I had wanted to pre-book this tour on-line so that we could get seats on the tour for the evening we arrived in Boston. Unfortunately the web-site will allow you to buy tickets but not for a specific date or time and although I rang repeatedly, no-one answered the phone or called me back despite me leaving messages. In the end I decided to leave it until we got to Boston and the hotel arranged the tour for us.
The guides were brilliant and stated the evenings tour with some fun whilst we waited for other guests to board. It was very amusing to watch the guide trying to size up one of our party for a coffin! Once we set off, we listened to a tale of murder and mystery before ending up at Copps Hill Cemetery. We walked through the cemetery listening to a number of spooky tales about some of the inhabitants.
After re boarding the trolley bus we were treated to some more ghostly tales as we made our way towards our second burying ground of the night the Old Granary Burial Ground. Once inside the cemetery we found our guides had locked us in and ran off but we were met by another guide the ghost of Hannah Franklin, who took us on a tour of the cemetery.
Eventually our guides returned and after trapped the ghost of Hannah behind the gate so that we could leave. We re boarded our trolley and were treated to a final round of ghoulish tales, this time about the Boston Strangler, as we made our way back to the starting point.
A guided tour with a difference and one well worth doing given the history of Boston's burying grounds.
We visited Boston 47 years ago to walk the Freedom Trail and have been to lots of big cities since then. We were finishing up a road trip and I welcomed the idea of not having to figure out trains, maps and streets for an entire day. This tour covered all the highlights as described in their brochure plus they picked us up at our hotel in Waltham. Ralph - (Henry) asked us about ourselves and did a good job describing things in Boston over the years since our visit in 1966. We started at the Old North Church which was an uphill walk. Good idea to do this first thing in the morning. The lunch stop was great at Quincy Marketplace. After lunch there was time to walk to a bit of the Freedom Trail. We enjoyed browsing at the outdoor market and picked up some fresh fruit to finish our lunch. One of the things I wanted to see this time was the USS Constitution at the naval yards. Their website and our driver made it clear that it is not always open and things happen. We got to the naval yards towards the end of the tour and walked through security and boarded "Old Ironsides" in a matter of minutes. We discovered it had been closed to tourists in the morning because of a retirement ceremony. We only went on the top deck but they do offer tours for all three decks if you have the time. This tour was very relaxing to me - I got choked up several times hearing the stories of our ancestors' bravery and their ideas for this country and the people. You can still visit cemeteries there with headstones of where these revolutionary patriots are buried - very touching. We had wanted to drive through Cambridge to see Harvard University's campus and we did that too. Our driver took good care of us all day and delivered us back to the Hilton Garden Inn right on time. Thanks Boston Tours for a great day.
Currently there is a very ad hoc and probably temporary memorial which will probably disappear when the final memorial is planned, but for now a visit to Copley Square will show you that Boston is, indeed, STRONG.
Built on top of the existing 1850 Custom House, the tower maintained the original neo-Classical design as it soared up to the heavens and became Boston's tallest building when it was completed. It's design, with its beige walls, clock tower, Doric columns and three spaced windows, is reminiscent of one of my favourite buildings, Chicago's Wrigley Building, built some five years later.
A den of traitors. Or at least that's how the British would have seen it. This was the dry tinder box for the American Revolution. The locals would meet here for heated debates about the future of the colony, often in reaction to traumatic events like the Boston Massacre. It was here that over 5000 colonists met after the controversial tax on tea. The debate raged for hours before Samuel Adams gave the secret signal, and the Boston Tea Party began. Here colonists threw tea into the harbour in an open act of rebellion. The British was so enraged that they took revenge on the building by turning it into a riding stable during the revolution and put a bar on the first balcony.
Just around the corner from the place Samuel Adams was buried is the site of his school, the first public school in America. It's marked with the statue of another famous former student, Benjamin Franklin. The school was established in 1635 by Puritan settlers. The location, on School Street, is now the home of the Old City Hall.
I'm sure the hotel will give you information for public transportation. You can also check www.mbta.com
For historic places, Faneuil Hall and the Faneuil Hall Market place would me good places. Paul Revere's home is not too far from the Faneuil Hall Market place. The nearest T stops are Aquarium, Haymarket and Government Center.
For historic eating places, you can try the old Oyster House, also near Faneuil Hall.
You can also take the Freedom trail which is a walking tour, just follow the red line on the sidewalk. It passes many historic places in Boston. It starts at the Boston Commons on Tremont st between Park and Boylston. Just google the Freedom trail for more info.
Speaking of the Boston Commons, you can stop by the old Cheers bar on the other side of the Boston Commons, on Beacon St. Only the outside looks like it did on TV. The inside is not the same as on the old TV show.
