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.

Explore the archaeological sites of Boston Common on this walking tour with Joe Bagley, Boston's City Archaeologist.  Learn firsthand how archaeology is done in Boston, what it has revealed about Native Americans and early colonial occupation of Boston Common. Highlights include the oldest and youngest Native sites in Downtown, a British camp from the Revolutionary War,...

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

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 streamlined technological age reflected...

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.

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...

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

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...

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

July 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...

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. Architect, town planner, and selectman, Bulfinch designed some of the city’s most enduring buildings and the street layout now known as the Bulfinch Triangle. Bulfinch’s...

Boston By Little Feet Tour

This child's-eye view of the Freedom Trail's architecture and history is especially designed for young walkers from ages 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,...

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.

Join us on a 90-minute walking tour exploring the city's rebirth after the Great Fire of 1872. Follow the route of the progression of the Great Fire, a disaster in Boston's commercial district that proved more costly than the legendary Chicago Fire the year before. Hear how the city's architectural design contributed to the spread and speed of the devastating conflagration...

October Tour of the Month

Boston’s Chinatown is one of the city’s smallest yet most vibrant neighborhoods.  Join us to learn about the neighborhood’s immigrant tradition, its evolution, and its current incarnation as one of the few surviving Chinatowns on the east coast—a thriving community where Asian Americans live, work, and socialize.  This tour takes you...

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 Committee and the AIDS...

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...

September 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...

Carruth's Hill

June Tour of the Month

Many people do not know much about the history of Dorchester, which is technically even older than Boston.  Transportation enabled the development of rural areas of Dorchester into streetcar suburbs.  The establishment of the streetcars allowed ‘Carruth’s Hill’  to become a beautiful garden suburb. It was one place that the 1% flocked to,...

William Lloyd Garrison

Labor Day 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 to examine the...

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...

During the 17th and 18th century Columbia Point was a 14 acre marshland that Dorchester residents used as a calf’s pasture. For over three centuries the land has been filled in to increase the size of the peninsula Today, Columbia Point is a vibrant Boston neighborhood. It is the location of museums and educational institutions, the first mixed income community, and the...

Commonweath Ave

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-lined, grassy Mall. See how careful...

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 mudflats of Millers River...

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...

May Tour of the Month

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...

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...

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 classic 19th century...

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...

After the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott in the 19th century, another literary scene evolved on Beacon Hill in the 20th century.  But, how did it compare to the...

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...

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...

Alvah Kittredge House, Photo Courtesy of HBI; Photographer Greg Pemru

Photo courtesy of HBI. Photographer Greg Pemru.

August Tour of the Month

The Roxbury Highlands tour explores a remarkable neighborhood. Our tour travels through the center of colonial Roxbury:  Eliot Square, where the First Church proudly stands as the oldest wooden church in Boston. The Highlands flourished in the...

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

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 learn about its creation, its maritime...

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...

No Taxation Without Representation! Commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Stamp Act Riots with Boston By Foot! This special walking tour will visit the sites related to the 1765 Stamp Act protest riots that gave birth to the American Revolution.

Beginning with an overview of the Stamp Act, including Parliament’s reasons for the tax and the...

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...

Through the Death and Life of a Great American City, you will be touring Boston from the construction of the Boston City Hall to the addition of skyscrapers. This tour utilizes Boston architecture to discuss the events which lead to the “rebirth” of Boston after the urban renewal of the West End, the return of business office towers, the upper middle class housing, and the...

Experience Boston’s own great depression from 1929 to its eventual revival by 1969 on this Decline and Rebirth of a City walking tour. From the iconic Parkman Bandstand in the Boston Commons where over 4,000 unemployed Bostonians denounced key political figures to the Boston City Hall and the portrait of Mayor John Collins who helped revive Boston’s economy.

It...

Charles River Esplanade; Public Domain

The Esplanade is one of Boston's best loved parks with stunning views of the Charles River. From the filling of the Back Bay to the construction of James Jackson Storrow Memorial Drive, the Esplanade was built in stages fulfilling the vision of landscape architect Charles Eliot. Today, the once malodorous mudflats are now bustling with walkers, joggers, skaters, and bikers...

Imagine the amazement of the Boston population in 1826 when Quincy Market was opened as a public market. The innovative use of granite and glass in post and beam construction made a definitive statement about the Boston’s emergence as a major city. Since that time Quincy Market has seen glory days and dismal transitional periods. The roller coaster history of this market...

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

Memorial Day Tour

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...

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 –...

A Special April Fool's Event

Join us for Boston's newest April Fool's 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 around the Custom House up to Beacon Hill, this tour will tell some...