Metro Boston Group Tours
Experience three centuries of history at Historic New England's properties in downtown Boston and its suburbs. Each historic site reflects an important aspect of New England heritage, and is conveniently located near other sites.
The Otis House is the last surviving mansion in what was Boston's most fashionable eighteenth-century neighborhood. Architect Charles Bulfinch designed the house for Harrison Gray Otis and Sally Foster Otis, members of Boston's elite who went on to live in two more houses designed by Bulfinch. Experience the classical proportions, delicate detail, and surprisingly bold colors of the Federal style, and learn how the house changed over time in this dynamic neighborhood in the heart of Boston.
Walter Gropius was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. In his family home, every aspect of the house and its surrounding landscape was planned for maximum efficiency and simplicity of design. The home, with the Gropius family's possessions still in place, was modest in scale, yet revolutionary in impact.
Called "the handsomest place in America," the Codman Estate was a powerful force in the lives of the family who called it home. Built as a country estate c. 1740, the house and surrounding gardens preserve the stories of a wealthy family's distinguished past. The estate is home to a rich collection of American and European decorative arts. The grounds feature a hidden turn-of-the-century Italian garden with perennial beds, statuary, and a reflecting pool, as well as a 1930s English cottage garden.
Built as a country estate, this house that John Adams called "too opulent for a colonist" links six generations of a prominent family. The Quincys played important roles in the American Revolution, produced three mayors of Boston, and a president of Harvard. Later generations preserved the family's heirlooms as well as their compelling stories of life in early America.
The Lyman Estate, “The Vale,” is one of the finest American examples of a country estate following the principles of eighteenth-century English picturesque design. Designed by Samuel McIntire, it served as the summer residence of four successive generations of Boston’s Lyman family. The mansion’s architectural features include an elegant ballroom and graceful oval parlor. Tours may include a visit to the historic greenhouses on the estate.
The Lyman Estate Greenhouses are among the oldest surviving greenhouses in the country. They contain century-old camellia trees and grapevines, along with a large collection of orchids and other rare specimens. Expert horticulturalists offer advice and assistance, while the greenhouse shop holds a large selection of tropical houseplants, herbs, and orchids. Tours may include a visit to the Lyman Estate house, an elegant Federal-style mansion now used for private functions.