Discover what life was like for Boston’s elite after the American Revolution, as the city grew and Beacon Hill became its most fashionable address. In 1796 Harrison Gray Otis, a congressman and real estate entrepreneur, and his wife, Sally, lived and entertained lavishly in this elegantly furnished home designed by their friend Charles Bulfinch.
Learn about the Otises, their young family, their servants, and the people who lived here after them, when the building was a genteel boarding house. Otis House portrays both high-style living in the Federal era and the cycles of change in a dynamic urban neighborhood.
April to November, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with tours on the hour, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
All group tours must be scheduled by appointment. In addition to open days, group tours may be scheduled at times the museum is closed to the public.
We are happy to work with you to customize your experience.
Guided House Tour: Enjoy an approximately one-hour guided tour; please allow one and a half hours for your visit.
Ladies of the House: View Otis House through the lens of women’s history. Otis House is rich with stories of remarkable women, from a wealthy politician’s wife and mother in the late eighteenth century, to an entrepreneur and holistic physician in the 1830s, to four sisters who ran a Victorian boarding house. On this tour, discover these stories and relevant social history of women’s lives in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Beacon Hill Walking Tour: Go beyond the brick sidewalks and charming gardens and learn about Beacon Hill’s development in the Federal era. The fortunes, ambitions, and struggles of Beacon Hill’s early residents, both wealthy and working class, shaped the streets, architecture, and character of the hill. Start with a tour of Otis House, the earliest intact mansion in the neighborhood, and continue on Beacon Hill’s historic streets.
Women of Beacon Hill Walking Tour: Take a stroll around Beacon Hill and discover the stories of the women who shaped the history and charm of the neighborhood over the centuries: wealthy and working class, black and white, entrepreneurs and reformers, artists and preservationists.
Up to 15 visitors can tour the house with each guide; generally we can accommodate up to 30 visitors in the house in one hour. Accommodations can be made for larger groups.
Please note that the tour requires a considerable amount of standing and stair climbing. If members of your group need special assistance, please let the museum know in advance.
Guided House Tour: $15 per adult and $13 per student for groups of 8 or more visitors. Additional rates apply for all other tours. Prices subject to change.
Receptive tour operator rates available upon request.
Adding a walking tour? Please call for rates.
The tour leader or class instructor and bus driver are welcome to a complimentary tour with the group.
A non-refundable deposit based on your maximum number is due upon booking. The outstanding balance must be paid when the group arrives on-site for the tour.
Please call two weeks in advance to confirm a guaranteed number of visitors.
Otis House is located in downtown Boston, at the foot of Beacon Hill. There are a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions nearby.
A restroom is located down one flight of stairs from the museum level. A wheelchair-accessible route can be made available with advance notice.
Museum shop offering an assortment of books and souvenirs. Soft drinks and water available in limited quantities.
There is limited street parking. Nearby parking lots include Charles River Plaza, Boston Common Garage, and Government Center Garage.
Parking and Public Transportation:
Street parking and several paid lots are available near Otis House.
Buses can pick up and drop off groups on Cambridge Street but must park elsewhere.
Otis House is located an easy walk from the following MBTA stops: Charles St./MGH (Red Line), Bowdoin (Blue Line), North Station (Green and Orange Lines and Commuter Rail).
Food and drink are prohibited in the museum.
Touching, leaning, or sitting on the objects is prohibited.
Cell phones should be silenced prior to your tour.
Your group will stay with the tour guide for the entire tour.