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Boston Day Trips from New York

If you feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, the charm, culture and tranquility of Boston is a great option

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

6 min read

Boston Day Trips from New York

Typical Boston streets | ©Michael Browning

Cradle of the American Revolution that granted the U.S. Independence from the United Kingdom, Boston is full of museums, libraries, and important historical buildings that claim to the origins of one of the oldest cities in the country founded by British settlers in 1630.

Boston is considered the capital of culture and knowledge in the United States since the city is home to prestigious universities such as Harvard or the MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as art schools, laboratories, conservatories, and important banks and financial institutions. Likewise, its port is one of the most important on the East Coast.

The best option
Day Trip: Boston

The best of Boston, in one day

Enjoy one of the most emblematic cities in the United States with an expert guide. You will also visit Harvard and MIT

Duration: 11 to 13 hours
From $ 129 at Hellotickets

If you feel like visiting the capital of Massachusetts but don't want to worry about transportation, a very convenient and recommended option is to take this day trip to Boston with a visit to Harvard and MIT From $ 129.

Boston is about 217 miles from New York, so the adventure starts early, at 6:30 AM when your group of no more than 50 people gathers at the meeting point in Midtown Manhattan to set off for Boston with the guide in a comfortable minivan.

Ahead lies an approximately 4-hour drive along the Connecticut coastline, which with the Wi-Fi in the minivan and the beautiful scenery along the way, is made shorter. I'll tell you more about what you'll see on this day trip to Boston later, but I'll tell you in advance that you'll tour the city center, the famous Freedom Trail, the Queency Market, Harvard, and MIT. Lunch is included.

Why I like this option: This is the most economical and comfortable option to visit Boston on a guided tour. Accompanied by an expert guide, you will tour the essentials of the city and return to New York the same night. It's that easy and convenient.

Recommended if... you want to take a break from your trip to New York to visit another of the most important cities on the East Coast.

The Visit to MIT and Harvard University

Harvard University Campus | ©Benjamin Rascoe
Harvard University Campus | ©Benjamin Rascoe

This excursion to Boston takes you to Harvard University with its Harvard Yard campus (the oldest part and heart of the campus, a green space with elms and pines that contrasts with the urban character of adjacent Harvard Square) and the large Widener Library (housing one of the most comprehensive collections in humanities and sciences in the world). There will also be time to visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Before crossing the Charles River and arriving in downtown Boston, a stroll through this place will give you a real taste of the intellectual air of a university, and you will also be aware of its elitism, as Harvard is the oldest and most prestigious university in the Ivy League, but also the richest and most influential in the United States.

The guided tour of the city center

Walking through downtown Boston | ©Audrey Odom
Walking through downtown Boston | ©Audrey Odom

Once downtown, you will visit places of interest such as the Trinity Church, the finest example of Richardsonian Romanesque located in Copley Square. Then the Boston tour continues with a walk along the historic Freedom Trail that starts at Boston Common and winds through Downtown on a 2.5-mile route to the harbor area and flagship USS Constitution.

The Freedom Trail route

Skyline of Downtown Boston | ©Lance Anderson
Skyline of Downtown Boston | ©Lance Anderson

This is a commemorative trail bounded by a red brick line that leads to the 16 sites that played a defining role in the American Revolution for independence. In Boston Common Park, where the Freedom Trail begins, there is a visitor center where you can get some maps and extra information to complement the information offered by the guide during the activity.

You will learn anecdotes and legends about this episode of American history while admiring the architecture of colonial buildings very important in the development of the events such as the Old South Meeting House (where the meeting that started the tea riot was held), the Old State House (seat of the British Colonial Government until 1776) and the Faneuil Hall (where the speeches of the revolution were delivered, hence it is known as the Cradle of Liberty).

Other places of interest that are part of the Freedom Trail are the house of Paul Revere (one of the heroes of the Revolutionary War), Old North Church (the church from where the vestryman Robert Newman warned of the arrival of the British by sea), the monument to the Battle of Bunker Hill, the location of the Boston Massacre or the statue of Benjamin Franklin, among others.

Lunch stop and free time

The interior of Trinity Church | ©Audrey Odom
The interior of Trinity Church | ©Audrey Odom

The Freedom Trail route in Boston is a long one so midday is a break for lunch and to regain your energy. Want to know what you can see during your free time in the city?:

  • Harvard Yard: The oldest part of Harvard's campus, Harvard Yard is filled with historic red brick buildings, large groves of trees, and ivy-covered walkways that exude the academic and intellectual spirit that characterizes this place.
  • Widener Library: Harvard's main library was donated by the Widener family to honor the memory of Harry Widener, a Harvard graduate who died in the Titanic tragedy. Its amazing collection includes 6.5 million books and one of the few complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible still preserved.
  • Copley Square: It is a square located in the Back Bay neighborhood where important buildings such as the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church are located.
  • Trinity Church: It is the best example of Richardsonian Romanesque in Boston. Its exterior is notable for its large portico and side cloister while the interior abounds with murals and stained glass windows, almost all the work of the artist John LaFarge.

Quincy Market

The best place to get the full experience of historic Boston is Quincy Market, the city's oldest market (the 1800s) with a multitude of stalls and carts selling delicious dishes (pasta, hot dogs, sandwiches, noodles...) although the city's signature dishes are clam chowder and lobster roll. This market is right across the street from Faneuil Hall and the open spaces in the area are great for relaxing while enjoying the shows and street art.

The Tea Party Ships and Museum

The last stop on this Boston excursion is the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, a floating museum where the episode that lit the fuse for the revolution against England is explained with actors - a fun experience! Finally, after several hours in Boston, it's time to end the tour and board the minivan to return to New York.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

Want to have good luck? Rub the left shoe of the statue of John Harvard, benefactor of the university, the third most photographed figure in the country after the Lincoln Memorial and the Statue of Liberty.

Everything you need to know for your tour to Boston from New York City

How long is the tour?

This is a day trip to Boston from New York. It takes approximately 11 to 13 hours.

How long does it take to get to Boston from New York?

It takes approximately 4 hours.

What is the means of transportation to get there?

A luxury bus or minivan.

How large is the group?

This tour to Boston from New York will have a maximum of 50 travelers.

Will I have free time to go at my own pace?

Yes, there will be free time for lunch.

What is the best day to do the activity?

Sunday is usually the best day.

Other interesting excursions

If you're looking to leave the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple but still don't know what your destination of choice is, I recommend you take a look at this handy guide I've written about Day Trips from New York. Here you will find all the options that exist, but let me tell you that my favorites are the Washington and Niagara Falls getaway.

That's why I've written a chronicle of my experience, analyzing the best organized tours to both destinations here: Washington Day Trips from New York and Niagara Falls Day Trips from New York.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is Boston close to New York?

    Boston is actually over 200 miles from New York, and takes around 4 hours by car to get there. As for visiting, tours from New York leave very early in the morning to account for this.

  • What is there to do in Boston?

    Boston's rich-history makes it one of the most sought after destinations to visit. Sights include the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Public Garden, Fenway Park and the Boston Tea Party ships.

  • What do Boston locals usually eat?

    Some of the typical dishes of Boston include Clam chowder, lobster rolls, baked beans and Boston cream pie.