Want to avoid large crowds during holidays? Google pinpoints best times to visit essential places

BOSTON (WHDH) - With the holidays fast approaching, Google Maps says it decided to analyze data before and during the COVID-19 pandemic to identify key trends in Boston to pinpoint the busiest and least busy times to visit essential places so people can avoid large crowds.

Thanksgiving is now just days away, meaning more people will be frequenting grocery stores, hitting the roads to run errands, and traveling to see family.

Below is a list of what has been the busiest and least busy times to visit popular places in the Boston area during the pandemic, according to Google:

Coffee shops:

  • Busiest: Saturday at 10 a.m.
  • Least busy:  Sunday at 7 a.m.

Grocery stores:

  • Busiest: Saturday between 1-3 p.m.
  • Least busy: Friday at 8 a.m.


  • Busiest: Friday at 3 p.m.
  • Least busy: Monday at 9 a.m.


  • Busiest: Friday at 7 p.m.
  • Least busy: Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Food orders:

  • Most popular time: Between 6-7 p.m.
  • Most popular day of the week: Saturday


  • Busiest: Saturday at 4 p.m.
  • Least busy: Sunday at 7 a.m.

Data also showed that driving continues to be the most popular form of transportation in and around the city. Cycling is also up by 22 percent, while interest in public transportation has fallen by more than 50 percent.

Reservations for dining are up by 273 percent compared to last year. Takeout orders are up 154 percent, with an interest in Thai and Mexican cuisine spiking by more than 50 percent.

Google searches for outdoor locations, including Blue Hills Reservation, have skyrocketed by 119 percent compared to pre-pandemic days. Searches for home and garden stores are also up by 60 percent.

To view more trends, click here.

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