A Day Trip Into Boston
If you want to visit Boston the best way to get in to the city is on the MBTA (@MBTA on Twitter). No worries on parking or driving and there is no shortage of ways to get around the city whether it is bicycle, bus, walking or the T (metro/underground/subway). A bit old fashioned, you did have to pay for your ticket in cash so please have dollars available to pay the conductor on board the train. Some stations may have ticket dispensers but Newburyport did not at the platform where we arrived. The carriage was clean and while it hadn’t been modernised to electric yet, it still was a fast ride, even if it did feel like the 1970s for anyone used to modern train travel.
There is no shortage of tour companies offering historic tours in Boston. We selected Super Tours because they were, quite frankly, super and they also went to Cambridge and Harvard and they were friendliest when we didn’t know what we were doing when we saw one of their buses at the North Station. We hopped on and asked where to buy a ticket and the driver told us to get on board and she’d let us off at one of the stops where you can buy a ticket. None of this is very clear to the arriving passengers and no central information is obvious if it exists at all. So we went out to the street and saw a bus which we hopped aboard.
The tour was entertaining and gave you a complete overview of Boston. You can download a map here noting that there are three routes. We got off only once – at Cambridge – to purchase tickets and to run into the shopping mall for a quick bite to eat before picking up the tour again on a different bus. The shopping mall had just about anything you could want in a mall, including an Apple Store where we stopped and charged up our iPhones for a few minutes while looking at the latest ipads!
Both of our drivers did a great job of not only narrating the drive but also of being drivers. Some of the sights along the way included:
Beacon Hill, Newbury Street, Boston Common, Cheers Bar, Fenway Park (baseball stadium), Theatre District, Faneuil Hall, Old South Meeting House, Massachusetts State House, Charlestown Navy Yard (USS Constitution) and so much more. We were able to see all of these things and you can easily hop off and hop on at your pleasure. The buses arrive about every 15 to 20 minutes though I’m sure it depends on the day and season so check on that.
We didn’t opt to do the other loops – Seaport and Harvard – or do the Super Duck Tours which goes into the actual harbour. They also do a scary tour if that is more your thing. We were very pleased with the value and the quality of the experience and would highly recommend it as a good overview to the city. Plan on at least a full day or two to really take advantage of it – especially if you have the time. Then perhaps once you get an overview you can buy an ordinary transit pass from the MBTA.
So much has been written about all the great places to visit along this tour that it isn’t the point of this blog story. The point is that you can easily get yourself into Boston if you’re staying in the suburbs and you can easily tour Boston without ever having been there before and have a great time. So get out and enjoy!