Maybe touristy, but taking a trolley is a nice experience in Boston
1. to travel without taking the subway!
2. to listen to some explanation in Bostonian (every trolley driver has his/her own style so will tell you different things from other. I was shocked but the fact that one driver explained us what a bike path is!!!)
There are many companies offering such services, we utilized the orange ones (The Old Trolley)...
to be continued
They offer various tours. I recommend just doing the trolley and not do the discover cruise. The trolley is very informative and gives a great overview of the city. It makes 17 stops.
The people at the Long Wharf were unorganized. They put us on the wrong boat. It just took us to a few of the same places the trolley already did. You could hardly hear what the guy was saying. Instead of 45min the trip was 90min.
"In this building, George Washington bleh meh soo kim lal in eesh bal bleh, 1776, the Boston Bruins! Yay!" He enthusiastically rings the white trolley's bell, "Ding! Ding!" Now, I speak four different languages but I don't have a clue as to what our tour guide is saying. It certainly isn't Bostonian in origin. We pause at an intersection and a rider points towards a corner and asks, "What is that?" "That", he replies with authority, "Is a small park!" What began as a somewhat hilarious ride around town has quickly become an intense hearing and language test. Riders crane their necks sideways trying to decipher what is being said over the crackling speakers. They all give up after 15 minutes.
You would think that for 30 bucks, the trolley company would provide a driver with at least a working knowledge of English. The guy who sold us the tickets spoke fine, why not give him the wheel? The web site for Discover Boston Tours claims a "100-minute fully narrated tour of Boston, Cambridge, and The Freedom Trail by Boston’s most seasoned tour guides. " Geesh! This guy is "seasoned"? What does that mean if you can't understand or hear him?
The breeze through the trolley's large open windows is nice, it's a hot day. Luckily my lovely companion knows more about the city than the guide and she points out all the landmarks and monuments in passing. It's a good way to see things.
The trolley stops and an old man gets onboard. "Anyone wanna a bottle of watt-a? 2 bucks!" Everybody shakes their heads, "No." "Anyone?"
We decide to jump off at a stop because the next one would take us back where we began. "Well, that sucked!" she says, as we walk away. "It was kind of fun," I offer, "...and kind of weird."
On our first visit to Boston, we decided to go on a trolley tour as we thought this would help us discover what there was to see and do in the city and get our bearings at the same time. Our first trolley driver was both hilarious and very informative and totally made it worth our while (and money, tickets are pretty expensive: $34). However, as you can hop on and off, we ended up with a different driver/guide and quite frankly, I couldn't wait to get off. So I guess these tours can be really great or really awful, depending on who picks you up - best of luck!
... Or at least to get a quick and dirty overview of where everything is. We were so disappointed when we discovered that the Duck Tours started for the season the day we left! But then we discovered the Old Town Trolley Tours and dried our eyes and bought tickets. At $29 per ticket, this isn't the cheapest way to see Boston, but it might be the easiest. The complete route takes about an hour and a half and takes visitors past, or nearly past, most of the important sites in Boston, Charleston and Cambridge. The trolley drivers have a running commentary on where you are and what you are looking at. I suspect that your tour can be very different depending on your driver. We had two and the first seemed to be a comedian, telling us stories I suspect were more joke than fact. The second was far more serious and punctuated his commentary with recordings by Rich Little as various personalities.
If you're not up for the 2 and 1/2 mile Freedom Trail by foot, this is a reasonable substitute. It's important to know, however, that there are many sites that you really only get 2 or 3 blocks close to. At those trolley stops the driver will direct you to "walk two blocks to the right and then turn left". Some of the important sites, like Paul Revere's house and the Old North Church, are on small streets that the trolleys don't go on.
This is a better option if you are visiting Boston when the weather is cold because it is heated. I was on the trolley with one other person so we got personalized service and our driver even stopped at one of the monunents so that we could get out and take pictures. The tour guides had a wicked sense of humor and were very informative about all of the different neighborhoods. This is a great way to see the city especially if you are only in Boston for a short while. When we went thorugh china town the driver explained what the dunkin donuts sign really said because it was written in chinese characters (there are dunkin donuts everywhere in Boston) since they don't have a word for "donut" in chinese the sign says "Dunkin hole in cake". I highly recommend taking this tour.
Take the Trolley and you will see the most the city and the surroundings. It takes about 2-3 hours and most of the hotels have Trolley departure from the hotel entrance.
Don't forget to taste the Boston Lobster's, its famous, huge and taste like heaven.
Take a tour on the Old Town Trolley. It's a great way to get to know the city and the "hop on, hop off" feature allows you to use this transportation like you would a taxi (with a little more planning on your part.) The tour guides provide interesting information through out the tour. Very helpful for finding out about the other places you plan/would like to visit.
I definitely recommend taking a trolley tour of Boston. I paid somewhere between $20-$30 i dont remember the exact amount but it is well worth it. There are many things to see here, with the tour you can see it all and get alot of info from the knowledgeable tour drivers. The good thing about these tours are there are plenty of stops where you can go down, walk around and jump back onto any other of the tour buses. So you have all day to do the tour. For an extra few buck you can add on another day if you dont complete the tour in one day. there is a tour called the duck tours, i didnt go on that one, i went on the regular trolley tours.
This goes down as one of those spur of the moment moves that I jumped on first and thought about later. I’m actually a big fan of hop on/hop off tours. They’re a great way to see the city layout and I use them as a way of determining what I might want to go back and revisit later. I picked this one up at stop number 1 which was located on the harbor by the aquarium. For the first part of the tour I rode around until I got to Boston Common. I wasn’t that impressed with the guide. He knew his history, but he was very monotonous in speech. Still, I got some great views of the skyline and was able to get a good feel for where the North End and USS Constitution were located geographically. After walking around the Common and Beacon Hill I re-boarded in front of the State House. This time the driver was a little more animated. I enjoyed the drive through Chinatown and the Theatre District but was disappointed that the route wasn’t more expansive. This time I disembarked at the North End and had lunch in Little Italy. After visiting the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s statue I got back on the trolley. This was by far my favorite driver. He was funny and knowledgeable and made sure that everyone was having a good time.
At the end of my tour I took the free Harbor Cruise which was wonderful for skyline views of the city. The weather was great and the tour took 45 minutes which was just about perfect timing with the sunset. The other option was admission to the aquarium but since it was so pretty I opted for the cruise.
The only negative aspect of the tour was that it didn’t go more places. It didn’t go down Newbury or into Copley Square at all. I also would have liked to have gone into Cambridge. There are other trolley companies that do that and I might try one of them next time.
Old Town Trolley Tour
You can board and re-board at 16 orange & green stops throughout the city. The narrated tour is very entertaining. Good way to get an overview of the city or to stop at particular sightseeing spots.