The Duck Boats that roll not just through the streets but also the waters of Boston are amphibious tour buses. These are rebuilt and refurnished WWII-era U.S. Army DUKW boats. By the way, DUKW is NOT an acronym per se, but is the made up of the four letters that describe each of the specifications the vehicle met. (The D is for 1942, the year the model was designed; the U is for utility, the K for all-wheel drive and the W for powered rear axles). Each is capable of carrying from 26 to 32 people, depending on the model, and each is certified safe by U.S. Coast Guard inspectors. The Duck Boats pick up and drop off passengers at three key Boston landmarks: the Museum of Science, the Prudential Center and the New England Aquarium. The tour guides aboard these silly looking but highly practical vehicles offer a running commentary as the DUKW drives around Boston and when it goes into Boston Harbor for the water-borne part of the tour.
Since it opened its gates in 1912, Fenway Park has been the beating heart of Boston – at least as far as sports fans are concerned. So many great athletes have run the bases at Fenway that it has become hallowed ground. While taking in a Red Sox game can be a bit pricey, there are still some old-fashioned cheap seats available for most sporting events.
Old Ironsides is not only the most famous ship in the U.S. Navy, it is also the oldest. Built before the War of 1812, the U.S.S. Constitution as it is formally named has been in service since the day it was commissioned. Every decade or so its timbers are replaced and its sails refurbished so the storied warship can stay afloat and continue to do the nation and the Navy proud. Its crew of serving Navy sailors keep her in tip-top shape to show the ship at its best to the hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of visitors who tread her decks daily. A floating museum but also a fully function sailing vessel, the U.S.S. Constitution is history not just brought to life but also kept alive, right in the maritime heart of Boston – the Navy Yard.
Related: Boston’s Best Historical Tours
Europe has its legendary opera houses, and New York has Carnegie Hall, but Boston can hold its head high in such company for it has The Orpheum, the premiere concert hall of New England. For more than a century and a half and change, golden-attired Orpheum has been the most prestigious venue in the region for symphony orchestras, singers, and rock bands. The lush opulence of The Orpheum is worth seeing just for its history and décor, but to truly appreciate this acoustically perfect marvel one has to take in a performance, any performance.
The North End of Boston is not just where the American Revolution was born, but is also where Italian immigrants settled and made their own. Every street for blocks around is lined with Italian restaurants and bakeries, pizza parlors, and gourmet shops that specialize in – what else – Italian delicacies. There are no bad places to eat in the North End, and while almost any restaurant there will do the old country proud, there are some which are just so good that even the city’s Italian community goes there to eat. Filippo Ristorante on Causeway Street is one of the best of those. Its cuisine is a marriage of the traditional and the new, as its owners annually go back to Abruzzo in Italy to find the best recipes and the best ingredients for their amazing menu.
Related: Boston’s Best Museum Tours