How to Tour Boston On a Budget: 10 Things to Do In Bean Town On a Hot Summer Day

5. Treat yourself to an Award-Winning Ice Cream From JP Licks

Jamaica Plain-based local ice cream chain JP Licks is known for its high quality ice cream using fresh, real, and intense ingredients. Owner and founder Vince Petryk describes ice cream as “love in a cone,” which should tell you a few things about how seriously he takes this business of ice cream making.

In the past, their summer flavors have included notables such as: Cucumber, Raspberry Lime Rickey Sorbet, Fresh Mojito Sorbet, Fresh Mint, Sangria Sorbet, Fresh Watermelon Sorbet, Passion Fruit Frozen Yogurt, Pineapple Coconut Sherbet, Pomegranate Sorbet, Fresh Strawberry Rhubarb, Wild Blueberry Sorbet, and so many, many more.

Directions: many locations around Boston, including Harvard Square, Mission Hill, Coolidge Corner, and Charles Street; flagship store in Jamaica Plains is about a half-mile walk from the Green Street station off the Orange line. Cost: prices vary; medium ice cream is about $5. Visit their website here.

4. Visit the Museum of Science’s entrance gallery

While the Museum of Science is a commitment of both your time and your finances, you can explore the small exhibits in the main lobby for free. Check out the musical staircase and the Foucault pendulum in particular. If you think you might be interested in purchasing tickets to other parts of the museum, more information can be found here:

Directions: take the Green line to Science Park station. Cost: free

3. Peruse the stacks of the Boston Public Library’s Central Branch

boston public library photo

Photo by Jan David Hanrath Via Flickr Creative Commons

Enter the library through the entrance off of Dartmouth Street (across from the Copley Square Park) and find yourself whisked away to a dazzling combination of books and architecture. The library is made of up two conjoined buildings, known as the McKim building and the Johnson building. They are separated by a fairytale-grade courtyard, which you cannot and will not miss. The museum also offers free volunteer-led architecture tours of the museum on weekdays – check out for days and times.

Directions: take the Green line to Copley station. Cost: free

2. Tour the Massachusetts State House

massachusetts state house photo

Photo by David Paul Ohmer Via Flickr Creative Commons

You know those signs on the highway that say “Boston xx miles”? They measure those distances from the tip of the gold dome atop the State House.

The State House offers free guided tours Monday-Friday 10am-3:30pm; call (617) 727-3676 to book a guided tour. If you’d prefer the DIY track, pick up a leaflet in Doric Hall (second floor) and wander around yourself.

Directions: take the Red or Green line to Park Street station. Cost: free; metal detector entry required for visitors

1. And If All Else Fails…Dunkin.

dunkin donuts photo

Photo by JeepersMedia Via Flickr Creative Commons

Dunkin Donuts. Double Ds, Dunkies, Dunks….. every New Englander worth her salt knows to find refuge on a hot day by crawling into a large iced coffee, customized with one of nine flavor options you can add (FOR FREE). Sure, there are places where you can get “better” iced coffees (and if you’re interested in that kind of refreshment, Thinking Cup makes a mean coffee beverage – think iced lattes with actual frothed milk), but why stray from a decades-long, tried-and-true Boston tradition when you can cool off like a real Bostonian for a fraction of the price?

Find one near you

Cover Photo by jeffgunn Via Flickr Creative Commons

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