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.
An antique paddleboat churns the water. Its gleaming white hull cuts through gentle waves and reflects the sun. Passengers gaze out of lower-level windows or rest their arms along the railings on an open upper level, where they stand sheltered from the weather by a striped fabric canopy. Cruise Boston_’s captains ferry visitors through the Boston Harbor along the city's waterfront and up and down the winding Charles River aboard this antique vessel and the _Henry Longfellow, a powered one-story tour boat. On sightseeing tours guides divulge the history behind the city and its waterfront buildings, explaining why most opted to construct stairs instead of water slides, as they pass the USS Constitution, Long Wharf, Bunker Hill, Back Bay, and Fenway Park. During warmer weather captains also pilot tours at sunset—during which bartenders sling cocktails from a full on-board bar, and summery music wafts from the deck and into the night.
Boston, Portland, San Antonio, Phoenix, Miami, Providence ––each city possesses a distinct culture, a varied cuisine, and a subset of neighborhoods full of hot spots and hole in the walls. All of these inspire the guides of Citywide Food Tours as they craft tasting adventures that both expand patrons' palates and illuminate the city in which they live. The gastronomic sherpas lead walking tours through the streets to local eateries and food trucks while dropping tidbits about the area’s history, such as its major battles and most attractive mayors. Guests get to taste three courses’ worth of the city’s finest cuisine at the stops, filling up while meeting new friends.
Art teacher Bessie Blum shares her love for handmade objects at Made by Me, where she teaches classes that uncover each student’s hidden creativity. Under her guidance, students learn the fundamentals of craftsmanship, using a potter's wheel to fashion stoneware pieces or fusing glass into bowls, picture frames, or whale-proof aquarium windows. Bessie’s selection of pre-made pottery, meanwhile, serves as a canvas for results-oriented DIY-ers, who can skip the creation process and go straight to adorning pieces with custom layers of colorful food-safe glaze.
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.
Kim and Corey were working for a ghost-story tour company in Salem when they noticed something. Well, it wasn't really something, so much as the absence of something that caught their attention. Tourists walked away from their ghost-story tours disappointed, seeking a more intimate encounter with the famous bumps in the Salem night. So the duo decided to start their own tour company, putting their private practice to good use. They founded Paranormal Salem and armed their guests with ghost-detecting equipment before taking them to some of Salem's most notoriously haunted sites.
Their ghost tour's hands-on style has earned them accolades such as Best New England Attraction of 2012 from About.com, and a featured spot on the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story. Their late night tour begins at the Witch Trials Memorial before embarking on a two-hour exploration of indoor and outdoor sites that are rife with stories of ethereal sightings, strange noises, and eerie stomach growls.