Bus and Trolley Tours Tours encompassing both the city and its environs are available for your trip. Gray Line of Boston/Cape Cod, (617) 720-6342 or (800) 343-1328, provides a variety of excursions featuring Boston, Cambridge, Cape Cod, Concord, Lexington, Plymouth and Salem, all the top fun places to go in the area.
Guided Walking ToursOne-hour tours of the Freedom Trail begin in the National Park Service's visitor center in Faneuil Hall and are the ideal addition to your vacation. The ranger-led walking tour is limited to 30 people and departs daily on the hour 10-11 and 1-3, July-Sept.; tours are conducted on a reduced schedule in June and October. Phone (617) 242-5642 to confirm the current schedule as you plan your list of things to do in Boston.
The National Park Service offers tours of the Black Heritage Trail, which links the 14 locations comprising Boston African American National Historic Site. The 90-minute tour is limited to 15 people and begins at the Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Regiment Memorial on the corner of Park and Beacon streets. Departures are Mon.-Sat. at 10, noon and 2, Memorial Day-Labor Day; Mon.-Sat. at 2, day after Labor Day to mid-Oct. Phone (617) 742-5415 to confirm schedule.
The 90-minute Boston Movie Mile Walking Tour offered by On Location Tours takes visitors to filming locations used in movies and TV shows, including “Cheers,” “Good Will Hunting” and “Ted.” Tours depart from the Boston Common visitor information center (139 Tremont St.) Thurs. and Sun. at noon, Apr.-Oct.; phone (212) 683-2027 for reservations.
If you travel here from May through October, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy offers free walking tours through the Back Bay Fens, a lush urban centerpiece that landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted fashioned out of polluted marshland around the turn of the 19th century. Olmsted protégé Arthur Shurcliff would later add such ornate features as the Kelleher Rose Garden. The guided walks depart from the Shattuck Visitor Center, housed in the historic H. H. Richardson building at 125 The Fenway; phone (617) 522-2700 for more information about tours.
Self-guiding ToursTravel websites speak highly of self-guiding tours, which let you explore at your own pace. A digital audio tour of the Freedom Trail, which leads visitors to 16 historic sites, is available for download from The Freedom Trail Foundation's website for $15; phone (617) 357-8300 for more information.
A free mobile app featuring GPS-enabled maps of Boston National Historical Park can be downloaded online or at the National Park Service Faneuil Hall Visitor Center; phone (617) 242-5642. The NPS Boston app also includes information about the Black Heritage Trail; printed walking tour maps of the 1.6-mile path, the focus of Boston African American National Historic Site, can be obtained at the Museum of African American History.
Showcasing Boston Harbor, a popular destination, the nearly complete 47-mile Harborwalk travels through East Boston, Charlestown, downtown and the North End, South Boston and Dorchester. Interpretive panels, telescopes and observation decks, and indoor retreats—from upscale restaurants to free exhibition spaces—break up the journey. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Visitor Center, a glass-enclosed gazebo on the north side of the Fort Point Channel between Congress and Summer streets, provides information and ticketing for area attractions.
Self-guiding tours available from The Boston Women's Heritage Trail relate more than 3 centuries of women's contributions to the city. Points of interest include the Boston Ballet Company, 19 Clarendon St., founded by E. Virginia Williams in 1963; a monument dedicated to African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman; and “Emancipation,” crafted by Harlem-Renaissance sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller. Both the monument and the sculpture are in Harriet Tubman Square at Columbus Avenue and W. Newton Street. For trail information phone (617) 945-5639.
Another famous female, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, is the focus of Rose's Life—A Tour. Developed by the education department of the John. F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the self-guiding walking tour weaves through the North End and includes parts of the mile-long Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, which encompasses public parks, fountains and outdoor art pieces. For more information, contact the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy Mon.-Fri. 9-5 at (617) 292-0020.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
The state sales tax in Massachusetts is 6.25 percent. Combined city and state taxes on hotel occupancy in Boston is 14.45 percent.
Time and Temperature
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, (617) 667-7000; Boston Medical Center, (617) 638-8000; Massachusetts General Hospital, (617) 726-2000; Tufts Medical Center, (617) 636-5000.
2 Copley Place, Suite 105 Boston, MA 02116. Phone:(617)536-4100 or (888)733-2678
Logan International Airport (BOS) is just 3 miles east of downtown across Boston Inner Harbor.
Boston is served by most major rental car agencies. Hertz provides discounts to AAA members; phone (617) 568-5200 or (800) 654-3131.
Amtrak offers service to and from New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., out of Boston's South Station at Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street. Connections to all points in the national Amtrak system can be made at the Back Bay Station, 145 Dartmouth St.; phone (800) 872-7245 for reservations and information. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates commuter rail service; phone (617) 222-3200.
Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, and Peter Pan Bus Lines, (800) 343-9999, operate from South Station.
Cruiseport Boston’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal is at 1 Black Falcon Ave. in South Boston.
Cabs in Boston are metered, with the fare $2.60 for the first 1/7 mile or less and 40c for every 1/7 mile thereafter. Phoning for a pickup or going to a hotel taxi stand is easier than hailing a cab on the street. Local companies include the Independent Taxi Operators Association, (617) 268-1313. Limousine service is available throughout the Boston area for about $80 an hour, normally with a 4-hour minimum.
Transportation by trolley, bus, boat and subway is available in Boston.