5 Things to Know Before You Visit Boston
Have you visited the city of Boston, Massachusetts recently? For the past year, our kids have been telling us that we need to go to Boston for vacation. We definitely have their social studies teachers to thank for this obsession with the city of Boston. So when it came time to plan our summer road trip, we knew that we needed to put Boston on the plan. So to help you in your vacation planning, here are 5 things to know before you visit Boston! #bostonusa
We received discounts or tickets to help with this post. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was received.
5 Things to Know before you visit Boston
#1: You want to use the T
Driving in downtown Boston is not alot of fun. So skip the headache and do what we did. Find a hotel outside the main city, and ride the T into the city. You can pick up a Charlie Card at the T stations. It costs about $3.00 per ride and kids 11 and under are free.
It is possible to use the same Charlie Card for the whole family. We just used one card and passed it back and forth.
Navigating the city with the T was not really difficult. Just take a few minutes to study the map before you go. Then snap a picture of the stop where you want to come back to at the end of the day so you will remember where your hotel is!
#2: Plan to spend some time!
There is way more to see than you can get in one day. You will need one full day at least to do the Freedom Trail and Boston Tea Party Ships. Take some time to study the area and plan out your itinerary before you go.
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
We started our Boston adventure at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. This is a great place to start your exploration and well worth the ticket price.
You start your tour being assigned an identity and given your disguise so you can be part of the tea party experience.
The costumed, tour guides played their parts well. This is a great opportunity to have the history of our great nation come alive.
The Tea Party Ship that you tour is an exact replica and gives the kids the chance to toss the tea into the harbor before moving on to the indoor museum part of the tour.
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Once we finished the Tea Party Ships, we headed down to Boston Commons to start our Freedom Trail tour.
This is a popular tour, so if you want to guarantee your tour time, you want to arrive early. You will want to allow about 2 hours to take the Tea Party Ships tour.
Do the Freedom Trail Tour
If you know me very well, you know that our family loves to get off the beaten path and take our own walking trail when we explore historical sites. But for your visit of Boston, I highly recommend that you pay for the guided tour and let one of the 18th-century costumed Freedom Trail Players® lead your adventure. When we were there, we had a great tour guide named Josiah Quincy. Our kids were the first ones to say that one of their favorite parts of the Freedom Trail was the tour guide. We learned all about the Sacred Cod and the golden grasshopper.
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile walking tour through the city of Boston. It is well marked with a brick path throughout the city. Along the trail you will have the chance to visit many of the historic sites in the city.
The Freedom Trail tour we took begins at Boston Commons and takes you through the first 11 stops of the tour. We learned background stories about so many of our founding fathers.
You will see this emblem at each of the stops along the Freedom Trail.
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Get ticket information here
#3 Wear Walking Shoes
You will do alot of walking on your Boston city tour so make sure you wear the right shoes! This is not the trip to wear your newest cute stylish shoes. Be comfortable and prepared and you will be able to stick with the trip till the end!
#4 Plan a Food Break
The Guided tour ends at Faneuil Hall Marketplace Quincy Market. This is a great place to stop for a restroom break, lunch or an ice cream snack. There are picnic tables, benches and lots of great places to do some people watching before you take off on your next adventure.
We planned it so that we would be able to stop at Quincy Market and enjoy a late lunch before we continued our tour. We found the best fresh fish at the Fisherman’s Net. Talk about hot and fresh seafood! The staff was friendly and made sure we had everything we needed for a great lunch!
And of course, everyone needs an icecream cone before you get started again, right?
Once you are done with the Freedom Trail Guided Tour, you’re not done with the city or the rest of the Freedom Trail! There’s still more to see!
We continued following the Freedom Trail path all the way through the city and up to Bunker Hill. And I do mean ‘up’. The Freedom Trail takes you over the bridge and out of the main city area to the Bunker Hill Monument park.
#5: Carry a Backpack
When we take a walking tour of any major city, we always carry a backpack with the supplies and gear we will need for the day. To make it easier for you, here’s a list of things you don’t want to forget:
- Bottles of water for each person
- Quarters and pennies if you collect pressed pennies
- Snack Bars
- Map of the City
- Extra portable charger for your phone
- ID (even though you’re not driving, you may need your drivers license)
- small umbrella or poncho
- If anyone in your group has special medicines they take a certain time of day, make sure you take them with you.
A backpack is also a great place to store any souvenirs you may buy or tickets you want to keep for keepsakes.
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Have you visited the city of Boston? What is your favorite part of the city? I’d love to hear!
I’ll be in Boston next summer. I’ll have to be sure to check into these. Especially the Freedom Trail. Sounds amazing1
Thanks for all the great tips. I can’t wait to visit and walk the city (and use the T!!)
There are so many wonderful things to do in Boston! My husband and I lived there, and we still do the Freedom Trail for fun.