State Museum

This iconic landmark can be found while walking the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston. Built in 1713, the well-preserved building surrounded by tall, modern buildings in the Financial District exhibits thousands of artifacts, including pieces like the vial of tea that was salvaged from the original Tea Party crowd as well as a wide range of historical documents.

Institute of Contemporary Art

ICA Boston as it’s common referred to is situated on the South Boston waterfront is a unique space renowned fr its architecture, a magnificent glass building with sharp angles and a cantilevered glass expanse that hovers over the harbor. Inside are the works of emerging and leading contemporary artists, with lots of fun and funky exhibits. A beautiful outdoor seating space frequently hosts events like music or dance performances.

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts is massive, a place you’ll need to return to at least several times to take it all in, with a wide array of temporary and permanent exhibits that include everything from ancient artifacts, like “Daily Life in Greece” which features 250 works organized around the 5th and 6th centuries BC to “Art in the Netherlands in the 17th century” and contemporary collections focused on the postwar Studio Craft movement.