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How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Boston

How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Boston

Filled with historical landmarks and a diverse mix of restaurants and bars, Boston offers plenty of sightseeing options. But if you want to venture beyond Fenway Park, here’s how to get off-the-beaten-path in Boston.

The Mapparium

Located at the Mary Baker Eddy Library, the Mapparium is a stained-glass globe that represents how the world looked in 1935, when the structure was built. Travel through the globe via a 30-foot (9-meter) glass bridge; watch a light-and-sound show that explains how the world has changed; and experience the acoustics of the whispering gallery. 

Brattle Book Shop

Boston is home to several prestigious universities, which means there’s no shortage of bookstores. Selling used books since 1825, Brattle Book Shop is one of the oldest used bookstores in the US; you’ll find collectibles and first-edition books beside discounted books on the lot outside of the shop.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Whether you consider her an avid collector or a hoarder, there’s no denying that philanthropist Isabella Stewart Gardner liked stuff. This museum displays more than 2,000 artifacts—including paintings, sculptures, textiles, drawings, manuscripts, and photographs accumulated during her global travels—in a 3-story building that’s been open since 1903. 

Coolidge Corner Theatre

Originally a church, Coolidge Corner Theatre was converted to an Art-Deco movie theater in 1933; today, it maintains its early 20th-century decor—think red velvet seats—while screening both classic and contemporary films. Catch lesser-known flicks or take part in singalongs here; beer, wine, and popcorn are served on-site.

Boston Harbor Islands

Accessible via ferry from Boston city center, and comprised of 34 islands and peninsulas, this national park features hiking trails, campgrounds, and public beaches. It’s also home to a Civil War-era fort and Boston Light, the first lighthouse in the US; book a lighthouse tour for the best views of Long Island Light, Graves Light, and Boston Light.

Old Burying Grounds

Nestled among brick buildings and bookstores, you’ll find several historic cemeteries in downtown Boston, including Granary Burying Ground and King’s Chapel Burying Ground. Wander through to see marble, granite, and slate headstones, some of which depict skulls with wings. At the Granary grounds on Tremont Street, see where Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere are laid to rest.

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5 Tours and Activities

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Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 14 Stops

Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 14 Stops

star-4.5
2681
Explore the best that Boston has to offer on this hop-on hop-off tour of the city. See Boston’s top attractions—like the USS ‘Constitution’ and the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, to name a few—on the loop. Enjoy discounted admission to attractions like the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum with the purchase of your tour.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.40
From
$50.40

Boston Ghosts & Gravestones Night-Time Trolley Tour

Boston Ghosts & Gravestones Night-Time Trolley Tour

star-4.5
901
Discover some of Boston’s deepest, darkest secrets on a “frightseeing” tour aboard the Trolley of the Doomed, which roams around the haunted streets and burial grounds of Boston. Your costumed host provides illuminating insights into the history of the city's spookiest sights such as Copp's Hill Burying Ground.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$46.20
From
$46.20

Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay

star-4.5
320
Travel back in time through the early years of American history during this guided walking tour of Boston’s famous Freedom Trail and its most iconic landmarks. Relive the events of the American Revolution as you pass Faneuil Hall, see the Old and New State Houses, and visit the setting of the infamous Boston Massacre. Then head downtown past Boston Common and the modern John Hancock Tower, finishing in Copley Square. A professional guide joins your trip to help add context.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

Go City: Boston All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions and Tours

Go City: Boston All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions and Tours

star-4
205
Seeing the best of Boston doesn’t get any easier, or more economical, than with Go City's Boston All-Inclusive Pass. This flexible sightseeing pass allows visitors to pick and choose from a wide variety of Boston’s top attractions, over 40 in all, at any pace desired over the course of one, two, three, five, or seven consecutive days. Enjoy immediate entry to attractions. Simply save the pass (available as your 'ticket' after purchase) on your mobile device and go. No voucher redemption is required. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes are valid for two years from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for the remaining number of days purchased.
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  • 1 to 7 days
From
$62.00
From
$62.00

Private Customized Walking Tour of Boston

Private Customized Walking Tour of Boston

star-5
8
Explore Boston in a way that interests you on a private walking tour that can be customized to your preferences. You'll follow a flexible itinerary tailored to include attractions that you want to see, such as Boston Common, Freedom Trail, or Copley Square. If you don't have specific interests, you can leave the itinerary up to your guide. Either way, this is a chance to enjoy Boston's history and charm with a guide all to yourself.
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  • 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$495.00
per group
From
$495.00
per group