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Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House: Our most recommended tours and activities

Boston: Hop-on Hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour

1. Boston: Hop-on Hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour

Enjoy a hop-on hop-off tour aboard Boston’s charming orange and green Old Town Trolley and visit more than 100 points of interest in the city at your own pace. Enjoy the freedom to hop on or off all day and discover sights like the Boston State House, Liberty Wharf, and the Charlestown Navy Yard. Take in double-decker height views while protected from the elements. The comfortable enclosed trolleys allow you to experience elevated viewing come rain, snow, or shine. Choose between 1-day and 2-day ticket options with free unlimited re-boarding. The Boston Trolley tour covers all the major areas including downtown, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the theater district, and the waterfront. Conductors narrate the tour, offering a fun mix of trivia and humorous stories. There are 14 stops conveniently located close to over 100 points of interest in Boston, these are: • Stop 1: New England Aquarium/Faneuil Hall Marketplace • Stop 2: Historic North End • Stop 3: USS Constitution/Charlestown Navy Yard • Stop 4: North Station/TD Bank Garden • Stop 5: Old State House * Stop 6: Beacon Hill/Antique Row • Stop 7: Cheers Bar "The Original" • Stop 8: Prudential Center/Skywalk Observatory (Currently closed due to construction) • Stop 9: Christian Science Plaza/Symphony Hall • Stop 10: Copley Place Shopping Galleries • Stop 11: Copley Square/Trinity Church • Stop 12: Old Town Trolley Welcome Center • Stop 13: Boston State House/ Boston Common/Beacon Hill • Stop 14: Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum (discounted admission included)

Boston: Guided Walking Tour of the Freedom Trail

2. Boston: Guided Walking Tour of the Freedom Trail

See all 16 of Boston's iconic Freedom Trail sites in a single tour with an experienced guide. Learn about famous Americans like Paul Revere and John Hancock, along with lesser-known stories of women, African Americans, and immigrant patriots and pioneers. Start your tour just inside the Boston Common at the back of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, located at the corner of Park and Beacon Streets. Discover tales of rebels, gangs, and Midnight Riders, with a few cheap dad jokes for good measure. Gain an understanding of Boston's role in the American Revolution and how the city became a pioneer in the fields of abolition, American education, and immigration. Along the way, learn about the explosive events of the American Revolution like the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre in the places they happened. See Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King's Chapel, the Benjamin Franklin Statue, the Old Corner Bookstore, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, the Boston Massacre Site, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, the Old North Church, Copp's Hill Burying Ground, the USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill Monument.

Boston: Self-Guided Freedom Trail Walking Audio Tour w/ App

3. Boston: Self-Guided Freedom Trail Walking Audio Tour w/ App

Discover Boston's Revolutionary history on a Freedom Trail self-guided audio walking tour with an app. Explore historic downtown Boston, the North End, and Charlestown all at your own pace and without the crowds. Simply press start and follow the arrow on the app to find your next stop, listening to professional narration along your way. Head off on a historical adventure through Boston's colorful past with this self-guided tour of the Freedom Trail. Start by walking through downtown Boston and see the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Sam Adams grave, Old South, and much more. Then, continue by following the directions on your app to Boston's North End. See Paul Revere's House, Copp's Hill Burial Ground, Old North, and more to truly get a flavor of what this part of the city has to offer. Carry on to Charlestown to see Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, and more. Best of all, take the tour anytime, at your own pace, and on your own schedule. This tour never expires on your downloaded app, so you can take it as many times as you like.

Boston: Small Group Freedom Trail History Walking Tour

4. Boston: Small Group Freedom Trail History Walking Tour

Learn about the tumultuous 15-year period that culminated in the American Revolution on this small-group tour. As you walk through the heart of Boston with a local guide, you’ll follow the footsteps of Colonial Bostonians, all of whom grappled with the difficult question of loyalty or rebellion to crown and country. Start your walking tour on Boston Common, where the Freedom Trail originates. As your guide leads your small group along the Freedom Trail, hear gripping stories from Revolutionary Boston and learn the significance of landmarks such as Granary Burying Ground, Old South Meeting House, the Boston Massacre Site, Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, and more. Your walking tour concludes in Boston's North End on Copp's Hill Terrace, steps from the Old North Church and delicious Italian restaurants. This final viewpoint allows guests to see the U.S.S Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument over in Charlestown. Guests will thus see all 16 official landmarks that comprise the Freedom Trail.

Boston: Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl

5. Boston: Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl

Enjoy an evening pub crawl of haunted bars across Boston, and pass by spirited locations in the city on a guided haunted tour. Hang out with John F. Kennedy in the back corner of the 21st Amendment. Teleport to Ireland with a pint of Guinness at Emmet’s Pub. Visit the Omni Parker House Hotel, where a sinister liquor salesman haunts Room 303. Finally, head to the Beantown Pub to hear about the life and death of Sam Adams from your guide. Finish the tour at the 17th-century Granary Burying Ground cemetery.

