Boston: The Beantown

Boston Bus Tours from Toronto

Have you ever wondered why Boston is nicknamed ‘Beantown’? Find out by joining us on our four days and three night bus tour and see all that this breathtaking city has to offer!

Comfort Tour Canada offers fully-escorted  bus tours from Toronto to Boston, MA. This 4-day / 3-night guided tour is a combination of tours and free time, giving you the opportunity to enjoy your trip and see the best Boston has to offer!  Our guided bus tour of Boston includes round-trip coach transportation, 4-star accommodations and continental breakfast each morning.

Boston Bus Tours from Toronto - frequent departures - Comfort Tourphotos for website18

During the tour, you will see all that Boston has to offer, such as:

  • Freedom Trail
  • Old Ironsides,
  • Revere House
  • The Revere Statue
  • Old North church
  • Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
  • And the exciting list goes on and on..

photos for website19photos for website20

Also, you will enjoy a leisurely stroll through Harvard Yard at America’s “Most celebrated University” and stop to take some photos at Copley Square, architecturally the most pleasing spot in all of New England. Don’t wait any longer, and book a bus tour with Comfort Tour Canada to Boston!

For more information about the tour itinerary, hotels and prices, please visit our website: http://comforttour.ca/holiday/boston-bus-tours-from-toronto/

Sears Tower in Boston

At the time the Sears Tower was constructed in 1974, it was the world’s tallest building, eclipsing New York’s twin-towered World Trade Center by 25 meter. It would keep the title of tallest building in the world until the Petronas twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were constructed in 1997. In 2009 incoming tenant Willis Group Holdings, an insurance brokerage firm based in London, changed the building’s name to Willis Tower.

The building consists of nine framed tubes which are actually nine skyscrapers on themselves taken together into one building. Originally, the plan included no less than 15 tubes, but when the planned hotel was taken out of the project, only nine tubes were used in the final designs. The nine tubes all reach forty-nine stories. At that point, two tubes end. The other rose up to the sixty-fifth floor. From the sixty-sixth to the ninetieth floor, the tower has the shape of a crucifix. Two tubes, creating a rectangular, reach the full height of 442 meter. The result is an interesting tower which looks different from all angles. The construction, designed by Fazlur Kahn, has other advantages: the construction with separate tubes provides lateral strengths to withstand the strong Chicago wind loads, as each tube only needs to take a part of the pressure.

The exterior is sheathed in black aluminum and bronze-tinted glass. Black bands appear around the building at the 30th–31st, 48th–49th, 64th–65th, and 106th–108th floors, at which points louvers clad the areas devoted to mechanical operations of the building. In the lobby is a major work by the American sculptor Alexander Calder, an enormous motorized mural named Universe, which he called a “wall mobile.”

Willis Tower is the perfect way to capture the stunning panoramic views of Chicago and its hundreds of neighborhoods and suburbs stretching for miles. You can see the whole sprawling metropolis and miles out into each direction from atop the Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower. You can experience how the building sways on a windy day and can also see far over the plains of Illinois and across Lake Michigan to Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin on a clear day.

Elevators take tourists to the top in about 60 seconds and allow feeling the pressure change as they rise up. Some 1.3 million tourists visit the Skydeck annually. In January 2009, the Willis Tower owners began a major renovation of the Skydeck to include the installation of retractable glass balconies, extending approximately four feet over Wacker Drive from the 103rd floor. The all-glass boxes allow visitors look 1,353 feet down. Remember, this is a 360-degree observatory, meaning there’s no direction from which you can’t see!

Visit to Sears Tower is included in our bus tour to Chicago!

Copley Square in Boston

We offer our tourist to visit Boston and get acquainted with most interesting and famous places. Among them there’s Copley Square that is well-known for the architectural delights that grace the area, once the site of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before it moved to Cambridge.

