Our tour guests are sometimes interested in visiting the plentiful history outside of Boston. If you're a fan of John Adams or John Quincy Adams, we recommend a trip to Quincy to see three Adams Family homes at the Adams National Historical Park. Take the Red Line subway to Quincy Center to get your tour started.
Since you're out in Quincy, it's worth the short walk from the Adams Visitor Center to the Quincy Historical Society. There is a small museum about the history of Quincy, which is located at the site of John Hancock's birth.
A short walk from the Quincy Historical Society is the Dorothy Quincy Homestead, future wife of John Hancock. The house is rarely open to the public, but sits on beautiful grounds and can be viewed from the street. The original house was built in 1686 and has been expanded over the years.
Give yourself about 3 to 4 hours to enjoy it all. The Adams Park is closed during the winter, so be sure to check online that the sites will be open before trekking out. Enjoy!
Boston is a great city to enjoy with your friends before the big day. It has ample opportunity for pairing libations with fun, and of course a little bit of history for our well-rounded brides-to-be!
1. Ye Olde Tavern Tours
Join us on a Freedom Trail tour where we’ll tell the story of Boston in the buildup to the American Revolution and stop at historic taverns for some local craft beer! Our tours happen in the afternoon, so get started with us and then head to one (or more) of our ideas below.
2. Drunk Shakespeare
Need I say more? Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare runs at the Rockwell Theater in Davis Square. Check here for the current lineup, but regardless of what’s showing, you won’t want to miss it! You can sip on drinks with your friends while an actor or actress gets legitimately drunker than you and your crew. Hilarity ensues, with audience participation of course!
3. Jacques Cabaret
They say all roads lead to Jacques, so continue on after the Freedom Trail to this evening cabaret bar! They have shows seven nights a week, including Sassy Sundays, WTF Wednesdays, Throwback Thursdays, and No Filter Fridays. You can walk in or but we recommend making a reservation for a table.
4. The Donkey Show
Every Saturday Night, the Oberon in Harvard Square turns into a 70s disco to re-tell Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream…with a bit more gusto! Get dressed up in club attire, disco flair, drag, or whatever is left in your suitcase to enjoy a uniquely Cambridge experience. You can join the rest of the party on the dance floor or book table seats for a more relaxed viewing.
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground is the second oldest graveyard in Boston. It was established in 1659 in the North End. Named after shoemaker William Copp, the burying ground has many tombs of Boston’s less-affluent craftsmen and artisans. Here are some highlights to check out when you visit, perhaps as part of a day in the North End!
1. Daniel Malcolm lived in the North End and was a member of the Sons of Liberty. He evaded paying taxes during the buildup to the Revolutionary War, but he didn’t get to see American independence, as he died in 1769. When the British soldiers occupied Boston, they’d often hang out at Copp’s Hill and use Malcolm’s tomb for target practice!
2. Puritan ministers Cotton and Increase Mather are also buried at Copp’s Hill. You may know them for their fiery role in the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century.
3. Robert Newman was a sexton at the Old North Church. He helped hang the lanterns during Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride: “One if by land, two if by sea…” The sea in Longfellow’s 1861 poem, by the way, referred to the Charles River, which separates Boston from Charlestown. The British placed cannons on Copp’s Hill during the Battle of Bunker Hill, which took place in Charlestown in 1775, because it was high ground.
4. You’ll also find the USS Constitution in Charlestown. Edmund Hartt, who was the ship’s master carpenter, is buried at Copp’s Hill.
5. The animal life at Copp's Hill is amazing. On several occasions we've seen a black cat roaming through and bunnies (bunnies!) hiding over in the bushes by Malcolm's grave (#1 on this list).
One of our favorite buildings in Boston, the Old State House, currently has an exhibit about John Hancock's home called "Through the Keyhole." Hancock's uncle built a mansion on the top of Beacon Hill that John later inherited. Before the house was leveled in 1863, Hancock's front door and several items from inside the home were saved and are part of the current display. The North Bennet Street School in Boston recreated the striking doorway.
We recommend visiting the exhibit and then joining one of our tours to find out about John Hancock's impact on revolutionary Boston!