Otis House
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
Historic house museum, open seasonally from April-November. One of 37 properties owned and operated by Historic New England. Otis House is the last surviving mansion in Bowdoin Square in Boston’s West End neighborhood. Charles Bulfinch designed the house for Harrison Gray Otis, a lawyer who was instrumental in developing nearby Beacon Hill, served in Congress, and was a mayor of Boston. It is the first of three houses Bulfinch designed for Otis and his wife, Sally Foster Otis. The house reflects the classical proportions and delicate detail of the Federal style. Take a tour of Otis House to learn about the family’s life in the Federal era and the later history of the house, when it served as a clinic and a middle-class boarding house. The restoration of Otis House and its brilliantly colored wallpapers, carpeting, and high-style furnishings is based on meticulous historical and scientific research. Otis House is a National Historic Landmark.
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Tours & experiences
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: West End
How to get there
  • Bowdoin • 3 min walk
  • Government Center • 7 min walk
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles54 reviews
Excellent
24
Very good
21
Average
8
Poor
1
Terrible
0

X-countryGuy
Coventry, CT203 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
As members of the Historic New England preservation group, my wife and I had been looking forward to visiting the Otis House in Boston. We paid a visit last weekend. Cassandra took us on our tour. She was well-spoken and extremely knowledgeable about every detail of the home and its history and had delightful personality too. The home is simply loaded with interesting artifacts of the day and every room showed evidence of the groups painstaking attention to detail. Otis may not be the largest or most glamorous of the Historic New England homes. But the fact that people fought to ensure its preservation while most every structure around it was razed to accommodate the growing city truly makes it significant. When in Boston, we certainly recommend stopping in to learn this home's story from the dedicated and genuinely friendly staff.
Written September 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Florida
Tampa, FL660 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
Small group tours with very educated docents. Few furnishings date back to the Otis family but the wallpaper (office!), carpet (upstairs drawing room!), and paint were period. There is a couch there with ingenious hidden drawers.
First room has the walls “peeled back” to see the underlying construction. There are two recently restored paintings of Otis ancestors which are striking.
Written July 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

McMarshal
Vancouver Island, Canada280 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
Usually a house museum tells us more about the architecture of the time than anything, but our tour of Otis House shed much light on the early occupants of Boston, as well as the city's growth since inception. Our tour guide was highly knowledgable and engaging. Recommend -- it's Interesting, not too drawn out, and provides plenty of historical insight.
Written November 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cardinals_Fan24
Saint Louis, MO5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Couples
We had a fantastic comprehensive tour led by Anne. She was extremely knowledgeable and answered all our questions in incredible detail. The house is very well maintained, and it was interesting to see how the peak of society lived at the start of the 1800's. It was one of the best things we did in our three days in Boston.
Written May 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hatestofly
Chaska3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
You probably won't be able to see and do everything you'd like to while you're in Boston, so don't waste your time at the Otis House. Compared with other historical sites, little is known about the family who built the home, and much of the furniture and decorating is not original to the house, but is historically accurate to the time. We've toured many other more famous homes older than the Otis house with few restrictions, but in the Otis house we had to wear shoe covers, and were told if we wanted to take notes, we could use pencil but not pen. We felt like naughty children intent on vandalism. We did get a few interesting tidbits regarding architecture of the time (1795-6), how and by whom the rooms in the house were used, and ways early Americans controlled light, but all in all it was barely worth the modest admission and hour of our precious vacation time.
Written August 9, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

verydarklilac
Bermuda73 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Couples
While not a great deal is known about the family and their four years in the house, it’s a fascinating insight into the house and inhabitants, which was picked up and rolled back 42 feet when the road in front was widened. It’s a beautiful house with some of the Otis’s property, much of the rest dating from the period. Well worth the $10 entry fee.
Written November 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

emcornell
Culver City, CA19 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017
A bit out of the way near Beacon Hills/West End. Went on a rainy afternoon and got soaked. You only see a very limited portion of the house. There was an introductory film that was informative, but the actual tour only took about 15-20 minutes. Drop by if you are near, but wouldn't go out of my way to see this.
Written May 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vickie S
Trois-Rivieres, Canada21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Friends
This was one of the best tours I've been on and I've been on a lot. Our guide was excellent: just the right amount of humour and history. I highly recommend this historical mansion's tour. Enjoy!
Written July 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Allison L
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Friends
I loved this tour because it transported our group back in time and gave us an idea of what life was like in Boston when the Otis family lived at this home. Our group was small, which allowed us to ask our guide (Prentice) many questions. This was great because she focused the tour on the things that we found most interesting, and she had good knowledge of all we asked. Unlike other historical home tours available in Boston, this was great because you weren't confined to a roped off area - you could get close to the furniture, walk around the rooms, and really internalize the grandeur of the house. I would definitely recommend this tour.
Written September 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CharlieV2011
Chicago, IL2,130 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Solo
The museum provided free admission on Independence Day and it is worth a stop! The home was built in the 1700’s and has been beautifully restored. The tour includes stops in several rooms that served as a parlor, bedroom, and office. The tour guide also explains the histories of the house, the neighborhood, and the tenants. The rooms include furniture that is true to the time period. Thanks for the great visit!
Written July 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Otis House - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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