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Signature City Boston: City Upon A Hill

Program Number: 18129RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/18/2012 - 10/23/2012; 5/21/2015 - 5/26/2015; 6/11/2015 - 6/16/2015; 9/3/2015 - 9/8/2015; 12/3/2015 - 12/8/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Price starting at: $1,266.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Since John Winthrop’s 1630 sermon, proclaiming Boston as the city upon which the “eyes of the people” would be trained, this New England beacon of equality and democracy has delivered on his high expectations. Wind through this historic city on the Freedom Trail, tracing the steps and stories of the American Revolution and eventual autonomy to Faneuil Hall. Learn about more recent history that identifies the city at the John F. Kennedy Museum and revel in the arts, visiting cultural treasures, and attending the Museum of Fine Arts that holds pieces of work reflecting Boston’s most notable residents, events and world-recognized character.


• Behind the scenes of Boston’s Symphony Hall, converse with a member of the Orchestra and enjoy an evening concert.
• Take a study cruise on the Charles River Locks and explore Boston harbor, waterways that define this city’s history.
• Discover the artistic masterpieces on display with a docent at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum and the Museum of Fine Art.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day, some uneven surfaces. Must be able to climb stairs as there is extensive use of public transportation for field trips.

Public transportation used on this program.

Date Specific Information


This date includes a city overview by trolley in place of harbor study cruise.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.


Home to many of America’s “firsts” — subway, park, public library — Boston is the oldest American metropolis with a dazzling array of historical lessons at every turn. From harbor to hillside, street to storefront, Boston offers history at its finest.

Downtown accommodations, steps away from the Boston Common, Freedom Trail and Beacon Hill.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Sheldon Stern

Dr. Sheldon Stern taught U.S. history at the college level for more than a decade before becoming historian at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Mass. He was the first non-member of the ExComm, and the first professional historian, to listen to all the secret White House tape recordings made during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. His new book, “The Cuban Missile Crisis in American Memory: Myths versus Reality,” marks the event’s 50th anniversary and will be published in September 2012.
Jeannette Fullerton

Born and educated in the United Kingdom, Jeannette Fullerton holds a B.Sc. from London University, a M.Ed. from Boston University and a Certificate of Museum Studies from Tufts University. She attended the Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study and was Coordinator for Public Education at the Harvard University Art Museums for eight years. Jeanette has also worked as a docent at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Mass., and a Doric Dame at the Massachusetts State House.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hyatt Regency Boston
  Boston 5 nights
 Hyatt Regency Boston
Type: Hotel
  Description: Experience the excitement of the city at Hyatt Regency Boston. Just one block from the Boston Common and within walking distance of attractions, shopping and theaters, our downtown Boston hotel is ideal for leisure or business. Tour the Freedom Trail, shop at Faneuil Hall, visit museums, or catch a game at Fenway Park. Delight in this newly renovated Boston Commons hotel – just steps from Chinatown and connected to the T. Rejuvenate your body and spirit in our spa, sauna, Eucalyptus steam room, pool, sun terrace and lounge. The first Boston member of the Green Hotels Association, our award-winning accommodations are eco-, family- and pet-friendly. Contemporary-style rooms, delicious dining and more await you at this luxurious Hyatt hotel in downtown Boston.
  Contact info: One Avenue de Lafayette
Boston,, MA 02111 USA
phone: 617-912-1234
  Room amenities: Hairdryer 24 hour in-room dining Minibar Cable / satellite TV channels Dual-line telephones with data ports iHome stereo with iPod® docking station Voicemail Full Portico bath with Aquafresh® Extreme Clean® Toothpaste amenities Concierge during regular hours Crib upon request Enhanced work desk lighting Iron / ironing board Coffee maker with complimentary coffee and tea 25" or larger TV Video on demand Nintendo 64 Speakerphone Wi-Fi Internet access
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: depending on availibility Please contact the Hyatt in-house reservations manager at 617 422 5407. The in-house reservations department is open 8:30am -5:00pm EST M-F. Please relay the Road Scholar code: CR75907. Depending on availibility, a special rate may be available for Road Scholar participants.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: depending on availibility Please contact the Hyatt in-house reservations manager at 617 422 5407. The in-house reservations department is open 8:30am -5:00pm EST M-F. Please relay the Road Scholar code: CR75907. Depending on availibility, a special rate may be available for Road Scholar participants.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 PM You will be staying at Hyatt Regency Boston that night.
  End of Program:
12:00 PM You will be staying at Hyatt Regency Boston the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available for a fee at the Icon Parking Garage located at 1 Devonshire Place, about two blocks from the hotel. The self-park rate Monday-Friday is $25.00; Saturday and Sunday is $16.00. The valet pickup and delivery is 32.00 per 24 hour period
To Start of Program
  Location:  Boston
  Nearest city or town:  Cambridge, South Boston
  Nearest highway: I-90, 93
  Nearest airport:  Logan International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Boston
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details







