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“Knowledge, Skills, Experience & Price” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Boston Private Tours

Boston Private Tours
707 Main Street, Boston, MA 01740
978-771-4471
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Ranked #8 of 175 Activities in Boston
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Owner description: We provide great Private Tours using sedans,SUV,vans, Limo or buses. Our guides are all Local,mature and well-educated. We can meet you at your hotel, or the airport or at the Cruise-ship pier. Private Tours are a great way to see hilly Boston, in particular, because with our smaller vehicles,we have access to the "off the beaten" track neighborhoods and to the "hidden Boston" which you cannot see from a tour trolley or bus ( which are prohibited entry to residential areas of this 400 year old city), including our "Little Italy" and the 3rd largest Chinatown in the USA. Tours can be tailor made to meet most requests, and we can take you to see where Americas Revolution began in Lexington, and Concord,visit homes of authors,see Walden Pond and Harvard University ( which Gen. Washington borrowed to use as Americas first army base 1775 ), visit botanical or horticultural gardens and cemeteries, view interesting architecture, colleges ( more than 100 colleges/universities in Greater Boston !), Also Fenway Park, the Cheers Bar, site of 1st World Series, Freedom Trail and much,much more. Also, we provide private tours to Salem, the "Witch City" and to Newport,RI, coastal Maine,Cape Cod and Autumn foliage tours to Southern NH and Vermont. We love School group tours, half our guides have teaching certificates, several are published authors, and former National Park Guides, also,we accommodate handicapped visitors. Fees are reasonable. We also provide limited, long duration ,New England and the islands, overnight tours as well,please inquire.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Overland Park, Kansas
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Knowledge, Skills, Experience & Price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

Seven of us from KC took a 7 hour driving tour of Beacon Hill, downtown Boston, Concord, Lexington, Waldon Pond, Cambridge/Harvard, Mt Auburn Cemetery, etc. Great experience for all of us. Bill also gave us some tips as to what to do and what to see on our 2 days in Newport and Martha's Vineyard. BTW, due to some miscommunication, he overcharged us a little and when he found out, he sent us a refund check with a personal apology within 3 days. Honesty is a great attribute too. I would definitely use Bill again if we ever return to the Boston area.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
zurich
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Very interesting whole day tour offering - anche in italiano!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We have spent 2 great days with Francesca. She's a very kind and nice person, beside being an excellent guide knowing many many things and with a very deep knowledge in history! Furthermore she can speak italian, too :) If you count how long the tour last (min. 5-6h) it's really worth and the money invested is well spent!

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
“Excellent Boston Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Based on good reviews from Trip Advisor, I booked my group of 51 passengers with
Boston Private Tours and we were not disappointed – EXCELLENT BOSTON TOUR!

In March 2012, I contacted William (Bill) McDonough (bostonprivatetours@yahoo.com), if he can arrange a Boston tour for my group of 42 passengers (upgraded to 51 passengers
in August 2012), with pick up and drop off at the Boston pier.

He immediately emailed me back, recommended areas to visit in Boston, Cambridge,
Concord, etc. and the ‘best’ price for my group - it was cheaper than booking with the
cruise ship. He sent pictures of Denzel Washington (he was his tour guide during his stay in Boston) and a gangster photo of himself.

Bill was our tour guide - the ‘best walking Encyclopedia of Boston’. He kept us all awaked (there were senior citizens in my group), learned so much Boston history from his stream of stories, detailed historical information from pre-revolutionary war to current events (no discussion on current 2012 presidential candidates, only both are Harvard graduates), and props. In fact, during our Harvard tour, a couple who was not in my group, joined my group’s tour after listening to him at the Memorial Building. He also made sure we stopped by bathrooms as necessary, and recommended a great spot for lunch that was historic and good food.

I HIGHLY recommend Boston Private Tours and would certainly book future clients in Boston area with them.

Visited September 2012
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Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Very informative; well worth the price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

We took a tour of Boston and Concord with Boston Private Tours in early August, 2012, with Francesca. There were 5 of us: husband, self, daughter, son, and daughter-in-law. Our stay in Boston was short, so we had a very limited time to see as much as possible. Boston Private Tours delivered a first-class tour that far exceeded our expectations.

Having lived near Boston many years ago, my husband and I were amazed at how many places Francesca was able to show us during the course of the day. We saw the Freedom Trail sites, the Athenaeum, the State House, the Boston Common and Public Gardens, then we were able to walk around Beacon Hill, admiring the beautiful architecture. And that was just the morning!

