Whether you’re visiting a city for the first time or want to explore more of your hometown, the GO City Card is an easy way to save a lot of money while visiting top attractions. Here’s what I experienced when I recently tried out the GO Boston Card, and here’s your chance to win two passes for yourself!
About the GO City Card
There are a variety of single day and multi-day passes available for the following cities:
I chose to try the GO Boston Card 3-Choice Explorer Pass, and here’s what I discovered:
- The passes save you a LOT of money. The GO Boston Card 3-Choice Explorer Pass costs $69 for adults ($45 for kids), and the three attractions I visited would have cost me $95, so I saved $26.
- The passes are easy to use. You can show your pass on your smartphone to get your ticket at each attraction (There’s a GO City Card app you can download; I just took a photo of my pass).
- The passes are flexible. The Explorer Pass is valid for 30 days, so I was able spread out my visits to the attractions.
I had my choice of 19 local attractions with the 3-Choice Explorer Pass. I had two goals: 1) to do things I’ve never seen or done before – even though I’ve lived in Boston for close to eight years! – and get the biggest “bang for my buck” (i.e., visit the priciest attractions to save the most money). Here’s what I did:
Here I am on our duck boat, named the Commonwealth Curley. Only the kids got to try driving it. Oh well!
My friends Kristin and Fiona also had passes, so we chose a sunny Saturday in September to act like tourists in our own city. We started with a Duck Tour, which are incredibly popular for visitors to Boston, especially those traveling with children. Since I have to dodge multiple duck boats on a daily basis on my way to and from work, I was glad to finally take a tour myself and see what all the fuss is about.
We tried to board a tour leaving from near the New England Aquarium, but it was already sold out by the time we arrived (Our bad – we only arrived a few minutes in advance). However, there was plenty of availability at both the Museum of Science and Prudential locations, so we hopped in a cab to the Museum of Science, and we were able to get on the next tour there (our boat wasn’t even full).
a view from our duck boat over Boston Common to Park Street Church
The tours are usually 90 minutes, but ours took a little longer because some streets were blocked off for a bike race, so we had to take a different route. All-in-all it was a fun experience. The “ConDUCKtor” (get it?) was a real-live Salem witch named Sarah B. Goodwitch, and needless to say, she was entertaining. I learned a few facts about my city, and I got to soak in some lovely views on both land and sea (We also got a contact high thanks to Hempfest, a pro-marijuana festival which was taking place that day on Boston Common.)
Note about the Duck Tours: If you want to guarantee your departure time and place, you can pay online or over the phone for tickets and then get a reimbursement at the ticket booth after you show your pass.
setting sail on our sunset cruise
Since you don’t spend much time out on the water on a Duck Tour, we thought the sunset cruise by Boston Harbor Cruises would be a nice complement. And since it was the last weekend the cruise was available – they only operate mid-May through mid-September – we thought it would be the perfect way to end a summer in Boston.
Because the Duck Tour finished later than expected, there was already a long line at Long Wharf when we arrived for the 6 p.m. cruise, but we still were able to secure some seats on the top deck (the left side is supposed to be better – we were on the right). Most people weren’t seated for long; however, preferring to move around to find the best views and get the best shots of the Harbor.
the Charlestown waterfront and Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge at sunset
There is also a bar on board, so we were able to relax with a beer as we passed the Waterfront and Castle Island, then watched the sun set behind the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge. In all my years living in Boston, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a stunning sunset – deep yellows and oranges turned into brilliant pinks and purples just as the USS Constitution fired its end-of-day cannon salute. It definitely a memorable experience.
The New England Aquarium gets 1.3 million visitors each year. I’m glad to finally say I was one of them!
New England Aquarium
Visiting three attractions in one day is a little much for a local, so I decided to visit my third attraction a few weeks later. And since the New England Aquarium has the reputation of being a zoo (no pun intended) on weekends, I skipped out of work early and went on a Friday afternoon (Because I arrived at 3:30 p.m., and the Aquarium closes at 5 p.m., they said I could come back the following Saturday or Sunday).
It wasn’t crowded at all, so I got to stroll around at a leisurely pace watching the otters frolic, the penguins eat their dinner, and Myrtle the Turtle take a nap in the four-story Giant Ocean tank, which contains an impressive replica of a Caribbean coral reef. I also learned a lot about what species of fish live in various ecosystems along with the tremendous conservation efforts the aquarium leads in the U.S. and around the world.
With my ticket, I got $1 off a ticket to Simons IMAX Theatre, so I treated myself to a showing of Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland, which was fascinating (I don’t think I’ve seen an IMAX movie since I was in elementary school!).
I got a pretty good shot of Myrtle before she decided to take a nap.
Enter to win two GO City Cards!
Enter below for a chance to win TWO of the following passes for any of the 13 cities listed above:
- 2-Day All-Inclusive Pass
- 3- or 4-Choice Explorer Pass
The last day to enter is Sunday, October 30. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks to Smart Destinations for providing me with a GO Boston Card. As always, my opinions are my own.