Passengers on City View Trolley
Around the US,  Boston

City View Trolley Tour and Harbor Cruise – Boston

We chose a beautiful sunny day for our City View Trolley tour and Harbor Cruise in Boston. Parking was quick and easy at the lot under Boston Common. If you don’t have access to a car, public transportation is a great option.

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Memorial to the founding of Boston

We took a leisurely walk along the edge of the park, stopping at the monument to the founding of Boston.

child in Boston Common

The kids enjoyed running along the walkways as we strolled to our first Trolley stop.

Massachusetts State House

There are many places to catch the Trolley in Boston. It is a hop-on, hop-off type of tour, which makes it easy to see everything you are interested in. One of the stops is in front of the Massachusetts State House, which was built in 1798. It’s dome was originally made of wood, then later covered with copper, and later still covered with gold leaf.

South Station Transportation Center

There were a lot of other historic buildings to see on our tour. This is South Station, a transportation center opened in 1898. We didn’t hop off the Trolley at every stop, but our Trolley operator gave us information as we passed certain landmarks.

guests at the Boston Tea Party Museum

The stop we were the most excited for was the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. From the Trolley stop where we hopped off, it was a couple of blocks walk to the museum. We started in a room with benches, meant to be the room where a meeting of colonists was taking place.

character card from the Boston Tea Party Museum

The costumed guides handed us cards outlining the character we were portraying. I was Ebenezer MacIntosh. We didn’t have to speak or act it out, but it was fun to be involved as the guides told the story. The kids especially loved hearing the names of those on their cards.

Visitors to the Boston Tea Party Museum on the ship

After the town meeting, we boarded the ship. The guides explained the different parts of the ship, and we even got to go belowdecks to check out ship life back in colonial days.

a colonial man sits at a desk

Next was the highlight of the tour. We got to throw the Tea into the Harbor!

children throw tea into the harbor

The kids loved pushing the boxes of tea off the edges into the water! It made up for the next part of the tour, which was interesting for adults, but kind of boring for the younger kids. All in all, though, we considered it a great museum!


a view of Boston Harbor

The next stop we hopped off was at the Harbor. We had about a half hour before our boat left – enough time to grab a bite to eat! There were plenty of places both on the street and on the pier to give us a good choice of meals.

children on Harbor Cruise

We were a little apprehensive about the cruise, seeing that my 6 year old granddaughter was deathly afraid of boats at the time. But she had practiced on the Tea Party boat at the museum, and she was ready to take on the challenge! If you are interested in hearing the tour guide, make sure to grab a seat either inside or by a speaker. We chose to sit outside, and could only hear intermittently.

young girl in tree

Our last Trolley stop was back at Boston Common. We found plenty of things to do there, including trees to climb, a playground, a carousel, and a delightful row of ducklings to play on!

children play in Boston Common

We would definitely recommend the City View Trolley and Harbor Cruise! Keep in mind that the Harbor Cruise is seasonal, and only offered as part of the package when weather permits. Other add-ons are available at other times of the year.

Have you taken a Trolley Tour of Boston? What did you think?

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