The 20+ Best Parks to Visit and Explore in Boston

“We can never have enough of nature.”

It’s been over 160 years since transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau wrote these words in his reflective work Walden, but the sentiment has never been more true for Boston residents and visitors.

Parks provide something for everyone, no matter their interests or age.

Parks allow us to re-connect with the natural world, engage in physical play in an increasingly busy, digital world, and provide us with the perfect setting whether we’re looking to socialize with others or find a moment of solitude.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to more than 20 of the best parks to visit and explore in the Boston area.

This isn’t a ranked list. After all, we all spend time at parks for different reasons.

Whether you’re looking for a park that will help you explore Boston’s rich history, host a memorable birthday party for your child, or identify your favorite native flowers, trees, and animals, we hope you find a park that’s perfect for you.

Map of Best Parks in Boston, Massachusetts

Explore the map of the best parks in the Boston area located near you, then continue reading below to learn more about each park, its history, and amenities!

Photo Credit: “Fountain in Boston Public Garden” by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Public Garden

Established in 1837, the Boston Public Garden features America’s first botanical garden.

Admire the 80+ species of plants accented by monuments and fountains in this Victorian-inspired park and garden.

Address: 4 Charles St, Boston, MA 02116

Website: Public Garden

Boston National Historical Park

Stretching across 43 acres, the Boston National Historical Park showcases over 350 years of historical development.

Stop in at one of the visitors’ centers or take part in a ranger-guided tour to learn more about Boston’s history and evolution.

Address: Building 5, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA 02109

Website: Boston National Historical Park

Photo Credit: “Peacock and Elephant at the Franklin Park Zoo” by Boston City Archives is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Franklin Park

Franklin Park is one of the most prominent parks associated with the Emerald Necklace, a set of parks and natural waterways in the Boston and Brookline area.

One of the largest outdoor spaces in the Boston metro area, Franklin Park includes unique features such as a zoo, golf course, and playgrounds.

Address: 1 Franklin Park Rd, Boston, MA 02121

Website: Franklin Park

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Reopened in 2003 after originally falling into disrepair, the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park is a popular place to visit along the Boston Harbor thanks to its many community-friendly activities like movie nights or lawn games.

Address: Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02110

Website: Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Norman B. Leventhal Park

If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air while in downtown Boston, look no further than Norman B. Leventhal Park.

The park offers free wi-fi internet to its guests as well as performances from local musicians and group fitness classes during the summer months.

Address: 130 Congress St, Boston, MA 02110

Website: Norman B. Leventhal Park

Photo Credit: “Joe Moakley Park in Boston” by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Joe Moakley Park

Want to play sports while enjoying an ocean view?

Joe Moakley Park is an urban park that offers just that with tennis courts, soccer fields, an outdoor track, and delightfully close proximity to Carson Beach.

Address: 1005 Columbia Rd, Boston, MA 02127

Website: Joe Moakley Park

Danehy Park

The space where Danehy Park is found was once a city landfill, but don’t let that fact discourage you from visiting this 50-acre community space that’s perfect for picnics, jogging, and other outdoor activities.

Address: 99 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Website: Danehy Park

Larz Anderson Park

In 1951, the Anderson family donated the property now known as Larz Anderson Park to the city for public recreational use.

The park features one particular feature that’s uncommon amongst other parks in the Boston area: an outdoor skating rink.

Address: Goddard Ave & Newton St., Brookline, MA 02445

Website: Larz Anderson Park

Photo Credit: “Rose Kennedy Greenway- Boston” by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Rose Kennedy Greenway

This urban park attracts guests with its waterfront views, contemporary art exhibits, food trucks, and more.

You’ll love visiting Rose Kennedy Greenway whether it’s daytime or nighttime with its many attractions and amenities.

Address: Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02109

Website: Rose Kennedy Greenway

Mary O’Malley State Park

Take a stroll along the Mystic River and enjoy a magical view of the Boston skyline.

Like most other parks, Mary O’Malley State Park is open from sunrise to sunset and offers plenty of space whether you’re looking to go on a run or relax for a pleasant picnic.

Address: Commandants Way, Chelsea, MA 02150

Website: Mary O’Malley State Park

Olmsted Park

Another member of the Emerald Necklace system of parks, Olmsted Park attracts many geese, ducks, and other wildlife to its large Leverett pond.

As one of the more wooded parks in the area, you’ll find this park to be a great place to meander in the shade on a hot summer day.

