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Boston tour?


sjde

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We have some time in Boston after our fall cruise and we're trying to decide whether to take the duck tour that I've been hearing so much about or a bus tour. The 2 1 /2 hour bus tour goes by Copley Square, Trinity Church, Boston Public Library, Back Bay, Newbury Street, the Public Gardens, Boston Common, Beacon Hill, Old South Meeting House where the Boston Tea Party began, the Charles River, Old North Church. The description doesn't mention the Freedom Trail, but this must surely be some of it? Would we see more or less of Boston with a duck tour?

 

Sue

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The first six places that you mentioned are not on the Freedom Trail but the rest are. I can't really compare a bus tour with the duck tour as I have actually never done either. I really think that the way to see Boston is on foot.

 

What you might want to do is find out if either lets you get off and walk around at all. Just driving by some of these places like the Commons, Public Gardens, Old North Church, Trinity Church may not be very satisfying.

 

You might also want to check into whether either goes over to Charlestown to the Navy Yard where the USS Constitution is located and to the Bunker Hill Site. Both of those are very interesting, in my opinion, places to go to. Also, walking around Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market is really fun to do and it can be fun in the streets if the Italians are having one of their feast days over in the North End.

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If you take the duck tour you actually go ON the Charles River. That tour is supposed to be a lot of fun. As posted by Ocean Boy, Boston is a walking town. I would opt for the shorter Duck Tour (which starts at Copley Square) and then return to the Public Gardens, take a swan boat ride, have a drink at CHEERS (Bull and Finch Pub) then make your way over to Fanuel Hall and walk around. Old North Church is there. There are maps and you can pick up the Freedom Trail, there are also plenty of trolley tours that can take you there. Not far from Faneul Hall is Paul Revere's House and the North End. As mentioned if there is a festival or the farmers market going on during the weekend you will have a great time. You will have a great time regardless, this just adds to it.

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TheWog has it right. Do the Duck, then do the other places you want to see on foot.

 

The Duck tour will teach you a little and show you a little, and it's lots of fun. You will not see the Freedom Trail or the waterfront or Charlestown (except from the distance). The bus tour will teach you a lot and show you a lot, but it's less fun than riding the amphibious vehicle through Boston and into (and out of) the river. And they let the kids drive (in the river) for awhile, too!

 

You probably can get off/on the bus, you can't get off/on the Duck.

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sjde, would you prefer a general sightseeing tour (where you stay on the vehicle the whole time) or a tour that allows you to get off at points of interest at your leisure?

 

If you want to stay on the vehicle, I highly recommend the Duck Tours. The guides are informative and have a sense of humor, and the time on the Charles River is wonderful. Great views. We've done the Duck Tour twice and feel it is among the best ways to see Boston.

 

If you want to explore some of the sites on your own, there are numerous trolley companies (actually, buses that look like trolley cars) that allow a "hop-on-hop-off" at many of the historical sites. For instance, you can get out at the Old North Church, walk around for awhile, and then get on the next trolley that arrives.

 

Contrary to what a previous poster said, the Old North Church is not at Faneuil Hall. It's about a 10-15 minute walk, deep into Boston's North End. While you're there, stop by Mike's Pastries for an unbelievable sugary treat.

 

I work in Boston and will be happy to answer any questions.

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The best advice I ever received on seeing Boston is that the best way is via the Freedom Trail, but that it may not be the best way for YOU! Let me explain:

 

The Freedom Trail, for people who enjoy history, is fantastic, from seeing known famous sites, to seeing the fascinating cemetaries (especially "puritan" style grave markers), to reviewing early colonial history, plus getting some good exercise.

 

The last "plus" is not a "plus" for everyone, as it is a lot of walking to do the whole Trail. Some recommend splitting between 2 days (i.e. 2 days of 3-4 hrs); but that is not feasible on a cruise port stop.

 

One alternative is the trolley car that stops at different points. But remember that if you like history, you will still end up walking quite a bit to see all the points.

 

So.... IMHO: if you are physically in good shape and only have 1 day, I would do the trolley tour and thoroughly enjoy the Freedom Trail and other sites the trolley visits. Then I would do the Duck on the 2nd trip to Boston.

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