American History & Bostonian Culture...
Bostons not the kind of city where you take a tour just out of a sense
of obligation. Wander this architectural theme park of cobble-stoned
paths, antique brownstones and 18th century buildings. Follow quaint
neighborhoods to quiet corners within the city. Theres so much to
explore, learn and discover, by land or water, on buses, trolleys
or on foot. For excellent discounts and group passes check out a City
Pass. The Boston National Historic Park Visitor Center is another
great way to find out about the best tours in Boston.
Make way for ducklings...
Theres one tour that lets you see Boston by both land and water:
the ever-popular Boston Duck Tours.
Amphibious craft from World War II take you on a 90-minute ride
along the citys byways and waterways. Be prepared to get wet and,
yes, people really will quack back.
Tour by land...
Another of the citys famous tours is the self-guided walking path,
the Freedom Trail. You can begin
at Faneuil Hall, meander through the historic North End and eventually
end up in Charlestown Navy Yard at the U.S.S. Constitution. Some
of the worthwhile (and free) sites along the way include the Massachusetts
State House, The Bunker Hill Monument, Boston Common, Kings Chapel
Burying Ground, Old Granary Burial Ground and Copps Hill Burial
Ground. Old North Church and Paul
Reveres House are also on the trail, and offer an excellent
excuse to duck into the pastry shops on nearby Hanover Street. If
you'd like an authentic guide with real character, groups can sign
up for the Freedom Trail Players, who will personally escort you
around the 2.5 mile trail.
For a guide to walk along with you try Boston By Foot or, from
the same company, Boston By Little Feet, a tour customized for children.
Have a culinary groupie with you? Try the North End Market Tour
and explore the markets and restaurants of this Italian neighborhood.
For a real workout theres Boston Bike Tours. Open-air Trolleys are
a pleasant touring alternative during warmer months. Discover Boston
Trolley tours and Old Town Trolley are two popular companies that
take you along many Freedom Trail spots-sans the walking. Many trolley
companies have pick-up spots at various hotels.
One if by land, two if by sea...
Don't forget to take a look at Boston Harbor. Touring by boat can
be inexpensive and a relief from the humid weather that overtakes
the city in July and August. A shuttle from the North End to East
Boston and the Charlestown Navy Yard is a mere dollar. Boston Harbor
Cruises offers half-hour tours from Long Wharf to the Bay and back.
See those amazing whales up close and personal when you board the
Boston Harbor Whale Watches. Or
maybe a pit stop at the Boston Harbor Islands State Park is more
to your liking. The Charles Riverboat Company(Bostons only riverboat
company) offers an hour tour from the CambridgeSide Galleria, down
the Charles towards Harvard Square, then back again. They also offer
For excursions that take you further from the city, AC Cruise Line
on Northern Avenue offers a two-hour trip to Gloucester. They also
offer whale watching and moonlight cruises. Discover the great pilgrimage
of the Mayflower Ship and Christopher Columbus at Plimouth Plantation.
A different view...
To tour Boston from above, try the Prudential
Center Skywalk or the John Hancock Observatory. Or you can settle
in for a drink in the Bay Tower Room near Faneuil Hall and look
over the water and surrounding areas.
The Gibson House, Nichols House Museum and the Harrison Gray Otis
House let you see whats inside those beautiful Victorian row houses
that comprise much of Beacon Hill, home to Bostons upper crust for
Calling all beer lovers...
On the other end of the spectrum, there are several brewery tours
for beer connoisseurs. You can witness the beer brewing process,
learn the history of your favorite ale and get free samples at the
end. Boston Beer Museum and the Harpoon Brewery are two popular
spots. If your taste runs to wine, go outside city limits to tour
the Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery.
The Boston Tea Party Ship &Museum,
The Arnold Arboretum, The Franklin
Park Zoo, Museum of Afro-American History and John F. Kennedy
Museum offer guided and self-guided tours.
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