Complete Tour Catalog

Old State House; Public Domain

Join John and Abigail Adams and three generations of their descendants on a walk from the Old State House across Beacon Hill and into the Back Bay. Hear how the Adams Family experienced Boston from the eve of the Revolution to the turn of the twentieth century. 

This program is being offered in connection with Boston Harborfest; please visit...

John Adams' birthplace in Quincy, MA, credit: Daderot at the English language Wikipedia

National Park Service Rangers will lead a trolley tour of three of the site's eleven historic houses and the Stone Library. This historical site was home to five generations of Adamses from 1720-1927 including U.S. Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, First Ladies Abigail Adams and Louisa Adams, U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams, and writers/...

Boston Skyscrapers © Tony Hisgett; Creative Commons License

Step off dry land and head out onto the water to experience Boston like never before!

This tour offers spectacular views of historic and contemporary architecture along Boston Harbor, through the Charles River Locks, and the Charles River basin. The tour includes landmarks such as the Customs House, the Hancock tower, the Old North Church, as well as cutting-edge...

Batterymarch Building © Tony Hisgett; Creative Commons License

June Tour of the Month

Art Deco is said to be one of the few architectural styles recognizable by most Americans. While many look to other cities like New York and Miami for Art Deco in architecture, Boston retains a rich collection and some of the finest examples in the country.

Lavish and eclectic, Art Deco's geometric shapes conjure images of a...

Museum of Fine Arts © Paul Cohen; Creative Commons License

Along Huntington Avenue stands a dense concentration of Boston's most venerable cultural institutions. From McKim, Mead & White's Symphony Hall to Guy Lowell's Museum of Fine Arts this tour will showcase the establishments dedicated to the fine arts, music, theater, education, religion, and sports.

Boston's Back Bay

Back Bay is best known for its transformation from a foul-smelling swamp to Boston’s most fashionable late 19th century neighborhood. On this tour, we will walk past the elegant buildings of that era, and focus our attention upward to the taller buildings of the 20th and 21st centuries which have greatly enhanced the area’s commercial base...

Acorn Street by Darron Schall; Creative Commons License

From the golden dome of the State House to the elegant homes of Louisburg Square, the Beacon Hill tour travels picturesque streets, highlighting examples of early American architecture with particular emphasis on the work of Charles Bulfinch.

Experience Beacon Hill’s ornate past, from its rural beginnings to the vision of the Mount...

Pumpkins Alight © Andy Hay; Creative Commons License

A Special Halloween Event

Our most popular event of the season! For nearly 30 years, this walk has been the starting point for the perfect Halloween in Boston.

Walk over the dark side on All Hallows' Eve and there's no better place to do it than on Beacon Hill. Hear stories of ghosts, murders and mayhem that haunt this quiet neighborhood while walking among...

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 inventions,...

John Adams Courthouse

August Tour of the Month

Decisions made in Boston's courtrooms have had far-reaching and long-lasting effects. Join us on this tour of Boston's historic and contemporary courthouses as we explore Boston's fascinating legal history. From the notorious Boston Massacre trial to the cases that resulted in the Boston Harbor cleanup, we will discuss landmark trials that...

Boston By Little Feet Tour

This child's-eye view of the Freedom Trail's architecture and history is especially designed for young walkers 6-12 years of age.

Walking along Boston's historic Freedom Trail and part of Boston's original coastline, children will experience the historical sites that played a key role in American independence: Faneuil Hall, the...

Boston Public Garden

Join us on a stroll to Copley Square through the Boston Public Garden, the magnificent front entrance to the Back Bay. Walk up Commonwealth Avenue, Boston's and listening to stories about the Boston’s Parisian architectural influences.

Pope Night

Experience a most riotous tour through four centuries of protests, social violence and at times downright bad behavior! Known for the protests of the Stamp Act and Boston Tea Party, rebellions and uprisings have taken place throughout Boston's history. We'll examine many of the lesser known riots and street...

Isabella Stewart Gardner

The “Boston Brahmins” have a reputation for being exclusive and elitist, but many of these nineteenth-century upper-class men and women were active in making our city—and the whole nation—a better place to live.  They fought to abolish slavery and to recognize women’s rights, and they built libraries, colleges, museums and orchestras.  