The Old South Meeting House was built in 1729 as a Puritan house of worship. It was was one of the largest buildings in colonial Boston. Better known as the site where the Boston Tea Party began when in 1773 it is said that more than "5,000 colonists gathered in a meeting to protest the tax on tea".
After hours of debating, the protestors left the Old South Meeting House toward the waterfront where the now famous dumping of three shiploads of tea into the Boston harbor took place.
The Old South Meeting House is now a museum where you will find the recreation of the tea party debates.
This is perhaps the most vibrant center of town for people watching, equivalent to Barcelona's Las Ramblas, as it basically is a pedestrian mall that leads from the historic center of town to Boston Harbor. Technically called Faneuil Hall Marketplace, it's bounded by historic Faneuil Hall on the west, and on the east end by a circular plaza area where the hall itself terminates with an impressive Greco style column entrance that says Quincy Market in large letters. The center of the rectangular market building, which once was designed for produce vendors, has a domed ceiling. The 2 story, 535 foot long structure is named after Josiah Quincy, a businessman who had the market build without taxpayer expense in 1824. Construction mixes traditional granite and other stones found in New England with early iron columns and tensioners. For many years, especially after creation of the commercial New England Produce Market in Chelsea, the market fell into decay until restoration in 1976.
A cobbled motorized traffic free walk is lined on one side by upscale shops and on the other by the original Quincy Market building itself, and down the middle by locust trees that shade the area in summer, but are barren in winter. The Quincy Structure is a restored market building now given over to a large number of non-branded fast food establishments, providing good quality food at a decent price quickly, without the heavy presence of the usual corporate brands (e.g. McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc.) that can destroy the ambiance of such a place. Beers and wine are available, and most seating is outside in patio chairs and granite benches along the esplanade. Outside is some high end patio dining as well.
Home of Fort Independence, a pentagonal fort built between 1834 and 1851. This is a 22 acre park with beaches and paved walking surfaces and also has a park for children. There is free parking available. There are many dogs, cyclists and pedestrians, especially on a warm summer weekend day.
We parked in front of Longfellow’s house when we visited Harvard. And this house is just as historical as so many other places in Boston and Cambridge – it not only was the residence of one of America’s best 19th century poets, but was Gen. Washington’s headquarters in 1775-1776 during the siege of Boston. It is also where the first use of anesthesia during childbirth was used (how’s that for medical history!). Imagine the visitors that came here to meet with Washington or Longfellow!
It is a fine home full of things that belonged to Longfellow, thus it has a bookish feel about the place. The house offers tours of the house and the gardens and is part of the National Park Service. There is free parking on the street in front of the house.
I didn’t go to Boston to buy produce, but we walked through the market and I saw some of the nicest produce I’ve seen in a long time – so fresh and beautiful – and at amazing prices. Quite a good bit of variety and the vendors seemed very helpful. If I were here for an extended stay, I would definitely pick up some fruit or other items to enjoy. Well worth visiting!
The markets are all around Boston on the weekend. The one I went to was the North Market/Quincy Market, near Faneuil Hall.
One of the neat artistic touches of Boston was near this market. As I was walking along I looked down at the ground and found bronze “trash” in the street – lettuce leaves, newspapers, and other market items memorialized in the street. Pretty cool!
Along with the many places that I wanted to visit while here in Boston was a visit to The Hard Rock Cafe..as we were in the city and had been to visit a few sites.I asked my friends if they could fit in a Hard Rock burger and a few beers ..of course the answer was YES..I explained that I always visited the local hard Rock Cafe if there was one available in the city that I was visiting..
The Hard Rock Cafe here has a "standout" like all Hard Rock Cafes in the world, and this one was the wall covered with highly polished brass drum cymbals of all makes and sizes....and are the first thing that strikes your eye when you enter This Hard Rock Cafe. There is some really wonderful musical memorabilia on display here and to walk around the interior is to see a great iconic collection of Rock and Roll Guitars, photos, and clothing donated by Rock legends...no wonder it is known as the Music Museum of Rock..
I then visit the Rock shop and get my "Boston" guitar pin for my collection and once again having had the pleasure of visiting another of the worlds great Hard Rock cafes..
Take some time off the freedom trail to have a walk around the harbour area. You can have a seat on the bench - look over the ocean to the harbour islands and see Logan airport - do we really have to go home?
St Stephens Church has a history of from 1802 when Charles Bulfinch, architect of the area, designed the church. Then called New North Church, vs Old North church nearby, it sold out to Unitarian church, then became St. Stephen church.
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