The best aspect of our tour was that we were able to customize it to our specific tastes: history and literature. In the afternoon, we were driven to Concord and had a superb lunch at the Colonial Inn, where my son and daughter-in-law enjoyed Indian pudding for the first time. After lunch, we took a tour of Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote ‘Little Women’, then headed out to Author’s Ridge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to see the burial sites of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, and Hawthorne. Then we visited the North Bridge at the Minute Man National Historical Park and listened to a very interesting talk by one of the Park Guides.

Then we headed back into Boston and saw the North End, including Paul Revere’s House, then went out to the Bunker Hill Monument. Throughout the tour, Francesca explained the history of the places she was showing us. We were enlightened and entertained!

All in all, it was a great tour!

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“If you don't mind paying $625 for a ride.............”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

First let me say if the father retires and the son-our driver- takes over, book this trip; otherwise skip this expensive taxi ride.

After the pick up at our hotel we were driven to Newport RI; very beautiful. Bill spoke sporadically during the long drive so we pretty much entertained ourselves on the ride-there were six of us. Not sure what we were paying him for at this point-we really only needed the driver. With very little advice for our Newport experience-other than pointing out a good place for lunch -we parted ways with our "tour guide". We walked around by ourselves for an hour and a half.

We met Bill and his son back at the van and again, we pretty much entertained ourselves on the ride over to Marble House-same thing-Bill pretty much offered very little information so the driver would have sufficed.

For the record, I have taken many of these types of tours-in the U.S. and abroad- and prior to entering an attraction the guide usually communicated useful and funny tidbits before we entered the attraction(s); not so here. The tour guide also has been very funny and entertaining on the ride from point A to point B-definitely not on this drive. Also, the guide and driver have always been the same person on these tours.

Bill is ready to retire and it showed during this whole trip. On the way back, we dropped him off at a party-with no advance notice. He stated it only took us 15 minutes out of our way. Seriously? Did I mention this cost $625.00? :-) We had GPS on our phones and it was longer than 15 minutes. Bill if you are reading this, we are not adverse to a partial refund!!!

The best part of this trip was the son. After driving the father off, he told us more in 25 minutes than Bill had the whole tour.

For 625 plus 80 dollar tip-50 for the father and 30 for the son this was my worst travel decision. This was the first time the experience from an attraction/tour reviewed by Tripadvisor members was seriously different than mine/ours. Before you think, "why did you tip him", it was because my brother demonstrates Christian behavior at all times....long story. For the record, I would have given Bill nothing and the son the whole tip.

We were picked up at 9:30 and dropped off by 5-and again-driven out of our way to drop off the tour guide at a party. You can find many ways to spend nearly $700.00 in a much better way,

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oldwarrior, Owner at Boston Private Tours, responded to this review, August 9, 2012
Ouch ! This is our FIRST bad review in 8 years of touring. Please note that on Tripadvisor, 97% of our reviews are VERY positive, as the reader can see below. I am truly puzzled, as I called 2 of the men who were on this tour, AFTER this review was published, and they BOTH stated to me that it "was a good tour !"

