EcoTourz’s cache of bikes and kayaks furnish unique perspectives of the Upper Cape’s natural splendor and Sandwich’s historical charms. Guides usher small groups of kayakers down Historic Mill Creek, where herons and osprey soar above the tall grass while conspiring to overthrow the neighborhood mockingbirds. On dry land, EcoTourz staff rents out bicycles and divulges prime pedaling spots, such as the marsh-lined Sandwich Boardwalk or some of the Cape’s oldest buildings.
Located just outside Boston, Blue Hill lets aspiring pilots navigate both the busy airspace above the city and the more difficult flying conditions around the White Mountains. A full-scale flight simulator preps beginners before they can receive one-on-one lessons from an instructor in a two-seat Schweizer 300C helicopter, which accommodates both commercial or private flying tracks. The copter also ferries passengers above the city at dusk or carries riders home to the nest where flying machines roost at night.
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.
Cape Cod Bay stretches out in all directions, its waters glittering under an azure sky. Here, razor bills, petrals, and shearwater circle over the cresting waves. Occasionally, a massive black flank breaks the surface, and a whale sprays a fountain of blow toward the sun. Such is the typical scene enjoyed by the passengers, U.S. Coast Guard–licensed captain, and crew aboard a Capt. John Boats tour.
Following more than six decades of tradition, the company's boats embark on whale-watching tours of Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagen Bank, passing landmarks such as Gurnet Light and Clark's Island on their quest to find local sea birds and marine life. All the while, on-board naturalists educate passengers about the local ecosystem and the pros and cons of naming children after fish. But Capt. John Boats' excursions aren't limited to observation—the boats also depart for private and group fishing trips ranging from just a few hours to multiple days. By dropping anchor or drifting with the tide, the captain teaches groups to ply the waters of local fishing grounds for seasonal catches.
Headless Indian chiefs. Vengeful witches. Treacherous generals. Though they may seem like figures in a horror novel or modern newspaper, they are all characters featured in Colonial Lantern Tours of Plymouth's intriguing and true-life historical tours. For more than 25 years, the staff of enthusiastic history buffs has traversed the scenic pathways of Plymouth and neighboring Boston, pointing out sites of interest while regaling guests with tales of the region's diverse history—from legendary ghosts to ghoul-inhabited tunnels to educational tales of pilgrim settlers and Native Americans. Tours meander through town squares, down hidden alleyways, and past historic harbors, guided by the light of 17th-century lantern replicas. Docents also offer seasonal Halloween-, Thanksgiving-, and Christmas-themed trips that detail colonial holiday customs, such as topping every tree with a bust of Benedict Arnold. To date, Colonial Lantern's yarns—at once macabre and enlightening—have enthralled numerous reporters from a variety of publications, such as the Los Angeles Times.
Unless they’re drinking copious amounts of his namesake beer, tour goers along the Freedom Trail won’t likely catch a glimpse of famous revolutionary Sam Adams. But they will hear tales about his struggle for freedom from the British—the kind of struggle that made Boston a hotbed of revolutionary activity in the 1800s. Led by costume-clad tour guides, The Path to Independence tour takes visitors along the red brick path toward famed landmarks such as Boston Common, Old Granary Burying Ground, Old South Meeting House, and Old North Church. At each spot, they’ll learn about the site’s role in colonial Boston, from its founding years in the 1630s to the fight for American independence and the key players in the fight, including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock.