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48 Hours in Boston
By: Danielle Max | May 16 2017

Boston has the perfect mix of activities to keep any visitor happy, from history to nature and art to sports. See the city from the water or up high; learn about the amazing creatures who reside off-shore and discover the role the African American community played in Boston’s development.


Boston's center of business and government combine with the Boston Common and the Public Garden to form a dynamic downtown. | Photo:Tim Grafft/Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Day One: 9:00 a.m.
Duck and Cover
Day One: 9:00 a.m.
Duck and Cover

Boston duck boat | Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

The 80-minute Boston Duck Tours is a great way to start off your visit to Boston. The Duck in question is a WW2-style amphibious landing vehicle. The tours are narrated by a (wait for it) conDUCKtor who’ll thrill and amuse you with facts, insights and information about Boston.

The tour includes the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill and the TD Bank North Garden, Boston Common and Copley Square, Government Center to fashionable Newbury Street, Quincy Market to the Prudential Tower. Once you are done with dry land, the Duck splashes into the Charles River, giving you a great view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines.

The Ducks are wheelchair accessible. Call the company in advance so that the boat can be adapted (seats need to be removed). Passengers in wheelchairs are boarded first.

If you prefer to transfer into a regular seat, your wheelchair can be strapped onto the back deck.

Staff will set up the wheelchair lift to assist anyone unable to climb stairs.

12:00 p.m.
Have An Art Attack
12:00 p.m.
Have An Art Attack

Institute of Contemporary Art | Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

Pop into the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston and enjoy some world-class art. The museum was founded as a sister institution to New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1936 and presents contemporary art in all media – visual arts, performance, film, video and literature.

The ICA is fully wheelchair accessible. Visitors who use wheelchairs may be dropped off directly in front of the museum. A limited number of courtesy wheelchairs are available in the State Street Corporation Lobby on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reserved wheelchair seating for theater productions is available by calling the box office in advance at 617-478-3103.  

Assistive-listening devices and sign language interpretation are available. Call the Box Office in advance at TTY 617-478-3287.

Large-print label texts are available in the galleries; ask a member of the gallery staff for assistance.

Find out more here.

4:00 p.m.
Take Yourself Out To The Ballgame
4:00 p.m.
Take Yourself Out To The Ballgame

Fenway Park | Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Hit it out of the ballpark with a visit to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. You can take a tour of the stadium, but to really get a feel for this beloved Boston baseball team, try to attend a game. The park is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball (it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been the location of the Red Sox since 1912), which has led to some quirky and offbeat features, all of which you get to see on your tour. Learn about the Triangle," "Pesky's Pole" and the Green Monster in left field.

Fenway Park tours are fully accessible (no need to schedule tours in advance). Wheelchair-accessible seating is available for games. There are accessible restrooms servicing all accessible seating areas, as well as family restrooms.

Find out more here.

7:00 p.m.
Enjoy The Show
7:00 p.m.
Enjoy The Show

The Wang Theatre | Boch Center

The Wang Theatre at the Boch Center is one of those places where you are just as likely to spend as much time gazing around at the gorgeous interior as you are watching the stage. The theater, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been entertaining Boston since 1925. It started out as a movie “cathedral” and home to vaudeville musicals and big bands and is now a venue for world-class theater, music and dance.

Accessible seating and companion seating are available in certain areas of the Orchestra Floor and Orchestra Boxes.

There is an elevator in the Grand Lobby to all levels of the Theatre, expect the Lower Lobby, which is accessible by chair lift.

Whenever possible, there is ASL, audio-described or transliterated performances. Email for more information.

Find out more here.

Day Two: 9:00 a.m.
Take A Morning Constitution-al
Day Two: 9:00 a.m.
Take A Morning Constitution-al

USS Constitution, Charlestown. Oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world; defeated four British frigates during War of 1812 and earned the nickname "Old Ironsides" when cannon balls failed to penetrate her thick hull. | Photo: Tim Grafft/Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Start your day with a dose of history at the USS Constitution Museum. The museum is dedicated to “Old Ironsides,” the nickname for the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat anywhere in the world. The ship was constructed back in 1797 and played an important part during the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom. Come and learn all about the ship, the navy, life onboard, and much more in an interactive museum located at the Charlestown Navy Yard, which is part of the Boston National Historical Park.

The museum is wheelchair accessible.

Find out more here.

 

12:00 p.m.
Have a Whale Of a Time
12:00 p.m.
Have a Whale Of a Time

A small sailboat cruises past the ''Asteria'' of the Boston Harbor Cruises fleet of sightseeing and excursion boats on Boston Harbor.

