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Travel TipsBoston's latitude leaves the city vulnerable to both polar and tropical air masses. Low-pressure storm systems frequently follow tracks that take them near Boston, while the Atlantic Ocean has a moderating influence on both summer and winter temperature extremes. The four seasons are quite distinct here.

New England winters are not for the faint-hearted and may limit the things to do while you're here. Boston experiences its fair share of snow, sleet and icy winds, and the Charles River normally freezes over. Coastal storms, or northeasters, can produce tremendous amounts of snow or rain. Summers are warm but usually not uncomfortable, although occasional heat waves send temperatures and humidity soaring.

Spring and early fall are pleasant times to visit. Although bitterly cold weather can last well into March, spring eventually arrives. May, when many of the spring flowers are in bloom, is a lovely month. Autumn visitors will be greeted with crisp, clear air and resplendent fall colors, starting in September and peaking by mid-October.

Boston's dress code ranges from the conservative attire of downtown's Old Guard establishments to the casual accoutrements worn at Cambridge's student enclaves. The most important thing to remember is that the city's variable weather requires a flexible wardrobe. In winter bring a heavy coat and a pair of sturdy boots or shoes for negotiating icy sidewalks. An umbrella will come in handy at almost any time of year.

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