This group of six folks got into our 5 row van, and the 3 ladies went to the rear seats and began chatting amiably, and loudly right away. They did not make eye contact with me,although I sat behind the driver,facing them.
I seemed to have the attention of the 3 men who were in rows 1,2 and 3, however they did not ask questions, or register much interest along the route,nor show any interest in what I was saying.(see below) and the chatty ladies were NOT paying me any attention,until we got to Fall River ,Massachusetts and I began talking about a double murder committed there,by Lizzie Borden in 1992, when Lizzie chopped her father and step-mother to death.
( note : I have taught at the Jr. high school level, at the high school level and at the college level)
When we reached Newport, we took the group to the Newport Fish Pier where there are excellent harbor views, as well as close up views of a luxury yacht haven,but NO ONE wanted to get out, so we next parked the van and I walked them over to Bowens Wharf, and I told them that I was taking them into a wholesale fish market out on the pier where they could see giant 15lb live lobsters and crabs in large salt water tanks, and take in a panoramic harbor view. from the open deck of the shellfish company.
The group of six straggled, seemed dis- interested, and only two members, ladies, stayed with me, but before we went inside they stated that they had NO interest in what was inside or of the view,and "Only want to do some shopping and have lunch on the wharf". ( there are five restaurants, and a dozen shops)..it wasn't even 11:30AM.
They said that they wanted to "dine and shop alone", and could I pick them up in "a couple of hours", which baffled me, why did they hire a guide ?
I told them that we should meet them in 1.5 hours, so we could see Marble House, one of the Vanderbilt Mansions, and they complied. It took 20 minutes to board them and then we took the 2 mile, 14 minute drive to Marble House, and I didn't stop talking till we got there....pointed out the US Naval Academy headquarters during the Civil War, and the oldest (Touro) Synagogue in the USA, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and the mansion of a copper baron,mentioned Doris Duke who had live camels on her grounds ( She owned Camel Cigarette Co., American Tobacco) mentioned the grisly, and questionable death of her chauffeur, talked about Frederick Law Olmsted, Americas first Landscape architect, and about the many mansion grounds designed by Olmsted ( who also created Central Park, etc.) and I talked about a private museum which we were passing which has the 2nd largest collection of Norman Rockwell Paintings in the World...all this in the 14 minutes to Marble House.
I suggested Marble House, as there is a beautiful Chinese Tea house at the rear, where Alva Vanderbilt entertained her lady friends, and because it has great ocean views, and views of Cliff Walk, a walk way through the back yards of Newports "Cottages", as the barons of the Gilded age referred to them their summer homes.
I told the group that we should re-assemble at the Tea house, as folks do wander in these mansions and many like to shop in the elaborate gift shops at the exits.........
Leaving the area, I mentioned and pointed to the (restricted) area where the US Navy War College and the US Navy Underwater Demolition School is located, and told them that "on the area on the left, there was housing for workers in World War II where as many as 90,000 toiled manufacturing torpedoes.
Exiting the island (Newport is on an island) we discussed how the area had employed tens of thousands of men and children in shoe factories, and pointed out over 30 vacant old buildings, also discussed "Battleship Cove" as we passed it by,..where there are World War II vessels on display..a battleship, diesel submarine, a destroyer and destroyer escort and two PT Boats....
We did take a different route back to Boston, according to Mapquest it added 16 miles to our route back to Boston. I mentioned this to the group 10 minutes after leaving the island, and that I was going to jump out at a party for a 99 year old man I know,along the way...there was no objection voiced, whatsoever. When I got out,one of the men thanked me and handed me a $50. unsolicited gratuity, and said that he had enjoyed the day.
The reviewer seemed to think that the rest of the ride was the best part of her 7.5 hour day...

Note: On the route from Boston to Newport, 71 miles, I mentioned to the men, that we were passing close by the homes and birthplaces of John Adams,John Quincy Adams,John Hancock and George H.W.Bush...and does anyone want us to swing by ? ( vacant stares)
8 miles out of Boston I pointed to a large area of cliffs, tallest cliffs along Americas Atlantic Coast, Maine to Texas), talked about the wildlife there, Copperhead and Eastern Timber Rattlesnakes, coyotes,Deer,Quail,Hawks,wild turkeys etc.....(no questions), ridge of hills continued 4 miles...turned south...mentioned we were at the northern fringe of our Cranberry country, and told them about how the berries flourish in a mix of sand and clay in bogs, and that at harvest time the bogs are flooded, the vines are shaken to cause the berries to float to the surface where they are pushed onto conveyor belts, or sucked out by vacuum, and that Ocean Spray Cranberry Corp. a Farmers Co-op is headquartered nearby.......no questions asked.......
Next we came to the area where the N.E. Patriots play football, talked about it,but...no questions asked...then we came to Taunton,"The Silver City" which once was a very large center of jewelry manufacture..the men listened, here as elsewhere, but they were pretty much silent, even among themselves.
Aquidneck,is the name of the island where Newport is situated, I told the group that both the French Navy and the British Navy were based there during our Revolution, and that Benedict Arnolds grandfather, also named Benedict Arnold, had been the governor there, that the State Capital was in Newport in the Summer, and Providence the rest of the year, and discussed the gambling game of J'ai Alai, and the Frontons of Newport, an exotic game...
The ladies seemed quite happy talking among themselves.....personally, I love questions as it shows interest, any teacher loves questions and discussion, so this tour was for myself disappointing. I don't know what I could have done differently for this group,and I am sorry if one or two of the members were unhappy...None of them had any requests, except for shopping and dining time.
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