Logan International Airport (BOS) is located approximately 3 miles from the Hyatt Regency. You can reach the hotel via taxi ($25 one way) , public transportation, or via an Airport Shuttle which runs daily from 6:30am - 5:30pm (Runs every half hour, Fee applies)








Boston’s South Station Terminal, located about 4 blocks from the Hyatt Regency Boston, offers bus, train, commuter rail, and public transportation service. For more information on Amtrak service at South Station, please visit or call 1-800-872-7245. The cloest subway stop to the Hyatt Regency Boston is the Downtown Crossing “T” Stop on both the Red and Orange line. The stop is on the same block as the hotel and 100 feet from the entrance door. visit for more info.








An alternative to the Blue Line, the Silver Line Bus is a terrific way to get from the airport to South Station.








Taxi service to and from Logan Airport is approximately $25.00. Taxi Service from South Station is $7-10.00

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration/Welcome Dinner/Orientation
(Thursday, October 18)
 Arrive To: HOTEL CHECK-IN AND REGISTRATION between 4:00-5:30 PM.

After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, the up-to-date schedule, and to confirm the time of the orientation session. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: ORIENTATION : We'll review the schedule and any changes; discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures; and answer any questions you may have. You'll also have an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Boston
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lecture on the Life and Presidency of JFK/JFK Library & Museum/Boston Athenaeum/Massachusetts State House
(Friday, October 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Listen to an expert outline the life and presidency of JFK, Boston's local political hero. Then visit the JFK Library and Museum, located on the waterfront, to explore the museum which portrays the life, leadership, and legacy of President Kennedy, conveys his enthusiasm for politics and public service, and illustrates the nature of the office of the President.
 Lunch: Lunch in JFK Library Cafe.
 Afternoon: Venture to Beacon Hill for either a tour of Boston's Athenaeum or the Massachusetts State House. The Boston Athenaem is one of the oldest private libraries in the country, it was founded in 1807 as a library, art repository, natural history museum, and laboratory. After your afternoon tour enjoy free time to explore Boston. You will have the option to visit either place again on the final morning of the program.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in Boston.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Boston
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Trinity Church and Copley Plaza/Behind the Scenes Tour of Symphony Hall/Instrument Demonstration with a Member of the BSO/Evening BSO Concert
(Saturday, October 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Journey to Copley Plaza and step inside Trinity Church and discover why the building is heralded as one of the finest examples of American, ecclesiastical architecture.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Spend the afternoon at Boston's Symphony Hall. First, enjoy a behind the scenes exploration of Symphony Hall. Then enjoy an instrument demonstration by a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Symphony Hall Cafe.
 Evening: Enjoy a BSO evening concert of Debussy, Martin and Rachmaninoff led by acclaimed conductor Charles Dutoit.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Boston
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Charles River Locks & Boston Harbor Cruise/USS Constitution and Charles Town Naval Yard/Explore Boston's Freedom Trail
(Sunday, October 21)

Note: In an effort to ensure the safety of all visitors to USS CONSTITUTION, additional measures have been recently implemented to the ship's security procedures. Visitors ages 18 and over wishing to embark USS CONSTITUTION may be subject to present a valid federal or state-issued photo ID at the ship's security entrance.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a fully narrated cruise through the Charles River Locks, and tour Boston's historic harbor. Learn about Boston's connection to the sea as you journey past the Bunker Hill Monument and Charles town Naval Yard. Visit the USS Constitution before taking a water ferry back to the North End for lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in the North End.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an escorted walk along Boston's Freedom Trail. Visit the Old North Church, Paul Revere's house, the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Granary Burying Ground, the Old South Meeting House, and Boston Common.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Boston
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Boston Art Lecture/Museum of Fine Arts/Isabella Stewart Gardner
(Monday, October 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Listen to a lecture by an expert on many art forms with a focus on the collections at the Gardner Museum and the MFA. Following the lecture, travel to the MFA. Use the knowledge you obtained from the morning's lecture to explore the museum's collections.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the Courtyard Cafe at the MFA.
 Afternoon: Following lunch, travel to the Gardner Museum where you will explore the museum, including it's new wing, and get a walking presentation from an experienced docent. Questions welcome!
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at local restaurant
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Boston
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Boston Athenaeum/Massachusetts State House
(Tuesday, October 23)
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before you check out of your room.
 Morning: Return to Beacon Hill for either a tour of Boston's Athenaeum or the Massachusetts State House. The Massachusetts State House, designed by Charles Bulfinch, the leading architect of his time, is a grand repository of history as well as an architectural treasure.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at a local restaurant. Meal vouchers will be provided.
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel at your leisure to retrieve your luggage.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Boston Greater Boston Visitor's Bureau
For all information on Boston activities and places to visit please check the web site below. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Averting 'The Final Failure': John F. Kennedy and the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis Meetings

