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Old State House

Old State House: Our most recommended tours and activities

Boston: Guided Walking Tour of the Freedom Trail

1. Boston: Guided Walking Tour of the Freedom Trail

See all 16 of Boston's Iconic Freedom Trail sites in a single tour with an experienced guide. Learn about icons like Paul Revere and John Hancock, along with lesser-known stories of women, African Americans, and immigrant patriots and pioneers. Start your tour opposite the Massachusetts Statehouse, at the base of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston Common, and finish in the North End with the best view of the Charlestown Freedom Trail sites. Discover tales of rebels, gangs, and Midnight Riders, with a few cheap dad jokes for good measure. Gain an understanding of Boston's role in the American Revolution and how the city became a pioneer in the fields of abolition, American education, and immigration. Along the way, experience the explosive events of the American Revolution like the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre in the places they happened. See Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King's Chapel, the Benjamin Franklin Statue, the Old Corner Bookstore, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, the Boston Massacre Site, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, the Old North Church, Copp's Hill Burying Ground, the USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill Monument.

Boston: Self-Guided Freedom Trail Walking Audio Tour w/ App

2. Boston: Self-Guided Freedom Trail Walking Audio Tour w/ App

Discover Boston's Revolutionary history on a Freedom Trail self-guided audio walking tour with an app. Explore historic downtown Boston, the North End, and Charlestown all at your own pace and without the crowds. Simply press start and follow the arrow on the app to find your next stop, listening to professional narration along your way. Head off on a historical adventure through Boston's colorful past with this self-guided tour of the Freedom Trail. Start by walking through downtown Boston and see the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Sam Adams grave, Old South, and much more. Then, continue by following the directions on your app to Boston's North End. See Paul Revere's House, Copp's Hill Burial Ground, Old North, and more to truly get a flavor of what this part of the city has to offer. Carry on to Charlestown to see Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, and more. Best of all, take the tour anytime, at your own pace, and on your own schedule. This tour never expires on your downloaded app, so you can take it as many times as you like.

Boston: Freedom Trail Self-Guided Tour

3. Boston: Freedom Trail Self-Guided Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Once you’ve downloaded the tour, your journey will begin in the center of the city at Boston Common, where you’ll hear about the founding of the city and the first murmurs of independence from Britain. Then you’ll head to the historic State House, complete with a dome of real gold. On your way to the Park Street Church (a landmark loaded with history), you’ll learn what led Britain to levy such harsh taxes against the colonies, as well as how those colonists responded. Then, at the Granary Burying Ground, you’ll have the chance to visit the graves of famous figures like Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere. After that is King’s Chapel, dating all the way back to 1754. Even older is the Latin School, up next, founded in 1635. Then it’s on to the Old South Meeting House, where you’ll get the whole story behind the famous Boston Tea Party protest. Next is the Old State House, where the Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians. Then you’ll head to the site of the infamous (and oft-misunderstood) Boston Massacre and get the truth behind that fateful night. Following a stop at the famed marketplace of Faneuil Hall, you’ll see the beautiful Rose Kennedy Greenway – not an official stop along the Freedom Trail, but well worth a look regardless. Continuing on, you’ll reach Paul Revere’s house, perfectly preserved since his famous Midnight Ride. Past that is the Old North Church, where Revere famously asked for “one lantern if by land, two if by sea.” The next stop is almost impossible to miss — it’s the USS Constitution. This enormous ship, nicknamed Old Ironsides, is enough to make the trip worth it all on its own. Finally, you’ll arrive at the Bunker Hill Monument, memorializing a pivotal battle during the Revolutionary War. Your tour concludes here.

