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Boston's Gilded Age

Learn about Boston's upper-class during the late 19th century - their favorite haunts and their social activism

Gilded Age photo

Tour Description

During the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century, Boston's Back Bay was alive with social clubs and thriving cultural institutions. On this tour we will explore the favorite haunts of Boston's upper-class, often known as "Boston Brahmins." Though "Brahmins" had a reputation for being exclusive and elitist, many of these men and women were active in making our city — and the whole nation — a better place to live. They fought to abolish slavery and to recognize women’s rights, and they built libraries, colleges, museums and orchestras. Though this elite generation of wealthy activists was often philanthropic, on this tour we’ll also discuss their limitations and shortcomings.

2024 Member Add-Ons:

Register for the tour on select dates using your membership code for a free tour Add-On option available to members

- Sunday, July 7: Add on a guided discussion after the tour to learn even more about Boston Brahmins
- Sunday, October 6: Add on a guided discussion after the tour to learn even more about Boston Brahmins

Become a Boston By Foot member today to enjoy free tours and special members events and activities.

Tour Information

tour duration

90 minutes

tour distance

1.1 miles

tour terrain level 1

mostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines

Public Tour Calendar

Private Tours

This tour can be scheduled as a private tour with advance notice. Call 617.367.2345 or use our private tour webform to learn more.

Starting Location

Meet your guide at the corner of Arlington and Boylston Streets, in front of Arlington Street Church.

Nearest Accessible MBTA Station: Arlington (Green Line)

Ending Location

This tour ends in the general area of the Phillips Brooks statue, outside Trinity Church.

Nearest Accessible MBTA Station: Copley (Green Line)

Trip Advisor Travellor's Choice Awards Winner 2024