The Swan Boat Rides have been a fixture of the Boston Public Gardens for over 130 years. They appear just as the weather begins to brighten up every spring and are one of the city's trademark tourist attractions. For a cheap cost this is a fun way to pass some time that is a pleasure for all ages.
Things to Do
- The Swan Boats each hold about 20 people so don't be afraid to bring a group (in fact they have a slightly cheaper rate for groups).
- The ride takes a leisurely 15 minute tour of the Garden's lagoon. This is a relaxing and attractive voyage and definitely a nice time to get photos.
- The boats themselves are charming, old-fashioned and comfortable; their design has barely changed since they were first introduced. They are pedaled by a driver who sits in the back. All in all it acts as a quaint and enjoyable connection with the city's past.
- After your ride, stroll around the Boston Public Garden and the Boston Common.
- Grab a bite to eat along Charles Street or across the way in Chinatown.
Swan Boat Rides Insider Tips
- The Swan Rides are open for business from the third week of April until the third week of September. Rides normally operate from 10:00am until 4:00 pm though they give visitors an extra hour from June 21st to Labor Day, shutting up shop at 5:00pm. Remember that rides can be cancelled if the weather is poor.
- The Boston Public Gardens, the park which is home to the Swan Rides is the oldest botanical garden in the United States. It is a beautiful area where you can relax, go for a walk or have a picnic. There are many other touristic sites nearby so the Swan Rides can offer a nice respite from the trudging around.
- The MBTA Green Line Arlington Station is the closest T station to the park.