This Square is named after John Singleton Copley, unexpectedly illuminated America’s colonial sky. The child of poor uncultured parents and only briefly the stepson of artist Peter Pelham, he became by 1760, as if by Providence, the colonies’ supreme artist, a position he retained until his departure for London in 1774. His swift ascent and sustained eminence were the result of an innate ability to handle paint and produce images that eclipsed anything executed by his predecessors in America. Through his stepfather, Copley had access to a vast collection of prints after old masters and English portraits, which he employed as the basis for early historical compositions like The Return of Neptune (59.198), and for portraits such as Mrs. Jerathmael Bowers (15.128). In this way, Copley not only learned how to compose his pictures, but also catered brilliantly to the anglophile predilections of his patrons, who coveted English-style portraits but rarely, if ever, traveled to England. He worked in various media to please patrons, executing paintings, pastels, and miniatures with remarkable dexterity.

Copley Square is a square in every sense of the word. Since 1994, the streets have been configured in a square shape with equilateral sides. Located in the Back Bay area of Boston, you’ll find both residents and visitors enjoying the greenery of the park located here as well as the magnificent buildings that surround the square. Standing in the middle of Copley Square and turning from side to side will provide you with an eyeful of buildings in a variety of styles – from decidedly old to quite new.

Probably the most prominent landmark on the square is Trinity Church, designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and built between the years of 1872-1877. The style of the church has come to be known as “Richardson Romanesque” and has served well to establish the architect’s fine reputation. The original facade was flat and the towers were much simpler than they are today.

The wonderful Boston Public Library is located on another corner of Copley Square. t was the first library to include a children’s room. Opened in 1895, it was the first publicly-supported municipal library in America. The façade is meant to resemble an Italian palazzo, specifically modeled after one in Rimini.

Also overlooking the square are the three John Hancock Insurance buildings. The old John Hancock Building, now called the Berkeley Building, was for several decades the second tallest building in Boston, standing at 26 stories in height.

You are welcome! 

History of Boston, Massachusetts

Did you know about Boston’s rich past as being the political, commercial, and financial center of New England in the mid-1600’s? We’ve got a summary of Boston’s history to give you a background about the city before visiting it with us on our Boston bus tour.

The history of Boston plays a central role in American history. Boston was founded in 1630 by English Puritans fleeing religious persecution and it quickly became the political, commercial, financial, religious and educational center of the New England region. On March 29, in1630 a fleet of 11 ships carrying 700 people sailed from England to Massachusetts.

Boston_Day2_2

Boston Harbour

The Puritans hoped to create a ‘city on a hill’ as a shining example of a Godly society for the entire world to see. Instead, they created a society just as intolerant as the one they had left. Nevertheless the new settlement flourished. In 1631, the first sailing ship built in America was launched from Boston and soon the shipbuilding industry thrived. There was also a flourishing whaling industry and a fishing industry. With its excellent harbor, Boston became the leading commercial center in the colonies.

The first printing press in the colonies was built in Cambridge by Stephen Daye in 1639. In 1635 the Boston Latin School, the first American public school, was opened. A College, later renamed to the today’s well-recognized Harvard, was founded in Boston one year later in 1636. In 1676, the first ever coffeehouse opened in Boston, where merchants and professional men could meet and chat over a cup of coffee. By then, Boston was a thriving town with a population of about 4,000 inhabitants.

Boston Tour - Harvard

Harvard University (Former college)

Separated by a great geographical distance, the American colonies were still loyal British subjects. This began to change in the 1730’s when the Crown increased taxes on the colonists to help replenish the treasury. Boston became a leading center of colonial resistance as a great philosophical distance began to grow between the Colonies and Britain. The Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Acts of 1767, led to the Boston Massacre in 1770. The Tea Act of 1773 resulted with The Boston Tea Party. Two months later, after the Battle of Bunker Hill, George Washington was summoned to Boston to take command of the rebel army.

Massachusetts prospered in the early 19th century with improved roads, new canals, and the construction of railways linking cities and towns. Laborers were recruited locally but by the 1840’s there were not enough locals to fill the work force. The answer came with the arrival of the first non-English immigrants from Ireland. The Civil War was a profitable time for Boston manufacturers, with the production of weapons, shoes, blankets, and other materials for the troops.

