Like Chicago (which I highlighted last week), Boston also has a great reputation among wheelchair-friendly cities. The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism website features an incredible amount of resources and detailed information designed to help you navigate and enjoy Bean Town’s famous sites (and other attractions throughout the state). Start your trip planning on this page and branch out from there.
Boston is renowned for its history, particularly from the American Revolutionary War era. One of the oldest cities in the U.S., it’s full of museums, historical sites, and cultural attractions. Most of them offer wheelchair access, but it’s always a good idea to call ahead to make sure. Here are a few places to check out:
- Boston’s famous Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long route that visits 16 historical sites. Although the route is paved with bricks, some of the inclines might be a bit steep for wheelchair users; alternative paths are available at those locations.
- The Museum of Science website provides extensive details about the organization’s accessibility options. Visitors are encouraged to contact the museum’s accessibility coordinator (617-589-3102) with any questions or concerns.
- At Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in U.S., visitors can explore the paved roads of Arnold Arboretum or go on a student-led tour of the university grounds. (617-495-1573)
- Boston Duck Tours explore the city by boat and land in World War II amphibious landing vehicles, each of which can accommodate up to two wheelchairs. Make arrangements for wheelchair accommodations when reserving your tickets. (617-450-0068)
The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) provides detailed accessibility information on its fixed routes. It also offers reduced mass transit fares for people with disabilities on all modes of transport (buses, subway, and commuter rail) in the city of Boston. To get discounted rates, you’ll first need to get a Charlie Card at the Downtown Crossing Station. (For further information, call 617-222-3200.)
The city’s Hackney Division’s WAV Program has a fleet of 100 wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs). You don’t need to make a reservation in advance for one of these—just wave down a WAV taxi (marked with a blue accessibility symbol) on the street or call a taxi company to request a WAV vehicle. (For more information, call Boston Police Department Hackney Unit at 617-343-4475.)
Want to guess where we’re going in our next post on Wheelchair-Friendly Cities? Here’s a hint: a lot of donkeys and elephants live there!