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Things to Do Near Boston University (BU)

Fun things to see & do outside of campusThings to Do Near BU Boston University

The Boston University campus, located in the heart of Boston along Commonwealth Avenue,  and  Fenway-Kenmore & Allston areas of Boston, MA.   In addition to its beautiful urban campus, it is close in proximity to lots of fun things to do and places to visit.  

boston university BU things to do

We've put together a handy list of some of our favorite spots both on and nearby campus that are sure to keep you inspired and entertained.

The campus is located right across the street from the Charles River and the Esplanade.  The Esplanade is a 17-mile stretch of land that runs along the banks of the Charles River. 

Esplanade - things to do near BU

There are paths that run the entire stretch that make for a glorious place to walk, jog, rollerblade, bike or just get some sun and people-watch. Whether your interest is canoeing or ice skating, baseball or in-line skating, the Charles River is a beautiful resource. 

Other recreational venues on the Esplanade include The Hatch Shell, where lots of seasonal concerts take place, and Community Boating & Sailing.  

CBI Community Boating things to do near BU

Boasting a fleet of many types of sailboats, a nominal annual membership entitles one to unlimited use of the boats, free instruction at all levels from beginner to advanced, with guest privileges once a member has passed a skills test. 

Visitors can also rent sea kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and windsurfers for a daily fee.

kayaking boston near BU

In addition to the Hatch Shell, Agganis Arena plays host to many popular concerts and sporting events like hockey.   

agganis arena boston university hockey

Boston Museums

Anytime is a great time to get out and explore one of many impressive Boston Museums.  Click the link for a helpful roundup of some of our favorite can't miss venues.  Most offer discounts to college students with an ID.  Learn more about the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) College Visits program here. 

We also have a roundup of Museums that offer free admission on certain days; and if you apply for a Boston Public Library Card, you can get access to a vast selection of free & discounted museum passes

View Boston Observation Deck

Just a few blocks away, Prudential Center is home to Boston's newest observation deck called View Boston.  View Boston is a 360° birds-eye view of the city, offering breathtaking views atop one of the tallest buildings in New England.

Whether your are new to the area or a seasoned local, you'll enjoy discovering historic venues from a brand new birds-eye vantage point. 

Fenway Park

fenway park things to do near BU

Boston Public Library - Copley Branch

Boston Public Library's Central Branch is located in historic Copley Square. The interior is Museum-like and full of impressive works of art, a gleaming marble foyer, a peaceful interior courtyard and hidden gems like the Tea Room, map Room, kids corners

Boston Public Library Copley

Newbury Street

As one of Boston’s legendary shopping and dining districts, Newbury Street is a destination in and of itself and provides a variety of unique experiences. Here, you’ll find beautiful storefronts, architectural gems and a multitude of choices for a little retail therapy.  Boston’s Newbury Street has something for everyone. 

Newbury Street things to do near BU

Since Boston University is right in the city, you are within walking distance or a quick t-ride away from everything that Boston has to offer.   You can find a great list of things to do in Boston in our popular guide, as well as a calendar of Boston events all year long. 

The Boston area is home to over 100 colleges and universities, make it s true "college town".   Schools based right here in the city include, Boston University,  Northeastern University, Suffolk, Emerson College, Boston College, UMASS Boston, Simmons, Berklee School of Music and many more - and right across the river in Cambridge & Medford, you'll find gems like Harvard, MIT, and Tufts University

Neighborhoods to visit in Cambridge

  • Central Square: international restaurants and music clubs
  • Harvard Square: bookstores and street performers; plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants
  • Allston-Brighton - A college-centric neighborhood that caters to an ever-changing youth culture.  Enjoy bars, vintage shops and cheap eats in Allston Village and along Brighton Avenue.  You'll find a diverse mix of global specialties, with a high concentration of Korean cuisine. 
  • Inman Square: restaurants, bars, and coffee houses 
  • Kendall Square: Home to MIT; center of the high-tech and biotechnology industries in Massachusetts
  • Porter Square: the region’s largest concentration of Japanese eateries and shops
  • Davis Square: vibrant arts community and many shops, bars, and restaurants

Day Trips from Boston

Since travel is somewhat limited these days, you can take advantage taking one of many Daytrips from Boston.  Some of our favorites include (to the north) Halibut Point State Park, (to the east) Provincetown via fast ferry, (to the south) World's End in Hingham, and (to the west) Tower Hill Botanic Garden.

boston daytrip to provincetown

During the warmer months, there are lots of great things to do outdoors in Boston, including state & urban parks, miles of waterfront, taking a trip to the Boston Harbor Islands or kayaking along the Charles River, to name just a few.

Boston Beaches 

Summer is also a great time to think about heading to the beach!  There are actually quite a few beaches in Boston, and then, of course, there are some favorites that you must try on the north & south shores.  Nothing beats a great day at a beach near Boston!

boston beaches

During the winter, the world is your oyster with lots of outdoor ice skating venues, plus there over 30 ski resorts near Boston within just a 1-3 hour drive.

There are lots of quadrants of Boston to explore.  Find out more about things you can do near Boston University, check out some things to do near Northeastern University,  hop on the Commuter Rail to find some fun things to do near Brandeis University,  take a trip up the red line to check out some things to experience near Tufts University, or head out to Chestnut Hill to see what you can do near Boston College in our handy guides.

In addition, there are many cool things to do for young adults in Boston, so whether you are celebrating the end of a work week or the end of midterm exams, weekends are brimming with promise for Boston’s 20-something crowd. 

For more ideas about things to do in Boston, visit our insider guides and our Boston events calendar to stay in the know.

stacey saoStacey Sao has been the Managing Director of the family-friendly events and activities website, BostonCentral for almost 20 years.  She continues to enjoy discovering and exploring new places to visit in the Greater Boston area.