Thursday, August 4, 2022

"Please Come to Boston" by Dave Loggins

This is a song of several referencing Boston, that the Old Town Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour played as we disembarked from the tour a few days ago, on our last visit to Boston since we were leaving soon for Trenton. It was the perfect ending to a lovely day and a great second visit to Boston, a really beautiful clean town with plenty of green spaces.

After enjoying our first foray into Boston on the Amtrak train for the whale watch tour, we decided to go once again on the train to Boston. It's about 17.00 one way from Wells to "Beantown", and a little over an hour and a half ride. Ever wonder how Boston came to be called "Beantown"? Because of the Puritans/Pilgrims beans staples for their diet! And of course you have heard of Boston baked beans, haha. 

We decided to do the Old Town Trolley tour, (about 51.00 a person) because we wanted to see more of this big, beautiful town. The tour is ranked in

Forbes top ten list of hop on off off trolley tours in the world. Wow! Must be pretty good, right?  NO prerecorded narration, it's all live. Stadium style seating so you are sitting up high for good photos. The tours start at 9:00 AM and run their last stop at 5 PM from Stop #1, April thru October.

Here's the problem.....if you don't take the train early enough in the day, like REALLY early, (the 5:59AM train) you are going to run into the afternoon city rush hour traffic with the trolley, slowing everything down and making it difficult to catch a reasonable train (5:20 PM) back to Wells if you hop on and hop off often. The next train back to Wells is not till about 10:30 PM if you miss the 5:20. We took the 8:30 
AM train getting us into Boston at about 10:25 AM. We decided to first just ride the trolley through all 14 stops, hear the narration and then go back round again and hop off at a few. Apparently, that's what a lot of people decided to do that day. What we noticed was that in late summer, when all the tourists seem to peak visiting Boston, the trolleys got so full, that if you got off, you wouldn't be guaranteed to get back on the very next trolley. The trolleys arrive at the different stops about every 15 minutes till rush hour traffic starts around 2:00 PM, then clogs and congestion occur. People were having to wait for a second trolley to roll through in order to get on, and the guide was having to call dispatch several times to get another trolley to the location. You can get on at any trolley stop, and get off at any one you like, as many times as you like. Trolleys are open air, and even though it was a hot day in the high 80's, it was very comfortable on the trolley.

Here are the stops: 
1. Fanueil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market, and the New England Aquarium
2. Historic North End...Boston's "Little Italy"
3. USS Constitution/Charlestown Navy Yard
4. North Station/TD Garden--the rail station, sports museum, Boston Bruins Pro Shop-you can catch a trolley just outside the train station on Causeway Ave. Great little eating places downstairs....
5. Macy's/Historic District--Old State House Museum, Old Meeting House
6. Charles Street/Antique Row--Beacon Hill--original gas lamps that are still lit every day and are on all day and all night...There are 2,800 gas lamps in the city of Boston. Beacon Hill has most of them. There is currently a pilot program that will look into converting the colonial lanterns from gas to LED lights as apparently, the methane gas emitted is causing high levels in the soil which is killing trees. Who knew? Massachusetts General Hospital is on this stop which has the Ether Dome where ether was first administered in the first public surgery in 1846, by Dr. T.G. Morton.

7. "Cheers" the original bar from the TV show, "where everybody knows your name"....At this point, the guide played the theme song and everybody sang along.

8. Prudential Center, Fenway Park--coolest glass sided building that reflected everything! And the Mapparium Globe, a unique perspective of the world...
9. Christian Science Plaza, Symphony Hall
10. Copley Place Mall
11. Copley Square, Trinity Church--one of the most beautiful churches in the city, you can take a tour inside...

12. Old Town Trolley welcome center and the Boston Public Gardens swan boats (referenced in the children's story, Make Way for Ducklings), also Chinatown

13. Beacon Hill, Boston Commons--beginning of Freedom Trail, a fantastic walking history trail which we did not do this time but have done in the past...Black Heritage Trail, King's Chapel, historic burying grounds, Park Street Church. The brownstone apartments in the area were AMAZING!

14. Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum--6.00 off admission with the trolley tour.

We loved our tour today. Even though we did not get off and on like we originally planned, the narration was fabulous we learned a lot about Boston, how much it costs to live there ($$$$), where Tom Brady used to live, and many many other interesting tidbits about Boston. No matter which side of the trolley you sit on, there are fantastic views the entire way. Today's photos were all taken from the trolley. Boston is an amazing conglomeration of old and new architecture. We just were in awe of how beautiful the city was.

Note: if you sit in the back of the trolley, you might have a little trouble understanding the narration, as the engine noise and gear changing was a little loud, haha. The driver later said he was having trouble with second gear and he had to rev the engine even more than wonder it was so loud!
beautiful side streets of Boston

Bas Relief doorway
We love taking Amtrak into Boston and avoiding all the traffic and headaches of parking, but it DID cause a few time constraints with what we were able to see and do. We think we would come in on the earlier train next time and hop on when the trolley tour first opens. That way we could explore a little more--next time! 

Thanks for following along with us today.....We head back to Trenton for a week out of our membership parks before returning to Wells, we will take another Amtrak ride and a Fenway Park ball game in mid August with Sparky's brother! Sparky will report soon on how crowded Acadia is in August and will try the Island Explorer free shuttle service in and around Acadia. See you later!
Sparky and Eldo on the Amtrak


  1. Awesome report. It has been a long time since I visited Boston. The trolly sounds like fun.

  2. Your posts bring back so many beautiful memories.

    We had a very similar Hop/On * Hop/Off experience in SanFran. Hopped off at the Painted Ladies. Honestly did NOT think we would ever be able to get back on, and had to wait a long, long time for the next one to appear due to traffic.

    You were very wise to just stay onboard.

    You showed us a beautiful tour of Boston. Thank you!