One of Boston’s must-do attractions is a whale-watching tour to view the whales and other marine life that spend part of the year at the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary. Take a whale-watching cruise with the New England Aquarium and Boston Harbor Cruises and keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales, finback whales, minke whales, pilot whales and the critically endangered right whales. Whale sightings are so common that in the unlikely event you don’t see any, you’ll receive your money back.  

The Aurora, Asteria, and Cetacea boats have a wheelchair-accessible restroom located at rear of main deck.

There is wheelchair access to the main deck only, including the exterior bow and stern.

4:00 p.m.
Consider the Alternatives
4:00 p.m.
Consider the Alternatives

Freedom Trail Players welcome visitors to walk the red line. | Freedom Trail Foundation

Explore an alternative to the well-known Freedom Trail with a tour of the Black Heritage Trail. The trail focuses on events between the key years of 1783, when the state of Massachusetts abolished slavery, to 1865 when the institution was abolished nationwide. It covers the emerging free black community of the 1800s and their leading efforts in the Abolition Movement, the Underground Railroad, and the early struggles for equality and justice.

You can join a National Park Service ranger-led tour or pick up a map at the Museum of African American History's Abiel Smith School or at local National Park Service Visitor Center to guide yourself.

The tour is wheelchair accessible, however, there are some difficult-to-navigate sidewalks and several steep hills through Beacon Hill. If you are unable to do the tour, you can visit the African Meeting House or the Abiel Smith School, both of which are wheelchair accessible.

The film "Building on a Firm Foundation," which is shown at the Abiel Smith School, is closed captioned.

7:00 p.m.
Take A Walk in The Clouds
7:00 p.m.
Take A Walk in The Clouds

Listen to our Stories Exhibit at Dreams of Freedom, Skywalk Observatory | Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

You don’t really think of soaring views when you think of Boston, but a visit to the Skywalk Observatory, located on the 50th floor of Prudential Center will change all the that. On a clear day, you can see up to 100 miles away, but the view is pretty amazing as day turns into night, too. The Acoustiguide audio tour gives you a personalized tour of the City on the Hill.

If you manage to drag yourself away from the view (or once it gets too dark to see), visit the Dreams of Freedom Museum, which celebrates the important role immigration has played in shaping the city. Then conclude your tour in the state-of-the-art movie theater, which continually runs two short films: “Wings Over Boston,” an up-close feel of the entire city and “Dreams of Freedom,” a multimedia journey through time.

The attraction is wheelchair accessible. The audio tour handset is compatible with many hearing assistance devices.

Getting Around
Getting Around

Boston is served by Boston Logan International Airport.

All terminals have two levels – upper level for departures and lower level for arrivals. Both levels have accessible ramps from the curbside to the terminal and all terminals have elevators equipped with emergency call buttons and braille.

Accessible restrooms and family restrooms are located in all terminals. 

Animal relief areas are located outside the lower level at all terminals.

Distances from Curb to Ticket Counter:

Terminal A: 207 feet. Accessible ramps are available to the terminal. 

Terminal B: 90 feet. 

Terminal C: 150 feet. The distance from the bus drop off area is 220 feet.

Terminal E: 110 feet. There is ramp access into the terminal. International arrival passengers can be met in front of the US Custom's Exit Doors on the first level of arrivals. 

Terminal layouts including the location of elevators, restrooms and animal relief areas can be seen here.

Free Massport shuttle buses serve all terminals, the Airport MBTA Station, Logan Boat Dock and Economy Parking. All buses are wheelchair lift-equipped and have a visual and audio stop announcement system. Distances from curbside drop off areas to airline ticket counters vary from 50-200 feet.

Find out more here.

According to the city of Boston, there are more than 100 wheelchair-accessible cabs in operation in the city. Each wheelchair accessible taxi has a letter-rating to show how accessible the vehicle is, either A, B, C, D, or F. See a list of companies and ratings here.

All of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA – often known as just the T) buses are accessible and are equipped with kneeling capabilities, lifts or ramps. Buses have two securement areas and automated stop announcement equipment that announces the route number, destination and stops.

Many of the subway stations are accessible. It is worth checking the status of elevators/escalators before you travel.

Find out more about accessibility on the MBTA here.

Where to Stay
Where to Stay

Base yourself at The Colonnade Hotel in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. The hotel is close to many of the city’s must-see destinations, including Trinity Church, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Freedom Trail and close to public transportation – allowing you to get out and see the best of Boston. Enjoy an on-site gourmet restaurant, rooftop pool and decked-out hotel rooms.

The hotel has 12 accessible rooms. Rooms have roll-in shower or tubs with hand rails; closed-caption TV, knock light (upon request), visual fire alarms and TDD.

Find out more here.

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