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Explore Boston - Walking Tours

Global Immersions - Thursday, August 09, 2012

Boston is famous for a variety of things – historical landmarks, unique neighborhoods and some of the nation’s top Universities. The best part is that it’s all easily accessible by foot! Boston is well-known as a “walking city” and there are numerous companies that offer walking tours of the city’s top attractions. There are also self-guided tours that are easy to follow with online maps and guidebooks. Here are a few of our favorites, catering to any interest!

The Public Art Walk
Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Art Commission designed the City of Boston’s first edition of Public Art Walks, featuring both historic and contemporary art installations throughout the neighborhoods of Boston. This walk includes Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the Financial District and the North End. In the future, they hope to create walks featuring the rest of city. For now, you can explore artworks in every neighborhood using their interactive map.  A map is also available for download

Black Heritage Tour
The Black Heritage Trail explores the history of the 19th century free Black community of Boston. The trail consists of 14 sites and begins at the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Beacon Street. Self-guided tours can be conducted at any time with maps obtained at the Abiel Smith School during site hours. Guided tours are held daily in the summer at 10:00am, 12:00pm and 2:00pm. A reservation is required (617) 742-5415. Adult tickets cost $5. 

The Freedom Trail 

Boston’s most popular walking tour can be done solo or as part of a group. The 2.5-mile, brick-lined route leads you to 16 historically significant sites — each one an authentic treasure. Explore museums and meetinghouses, churches, and burying grounds. Discover the rich history of the American Revolution, as it began in Boston, where every step tells a story. If you’d like to walk without the group,  their website offer audio guides and trail maps. Tours leave every hour on the hour (beginning 11:00am from Boston Common Visitor Information Center) and every hour on the half-hour (beginning 10:30am from Arts Boston BosTix booth at Faneuil Hall). Discount tickets are available online for $11

Pizza Tours
Boston Pizza Tours offers unique walking tours, mixing food, fun and history like never before - discover Boston slice by delicious slice! Their "Slice of Little Italy" tour explores the North End, Boston's oldest neighborhood settled in 1630. Participants not only get three slices of pizza from the neighborhoods best pizzerias, they get to explore the Paul Revere House, Boston’s oldest standing church and other famous North End sites. Tickets cost $29 and must be bought online

Boston by Foot
This company offers a variety of tours all over Boston led by experienced guides. Some of the most popular tours include: 

Beacon Hill  
5:30pm weekdays 2:00pm weekends adult tickets cost $12
From the Massachusetts State House through the historic streets of elegant brick row houses on Beacon Hill, experience the Federal-style architecture of Charles Bulfinch and his followers.

Literary Landmarks
Saturdays only at 10:00am adult tickets cost $12
Enthusiasts of American literature will enjoy walking among the homes and haunts of the great Victorian writers such as Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Alcott, James, Dickens, and Longfellow.

Boston Underfoot 
Sundays only at 1:00pm adult tickets cost $14
Trace the evolution of Boston from a small peninsula through to the Big Dig. Walking through Boston's oldest alleys, along the modern Greenway, and into the subway, your guide will present the engineering of a city. 

Haunted Boston
On this tour you'll hear enchanting and chilling tales of Boston's most famous ghosts as well as the areas extensive and rich history. Your guide will tell you extraordinary and tragic tales from the founding of Colonial Boston right up to present day. Learn what secrets lay beneath the Boston Common, what untold stories lay within the Boston Athenaeum and which well-known hotel is Boston's most haunted. Tours run nightly at 8:00pm reservations are required by calling (617) 605-3635. Adult tickets are $18. 

The “Hahvahd” Tour

This student led tour of Harvard University and Harvard Square has been praised the world over for its funny offbeat style. The guides will lead your through Harvard Yard and the surrounding campus, entertaining you with the stories, history, and lore of Harvard and its eclectic student body. The tour runs constantly, check online for details. Donations are requested at $10 a person. 

Boston Food Tours
All the history in Boston making you hungry? Good thing Boston is just as well known for its vibrant selection of authentic ethnic foods, top notch restaurants and unique local eateries. The Boston Food Tour takes visitors on walking tours of two of Boston’s most food friendly neighborhoods: the North End and Chinatown. Each tour is 2-3 hours and participants get to sample foods, learn about cooking secrets, tour the neighborhood and visit local store owners. Check online for prices and tour times. 

With all that the city has to offer, it's hard to decide what to do! Let the experienced guides on these tours help you and make sure to share you explore Boston stories with Global Immersions! 

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