How We’re Different
Think of Ben as Your Personal Connection to Boston
Picture having a good friend in Boston who has lived in the city for more than two decades and can provide insider tips and valuable recommendations to help you plan an incredible trip.
Imagine that same friend is also a private tour guide with 20 years of experience… and a relative of Paul Revere. There’s only one person like that in Boston—Ben Edwards. Ben is a private tour guide who can introduce you to the very best the city has to offer. With his tips and guidance, you’re sure to have an unforgettable Boston experience!
Ben Edwards offers a wide range of assistance that GUARANTEES planning your Boston vacation will be STRESS-FREE. From the moment you book your private tour, you’ll have unlimited access to Ben’s expertise and advice via email and text. Think of Ben as your Personal Connection to Boston, your Concierge for ALL THINGS BOSTON. Tour participants have called Ben’s help invaluable.
Here’s what you can expect when you work with Ben
Before the Tour
With your tour confirmation you’ll receive online access to Ben’s exclusive insider tips to help you plan your trip. These include Ben’s personal recommendations for hotels, restaurants, and things to see and do both inside and outside the city. You’ll also find answers to the most frequently asked questions we’ve received over the past decade. Ben welcomes any questions you may have—not just during the tour but well in advance of it. You’ll not only receive all of this content before the tour but can easily access it on your smartphone while in Boston.
Your private, first-class tour is customized to the needs of your group. Ben will ask questions about your group or family to determine your specific needs and expectations. Perhaps there is a birthday or anniversary you’d like to celebrate during the tour, a topic you’d like addressed in greater detail, or a participant with a mobility issue who requires a slower pace. Whatever it is, we’ve got you covered.
We’ll meet you at your hotel. If you’re staying in the city (downtown, Back Bay, Fenway) and it is more convenient for you, Ben is happy to meet you in the lobby of your hotel and show you how to navigate the subway to the starting point of the tour on Boston Common. When it comes to meeting your needs and expectations, you should expect nothing less.
The Tour Experience
Ben’s private tour is FUN. He will keep you fully engaged with his lively and animated storytelling and through a history trivia contest that’s sure to bring out the competitive nature in members of your group or family. You’ll appreciate Ben’s endless knowledge, enthusiasm, and sense of humor.
Your children will LOVE this tour! Ben works with more than 1,400 grade school students on field trips of Boston’s Freedom Trail each fall and spring. His legendary rapport with children keeps the schools coming back year after year—many for over a decade. You won’t find a tour guide in Boston who is better with kids than Ben.
Ben’s tour delivers colonial Boston history and SO much more. We’ll cover the 14 Freedom Trail sites in Boston plus several hidden spots not covered on other tours. You’ll learn all the colonial history you’d expect (tales of Benjamin Franklin, the Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, and Paul Revere’s Ride) as well as some aspects of Boston history you might not be familiar with. These include the story of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and the city’s connections to Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, and Alexander Graham Bell.
Everyone knows Ben. When you walk Boston’s Freedom Trail with Ben, you’ll discover that everyone knows him. How does this enhance your tour experience? Because of the relationships Ben has built over the years, he can deliver things that other tour guides cannot. For example, during your visit to historic King’s Chapel, Ben can guarantee you will hear the largest bell ever made by Paul Revere ring—a claim unmatched by other guides. That historic 2,437-pound bell, cast in 1816, is over 200 years old!
Hold History in your Hands! Tour participants have called Ben a “walking museum.” He shares his collection of rare documents and historic newspapers along the tour route. The extensive collection includes documents signed by John Hancock and Boston Tea Party participants Thomas Melvill and Amos Lincoln; original colonial newspapers containing ads for Paul Revere’s many businesses; coverage of the reading of the Declaration of Independence in Boston on July 18, 1776; and much more.
Getting hungry yet? For private tour groups of up to 10 people, on tour option 3, we can stop for a reservation at Parker’s Restaurant in the historic and haunted Omni Parker House Hotel. Here you can purchase and enjoy Boston Cream Pie (where it was perfected) and Parker House Rolls, while Ben continues his storytelling (ghost stories included) and shares his collection of rare Parker House memorabilia. Founded in 1855, the Parker House is the longest continuously operating hotel in the United States. It was home of the Saturday Club—a gathering on the last Saturday of the month of nineteeth-century literary talent that included Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Longfellow, and others. Charles Dickens stayed here during his 1867-68 American reading tour. Another food stop is in store when we make our way to the North End.
A personal link to Boston history. Ben’s ancestors walked the same cobblestone streets as Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams. One of them even married silversmith Paul Revere Jr., firstborn son of the famous patriot. The link in this paragraph takes you to an interesting document containing photos of Edwards family treasures and information on how old Ben’s ancestors were when certain key events occurred in Boston.
Free children’s book and audiobook for all tour participants. Ben’s children’s book, One April in Boston, tells the tale of his early Boston ancestors and their connection to the Sons of Liberty and Paul Revere. It also honors his relative Philip Edwards by revealing the gift he gave to the neighborhood children before leaving for France to fight in World War I and passing into legend. For taking the tour, you’ll receive Ben’s book in print (one per family), eBook, and MP3 audio formats.
Free access to additional items related to Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. You’ll enjoy a wonderful audio recording of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” read by award-winning narrator Phil Rosenthal. You’ll also receive password access to the Midnight Ride Artwork Project. Walking Boston and Spyglass Books, LLC commissioned Cortney Skinner to produce a series of paintings covering the events of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. The objective of this project was to create the most historically accurate artwork ever produced covering Revere’s activities on April 18-19, 1775.
Visit the Paul Revere House and enjoy lunch at Union Oyster House
Tour options 2 and 3 include time to tour inside the Paul Revere House (admission fee required) and tour option 3 includes a lunch break at Union Oyster House along the Freedom Trail—America’s oldest continuously operating restaurant established in 1826. Recently the Paul Revere House opened a 3,600 square foot Education and Visitor Center in two restored row houses from 1835 that abuts the Revere House courtyard and stands on a piece of Paul Revere’s original property. Who better to take you through the expanded Paul Revere House complex than Ben Edwards—a relative of Paul Revere who has served on the Board of Directors of the Paul Revere Memorial Association since 1999.
At Union Oyster House, you’ll see the 1826 oyster bar, JFK’s favorite booth, and the Heritage Room, which once housed the printing shop of Isaiah Thomas—patriot printer of the Massachusetts Spy. Ben will share an original issue of the Massachusetts Spy printed in that very room in 1771. Ben will also convey his passion for the restaurant, a place he believes his third-great-grandfather Joseph B. Edwards, a street paver, ate and drank at from the time it opened as Atwood’s Oyster House in 1826.