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.
From the hallowed field at Fenway Park to the educational havens of Harvard and M.I.T, Boston's history is written across its skyline. The area's nearby waterways allow for mostly unencumbered views of these sights, and guided boat tours let sightseers experience the city in a relaxing way. To this end, Charles Riverboat Company's vessels embark on journeys across the Charles River and Boston Harbor. Guided by an expert from Boston by Foot and run together with BSA Space, Boston’s premier cultural institution on architecture and design, and home to the Boston Society of Architects, the tour's captains and crews point out historic sights such as famous architecture or the 100-story kettle used during the Boston Tea Party. Under the warm glow of a sunset, evening tours wind through the river as music plays. Charles Riverboat Company also charters their boats for groups of up to 150.
When it comes to prototypical Cape Cod fishermen, Captain Bruce Peters is straight out of central casting. He’s a 16th-generation native with nearly 40 years of fishing experience, an affinity for old-school light tackle, and a 34’ boat named after his mom. At Capeshores Charters in Chatham, he welcomes groups of six aboard the Marilyn S. for seasonal expeditions in search of striped bass, bluefish, or bluefin tuna. Since he supplies all of the rods and reels, passengers can focus on the task at hand: catching some rays, scanning the water for fish, and reeling in the ocean’s bounty of sunken yachts. Captain Bruce takes part in the fun, as well, but as a US Coast Guard Master Captain, safety never strays too far from his thoughts.
After years of teaching preschool, Sue Merlino graduated to a new passion in life when she turned her enthusiasm for bicycling and her hometown into a career exploring Concord's history atop a two-wheeler. Her resulting brainchild, Concord Bike Tours, wends through the heavily treed lanes of the city, elucidating the history of notable locations such as the Emerson House, the abodes of lesser-known abolitionists, and the site where Thoreau kissed his first tree. Four regularly run tours take up to 10 bicyclists on 2.5- to 3-hour journeys, with optional sidecars for children younger than 8 provided. Sue and her family will also plot custom trips for clients interested in longer rides, different scenery, or preparing for a Jeopardy! audition.
Yankee Fleet's knowledgeable naturalists narrate the tour with nuggets of whale wisdom, and on-board whale researchers are available to answer one-on-one questions. While eyes are sure to be filled with majestic sightings of mammalian sea beasts (if you don't see one, your next trip is free), the body's fellow senses won't be forgotten. Passengers may have the opportunity to listen to whale sounds, touch whale artifacts, help capture plankton, analyze water visibility, and measure how far away whales are by counting the seconds between their lightning flashes.
Mahi Mahi Harbor Cruises & Private Events was started in 2006 on a 55-foot sightseeing boat affectionately known as The Finback. Every day, she carries passengers on scenic tours through the North Shore. Bordered by Salem, Marblehead, Machester-by-the-Sea, Beverly, and the Misery Islands, the sound’s scenic shores are dotted with lighthouses, mansions, and greenery as verdant as a national Shrek convention. Narration helps passengers brush up on their local history as they nosh on fresh meals and sip tropical drinks from the onboard tiki bar. Larger groups can cruise the same waters on the company’s newly refurbished boat, The Hannah Glover, which accommodates up to 150 guests and boasts two bars.
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.
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