Boston: Ghost Tour

6. Boston: Ghost Tour

Embark on a unique after-dark tour and explore downtown Boston’s most haunted hotspots. Discover both the paranormal and historical worlds of each carefully selected tour site and listen to researched, authentic, and up-to-date accounts that ensure you have the best, most chilling experience possible. Highlights of the tour include: Omni Parker House Haunted by its first owner and other notable ghostly guests, the Omni Parker House is considered Boston’s most haunted location. One room, in particular, has caused so much trouble, terror, and grief that the hotel was eventually forced to convert it into a storage room, lest they risk another guest suffering from a grisly night’s stay in the cursed room. What could possibly drive a hotel to permanently retire an otherwise perfectly good guest room? Discover the details on our tour. Boston Common This seemingly placid area is the country’s oldest park. For a century of its long history, Boston Common was the site of hundreds of hangings. Not all of the victims of these executions managed to escape the park, even after death. The grim ghosts of the hanging victims are the least of your paranormal concerns in the Common. Keep your eyes open and your wits about you whenever you’re at this park… or else. Old South Meeting House Witness the birthplace of the Boston Tea Party protest and the very American Revolution itself at the Old South Meeting House. This building is of crucially historic importance, but that’s not the only legacy the meeting house is known for. It is a specter that sometimes appears and always acts as a harbinger of impending death. Or perhaps it’s no messenger of death at all, but instead directly responsible for the string of deaths that have befallen the unlucky ones who’ve encountered it. Old City Hall This former hub of Boston’s local government has since become a bustling mixed-use commercial and office property. Because of its historical significance being covered up with the new polish of redevelopment, at least one ghost exacts its revenge for this perceived disrespect for history on visitors. The Old City Hall may be magnificent looking, but watch where you look inside…

Boston History & Highlights Afternoon Tour

7. Boston History & Highlights Afternoon Tour

Begin at the lifeblood of Boston, the Boston Harbor, with a walk through a scenic waterfront park, with views of the harbor. From the harbor, continue past the Rose Kennedy Greenway, State Street, and the historic Custom House Tower, the city’s first skyscraper. Then, your guide will lead you toward the famous Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, which both boast stunning views. Moving into the heart of Downtown Boston, stop in front of the Old State House and the site of the Boston Massacre. Was it really a massacre or maybe just great propaganda for the Revolution? Ask your expert guide about that one!  A short trek through Downtown Crossing brings you to Old City Hall. This beautiful building, done in French Revivalist architecture, was the seat of city government for years in Boston. It also happens to be the site of the birth of public education in America. You'll definitely want to have your guide snap your picture with the bronze donkey outside the entrance. On most weekdays, you’ll have a chance to see the government at work (or not) inside the inspiring, historic and beautiful Massachusetts State House, designed and built by famous federalist architect Charles Bulfinch in 1798. Outside the State House, take in the views of modern Boston, including the skyscrapers of Downtown, the Financial District, and the tallest building in New England: the John Hancock Tower.   Continue your journey through Beacon Hill, where you’ll have a chance to take in the quintessential architecture of Boston’s red brick row houses. Get out your cameras — this neighborhood is one of the most photogenic in the city. Finally, arrive at the beautiful Boston Public Garden, one of Boston’s favorite green spaces, where you’ll see locals walking the dogs, playing with the kids, and enjoying lunch in the shade. Your guide will point you in the right direction, and will help with any and all recommendations for great things to do in Boston that evening and beyond. 

Ultimate Boston Self-Guided Walking Tours Bundle

8. Ultimate Boston Self-Guided Walking Tours Bundle

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Note: Each tour covers essential sights and takes 2-3 hours, over 3+ miles. Start in the city of Boston and walk in the footsteps of Revolutionary War heroes. Hear the story of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride and relive the fight for American Independence with a self-guided walking tour of Boston’s Freedom Trail. Immerse yourself in the stories of the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party, and the Sons of Liberty as you stroll along Boston’s scenic Harborwalk. Uncover Boston's historic and storied past while enjoying its beautiful harbor views between South Station and Long Wharf. Then, travel to the city of Cambridge outside Boston and explore the heart of Harvard University's campus at Harvard Square. Use the app to take a self-guided walking tour that covers must-see campus sights like the John Harvard Statue, Widener Library, and former dorm rooms of famous alumni like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Natalie Portman, and more. Next, discover Cape Ann with a self-guided driving tour along the scenic waterfront. Enjoy the vistas, beaches, and natural beauty of the New England coastline at your own pace. Visit the famous Fisherman's Memorial, beautiful Beauport, all while diving into the stories of Massachusetts of days past. Shifting the scene to Salem, begin at the Salem Visitor Center. Learn about the Salem Witch Trials at the dedicated memorial and the Old Burying Point Cemetery. Stop by historic spots like the Old Town Hall, the Joshua Ward House, and Gedney House. Marvel at the Witch House and end your tour at The House of the Seven Gables, immersing yourself in the haunting history of Salem's Witch Trials.

