Special Topic Tours

Old State House; Public Domain "My Eyes are so diverted with Chimney Sweeps, Carriers of Wood, Merchants, Ladies, Priests, Carts, Horses, Oxen, Coaches, Market men and Women, Soldiers, Sailors, and my Ears with the Rattle Gabble of them all..." -- John Adams, diary, March 18-19, 1759 Follow the words and history of four generations of Adamses, from their experiences at the Old... Read More
Bay Village; Public Domain October Tour of the Month Visit one of Boston's hidden neighborhoods; an area that has maintained its residential charm amidst the surrounding city.   This tour begins behind the Park Plaza Hotel, at Statler Park, overlooking the renaissance and classical revival buildings constructed on the site of the old Boston & Providence Railroad and... Read More
Pumpkins Alight; Andy Hay; Creative Commons License A Special Halloween Event Join Boston By Foot for our most popular event of the year! For 30 years, this tour has been part of any great Halloween celebration in Boston. There is no better place than Beacon Hill to walk to the dark side on All Hallow’s Eve.  On the Boo! tour, you will hear stories that shed a new light on this quiet residential... Read More
Portrait of Benjamin Franklin (detail) by David Martin; Public Domain Celebrate and learn about the life of Benjamin Franklin by walking among the sites of his homes and haunts in Colonial Boston.  In his day, Benjamin Franklin was America's greatest scientist, inventor, diplomat, humorist, statesman, and entrepreneur. Ben was born in Boston, came of age in Philadelphia, and was the darling of Paris. From his many... Read More
Called one of America’s first architects, Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844) defined the Federal style of architecture and the physical fabric of Boston, capturing the vision and spirit of the young Republic. As an architect, town planner, and selectman, Bulfinch designed some of the city’s most enduring buildings, and the street layout now known as... Read More
A gay and lesbian culture flourished in Boston, in private homes, the theatre, coffee houses, the baths, and of course, bars. We will follow the footsteps of gay and lesbian friends from the 1840s to the 1980s, from Thoreau's walks along the Common and Charlotte Cushman's transvestite roles to the World War II bars and baths, to the AIDS Action... Read More
Boston Opera House The History of Opera in Boston is as rich and dramatic as the art form itself! Discover the many ways our fair city has been deeply influenced by opera across the centuries. Boston’s rich musical and theatrical past comes to life in this special tour of historical opera sites. From the stages that first brought Bostonians operatic classics from... Read More
Zakim Bridge © Dave Desroches; Creative Commons License Take a journey of discovery exploring the new open spaces along the lower Charles River. A hub of transportation and recreation, this area has experienced several cycles of dramatic change resulting from the construction of bridges and dams, the expansion of Boston, and the Big Dig project. From the tidal estuary of the Charles through the... Read More
September Tour of the Month Discover East Boston’s rich history and dynamic present by exploring the neighborhood of Maverick Square, East Boston’s oldest commercial center.  Trace its roots back to Noddle’s Island and learn how the East Boston Company created a planned community that became today’s vibrant and diverse East Boston. This tour will... Read More
The First Latin School on School Street, 1600s When Boston was settled in 1630 education was a priority and by 1635 the Boston Latin School was established.  The following year Harvard College was founded. Since then Boston has become one of the great cities of the world attracting the finest minds. Today there are 35 universities, colleges, and community colleges in the Boston area.  Our... Read More
Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice (detail) by Andres Zorn; Public Domain From the 1600s to the mid-1900s, women's groundbreaking contributions to Boston were often under-recognized – or even overlooked.  On this walking tour, learn who some of these Bostonians were and what greatness they achieved against the backdrop of the city's downtown neighborhood. Their own backgrounds were mixed.  Some came from wealth that... Read More
Tortoise and the Hare There are clues all around Copley Square that are connected to Aesop's Fables. Do we know why these clues are here? What do they refer to?  Join us on this free, short, family-friendly tour around Copley Square to find these clues and learn the fables and stories they represent.    
