Your Destination Guide to Boston

Destination Guide Boston - Your Destination Guide to Boston, MA

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Swan Boats

Swan Boats
Swan Boats

© Rick Harris

Everyone who has grown up in or around Boston has a fond memory of the Swan Boats, whether it was taking a leisurely ride on a warm spring afternoon or watching them peacefully glide across the waters. For more than 130 years, the Swan Boats have been a beloved tradition, providing riders with magnificent views of the picturesque Boston Public Garden.

Established in 1877 by Robert Paget, the Boston Swan Boats remain the only boats of their kind in the world, so a ride on them is a truly unique Boston experience. They also have achieved a place in children's literature, as both Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings and E.B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan mention the Swan Boats. These pleasure boats are 30-feet long, can carry around 18 adults, and are still owned and operated by the Paget family. The drivers peddle and steer the boats on a 15-minute ride around the Public Garden's lagoon, affording guests a special opportunity to escape from the busy metropolis of downtown Boston and take in the natural beauty of the Garden from a new perspective.

Even if you don't actually take a ride, there are few better ways to spend a sunny afternoon in Boston than by sitting on a bench surrounded by greenery and watching these harbingers of springtime lazily drift by. However, if you are visiting Boston in the spring or summer for the first time, one ride on these boats will help you appreciate the rich history of Boston and the beauty of the day.

Attraction Information

  • Hours:
  • The Boats run from April through September
  • April through June 20th: 10am to 4pm daily
  • June 21st through Labor Day: 10am to 5pm daily
  • After Labor Day: 12pm to 4pm on weekdays, 10am to 4pm on weekends
  • Admission:
  • Adults: $2.75, Children Ages 2-15: $1.50, Seniors: $2
  • (No reservations are needed, but lines can get long in the summer)
  • Metro Stop:
  • Swan Boats are located about a four-minute walk from the Arlington "T" station
  • Contact:
  • Location: Located in the Boston Public Garden, Boston MA
  • Phone: 617-522-1966
  • Website:
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