During the 70-minute Hahvahd Tour, whip-smart Harvard undergrads lead prospective students and curious tourists alike through 375 years of American History. Starting at the Red Line Harvard stop, tour groups take a stroll past the winding lanes and stoic stone buildings of the nation's oldest college while soaking up knowledge about Harvard's fascinating past and colorful student culture. Visitors stop for photo ops at famous sites such as the National Lampoon building?the training ground for comedians such as Conan O'Brien?and the John Harvard statue, which commemorates the most famous person named after the university.
Precious coffee is expertly brewed and measured at Voltage Coffee, which pours custom blends and premium chocolate concoctions into the cups of thirsty customers. The tasteful menu demonstrates the breadth of the store’s sippables, a roster that includes exotic creations such as the paper plane latte, which, like most actual planes, is powered by cardamom, rose water, and honey ($4 for 12 oz.). Three single-origin hot-chocolate drinks provided with tasting notes will please cocoaholics ($4 for 12 oz.).
The Histrionic Academy follows the enduring footprints of America's first steps, bringing to life the iconic men, women, and events that helped forge the United States into existence during the Revolutionary era. Throughout the extended, 90-minute Tour the Freedom Trail walking tour, groups weave across the first 1.2 miles of Boston's Freedom Trail behind the proverbial torches held by guides dressed in colonial garb. Up to 16 of the city's historical landmarks along the tour's route act as links to the past, enabling tour takers to see the actual locations where Paul Revere famously hung out and memorized the horse alphabet.
In addition to Freedom Trail adventures, The Histrionic Academy also swings open its vault of knowledge during school field trips and a variety of other tours. The Plymouth Night tour raises hairs by shuffling visitors through haunted locales beneath the eerie glow of the moon while hunting for ghosts and ghouls in their paranormal hangouts, learning about the dark shadows cast by the city on a hill and the proper safety gear needed for attempting to climb to the moral high ground. The Salem's 1692 tour relives the hysteria of witch hunts by sailing through city streets atop gas-powered brooms.
Wielding a flickering lantern, one of Haunted Boston Ghost Tours? guides leads groups through the streets and alleyways of Beantown, illuminating dark corners to expose any lingering apparitions. Beginning at Central Burial Ground, groups stroll through some of Boston?s most historically haunted areas, including the Boston Athenaeum, Boston Commons, and Freedom Trail, ultimately ending at the Omni Parker Hotel. Along the way, a knowledgeable guide explains the history of the various specters lurking about, as well as the stories behind their demises, which date back to colonial-era Boston. Guides lead these tours every night of the week, rain or shine, for tour takers as young as 6 years old in groups of all sizes, excluding any ex-Ghostbusters.
Bastions of the abolitionist movement, Boston and its progressive citizens helped motivate activists across the nation to stand against slavery, thus fanning a flame that contributed to the Civil War. During a 90-minute Boston Civil War tour, groups walk among historically significant sites where figureheads such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison publicly asserted their outrage and sought refuge from enraged mobs. While strolling through Beacon Hill on Sunday, knowledgeable guides point out the African Meeting House—a recruitment center for Massachusetts' all-black regiment—and the homes of famous authors such as Louisa May Alcott, who pulled from her experience as a Union Army nurse to write Hospital Sketches in 1863.
It’s not often that a building is as cutting edge as what it houses, but that’s the case with Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Set on Boston Harbor, the 65,000-square-foot cantilevered structure boasts amazing views, perched as it is right at the water’s edge with its enormous glass windows. The museum, founded in 1936, has hosted exhibits by the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein over the years and, more recently, by artists such as Tara Donovan and Shepard Fairey. Since 2000, the museum has been building a permanent collection which rotates about once a year. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of multimedia art, videos, installations and performing arts programs.