Freedom Trail Self-Guided Walking Tour & Interactive Quiz

9. Freedom Trail Self-Guided Walking Tour & Interactive Quiz

Experience the beauty of the Freedom Trail of Boston on a self-guided walking tour. See the famous places like Boston Common Visitor Center, Park Street Church, Boston State House, and more with the magic of an audio guide. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. You will receive the download instructions after booking. Download the app and start the tour with your mobile phone as your guide. Start your tour at the Boston Common Visitor Center. Walk towards the north for a great view of the Boston State House, topped with a real gold dome. Visit the iconic Robert G Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial, historic Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, and the Old South Meeting House. You will pass by the Old Corner Bookstore, and continue to the Old State House, which has the distinct honor of being the place where the declaration of Independence was read aloud to the people of Boston. The next landmark is the Boston Massacre. Here, you will get a chance to untangle the truth behind this oft-misunderstood event. Continue to see the Faneuil Hall, a regal structure that witnessed countless historical events. Admire the iconic Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, before continuing to the USS Constitution. It is known by its nickname Old Ironsides.  Finally, reach the Bunker Hill Monument, commemorating one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Explore the city with a smartphone GPS navigated audio tour at your own pace and schedule.

Boston: Salem Witch Trials & Freedom Trail Self-Guided Tour

10. Boston: Salem Witch Trials & Freedom Trail Self-Guided Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Once downloaded, you can begin your tour either in Salem or in Boston. In Boston, you’ll start either at Bunker Hill or in the heart of Boston Common, dating back to 1634! Hear about the Stamp Act riots of 1765 as you begin your walk along the Freedom Trail. Keep moving past the historic Massachusetts State House with its golden dome laid by Paul Revere’s Copper Company! You’ll also hear about America’s first time capsule here, going back to 1795! Learn more about why the British taxed the colonies before the Revolutionary War and then take in the Park Street Church with its stately steeple. Then move onto the Granary Burying Ground and pay tribute to the prominent and courageous figures buried there, such as John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere. Up next is King’s Chapel, Boston’s first Anglican church, which features a bell which Paul Revere cast! You’ll then see the Boston Latin School with its statue of one of its most prominent students, Benjamin Franklin! You’ll pass the Old South Meeting House, where the famed Boston Tea Party began. Then, keep striding toward the Old State House where the Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians! In addition, see the stately Faneuil Hall, where colonial Bostonians met to discuss their future and acrimonious debates over the Stamp Act and Tea Act took place! Learn more about the events of the Revolutionary War, including the Second Continental Congress, as well as Paul Revere’s historic ride. You’ll see the Old North Church, site of the famed “one if by land, two if by sea signal.” Conclude your Boston journey at the Bunker Hill Monument, commemorating a pivotal Revolutionary War battle. In Salem, you’ll start at the Salem Visitor Center. Learn about the infamous witch trials at the 1692 Memorial. Reflect on the 19 who perished in an atmosphere of suspicion and madness. Pay visits to an array of historical sites such as the Old Burying Point Cemetery, where the chief judge in the witch trials is buried. See the Old Town Hall, used in the movie Hocus Pocus! Also learn about the town’s famed son, writer Nathaniel Hawthorne! The tour concludes at the House of the Seven Gables, which was the inspiration for one of Hawthorne’s most famed works.

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What people are saying about Massachusetts State House

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 962 reviews

The best photographer. I’d recommend him to everyone. Beautiful pictures throughout my weekend. He made me feel comfortable. Moreover this photographer is a very talented person who knows how to capture the moment

Fantastic tour, Charlie was a Harvard grad and current adjunct history professor and was very passionate and knowledgable about the Revolution and Boston. He painted a great picture that brought you back in time.

The tour guide was very knowledge, and very informative along the way. He w made us feel as though we're we part of history in the way that he told the story. Made sure that he was heard by all.

Knowledgeable and friendly. Comes at the history from a unique perspective. I learned far more than I anticipated being someone who’s lived in Boston for more than 10 years.

The 2 tour bus drivers we had the pleasure of travelling with were incredibly entertaining as well as full of fun facts, I wish I could remember their names!