Boston also played a role as a leading voice of the abolitionist movement. The late 19th century was Boston’s greatest industrial era. As millions of immigrants from around the world came to America, Boston continued as a leading manufacturer of a wide variety of goods and products.

By the 1950′ fishing and farming were in decline in Massachusetts, but the Boston area emerged as a leader in the fledgling computer and high-tech industries. Many of these new businesses were created and staffed by graduates of MIT and the other colleges in the Boston area. The financial and service industries continued to expand.

In 2007, the Central Artery/Tunnel project was completed. Nicknamed the Big Dig, it had been planned and approved in the 1980s under Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis. With construction beginning in 1991, the Big Dig moved the remainder of the Central Artery underground, widened the north-south highway and created local bypasses to prevent east-west traffic from contributing to congestion.

boston2012 241

Boston view

Today, the Boston skyline is brimming with skyscrapers and office towers as a testament to Boston’s achievements and its vitality. Boston is a city with a rich past, but it is also a city looking ahead to tomorrow. Join us on our Boston bus tour to discover the beauty of this city!

Historic Houses in Boston

Founded in 1630 by Puritan Colonists from England, Boston is one of America’s oldest cities. This is reflected in the number of historical buildings in the city, including some wonderful historic homes. Some of these historic homes have been preserved by turning them into museums. Visiting a museum in a historic home will give you interesting insight into what day-to-day life was like during the time period that the house was built. Here are some historic homes that you might like to visit during your free time on our bus tour of Boston.

Otis House – 141 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114

Otis House is the last surviving original mansion house in Bowdoin Square in Boston’s West End. Architect Charles Bulfinch designed the house for Boston lawyer Harrison Gray Otis who at one point was the Mayor of Boston and a representative to Congress.

Otis House is an example of the Federal Style with classical proportions and delicate detail. On your visit to the house, you will learn about the Otis family’s life during the Federal era and the later history of Otis House when it became a clinic and middle-class boarding-house.

Gibson House – 137 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02116

The historic Gibson House in the suburb of Back Bay in Boston offers visitors a glimpse of how a well-to-do Boston family and their domestic staff lived in the late 19th century. Gibson House was designed by noted Boston architect Edward Cabot and declared a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 2001.

The house is unique in that it retains its original fittings and furnishings, including kitchen, scullery and butler’s pantry, as well as its formal rooms and private family quarters. Thanks to the last member of the Gibson family to live in the house, Charles Gibson Junior, it retains the original furniture and private possessions of the family.

The Loring-Greenough House – 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

The Loring-Greenough House was constructed in 1760 by Commodore Loring and owned by the Greenough family from 1783 until 1924. It is considered an outstanding example of Georgian Colonial Architecture and was once the hub of a large farm. An outstanding example of Georgian Colonial architecture, the House was the hub of a large and actively developed farm that was Loring’s chief interest following his retirement from military service.

The house was faced with demolition in the 1920s, but was saved by the Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club, a ladies’ club which followed the example of earlier ladies’ associations, which had been saved and restored with historic sites such as Mount Vernon and Monticello.

The house is open to tours on Sunday afternoons. If you have some time to spare on your Boston tour, consider a jaunt out to Jamaica Plain to visit this outstanding property.

July in Boston

Are you travelling with us to Boston this summer? Have a look at what’s happening in Boston during the months of July and August!

Boston Harbourfest – and Chowderfest!
When: July 2 – July 7, 2013

This 2013 year marks the 31st anniversary of Harborfest, Boston’s 6-day long gala celebration of American Independence, July 4th, and the joy of summer in Boston. Many of the events taking place during the festival will have you running from one event to the next to keep the fun going!

4th of July Fireworks
When: July 4, 2013

Boston’s most spectacular firework display of the year follows the Pops Concert on the 4th. Watch from tall buildings, rooftops, or the banks of the Charles River.

Free Sunday Night Movies in Christopher Columbus Park
When: July 11, 2013

Enjoy free outdoor movies in the Christopher Columbus Park, the entrance to Boston’s North End. Movies include a number of favorites from the past 40 years.