On this tour we will visit...

Cambridge Common

July Tour of the Month

Founded in 1631, Cambridge Common Park was once the common pasture for Old Cambridge. Later it served as an encampment for the Continental Army. Today it’s home to playgrounds and ballfields, surrounded by historic houses, churches, and buildings of Harvard University.  We’ll explore nearly 400 years of history & architecture on our loop...

Carruth's Hill

October Tour of the Month

Dorchester is even older than Boston. Transportation enabled the development of ‘Carruth’s Hill’ into a beautiful garden suburb and the 1% flocked to the area building beautiful Victorian houses using well-known architects. Come explore this enclave to experience its loveliness and hear about the extraordinary people who have called it...

Battle of Bunker Hill by Edward Percy Moran; Public Domain

Boston began in Charlestown.  Founded  two years before Boston, Charlestown was the first capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Paul Revere crossed the Harbor and began his famous Midnight Ride here.  The American colonists resisted the British regulars at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the town was burned to the ground. Tour this small, urban village to learn of the...

Commonwealth Avenue; Public Domain

May Tour of the Month

Take a walk through the heart of Victorian Boston on this tour of Commonwealth Avenue!

Boston's grand boulevard, Commonwealth Avenue, provides an enduringly popular stroll. The tour parallels the 19th century filling and development of the Back Bay from its origin at Arlington Street down the seven blocks along the tree-...

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...

Charlestown Carver Gravestone

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 gravestone art...

Harvard Yard; Public Domain

Established in 1636, the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony established a college in Cambridge and later named it Harvard College for its first benefactor. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in America.

Learn the history of this venerable institution, as well as the academic history of America, through an eclectic mix of...

Old State House; Creative Commons License

The perfect introduction to the history of Boston!

This walking tour of the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston begins with the city’s establishment in 1630. The story of Boston unfolds through an exploration of the city’s architecture spanning more than three centuries. Beginning with the Puritan settlement, the tour continues through the American...

Hooper-Lee-Nichols House in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Photo by Midnightdreary, 2008)

One of the oldest houses in New England, the Hooper-Lee-Nichols house has witnessed American history from the beginning of the Revolution to the present day. While the house primarily reflects the Georgian period of the 18th century, parts of First Period construction and Victorian and Colonial alterations remain. In addition to the presentation, there will be time to tour...

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 State House, Copp's...

Ticknor House, Park Street, Boston. Photographed by Southworth & Hawes, 1858.

By the mid-nineteenth century, Boston had earned the nickname “The Athens of America”, as an important center for literature and as home to many of America's greatest writers. It was the launch pad of American Romanticism, Transcendentalism, the Fireside Poets, and American Realism.

...
Harvard Medical School; Public Domain

Boston has a very long tradition of leadership in the medical profession dating back to the introduction of the smallpox inoculation into the colonies by Dr. Zabdiel Boylston and Cotton Mather in 1721, and the founding of Harvard Medical School by Dr. John Warren in 1782.

On this tour, explore today's world-renowned community of hospitals, academic institutions, and...

William Lloyd Garrison

Boston By Foot's "BIG FOOT" Tour

Boston's great defenders of Liberty were not soldiers on horseback with sword in hand, but average citizens. Their courage, determination and sacrifice paved the path for the society we have today. Some were instrumental in forming our Constitution, others in solidifying their rights under it.

Join our knowledgeable guides...

Long Wharf by Ingfbruno; Creative Commons License

A walk through Boston is a walk through time! The eclectic urban landscape is composed of layers of history whose story is revealed by the clues left behind.

The city has aggressively reinvented itself over and over again to accommodate a growing population, the needs of business and industry, public and private...

Boston's Blackstone Block

From the Boston Massacre to Paul Revere's midnight ride, Boston is renowned for its inciting events to the American Revolution. Come explore the streets of Boston's oldest neighborhoods and hear the extraordinary stories preserved in the meetinghouses, halls, and homes where the Revolution was born.

Our most comprehensive Freedom Trail...

