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When to Go
Weather-wise, late spring and fall are the optimal times to come. Aside from mild temperatures, the former offers blooming gardens throughout the city and the latter sees the surrounding countryside ablaze with brilliantly colored foliage. At both times, however, you should expect hordes of visitors.
Students must be factored into the mix as well. More than 250,000 of them flood into the area each September; then pull out again in May and June. So hotels and restaurants fill up especially fast on move-in, move-out, and graduation weekends.
The good news is that this is a four-season destination. Along with the most reliable sunshine, summer brings sailboats to Boston Harbor, concerts to the Esplanade, and café tables to sidewalks. Summer is also prime for a classic shore vacation, but advance planning is imperative.
Even winter has its pleasures. The cultural season heats up when it's cold, and Boston gets a holiday glow, thanks to the thousands of lights strung around the Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. During the post-Christmas lull temperatures fall, but lodging prices do, too.
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