Boston Pops Orchestra and Fireworks Spectacular courtesy of the US Navy; Public Domain A Special Fourth of July Event A Boston tradition! Footloose on the Freedom Trail is a 3 hour guided walking tour of the entire Freedom Trail from the Boston Common and Massachusetts State House to the U.S.S. Constitution offered every Independence Day. Walk the 2.5-mile route with us on this patriotic tour through 16 historic sites, as it winds... Read More
Explore the engineered world of Fort Point Channel. On this tour of discovery, you will experience the history and engineering marvels of this industrial waterway that has become the centerpiece of this neighborhood's revival. Fort Point Channel was the most difficult undertaking of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project - the I-90 extension. Since... Read More
Charlestown Carver Gravestone June Tour of the Month Explore three of downtown Boston's burying grounds and learn about the customs surrounding death and dying in Puritan New England. Dig deeper into the religious views, practices, symbolism, and traditions of death in Boston. Beginning at King's Chapel Burying Ground, this tour will lift the veil of mystery surrounding... Read More
Boston Harbor © Alexius Horatius; Creative Commons License Boston has a great seafaring heritage. Ocean trade and its related industries had a major impact on the growth of Boston and the shape and character of its waterfront. This tour includes the beginnings of Long Wharf as the grand entry into Boston, and the genesis of its Financial District, the lore of clipper ships and the China Trade, and... Read More
Copp's Hill Burying Ground; Public Domain Relive the adventures of Johnny Tremain in Colonial Boston based on Esther Forbes' prize-winning coming-of-age novel featuring a young boy who gets caught up in the whirlwind of events that led up to the American Revolution. Johnny's story unfolds in downtown and North End locales, many of which are today's Freedom Trail sites including the Old... Read More
Globe Fountain at Kendall Square July Tour of the Month The Kendall Square area has exploded with new development and is one of the hottest commercial real estate markets in the country. A cater for innovation, it boasts offices for Google, Akamai, Biogen, Microsoft, Facebook, and more. This recent boom has been accompanied by the construction of new living spaces, restaurants,... Read More
Brookline Cottage Farm May Tour of the Month See two of Brookline's most delightful neighborhoods. Longwood and Cottage Farm provide a quiet, bucolic setting apart from its urban borders. This walking tour showcases a remarkable collection of romantic English country style cottages and picturesque churches. Founded by two families, the Sears and Lawrence families, as... Read More
Walk from Beacon Hill and into the South End on this tour of murder, mayhem, and mysticism. Meet the woman who lured Houdini to Boston, the Quaker hanged for her faith, and duelist who died on the Common. See the mass grave of soldiers and the club that changed fire laws across the country. It’s a spooky walk through the city on a hill’s less... Read More
South End Skyline, Tim Grafft/MOTT, Creative Commons License August Tour of the Month Is there a more hip and happening place in Boston than SoWa right now? This area of the South End (the bit that is SOuth of WAshington Street) is experiencing yet another reboot.  The neighborhood first came into being when the South Cove was filled in the 1830s.  Then the area saw a massive transformation in the 1950s... Read More
This walking tour is inspired by Samuel Eliot Morison's childhood memoir One Boy's Boston. Discover Morison's neighborhood on this tour through one of Boston's least known and most delightful areas. The Flat of Beacon Hill is built on 19th century-made land along the Charles River. The Flat is geologically part of Back Bay and culturally part of... Read More
Rogers Building Everyone knows MIT as a Cambridge institution with a global reputation. But for its first 55 years, MIT called the Back Bay home. 101 years ago, MIT made the move from Back Bay to Cambridge. Join us as we trace “Boston Tech” from its founding to its relocation across the Charles River. This tour will feature some of the sites of the original Back... Read More
A Tavern Scene Booze. Hooch. Liquor. Kill Devil. Grog. Applejack. It's all covered on the Tipsy Tour: Dram Shops and Drunken Sailors! This tour is not a pub crawl - it's an exploration of Boston's boozy past! You’ll hear stories from the very beginnings of Boston’s history through Prohibition and meet some interesting characters along the way – like the Ice... Read More
Boston Wharf Company Sign A Special April Fool's Event Join Boston By Foot for a unique walking tour of Boston that keeps participants on their toes. Called True Lies & False Facts, this questionable tour starts at the Hood Milk Bottle at the Children’s Museum and winds its way around the Fort Point Channel neighborhood. Lasting an hour and a half, the tour will tell... Read More