Author: Sheldon Stern (speaker)

Description: The Cuban missile crisis was the most dangerous confrontation of the Cold War and the most perilous moment in human history. Sheldon M. Stern, longtime historian at the John F. Kennedy Library, here presents a comprehensive narrative account of the secret ExComm meetings, making the inside story of the missile crisis completely understandable to general readers for the first time. The author's narrative version of these discussions is entirely new; it provides readers with a running commentary on the issues and options discussed and enables them, as never before, to follow specific themes and the role of individual participants. The narrative highlights key moments of stress, doubt, decision, and resolution—and even humor—and makes the meetings comprehensible both to readers who lived through the crisis and to those too young to remember the Cold War. Stern demonstrates that JFK, a seasoned Cold Warrior who bore some of the responsibility for precipitating the crisis, consistently steered policy makers away from an apocalyptic nuclear conflict, which he called, with stark eloquence, "the final failure."

1812: The Navy's War

Author: George C. Daughan

Description: At the outbreak of the War of 1812, America’s prospects looked dismal. It was clear that the primary battlefield would be the open ocean—but America’s war fleet, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British navy of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, the American navy managed to take the fight to the British and turn the tide of the war: on the Great Lakes, in the Atlantic, and even in the eastern Pacific. In 1812: The Navy’s War, prizewinning historian George C. Daughan tells the thrilling story of how a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews overcame spectacular odds to lead the country to victory against the world’s greatest imperial power. A stunning contribution to military and national history, 1812: The Navy’s War is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America’s future.

As If an Enemy's Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution

Author: Richard Archer

Description: In the dramatic period leading to the American Revolution, no event did more to foment patriotic sentiment among colonists than the armed occupation of Boston by British soldiers. As If an Enemy's Country is Richard Archer's gripping narrative of those critical months between October 1, 1768 and the winter of 1770 when Boston was an occupied town. Bringing colonial Boston to life, Archer moves between the governor's mansion and cobble-stoned back-alleys as he traces the origins of the colonists' conflict with Britain. He reveals the maneuvering of colonial political leaders such as Governor Francis Bernard, Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson, and James Otis Jr. as they responded to London's new policies, and he evokes the outrage many Bostonians felt toward Parliament and its local representatives. Equally important, Archer captures the popular mobilization under the leadership of John Hancock and Samuel Adams that met the oppressive imperial measures--most notably the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act--with demonstrations, Liberty Trees, violence, and non-importation agreements. When the British government responded with the decision to garrison Boston with troops, it was a deeply felt affront to the local population. Almost immediately, tempers flared and violent conflicts broke out. Archer's tale culminates in the swirling tragedy of the Boston Massacre and its aftermath, including the trial of the British troops involved--and sets the stage for what was to follow.

The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft

Author: Ulrich Boser

Description: Shortly after midnight on March 18, 1990, two men broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and committed the largest art heist in history. They stole a dozen masterpieces, including one Vermeer, three Rembrandts, and five Degas. But after thousands of leads—and a $5 million reward—none of the paintings have been recovered. Worth as much as $500 million, the missing masterpieces have become one of the nation's most extraordinary unsolved mysteries. After the death of famed art detective Harold Smith, reporter Ulrich Boser decided to take up the case. Exploring Smith's unfinished leads, Boser travels deep into the art underworld and comes across a remarkable cast of characters, including a brilliant rock 'n' roll thief, a gangster who professes his innocence in rhyming verse, and the enigmatic late Boston heiress Isabella Stewart Gardner herself. Boser becomes increasingly obsessed with the case and eventually uncovers startling new evidence about the identities of the thieves. A tale of art and greed, of obsession and loss, The Gardner Heist is as compelling as the stolen masterpieces themselves.

Not at All What One Is Used To: The Life and Times of Isabella Gardner

Author: Marian Janssen

Description: Born in 1915 to one of New England’s elite wealthy families, Isabella Gardner was expected to follow a certain path in life—one that would take her from marriageable debutante to proper society lady. But that plan was derailed when at age eighteen, Isabella caused a drunk-driving accident. Her family, to shield her from disgrace, sent her to Europe for acting studies, not foreseeing how life abroad would fan the romantic longings and artistic impulses that would define the rest of Isabella’s years. In Not at All What One Is Used To, author Marian Janssen tells the story of this passionate, troubled woman, whose career as a poet was in constant compromise with her wayward love life and her impulsive and reckless character. Through interviews with many Gardner intimates and extensive archival research, author Marian Janssen delves deep into the life of a woman whose poetry, according to one friend, “probably saved her sanity.” Much more than a biography, Not at All What One Is Used To is the story of a woman whose tumultuous life was emblematic of the cultural unrest at the height of the twentieth century.

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