Living in Rhode Island, we visit Boston pretty regularly and usually if people are coming to visit they are interested in the main attractions — the Freedom Trail, museums, Faneuil Hall, Fenway, the Greenway, the Public Gardens…you get the idea. But when my friend was coming to visit I wanted to show her Boston in a new light. Since she is a huge movie and TV buff, I thought a fun way to get a good overview of the city would be with one of the Boston movie tours from¬†On Location Tours.

On Location Tours offers two different options for Boston. The first, the Boston Movie Mile, is a one and a half hour walking tour that centers around the Boston Common and Public Garden, with a stop for a drink at the original Cheers. Since I wanted to show my friend a bit more of the city, and because I thought the walking tour might be a bit hot in July, we opted for the Boston TV and movie sites tour.

The Boston TV and movie sites tour is two and one-half hour tour, mostly on a bus, with a few stops to get out and look around. The tour kicks off near the Boston Public Garden, where you board an air-conditioned executive coach bus to start the tour. Here we met our tour guide Alex and his trusty sidekick Ted — yes, Ted came up quite a bit during our tour but don’t worry, it was all PG rated.

Boston movie tours with On Location Tours -- a new way to see Boston!

Aboard the On Location Tours bus with our tour guide Alex

We passed through the Boston Common and Public Garden, taking in the bench where Matt Damon and Robert Williams sat in Good Will Hunting, before passing by the State House, which played a role in Amistad. What was really cool about the tour is that either before or after passing by a filming site, we were shown the scene from the movie on the many monitors throughout the bus. Our guide Alex also filled us in on facts about the city, the movies, and the actors. His background in comedy made the tour fun and interesting.

Boston movie tours with On Location Tours -- a new way to see Boston!

The Massachusetts State House

Soon we were heading out of downtown to South Boston, or “Southie” as it is called. This is the area that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s characters were from in Good Will Hunting. Our main stop in this area was the L Street Tavern, which is the little bar where Will and his friends hang out in Good Will Hunting. We stopped for a beer and to check out all the Good Will Hunting memorabilia from filming and the wrap party.

Boston movie tours with On Location Tours -- a new way to see Boston!

The L St. Tavern: Home of Good Will Hunting

From Southie we headed past the North End and the college where Robin Williams’ character taught in Good Will Hunting, and out into Charlestown and the Charlestown steps with its nice view of downtown. Along the way we heard about The Thomas Crown Affair, A Civil Action, The Heat, The Town, Fever Pitch, Gone Baby Gone, Blown Away, Ted, and The Departed.

Boston movie tours with On Location Tours -- a new way to see Boston!

The view from the Charlestown steps

We hopped out of the bus again in the Seaport area, to see the buildings that were used in filming the scene in The Departed where Martin Sheen’s character met his demise.

Boston movie tours with On Location Tours -- a new way to see Boston!

A filming spot for The Departed

Our final stop on the tour was the place where everyone knows your name…Cheers…where we were free to enter and enjoy a cold one on our own.

Boston movie tours with On Location Tours -- a new way to see Boston!

Our tour bus with On Location Tours

On our tour we were reminded how much we liked certain movies and inspired to watch them again. In fact, we went back and watched Good Will Hunting that night!

The bottom line is that the Boston movie tour was a fun and different way to explore the city. If you aren’t really into movies, or if you haven’t seen at least quite a few of the movies featured on the tour, you probably won’t find it very interesting. I also wouldn’t think this particular Boston tour would be good for families, but I would be willing to try a couple of the New York tours that feature more family movie sites. You also shouldn’t expect to get a full overview of the city. A few important landmarks are pointed out along the way but the main focus is on filming locations.

On Location Tours offers movie tours in Boston and New York, with tours starting at $25 per person.

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Boston movie tours with On Location Tours -- a new way to see Boston!

Note: I was a guest of On Location Tours for purposes of facilitating this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and book a tour, I will receive a small commission to help fund this site.


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