By Molly G. @ The Bumbles Blog
If you only have a day to see Boston, or would like to spend one day just getting an overview of your surroundings, here are three good options to help you accomplish your goal.
#1 – Walk the Freedom Trail. Boston is a great walking city and this option lets you stroll through the city at your own pace, for free, following your map and the red painted line on the sidewalk (not quite the yellow brick road I know) and visit all of the historic sites the city is known for. But it also pulls you through thriving sections of the city that are attractions on their own in the present. So you can live in the past by learning all about the American Revolution and then take a few steps off the trail into the present to visit the shops, street performers and tasty food found at Quincy Market. And that is as good a place as any to take a break, call it a day, or use as your starting point. The Freedom Trail can be followed in any order and even done in partial segments. It is there as a resource of history for you to use as you wish, given the time you have.
#2 – Take the Old Town Trolley. Maybe you didn’t pack your sneakers or it’s too hot to walk all over creation. Or maybe you want to pick and choose a sampling of the stops along the trail in a short period of time. Then you can buy a pass for the Olde Town Trolley and hop on and off wherever you want. In addition to having the luxury of skipping certain sites and spending more time at others, the Trolley will get you between them more quickly than walking and has drivers who give you a tour along the way. The Trolley also can take you into Harvard Square in Cambridge across the Charles River.
#3 – Ride the Duck Boats. If you have kids then you probably don’t want to drag them around the city looking at old graveyards and people in period costumes all day. Or maybe your own attention span isn’t that long either. Then what you really need is a good quick overview with a special vantage point and drivers who are all about entertainment. The Duck Boats (which are WW2 Amphibious Vehicles) drive around the city to all the same spots along the trail, and a few more, but they don’t stop. It is a ride-along tour covered in about an hour and a half that includes a splashdown into the Charles River for views of the Back Bay. The time in the river is a little slow, but the driver lets a few lucky souls drive the boat and unless you want to go walk across all the bridges to Cambridge, the view is unique.
All methods are well advertised and accessible from various hotels throughout the city. But whichever mode you choose, don’t forget to save some time for a tour of Fenway Park or a Red Sox game. It’s the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball and has lots of history all it’s own.
-(#1) Free for self-guided, maps can be printed online, or just follow the red line on street. Guided tours are $12 online.
-(#2) 1 Day Pass = $36, kids 3-12 $13, discounts for Seniors, Military & if purchased online, other options available.
-(#3) $30 Adults, kids 3-12 $20, under 3 $6, discounts for Seniors, Military & Students, extra cost to buy online.
-(#1) Your call if self-guided, anywhere from an hour to a full day. Guided tours last 1.5 hours.
-(#2) Your call but pass covers Full Day.
-(#3) 1.5 hours.
-Boston Common (Nation’s oldest public park makes way for ducklings)
-State House (Bulfinch design, Revere dome, Boston politics on Beacon Hill)
-Park Street Church (Protests & reform at Brimstone Corner)
-Granary Burying Ground (Resting place for American Revolutionaries)
-King’s Chapel & Burying Ground (Church built for the King’s Men still in operation though the king is not)
-Boston Latin School w/Ben Franklin Statue (Nation’s first public school & most famous dropout)
-Old Corner Book Store (Home to publishers of the classics)
-Old South Meeting House (Boston Tea Party starts here)
-Old State House (British rule falls to a declaration)
-Boston Massacre Site (Crispus Attucks)
-Fanueil Hall (No taxation without representation)
-Paul Revere House (The British are coming, the British are coming)
-Old North Church (One if by land, two if by sea)
-Copp’s Hill Burying Ground (Respecting the everyman with a great view)
-USS Constitution & Museum (Old Ironsides)
-Bunker Hill Monument (Don’t fire ’til you see the whites of their eyes)