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Boston Harbor Culture & history

Our most recommended Boston Harbor Culture & history

Boston: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

1. Boston: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

Board a sightseeing cruise in Boston and take a tour around Boston Harbor. Experience breathtaking views, refreshing sea breezes, and vividly told stories of Boston's past and present as you admire the city's sights from the water. Depart from Long Wharf, then Cruise past the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned US Navy warship afloat today, marvel at the Bunker Hill Monument, and catch a glimpse of the fabled Old North End Church steeple. Hear heroic tales told by expert narrators and learn about local legends from the Revolutionary War. You'll also discover how the harbor was transformed into one of the cleanest waterways in the country. Enjoy the best view no matter the weather, with spacious outdoor viewing decks when the weather is fine, and indoor spaces with large windows if you want to be indoors. Onboard refreshments and snacks are also available for purchase.

From New York City: Boston and the Freedom Trail Day Trip

2. From New York City: Boston and the Freedom Trail Day Trip

Depart New York along the Eastern Coast through Connecticut to Massachusetts and to its capital, Boston. Your first stop is the city of Cambridge where will find one of the most famous and most prestigious universities in the world: Harvard. The tour starts with a walk in Harvard Yard; the oldest academic ground in America. See Widener library, then rub the shoe of John Harvard for good luck. Continue to a panoramic tour passing by City Hall, MIT and Cambridge College. Then cross the Charles River and arrive in the center of the intellectual capital of the country. Visit Copley Square, home to beautiful Trinity church. Next up is a walk along the Freedom Trail through Boston Common Park. Break for lunch at Quincy Market, and try the world famous Clam Chowder or a lobster roll. After lunch, visit the site of the famous Tea Party and the navy ship Constitution. In the late afternoon, depart southwest for an evening arrival in New York.

Boston History & Highlights Afternoon Tour

3. Boston History & Highlights Afternoon Tour

Your experience begins at the Aquarium “T” Station on the historic Long Wharf, the focus of Boston Harbor, and the economic engine of Boston for most of its history. From the harbor, continue past the Rose Kennedy Greenway, State Street and the historic Custom House Tower, the city’s first skyscraper. Then, your guide will lead you toward the famous Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, which both boast stunning views. Moving into the heart of Downtown Boston, stop in front of the Old State House and site of the Boston Massacre. Was it really a massacre or maybe just great propaganda for the Revolution? Ask your expert guide about that one!  A short trek through Downtown Crossing brings you to Old City Hall. This beautiful building, done in French Revivalist architecture, was the seat of city government for years in Boston. It also happens to be the site of the birth of public education in America. You'll definitely want to have your guide snap your picture with the bronze donkey outside the entrance. On most weekdays, you’ll have a chance to see the government at work (or not) inside the inspiring, historic and beautiful Massachusetts State House, designed and built by famous federalist architect Charles Bulfinch in 1798. Outside the State House, take in the views of modern Boston, including the skyscrapers of Downtown, the Financial District, and the tallest building in New England: the John Hancock Tower.   Continue your journey through Beacon Hill, where you’ll have a chance to take in the quintessential architecture of Boston’s red brick row houses. Get out your cameras — this neighborhood is one of the most photogenic in the city. Finally, arrive at the beautiful Boston Public Garden, one of Boston’s favorite green spaces, where you’ll see locals walking the dogs, playing with the kids and enjoying lunch in the shade. Your guide will point you in the right direction, and will help with any and all recommendations for great things to do in Boston that evening and beyond. 

Boston: Guided City Tour with Boat Cruise

4. Boston: Guided City Tour with Boat Cruise

The tour will begin with pick up directly from your hotel in downtown Boston. The next stop will be at the Bunker Hill Monument, which commemorates one of the first battles in the American Revolutionary War. Following, your guide will take you on a narrated drive through the city, passing multiple points of interest including MIT, Harvard University, and the famous baseball stadium, Fenway Park. Conclude your tour with a relaxing 90-minute boat cruise where you will get a chance to see Boston's historical sites including the site of the infamous Boston Tea Party. Sit back while enjoying a beautiful ride through Boston. After a full day of adventure, transfer back to your downtown Boston hotel where you can unwind with the day's memories.

Boston: Historic Taverns Tour

5. Boston: Historic Taverns Tour

This informative 3.5-hour walking tour visits some of New England’s most historic landmarks, as well as two of Boston's most historic taverns. The tour begins in Boston's oldest neighborhood, the North End. Board a public ferry for a round-trip ride to the Charlestown Navy Yard. Here, you'll see the USS Constitution aka "Old Ironsides", and Bunker Hill Monument. Walk through the Blackstone Block, and discover the true location of the "Boston Stone". See the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, and Quincy Market. The tour includes two tavern visits and one drink at each stop plus snacks.

Boston: North End to Freedom Trail Food and History Tour

6. Boston: North End to Freedom Trail Food and History Tour

Learn about Boston's own Little Italy district of North End and its rich culinary scene. Also, learn about the significant role the city played during the American Revolution on a fascinating guided walking tour of Boston.  Make your way through to the heart of the North End, home to some of the city’s oldest buildings and renowned for its variety of food offerings. Try some fresh bread and Italian meats and cheeses at a hidden bakery. You will also indulge in some sweet local pastries. On the Freedom Trail, explore the Rose Kennedy Greenway, State Street, and the historic Custom House Tower. Then, head over to Old City Hall, which was the birthplace of public education in America. Don’t forget to get a picture of the bronzed Donkey outside the entrance Your tour will finish at the Boston Public Garden. Enjoy the rest of your day relaxing in the park and its beautiful surroundings. 

Boston: Harborwalk and Tea Party Self-Guided Audio Tour

7. Boston: Harborwalk and Tea Party Self-Guided Audio Tour

Follow a scenic 1.5-mile walk along the Boston Harbor waterfront. Stroll between South Station and Long Wharf and immerse yourself in the rich stories of revolutionary America — from the secret meetings of the Sons of Liberty to the rebellions of the colonial merchants. Follow in the footsteps of Boston’s Tea Party revolutionaries, tea smugglers, and massive shipping unions — all while you look out upon the same Harbor that they once did. Start your tour at one of Boston's most underappreciated marvels of architecture: South Station. Discover stories of the American Revolution, Boston Tea Party, and Sons of Liberty as you stroll along Boston’s scenic Harborwalk. With this self-guided audio tour, unearth tales of rebellion, sabotage, and intrigue surrounding the Founding Fathers. Explore the huge attraction that is partially built over the Harbor, allowing the aquarium access to the natural environment of Boston's Harbor. Finish your tour at one of Boston's most historic spots: Long Wharf. From colonial battles against the British to modern crowds of tourists, this Wharf remains a Boston hotspot. Enjoy the views and the history as you conclude your tour here.

Other Sightseeing Options in Boston Harbor

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What people are saying about Boston Harbor

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 819 reviews

Our harbor tour was great! The weather was working with us during our hour tour. Seeing Boston from the harbor was wonderful. Give you a different perspective. Plus, the guide was very good. Easy to hear, funny and very informative. I would highly recommend the tour.

Had a great day with this tour today. Our guide was super friendly, and extremely knowledgeable. Found out loads of information and Had a really lovely day. Definitely recommend to anyone wondering whether or not to go.

A great tour, well run, easy to book. Excellent knowledge by our guide and great fun on the tour around Boston.

Except for the heat it was a real good outing, informative and friendly staff.

We loved the time we spent with Janet. She was warm and knowledgeable.