Circus Smirkus
When: August 12- August 13, 2013

It will take acrobatic thinking, high wire hearts, and courageous clowns to embark on this Emerald City adventure! This time, it’s all flying monkey business as the acrobats cartwheel down the yellow brick road to a new twist in the tale.

Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees
When: August 18, 2013

The Yankees–Red Sox rivalry is a sports rivalry between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox baseball teams of Major League Baseball. The two teams have competed in MLB’s American League (for over 100 years and have since developed one of the fiercest rivalries in sports.

Restaurant Week Boston
When: August 18 – August 23, 2013 and August 25- August 30, 2013

Restaurant Week Boston is brought to you by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and American Express. Twice a year, in March and again in August, local Boston restaurants design special 3-course prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner courses. Diners can choose from old favorites restaurants to the latest culinary hot spots, from nationally known chain restaurants to local chef-owned bistros, from Asian or Argentinean fare to French, Italian, tapas and sushi, from the award-winning restaurants of Boston and Cambridge to the gourmet gems in the suburbs north, west and south of the city. You can be sure that there is a restaurant for everybody!

Boston Highlights in June 2013

Lots of exciting events are taking place in Boston this summer! Join us on our bus tour to Boston and have the opportunity to partake in the cities’ activities.

Scooper Bowl Ice Cream Fest
When: June 4 – June 6, 2013

IMG_0039

Boston’s favorite ice cream fest, Scooper Bowl, dishes out 10 or so tons of ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, and sorbet in this 3-day fundraiser. The Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl started in 1983 with only four ice cream vendors. Even if you aren’t an ice cream lover, there are still many things worthwhile your time and attention at Boston City Hall Plaza during the Scooper Bowl fest.

The Summer Party
When: June 8, 2013

The Summer Party celebrates summer in the city with artistic flair at the tenth annual Summer Party black-tie fundraiser, which features cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dancing.

Dragon Boat Festival
When: June 8 – June 9, 2013

Boston’s annual Dragon Boat Festival is the largest-running dragon boat race in North America with over 50 teams competing in the race. Enjoy the spectacular dragon boats, with rowers ranging from novice to expert!

Harbor Cruise Fundraiser for Boston Harbor Fireworks
When: June 12, 2013

Join a two-hour boat cruise to tour the Boston Harbor aboard the M/V Provincetown II. Enjoy music, complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, and a spectacular experience on the water. A great way to bring in the summer while doing your part in bringing fireworks back to Boston Harbor!

Famous Boston Chefs in Shorts
When: June 14, 2013
IMG_0040

‘Chefs in Shorts’, held outdoors on the Seaport Hotel’s Upper Plaza, features grills, barbecue, and some of the city’s top chefs competing in a night of grill-offs, fun, and delicious food.

 

Old Ironsides

One of the most interesting sites on Boston’s Freedom Trail, and always a huge favorite with kids and teens, is the USS Constitution that offers tours conducted by its Navy crew members. You can visit USS Constitution Museum, Old Ironsides during on our bus tour to Boston.

DSC03770

You get to see the top deck, gun deck, and berth area, plus you get the thrill of walking around this magnificent ship built in 1797, the oldest commissioned warship still afloat anywhere in the world.

Best of all are the guides’ stories about life aboard the ship 200+ years ago, tidbits about her legendary battles, and explanations of the Constitution’s important role in American history. Adding to the authenticity, crew members wear 1812-style uniforms.

The 204 foot-long, wood-hulled Constitution launched in 1797, sporting copper fastenings designed and fabricated by Paul Revere, three enormous masts topping as high as 220 feet, and a crew of 450-500. The magnificent vessel spent her first years defending American shipping interests by fighting Barbary pirates off the North African coast.

DSC03724

Designed to combine speed with fire power, the Constitution fought numerous battles against the British during the War of 1812. After defeating five British warships and capturing numerous merchant ships, her moment of glory came during a fierce battle against the mighty British frigate HMS Guerriere. The two frigates collided and nearly capsized but they still continued to fight.

