Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts 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: Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley Ticket

2. 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 History & Highlights Afternoon Tour

3. Boston History & Highlights Afternoon Tour

Your experience begins at the Aquarium “T” Station on the historic Long Wharf, the focus of Boston Harbor, and the economic engine of Boston for most of its history. From the harbor, continue past the Rose Kennedy Greenway, State Street and the historic Custom House Tower, the city’s first skyscraper. Then, your guide will lead you toward the famous Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, which both boast stunning views. Moving into the heart of Downtown Boston, stop in front of the Old State House and site of the Boston Massacre. Was it really a massacre or maybe just great propaganda for the Revolution? Ask your expert guide about that one!  A short trek through Downtown Crossing brings you to Old City Hall. This beautiful building, done in French Revivalist architecture, was the seat of city government for years in Boston. It also happens to be the site of the birth of public education in America. You'll definitely want to have your guide snap your picture with the bronze donkey outside the entrance. On most weekdays, you’ll have a chance to see the government at work (or not) inside the inspiring, historic and beautiful Massachusetts State House, designed and built by famous federalist architect Charles Bulfinch in 1798. Outside the State House, take in the views of modern Boston, including the skyscrapers of Downtown, the Financial District, and the tallest building in New England: the John Hancock Tower.   Continue your journey through Beacon Hill, where you’ll have a chance to take in the quintessential architecture of Boston’s red brick row houses. Get out your cameras — this neighborhood is one of the most photogenic in the city. Finally, arrive at the beautiful Boston Public Garden, one of Boston’s favorite green spaces, where you’ll see locals walking the dogs, playing with the kids and enjoying lunch in the shade. Your guide will point you in the right direction, and will help with any and all recommendations for great things to do in Boston that evening and beyond. 

Boston: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl

4. Boston: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl

Enjoy an evening pub crawl of haunted bars across Boston, and pass by spirited locations in the city on a guided haunted tour. Begin your evening with a drink at the Cheers bar before heading into the dark underbelly of Boston’s most haunted places on this fun and casual haunted pub crawl. Hang out with John F. Kennedy in the back corner of the 21st Amendment. Teleport to Ireland with a pint of Guinness at Emmet’s Pub. Visit the Omni Parker House Hotel, where a sinister liquor salesman haunts Room 303. Finally, head to the Beantown Pub to hear about the life and death of Sam Adams from your guide. Finish the tour at the 17th-century Granary Burying Ground cemetery.

Boston: Ghostly Patriots Haunted Walking Tour

5. Boston: Ghostly Patriots Haunted Walking Tour

Embark on a unique after-dark tour and explore downtown Boston’s most haunted hotspots. Discover both the paranormal and historical worlds of each carefully selected tour site and listen to researched, authentic, and up-to-date accounts that ensure you have the best, most chilling experience possible. Highlights of the tour include: Omni Parker House Haunted by its first owner and other notable ghostly guests, the Omni Parker House is considered Boston’s most haunted location. One room, in particular, has caused so much trouble, terror, and grief that the hotel was eventually forced to convert it into a storage room, lest they risk another guest suffering from a grisly night’s stay in the cursed room. What could possibly drive a hotel to permanently retire an otherwise perfectly good guest room? Discover the details on our tour. Boston Common This seemingly placid area is the country’s oldest park. For a century of its long history, Boston Common was the site of hundreds of hangings. Not all of the victims of these executions managed to escape the park, even after death. The grim ghosts of the hanging victims are the least of your paranormal concerns in the Common. Keep your eyes open and your wits about you whenever you’re at this park… or else. Old South Meeting House Witness the birthplace of the Boston Tea Party protest and the very American Revolution itself at the Old South Meeting House. This building is of crucially historic importance, but that’s not the only legacy the meeting house is known for. It is a specter that sometimes appears and always acts as a harbinger of impending death. Or perhaps it’s no messenger of death at all, but instead directly responsible for the string of deaths that have befallen the unlucky ones who’ve encountered it. Old City Hall This former hub of Boston’s local government has since become a bustling mixed-use commercial and office property. Because of its historical significance being covered up with the new polish of redevelopment, at least one ghost exacts its revenge for this perceived disrespect for history on visitors. The Old City Hall may be magnificent looking, but watch where you look inside…

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

6. 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 Hunt: 'Record Breaker' Exploration Game

7. Boston Hunt: 'Record Breaker' Exploration Game

Imagine you’re a professional record-setter who aims to be the first in everything you do, but how do you become the first at everything? Simple. You race to be the first person to visit every "first" in a country, a feat you can only accomplish in one place - Boston. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location. Up for a fun challenge? Start at Boston’s Public Library. The game will take you around 1.5 hours to complete and you can also explore at your own pace: pause the game and resume anytime from the location where you paused it. You will finish at the Union Oyster House. After your booking, you will receive an email on how to download the game to your phone. You can play on your own, in a large group or in several smaller groups that compete against each other and meet at the final stop of the game. For larger groups, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group. All group members will be able to download and play the city game on their phone. Alternatively, each person can make their own purchase.

Boston: Freedom Trail Self Guided Walking Audio Tour

8. Boston: Freedom Trail Self Guided Walking Audio Tour

Experience the beauty of the Freedom Trail of Boston on a self-guided walking tour. See the famous places like Boston Common Visitor Center, Park Street Church, Boston State House, and more with the magic of an audio guide. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. You will receive the download instructions after booking. Download the app and start the tour with your mobile phone as your guide. Start your tour at the Boston Common Visitor Center. Walk towards the north for a great view of the Boston State House, topped with a real gold dome. Visit the iconic Robert G Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial, historic Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, and the Old South Meeting House. You will pass by the Old Corner Bookstore, and continue to the Old State House, which has the distinct honor of being the place where the declaration of Independence was read aloud to the people of Boston. The next landmark is the Boston Massacre. Here, you will get a chance to untangle the truth behind this oft-misunderstood event. Continue to see the Faneuil Hall, a regal structure that witnessed countless historical events. Admire the iconic Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, before continuing to the USS Constitution. It is known by its nickname Old Ironsides.  Finally, reach the Bunker Hill Monument, commemorating one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Explore the city with a smartphone GPS navigated audio tour at your own pace and schedule.

Boston: Private City Highlights Tour

9. 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).

Boston: Walking the Freedom Trail Exploration Game

10. Boston: Walking the Freedom Trail Exploration Game

Trace the steps of the Founding Fathers of the United States with a self-guided city exploration game on your phone. Discover buildings and landmarks related to the American War of Independence as you explore Boston at your own pace. Start the game at Massachusetts State House and explore at your own pace. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location. See the Old City Hall, the Boston Massacre Sites well as many other local landmarks within the city related to the Founding Fathers. Park. Pause the game at any time to explore points of interest further on a fully self-guided adventure. Resume your tour from any location where you paused it. Finally, finish up your exploration of Boston at the statue of Samuel Adams.

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What people are saying about Massachusetts State House

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 712 reviews

Sam was an amazing tour guide! Such a wide breadth of knowledge, and had great delivery during the tour. I highly recommend him and this tour! It is indicated, but the ending point of the tour is a while away from the starting point. Not a deal breaker at all for me just something to note!

Great way to see & hear about Boston history. Liked being able to get off & back on at the sites we were interested in.

Charlie was awesome. He is a wealth of information. Learned a bunch. Thanks, The girls from Washington State

Daniel was amazing! He was interactive, brilliant and full of knowledge. Definitely recommend

Loved the history! Definitely worth doing when in Boston!