Highlights of this 2 hour guided tour include:
- The Freedom Trail's historic Revolutionary War era sites from Faneuil Hall to Boston Common
- The quirky, vibrant architecture and streets of Old Downtown Boston
- Historic Beacon Hill's cobblestone drives & gaslights
- The 19th century Back Bay area & Boston Public Garden
- Copley Square in all its beauty and grace
Your guide will weave tales of the past, including the when, why and how the Back Bay was filled before you lose yourself in admiration of the elegant Copley Square.
At the end of the tour we'll set you loose in the Back Bay, a vibrant home to many a fine restaurant, shopping opportunity and cultural attraction.
Ask your guide for recommendations before you have lunch at an outdoor café on Newbury Street, shop in Copley Place and Prudential Center, or visit one of Boston’s fine Back Bay museums.
- Is advance purchase necessary?
- You must purchase your tickets in advance in order to guarantee your space on the tour. Please book well in advance to maximize your chances of getting the date and time you prefer.
- How long do the walking tours last?
- Tours last approximately 2 hours, but can vary depending upon the number of people, questions asked, etc.
- How far do we actually walk?
- This tour is approximately 2 miles in length.
- Do we walk at a leisurely pace?
- Yes, tours move at a leisurely place. Though at times we might move faster because there is so much to see and talk about, we do stop frequently and we promise not to overwork you!! We try whenever possible to stop in the shade when it's hot and in the sun when it's cool. And where there are benches, we'll point them out.
- What specific Historic Sites will we see?
- These are just some of the sites you’ll see: Faneuil Hall, the Old and New State Houses, Boston Massacre Site, the Old and New City Halls, the Old South Meeting House, the Old Corner Bookstore, King’s Chapel, Old Granary Burial Ground, Park Street Church, Boston Common, Beacon Hill, Louisburg Square, Acorn Street, Boston Public Garden, Swan Boats, Cheers, Commonwealth Avenue Mall, Newbury Street, the John Hancock Tower, Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, the Boston Marathon Finish Line, and Copley Square.
- What if I have a particular area of interest?
- If you have a particular area of interest, like history or architecture, please let the guide know and they will likely be able to emphasize that area(s) for the enjoyment of the whole group.
- Are there restrooms on the tour?
- There are restrooms at both the start and end points of the tour. While there are no prescheduled stops along the way, we will make every reasonable effort to meet requests for a stop.
- Will we be able to purchase water along the way?
- On most tours, we will pass by street vendors selling drinks. We will stop there upon request. Make sure to bring extra cash if you might want to purchase from these vendors!
- Will there be food available on the tour?
- No, but there will be restaurants and other food services available where the tour ends. Please have breakfast before we begin, so that we don't inconvenience others on the tour by taking time away for you to get something to eat. If a snack is required, you could purchase one from a street vendor when we stop for drinks.
- Can we do shopping along the way?
- While the tour does pass through shopping areas, we request that you save all shopping until after the tour has finished. At the conclusion of the tour, we will be happy to give you directions to get back to specific shops and locations.
- Can I ask questions?
- YES!!! Questions are always welcome.
- Do I need to purchase a ticket for my child?
- Yes, please purchase a reduced price Child ticket for children ages 5 to 16. Children under the age of 5 may come on the tour for free, but please let us know if you are bringing any young children when you purchase your tickets. Remember to bring a stroller!
- Will my toddler survive the tour?
- Well, it's a long way for a toddler to go, so I can't recommend it. But you know your child best - if you think they'll enjoy it and they'll behave, go ahead and bring 'em along. We'll try and make it as pleasant as we can for both you and them.
- Is the tour stroller accessible?
- Most of the tour is accessible to strollers and we do recommend them for small children. Please keep in mind, however, that many areas are uneven and there is one set of stairs, but you should be able to carry your children over these short distances.
- Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
- Unfortunately, we do not recommend wheelchairs on these tours because we pass through many old, historic areas with brick and cobblestone paving that can be uneven and make travel in a wheelchair difficult. There is one set of steps.
- What happens if it rains or snows?
- The tour runs rain or shine. If precipitation starts during the tour, rain ponchos are usually available from the guide. If really severe weather forces us to cancel the tour, you will be able to reschedule to another date or receive credit for a future event.
- How do I get back to my hotel after the tour?
- Your guide will give you specific directions following the tour. If either walking or taking the "T" subway are possibilities, your guide will describe both options for you. Maps will be provided upon request.
- Where does the tour end?
- This tour ends in beautiful Copley Square, which is in the center of the Back Bay, Boston's "newest" area. It was created during the 19th century and is one of the city's major shopping and cultural areas. You'll love just being there!!
- What are the differences between the offered tours?
- The Downtown Boston to Back Bay and the Back Bay to Downtown Tours cover many of the same sites. The first, as its name indicates, leaves from Downtown and the second from Copley Square in the Back Bay. So you can choose based on which starting point is closest to your hotel or which time offered best meets your needs. The North End, Waterfront and Downtown Tour includes the original settled area of Boston and then proceeds to the North End and winds up on the Waterfront. This is a lovely historic tour that goes beyond where the others leave off. It includes Paul Revere's House, the Old North Church, Boston's Italian Area and the oldest commercial block in the city. If you want to sneak in some Italian food, you might want to consider that, too. The Harvard Square Evening Excursion goes to the lovely town of Cambridge, so is very different than our other tours. You'll learn about its history and see the interesting architecture of Harvard Square and Harvard University.
- Does the tour have anything to offer a native Bostonian?
- Absolutely! Boston is full of little known secrets and treasures. Its nooks and crannies provide a wealth of sights and stories that go along with them. The anecdotal history your guide will share with you is sure to add new nuances to what you thought you already knew. You'll see a side of the city you never knew existed!
- Are gift certificates available?
- Of course. You can reach Boston CityWalks with the "Contact BostonWalks" link.
- Are private tours available for Boston CityWalks tours?
- We would love to create just the right tour for you or your group. Please click on the "Contact BostonWalks" link to make arrangements!
The Downtown Boston to Back Bay Tour is a particular favorite of folks who really want to get to know Boston. You not only see the famous Historic Sites, but you learn the history and happenings in context.
Boston CityWalks also does customized tours to your specifications. These personalized walking tours are perfect for weddings, engagement parties, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, and other special events.