Boston City and Harbor Tours – Boston MA

RATING: ♦♦♦+

We knew we had to see Boston on our whirlwind tour of New England, but after our expensive parking experience in Portland, we also knew we didn’t want to drive into the city. Our hotel was in Waltham, about 30 minutes outside of town and close to a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (also known as The T) rail station, so we took that. It was an easy and relatively cheap way into the city.

Upon arriving downtown, we looked for the Old Town Trolley Tour station. Trolley tours are our preferred method of exploring a city, and we have taken Old Town Trolley in San Diego and Nashville, so we knew what to expect in Boston. The drivers are good tour guides. It’s a great way to learn about a city’s history, it’s architecture, it’s people, and it’s special places to visit. We can get off and on the trolleys throughout the day, visiting the places we want to see.

Boston is very large and crazy busy. Everywhere we looked, we saw buildings and roads being constructed or repaired. There was scaffolding everywhere. Our first impression was that Boston is noisy and not very clean. On the plus side, the city park of Boston Common is centrally located and easily accessible for a nice break from the hustle and bustle. We also spent time at the pretty Public Garden, a large park adjacent to Boston Common, and took a walk through Christopher Columbus Park on our way to Joe’s American Bar & Grill for lunch.

Joe’s is located on Boston Harbor and has beautiful view of the water. Once again, we had a delicious meal. We found that New England really does have wonderful fresh seafood, and we are getting spoiled with the good eats.

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Our trolley tour included a tour of Boston Harbor by boat. So after lunch, we boarded our boat for our harbor cruise. It was a spectacularly beautiful sunny Sunday, and the city looked amazing from the water. We saw the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) that was build in Boston and launched in 1797. On the other side of the harbor, we saw airplanes coming in for a landing at Logan Airport.

Several cruise ships were in port, including the Queen Mary II, which is huge. There was also a spectacular yacht called the Mayan Queen, owned by Mexican multi-billionaireAlberto Baillères. There were lots of ordinary boats, mostly small sailboats, out on the harbor as well, all enjoying one last glorious summer day before fall sets in.

We’re glad we had the opportunity to visit Boston, but probably won’t do it again. If I had to choose only one New England city to revisit, it would be Portland.

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