1-Day Itinerary for Best of Boston Sightseeing

How to See Boston's Top Attractions in 6 hours

Find out about best Boston events during September, such as patio dining while the weather is still warm
Lighted Christmas tree on Boston Common, with Massachusetts State House in the background

Question about Romantic Things to Do in BostonWe are only afforded about 6 hours before our flight leaves back to the UK and want to see the best of Boston. We have to store our luggage too which is a pain, but what can you recommend for us to be the easiest and cheapest way to see and get about Boston.

Thanks,
Sarah

 

Boston Discovery Guide's answer to where to find romantic places and things to do in Boston in DecemberDear Sarah,

I am happy to suggest a 1-day itinerary that give you a terrific city tour.  You can easily do it in 6 hours.

You'll see Boston's top attractions, beautiful historic neighborhoods, and iconic historic sites.

You'll even get a short sightseeing cruise of Boston Harbor on your way to see more famous sites.

This itinerary takes advantage of savings offered by the GoBoston Discount Card.  With a 1-day card, you'll save close to 40% of regular ticket prices.

As a bonus, this itinerary allows you to securely and easily store your luggage for free along the way - more about that in a moment!

 

How to See the Best of Boston in 6 Hours

From Logan Airport, take a water taxi to get to the downtown Boston waterfront in about 8 minutes.  Be sure to tell the dispatcher you want the Rowes Wharf water taxi.  Once you get off the boat, you'll see the Rowes Wharf Water Taxi office.  They provide free luggage storage for their passengers in their locked storage room next to the office - so stashing your bags couldn't be easier!

Now, you're ready to begin your Boston adventure.

This 6-hour itinerary assumes this is your first visit to Boston.  It gives you a great introduction to the city, and .  In 6 hours, you can pack in a lot of sightseeing.

To make the best use of your time, I'm suggesting options that will keep you close to the waterfront, which includes many of the oldest and most historic parts of the city.  And it also depends on having a GoBoston Discount Card, because in addition to saving you money, it will save you time by letting you bypass most lines.

Buy the card online before your trip.  Not only will this also save you time in Boston, but you can often find discounts online on the GoBoston website, which makes your savings even bigger.

Once you have the GoBoston card, you get free admission to 40+ attractions (the number varies based on the time of the year.

Hop On-Hop Off Trolley

Boston's Hop On-Hop Off trolleys give you the easiest way to see the city's top historic and modern attractions.

Walk into History Tour - See 11 of Boston's most historic sites and learn about the events behind them from the costumed guides during this 90 minute walking tour. Great way to see the modern city too. Tour begins on Boston Common, an easy walk (less than 10 minutes) from the waterfront. I believe it ends at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, just across from the waterfront.

Whale Watching Cruise - This 3-hour cruise on a high-speed catamaran whisks you out to a protected marine feeding ground where you'll see various kinds of whales, dolphins, sea birds, and other marine life. Because we had a mild winter and spring, whale sightings have been especially numerous this year. My 13 year old went on one of these cruises last week and couldn't believe how many whales they saw (that's one of her photos at the top). You'll see lots of the Boston Harbor Islands including the famous Brewer Lighthouse, and also gorgeous views of the city skyline. Departs from a wharf close to Rowes Wharf.

New England Aquarium - With your remaining time before heading back to the airport, pop in here for an hour or so (when you see the lines, you'll be glad you have the GoBoston card, because you can go right to the front and then go in). It's one of the best aquariums in the country. Rowes Wharf is about a 4-5 minute walk away.

I'm not including any time for lunch - but you can grab snacks along the way.

The 1-day GoBoston card runs about $60 for adults and $40 for children, so you'll save about $17 (adult) compared with individual admissions with this itinerary and also you get the equally big benefit of not having to wait in lines. 

A cheaper option would be to tour the Freedom Trail yourself. You can pick up a map at the visitors' center on Boston Common, and then just follow the red line to get to all the sites. Linger along the way, do some shopping, have lunch, and the 6 hours will fly by! Since you may spend more on food and possibly shopping, I can't tell you this is NO cost - but it's a different use of your money.

Still another option is to pick just one option - perhaps the Freedom Trail Walking Tour - and spend the rest of the time exploring on your own. If you decide to do that, don't get the GoBoston Card, as you won't get your money's worth if you use it just for the tour. You can normally join a tour at the Visitor's Center on Boston Common, which is where the tours start. Tickets typically run around $20 or more, depending on the tour length, etc. There's also a free tour given by Park Rangers but they're not quite as colorful.

How to Store Your Luggage for Free

As you may already know, Boston Logan Airport doesn't offer storage lockers.  However, there are several other good options for storing luggage in Boston. 

Due to your time constraints, hop on the Rowes Wharf water taxi from Logan Airport to downtown Boston (about an 8 minute trip) and take advantage of the free locked luggage storage area adjacent to their waterfront office that they offer to their passengers. Be sure to ask the Dispatcher at the water taxi wharf at the airport for Rowes Wharf, because as far as I'm aware, the other water taxis don't offer the luggage storage option.

 

As you've probably already discovered, Boston Logan Airport doesn't have storage lockers, but there are several other good options for storing luggage in Boston. 

Due to your time constraints, hop on the Rowes Wharf water taxi from Logan Airport to downtown Boston (about an 8 minute trip) and take advantage of the free locked luggage storage area adjacent to their waterfront office that they offer to their passengers. Be sure to ask the Dispatcher at the water taxi wharf at the airport for Rowes Wharf, because as far as I'm aware, the other water taxis don't offer the luggage storage option.

Once your time in Boston is up, just head back to Rowes Wharf, get your luggage, and take the water taxi back to Logan Airport.

Hope this helps! Have a wonderful time in Boston, and stay longer the next time you come!

 

 


 

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