First Church of Roxbury (photo by John Phelan)

Gain a new perspective of Roxbury as you walk between two of its prominent hills, Fort Hill and Mission Hill. Beginning with colonial First Church in Roxbury and ending with the puddingstone grandeur of Mission Church, participants will visit prominent religious buildings which relay the history of Roxbury, as well as hear about demographic changes and industrial...

Manulife Building, Platinum LEED Certified

September Tour of the Month

From tidal flat to industrial area, to Innovation District and hot new nightspot, many transformations have taken place in the South Boston Seaport in the last 150 years, and more are planned for the immediate future. This neighborhood of new and exciting developments in Boston didn't even exist in the early 19th century.

Come...

Union Park, Photo Credit: South End Historical Society

Photo courtesy of the South End Historical Society

Join Boston By Foot to explore one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Boston!  The South End was Boston's first big land-making project designed for new housing for Boston's growing upper class. It is based on an English plan, with lovely parks and squares framed by rows of...

The Dark Side of Boston; credit peapop

Get off the Freedom Trail and explore the darker side of Boston! This original guided walk through misery, misfortune, malevolence and murder is based on true historical events that have occurred in Boston. Fact is often stranger than fiction!

As you begin to uncover Boston's dark side, you will hear many dark and disturbing stories not...

City Hall Plaza, Boston (Photo by Connie, 2007)

This tour encompasses Boston's history from the end of World War II to the opening of the new Quincy Marketplace. The architecture serves as a point of departure for a discussion of the events leading to the “death” of the city following middle class migration to the suburbs and the subsequent “rebirth” of Boston through Urban Renewal, the return of enterprise and upper...

Sunflower Castle, Flat of Beacon Hill

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 Beacon Hill...

Paul Revere's House by Ben Franske; Creative Commons License

America's oldest neighborhood is a delightful labyrinth of narrow streets and exotic marketplaces.

A gateway for immigrants from around the world, the North End is also home to the Old North Church, Copp's Hill Burying Ground, and the Paul Revere House. Isolated from the rest of downtown by the...

Myrtle Street

Explore the narrow streets and alleyways of the North Slope of Beacon Hill. This colonial port district with an unsavory reputation evolved to become a significant force in the abolitionist movement, an important station on the Underground Railroad, and home to many immigrant families.

Unlike the historically more fashionable South Slope that has always defined the...

Royall House and Slave Quarters

The Royall House and Slave Quarters was home of the Royalls, the largest slaveholding family in Massachusetts. On this tour you'll hear two stories, one of wealth, the other of bondage. The program will address the building's architecture, it artifacts, and include stories of how the enslaved Africans made the Royall’s lavish lifestyle possible. The Slave Quarters is the...

Paul Revere House, 19 North Square, Boston, Massachusetts

For a building to become historic, it must first survive. Pedigree and significance help, but are no guarantee. Low maintenance costs and the ability to survive decades of neglect play as important a role. Those traits are often determined by the small details we know as "architectural features." Such details were developed by Roman and Renaissance builders to perform...

A Tavern Scene

A First Thursday Event

Booze. Hooch. Liquor. Kill Devil. Grog. Applejack. It’s all covered on the Tipsy Tour: Dram Shops & 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...

Thomas Hutchinson

Thomas Hutchinson is primarily remembered as a strong loyalist and enemy of many Boston Patriots. Hutchinson was a merchant, colonial politician, judge, lieutenant governor, acting governor, and governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. He promoted and enforced British taxes and did become the local figurehead for the oppressive British policies. However, Hutchinson...

A Special April Fool's Day Event

Join us for Boston's newest April Fool's Day tradition! 

Ever heard that the truth is stranger than fiction? This Boston By Foot tour proves the point. True Lies & False Facts is the first “questionable” tour of Boston that keeps participants guessing. Strolling through the Back Bay and Bay Village, the hour and a half...

Copley Square, with Trinity Church; Creative Commons License

Unlike the casual, chaotic way in which early Boston was laid out, the streets of Back Bay are arranged in an orderly grid.  Renowned for its elegant homes,the architectural marvels of Copley Square, and its signature stately boulevard, Commonwealth Avenue, the Back Bay is one of Boston’s most charming neighborhoods.

On this tour you will learn how...