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Boston tours

I'm wondering if any of Rick's travelers have had experience with 1-day tours of Boston. One day is about the time that we'll have. We won't have a car with us, so we'd pretty much need pick up at a hotel. I've seen a few tours on-line, but I have noidea which are reputable-nor from which hotels they pick up.

I'd appreciate any input/suggestions that you have! Thanks!

Posted by
155 posts

Totally agree with the suggestion for self-following the Freedom Trail. Whatever hotel you stay at should be able to direct you to a T station to get to the beginning of the trail, and from there it's pretty compact, interesting and easy to follow on foot. If you're not up on your American History, do a little review first.

Posted by
197 posts

Boston is a relatively small, very walkable city. Most guidebooks will have walking tours you can follow on your own. Places to include would be Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, the waterfront, the North End, Beacon Hill, The Common and Boston Garden. You can easily see the highlights in one day.

Here's my photos, they are all labeled as to where they are. https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/p58714691

Posted by
332 posts

For such a short stay, have you considered combining a couple of tours like these? The meeting places are easily reached by local transportation. No need for hotel pickup, and budget friendly. I have not taken these tours, but had great experiences with similar tours all over the world.

https://freetoursbyfoot.com/boston-tours/walking-tours/boston-freedom-trail/

https://freetoursbyfoot.com/boston-tours/walking-tours/north-endlittle-italy/

https://freetoursbyfoot.com/boston-tours/walking-tours/cambridge-and-harvard/

Etc. at the site.

Posted by
3339 posts

National Parks has an App for the Freedom Trail, selfguided. Small city, walkable.

Posted by
3537 posts

the whole historic area is walkable. I would think a bus tour would actually take up too much time in getting on and off the bus to be as efficient as a walking tour.

Posted by
1858 posts

You can do the Freedom Trail on your own, or get a tour, but that would be the place to start. Once you finish that which covers a lot, including the Constitution, there is so much more and/or more depth to study. I would disagree that you can see enough in a day as I've been here for almost 40 years and I am making discoveries in Boston (and surrounds)...but you can always come back! Best hotels for a one day visit...well there are many downtown so it depends on your budget. The Parker House is right near the Common. The Four Seasons Hotel is across from the Public Garden (my favorite Park). The Bostonian is next to Faneuil Hall Market Place. Rowes Wharf Hotel is near the market place, but on the harbor as is the Marriot. Hotels in the Back Bay would be fine as well. The financial district gets a little empty when walking back to the hotel late at night so I wouldn't stay in that area.

As others have said, Boston is a walkable city, and if you are tired, just hop on the subway. You wouldn't want a car.

Posted by
640 posts

Walk on your own, The Freedom Trail as above, the North End in particular. If you are driving by and do not want to stay downtown, park and ride at one of the stations on the outskirts. Note, if you go this way then you have to pay for parking with an app, I believe - we did not have one and a parking attendant was good enough to provide us with a sticker for free parking. Not everyone will be so lucky.

Posted by
86 posts

Boston by Foot has great walking tours of different parts of the city that focus on architectural and historical elements. Doing a walking tour plus a harbor cruise gives some great perspectives on seeing Boston. For harbor cruises, check Goldstar or Groupon-type sites, as there are often deals. Hope you enjoy our wonderful city!

Posted by
830 posts

Another vote for doing freedom trail on yr own, just make sure you have cash for a couple of coffees and lunch.