This classic Federalist building was designed by Charles Bulfinch and named for the home's first resident—Boston politician and lawyer—Harrison Gray Otis. There are actually three Harris Gray Otis homes in Boston. This one is the first. It remains a standout because of its restored interior, including colorful wallpaper, period furniture, and its Palladian window.
You can purchase same-day admission and explore the home on the included guided tour, which typically runs for about 45 minutes. Pair a visit with a stop at the domed Massachusetts State House, stop by the Museum of African American History, and enjoy a stroll through nearby Boston Common.
Things to know before you go
- Fans of antiquities shouldn't miss the robust collection of decorative arts, including porcelain, furniture, and needlework.
- Though Otis House is home to the New England Library and Archives, you need to contact researchers in advance to explore the collection.
- Kids and seniors enjoy discounted entry; GoBoston Pass cardholders are admitted free of charge.
- The first-floor of the home is wheelchair-accessible via a portable ramp, but the upper floors are not.
How to get there
The most convenient way to reach this West End destination is to take public transit, since street parking is limited, and paid garages are typically pricey. You can walk from Government Center or North Station, though the closest MBTA stop—Bowdoin Station—is closed on weekends. Find the Otis House entrance on Lynde Street.
When to get there
This seasonal historic sight is typically open from April through November on select days of the week. During opening hours, tours of the house run regularly throughout the day. Since this home is a gateway to Beacon Hill—one of the more charming Boston neighborhoods—plan to leave enough time to explore the area on foot, before or after your visit.
What to See in Beacon Hill
This picturesque corner of Boston is tucked into the downtown area, and offers easy access to several notable attractions. Guided tours of both the Freedom Trail and Black Heritage Trail are ideal for history fanatics—and typically include stops in Beacon Hill—while independent travelers can head to Charles Street. This charming stretch is busy with shops and restaurants, and offers great views of the neighborhood's stately homes.
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