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Tour groups can make travel easy for the likes of senior groups and travel agencies, bringing together like-minded people with their mind on the same destination and types of activities. Boston is one of America’s oldest, biggest, and most popular cities, and its proximity to Canada, New York, and the Atlantic Ocean make it an intriguing and oft-visited hub for northeasterners.
The best way to see what Boston has to offer on foot is by walking the four-mile pedestrian path known as the Freedom Trail. Winding from Downtown’s Boston Common all the way across the Charles River to the iconic Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, the Trail is lined with historic markers, churches, state houses, burying grounds, and other famed sites.
One of America’s most visited tourist sites, Faneuil Hall Marketplace has been a centerpiece of the city since it opened in 1743. Historically a popular meeting place, many legendary pre-Independence political speeches were delivered at Faneuil by the likes of Samuel Adams. It remains a popular destination for visitors looking to shop or grab a Beantown-themed meal from places like Boston Chowda or the sitcom-inspired replica pub, Cheers.
Art lovers visiting Boston should waste no time getting to the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the larger art museums in the world. Boston boasts a collection of more than 8,000 paintings, giving it the second most in the U.S., trailing only the Metropolitan in New York City. After touring the museum, take advantage of a nice day by strolling through the Back Bay Fens, a sprawling urban park in the museum’s backyard.
The heartbeat of Boston is its 50-acre downtown public park where locals and visitors alike congregate en masse in both winter and summer. Built in 1634, Boston Common is the oldest city park in the United States, and history has unfolded here for centuries. The park was home to the first two subway stations in the country (Boylston and Park Street) and was the site of the first organized football game. Bring a frisbee, bring a book, or bring lunch. Whatever you do, just go there and take it all in.
Waterfront to the Boston Harbor (pronounced Hah-bor for locals), the New England Aquarium attracts more than one million visitors each year. From the famous Myrtle the Green Sea Turtle to the friendly Harbor Seals to the four-story Giant Ocean Tank, there’s more than 2,000 animals to see, feed, and meet. Come for the sea creatures, stay for the Harbor views.
Just 15 miles north of Boston, the coastal city of Salem offers plenty of intrigue for more than just its witch-laden culture. Sure, the legend of the 1692 Salem witch trials lives on in The Witch City, home to The Witch House (where the trials took place), Witchcraft Heights elementary school, and various filming locations from Bewitched, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and The Lords of Salem. But there’s more: Salem is considered the birthplace of the National Guard, was Massachusetts’ inaugural Best Shopping District in 2012, and was one of the most important American seaports when the Europeans settled there in 1626.
This affluent island south of Cape Cod is one of America’s most popular summer hangouts among the rich and famous. It’s only accessible by boat or air, and boasts some of the most expensive homes in the region. The Clintons and the Obamas both were known to visit The Vineyard, and other celebrities to live on or visit the island include David Letterman, James Taylor, Spike Lee, and Meg Ryan.
Massachusetts’ mainland summertime favorite is the Cape, a hook-shaped peninsula comprising quaint villages, small towns, beaches, state parks, and lighthouses. Here, travellers can entrench themselves in the old-world maritime vibe of seaside New England just an hour outside of Boston. A scenic drive through vacation towns like Dennis, Orleans, and Truro along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean will take you all the way up to Provincetown, a bustling village at the tip of the Cape.
Roughly 60 miles north of Boston flanking the Maine border, Portsmouth, New Hampshire is an historic seaport town worthy of a day trip for a historic house tour. A bus journey through Portsmouth should work in several 17th and 18th century mansions, warehouses, and cottages previously owned and lived in by naval heroes, governors, and businesspeople. For example, the John Paul Jones House and the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion.
Northern Vermont’s ski towns are among the country’s best, and if you’re in Boston in winter, the 200 miles separating you from Stowe are no obstacle. For starters, its nickname is The Ski Capital of the East, and Forbes named it one of America’s 10 best ski towns. When you’re done carving up Mt. Mansfield’s 485 acres of skiable terrain, indulge in Stowe’s thriving brewpub scene before heading back to Boston.