By the end, the Constitution had pulverized the Guerriere but most of the Guerriere’s shots and cannon balls simply bounced off the hull of the American ship. When she returned to port in Boston, cheering crowds re-christened her “Old Ironsides.”After extensive restoration, she now serves as a museum ship.

Every July 4th, the Constitution appears in Boston Harbor as part of the huge Harbor fest celebration. Additional turn-around cruises occur a few more times each year. You’ll get a view of the harbor atop this beautiful sailing vessel and the chance to meet a real U.S. Navy Sailor!

More information about the museum can be found there:
http://www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution/
http://www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org/

Best Boston Museums

Museums are a great place to spend a wet or cold afternoon on your vacation in Boston. With over 40 museums to choose from, you can bet that you will find one that takes your fancy when planning your spare time on your Boston tour.

For History Buffs: J F Kennedy Library

Many people choose to tour Boston because of the city’s history. Boston has been home to famous politicians at many times during its history, including the USA’s 35th President John F Kennedy. The JFK Presidential Library and Museum aims to promote understanding of President Kennedy’s life and career and the time in which he lived. It also aims to promote a greater appreciation of America’s political and cultural heritage, the process of governing and the importance of public service.

For Families: Boston Children’s Museum

Families touring Boston with children of any age, may like to visit Boston Children’s Museum. Now celebrating its 100th year, Boston Children’s Museum offers a variety of up-to-date exhibitions that invite your child to participate in the learning process. In fact, Boston Children’s Museum was the first museum in the world to open a hands-on exhibition in the 1960s. The museum is open 10am – 5pm daily. On Friday evenings the museum is open until 9pm, a great option for an evening’s entertainment.

For Art Lovers: ICA Boston

People touring Boston who have a passion for art, and in particular contemporary art should add the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston to their list of places to visit. Located on Boston’s waterfront in a stunning new building the ICA is home to a growing collection of art. In recent years it has exhibited works by Tara Donovan, Damian Ortega and Mark Bradford. As well as art, the ICA has space for performance and film.

Something Quirky – The Waterworks Museum

Did you know that one of the USA’s first metropolitan water systems was built in Boston? We now take the provision of clean, piped water systems and efficient sewer systems for granted, but once they were a modern marvel. The Waterworks Museum covers all aspects of Boston’s waterworks including engineering, architecture, social history and public health.

Boston’s Waterfront

Like many cities around the world, Boston’s waterfront and dock area has undergone rejuvenation in recent years and is now an interesting, vibrant and fun place to visit on your tour of Boston. The precinct is home to five museums, numerous art galleries, around 40 restaurants and enough shops to satisfy any shopaholic.

boston2012 241
What to Do

On the night of 16 December 1773 one of the most important events in American history took place in Boston Harbor. Now known as the Boston Tea Party, you can learn about the Tea Party at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. An interactive experience you can through tea with the Sons of Liberty, tour three fully restored ships and see one of the original tea chests.

Boston is home to a number of fantastic microbreweries and if you are over 21 and touring Boston you can visit one of them on the waterfront. Harpoon Brewery was issued its license to brew and package beer commercially in 1987, the first permit issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 25 years. For visitors on Boston tours who like to shop, the New Waterfront offers a wide variety of retailers. You can find exquisite clothes, locally crafted goods, toys and original works of art. Make time for a relaxing massage or simply grab a newspaper or magazine to read at the park

What to Eat

No matter what your preference, all appetites are catered for among the restaurants on Boston’s New Waterfront. You can dine on chowder or lamb chops. Sip a Latte or a glass of savour a whiskey. Some of Boston’s most innovative menus and best chefs are represented among the restaurants on the waterfront. There is also a variety of venues. From upmarket with linen table clothes to those where fingers are better than a knife and fork.

You can’t beat seafood when you are dining by the sea. Two well-known Boston establishments, enjoyed by visitors and locals, are The Barking Crab and Legal Seafoods. The Barking Crab has been operating now for 14 years and offers fun and good seafood in a casual environment. All branches of Legal Seafoods offer fantastic food and are the perfect venue for a date night.