VIP Freedom Trail Tour: Paul Revere House & Old North Church

4. VIP Freedom Trail Tour: Paul Revere House & Old North Church

Your adventure begins in the lush, green Boston Common—America's oldest urban park, with roots in the 17th century and ties to the American Revolution. There's no better place to begin your journey along the Freedom Trail. From there, head to the Massachusetts State House, located on land once owned by the one and only John Hancock. After swinging by the Park Street Church, you'll head to the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of notable patriots such as Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. Continuing along the Freedom Trail, you'll see sights that played a pivotal role in early American history. Discover the space where revolutionaries met to plan pivotal events such as the Boston Tea Party, pause at the somber site of the Boston Massacre, and hear the story of Samuel Adams at Faneuil Hall. Next, it's time to head into the North End neighborhood. Over the centuries, this part of Boston has become a home to a thriving Italian immigrant community, but it also happens to be the home of the final two Freedom Trail sites on your itinerary. First, you'll step into the Old North Church and enjoy a private guided experience, including a trip up to the bell tower where two strategically placed lanterns launched the American Revolution. Finally, you'll have time to explore Revere's very own home at your own pace as your Freedom Trail experience comes full-circle.

Boston: North End to Freedom Trail Food and History Tour

5. Boston: North End to Freedom Trail Food and History Tour

Learn about Boston's own Little Italy district of North End and its rich culinary scene. Also, learn about the significant role the city played during the American Revolution on a fascinating guided walking tour of Boston.  Make your way through to the heart of the North End, home to some of the city’s oldest buildings and renowned for its variety of food offerings. Try some fresh bread and Italian meats and cheeses at a hidden bakery. You will also indulge in some sweet local pastries. On the Freedom Trail, explore the Rose Kennedy Greenway, State Street, and the historic Custom House Tower. Then, head over to Old City Hall, which was the birthplace of public education in America. Don’t forget to get a picture of the bronzed Donkey outside the entrance Your tour will finish at the Boston Public Garden. Enjoy the rest of your day relaxing in the park and its beautiful surroundings. 

Boston: Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley Ticket

6. Boston: Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley Ticket

Discover Boston onboard an enchanting hop-on and hop-off trolley to see all the historic sights at your own pace. Choose from a 1-day or 2-day hop-on hop-off open-air trolley ticket, providing access to 9 stops, all conveniently located close to the city’s premier attractions. Friendly tour guides are on board, ready to narrate your tour, and you can join and end the tour at any of the stops along the route. Jump off in neighborhoods such as North End and Beacon Hill to explore further. Take the full 1-hour circuit non-stop to get a great orientation of downtown Boston or explore in your own time. Hop-on and hop-off trolley stops: • New England Aquarium - Shuttle and Ferry - Quincy Market – Faneuil Hall • Paul Revere House - Little Italy • North End - Old North Church • USS Constitution - Old Ironsides • North Station - TD Bank Garden Sports Museum • Old State House - Faneuil Hall – Boston Massacre - Government Center • Boston Common - Public Garden • State House - Beacon Hill • South Station - Convention Center - Children’s Museum

Boston: Revolutionary Story Walking Tour

7. Boston: Revolutionary Story Walking Tour

Follow the story of the American Revolution chronologically through the streets of Boston on this guided walking tour. Enjoy a tour that places a lot less emphasis on the facts and the dates and a lot more on the passions, personalities, and psychologies driving the events. See historic landmarks where events such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere occurred. As you walk around, the sightseeing is synchronized with and unfolds to the storytelling. During the tour, begin to connect the characters, moments, and landmarks together, following the story from the settling of Boston to the Declaration of Independence. This tour is designed for the curious visitor who wants to do more than just scratch the surface. 

Boston: Death and Dying Walking Ghost Tour

8. Boston: Death and Dying Walking Ghost Tour

Discover the ghosts of Boston with a tour for those aged 16 and above. Listen as your guide tells you about death and afterlife in Colonial America. Hear the stories pf the hauntings of Boston. Be greeted by your guide at the old State House and visit chilling locations like the Boston Common, the Custom House, the Boston Athenaeum, the Old South Meeting House, the Omni Parker House Hotel, and the Granary Burying Ground. Stop at King’s Chapel Burial Ground where a headless woman never fulfilled her journey to the afterlife. Uncover the story of a man who was buried alive in this cemetery.