Address: 217 Jamaicaway, Boston, MA 02130

Website: Olmsted Park

North Point Park

Enjoy the beautiful waterfront views while your children make the most of the playground equipment at North Point Park.

While some guests have said nearby parking is limited, the park is within close walking distance of public transportation.

Address: 6 Museum Way, Cambridge, MA 02141

Website: North Point Park

Photo Credit: “Paul Revere Park, Massachusetts” by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Paul Revere Landing Park

Located alongside the Charles River, the five-acre Paul Revere Landing Park is an urban park with a playground and dog park amongst its main amenities.

If you’re looking for an off-leash park where your dog can play, this is a popular choice for those who live nearby.

Address: N Washington St, Boston, MA 02129

Website: Paul Revere Landing Park

Foss Park

Located in the city of Somerville, Foss Park offers an outdoor swimming pool and splash pad that’s a perfect place to cool down during the summer months.

Don’t forget to bring a water bottle and sun protection!

Address: 49 Fellsway W, Somerville, MA 02145

Website: Foss Park

Lincoln Park

If you’re looking for a place to practice your kickflips and ollies, take note of the skate park at Lincoln Park.

This park is located just southwest of Union Square and also offers an abundance of playground equipment for children of all ages, and for kids, that’s all that really matters.

Address: 290 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

Website: Lincoln Park

Peters Park

This South End park offers something fun for everyone.

Peters Park’s amenities include a medium-sized dog park, a kid’s playground area, and both tennis and basketball courts for people of all ages to enjoy a friendly (or competitive) game.

Address: 230 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

Website: Peters Park

John F Kennedy Memorial Park

“Ask not what your park can do for you…”

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Park features a fountain with quotations from the 35th President of the United States with ample benches and other nearby seating to contemplate or socialize.

If you’re fascinated by the life of JFK, don’t forget to visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, one of the best libraries in Boston!

Address: Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path, Cambridge, MA 02138

Website: John F Kennedy Memorial Park

Photo Credit: “Prospect Hill Park” by BostonUrbEx is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Prospect Hill Park

The Boston area features many parks with historical ties, and Prospect Hill Park is certainly no exception.

In 1976, Prospect Hill is where George Washington ordered the raising of the first American flag. This park includes a tower and observatory commemorating this significant event.

Address: Prospect Hill Monument, 68 Munroe St, Somerville, MA 02143

Website: Prospect Hill Park

Titus Sparrow Park

Honoring the first African-American umpire of the United States Tennis Association who spent years teaching local children how to play the sport, there’s no place more fitting than Titus Sparrow Park to hit a tennis ball back and forth with a friend or partner.

Address: 75 W Rutland Square, Boston, MA 02116

Website: Titus Sparrow Park

Piers Park

Members of the local sailing community gather nearby, but Piers Park is open and accessible to all members of the general public who wish to walk along the harbor and enjoy a beautiful view of the Boston skyline and ocean water.

Address: 95 Marginal St, Boston, MA 02128

Website: Piers Park

Sennott Park

Sennott Park is a Cambridge-area park with plans for a comprehensive renovation during 2021 and 2022.

When the park opens back up to the community, this beloved park will be appreciated by all for its playgrounds, splash pads, and fields and courts for sports.

Address: 305 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

Website: Sennott Park

Griggs Park

Spend some time at the unassuming Griggs Park in Brookline, and you’ll appreciate a gorgeous memorial garden and deeply vegetated wetland that attracts birds and other wildlife.

Address: 33 Griggs Rd, Brookline, MA 02446

Website: Griggs Park

Photo Credit: “Nathan Tufts Park – PowderHouse” by Eric Kilby is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Tufts Park

Just southeast of Tufts University, the residential Tufts Park is one of the northernmost parks on our list.

Cool off in the swimming pool, or take advantage of the open fields to play a game of ultimate frisbee or flag football with friends.

Address: 437 Main St, Medford, MA 02155

Website: Tufts Park

City Square Park

As City Square Park is located along the Freedom Trail, it’s a frequent hot spot for tourists.

On the grounds of this urban park, you’ll find what’s left of a home owned by Massachusett’s first governor, John Winthrop. (Spoiler alert: just part of the foundation remains.)

Address: Freedom Trail, Boston, MA 02129

Website: City Square Park

Langone Park

Right next to the Boston Harbor, this waterfront park offers three regulation-sized bocce courts.

Langone Park draws its name from Joseph Langone, Jr., a Depression-era politician who served as a Massachusetts state senator during the 1930s and 1940s.

Address: 529-543 Commercial Street, Boston, MA 02109

Website: Langone Park