Boston: City History and Highlights Audio App Walking Tour

9. Boston: City History and Highlights Audio App Walking Tour

Enjoy an ode to one of America’s historical cities on this self-guided walking tour app. Travel from Copp’s Hill Burying Ground to the George Washington Statue in the Boston Public Garden. See landmark buildings and monuments and uncover the story of the founding of the country with the audio guide. Begins in one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods, the North End. Listen to tidbits from the Colonial and Revolutionary history of the area and travel as far back as 1692 with a visit to the grave of Cotton Mather, the minister at the hysterical heart of the Salem Witch Trials.  Journey to the Old North Church and to unlock the pre-Revolution years, when Paul Revere organized the midnight riders so they could alert the Minutemen of the arrival of the British. Breathe in the aromas of Little Italy’s restaurants and bakeries to get to the Paul Revere House. Take a stroll along the Rose Kennedy Greenway while you hear about Boston’s ”Big Dig.” Shop around the Quincy Market or catch some of the area’s regular street performers while finding out about Faneuil Hall and one of America’s fiercest proponents of liberty, Samuel Adams.  Stop by the Old State House to hear how future president John Adams magnanimously defended perpetrators of the Boston Massacre. Learn about the two choices that Irish families faced in the 1800s while passing by the Boston Irish Famine Memorial. Explore the Granary Burying Ground to see where John Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere are laid to rest. Soak up local stories as you hear about who sent the signal from the Old North Church steeple to Paul Revere and what Revere did after the revolution.  Engage with the past as you find out how 2 million gallons of molasses congealed in the North End in 1919. Uncover the answer to factoids like if Samuel Adams really brewed beer and what led to the creation of America’s first public park, the Boston Common.

Boston: Private City Highlights Tour

10. Boston: Private City Highlights Tour

Enjoy a private tour with custom itinerary, created just for you and your group. A private city tour of Boston can be from 2 hours - 10 hours, depending on the destination. Pick-up and drop-off locations are the group’s choice. While many visitors to Boston have specific sites they would like to see, many are happy to let our team create a custom itinerary that fits their interests, budget, mobility, and timeline. Typically, tours spend most of their time in and around central Boston, but we welcome any ideas for your dream tour. No two groups are alike and we will plan a trip tailored to your group's interests, budget, and needs. Below are some sample itineraries to use as inspiration for your perfect tour: Highlights Tour: A 2-3–hour tour designed to hit some of Boston’s must-see spots may include a ride-along Boston Harbor and through the historic downtown area, a stop for a photo at King’s Chapel or the Old State House, or a drive through Beacon Hill, for a peek down some picturesque cobblestone streets. These shorter tours are usually focused on driving, with limited time to explore on foot. Half-Day Tour: A half-day tour (4-6 hours) allows more opportunity for you to take full advantage of being on a driving tour. You'll visit all of the must-see spots, as well as having time to explore even more famous sites and other neighborhoods - like checking out Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, getting out of the van to walk through the beautiful Boston Public Garden, exploring neighborhoods like the Back Bay or North End (maybe to grab a quick bite), or heading to the revitalized Seaport neighborhood with fantastic views of the harbor. Full-Day Tour: A full-day tour (7-10 hours) gives you the chance to explore all of the must-see spots of Boston to their fullest: go inside the inspiring, historic, and beautiful Massachusetts State House (when open to the public), grab lunch at Quincy Market and take the time to shop its incredible selection of products and food, do a “lobstah roll” taste-test at a different spots around the city, explore iconic Harvard and Cambridge, or check out world-famous Fenway Park (perhaps taking a tour, if possible).

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What people are saying about Old State House

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 991 reviews

The tour guide was very knowledge, and very informative along the way. He w made us feel as though we're we part of history in the way that he told the story. Made sure that he was heard by all.

Knowledgeable and friendly. Comes at the history from a unique perspective. I learned far more than I anticipated being someone who’s lived in Boston for more than 10 years.

A great way to explore both historic and modern Boston with funny, informed guides, especially for those who would find walking physically challenging.

Guide was very knowledgeable in the history of Boston. Very interesting to listen to.

We loved the time we spent with Janet. She was warm and knowledgeable.