L Street Tavern in South Boston, where Good Will Hunting was filmed

In the footsteps of movie stars: Boston TV & Movie Sites On Location Tour with Javier

The top requirement for the Boston TV & Movie Sites On Location Tour guides states: “must be working actors or actresses [… ] with television and film experience. Stand-up comedy, singing and improv experience is a plus.”

That is correct. The tour that takes you all around Boston, to places the other tours won’t take you, such as Southie (South Boston) and Charleston, is not just a tour, it’s a one-man show, and a very entertaining one at that.

I was impressed at how our tour guide, Javier, could talk nearly non stop for the whole tour, while at the same time operating the buttons of a DVD player remote to cue in relevant movie clips, just at the right moment.

As you tour the locations with Boston TV & Movie Sites Tour you also get to watch clips from movies shot at the locations you are passing by
As you tour the locations with Boston TV & Movie Sites Tour you also get to watch clips from movies shot at the locations you are passing by

There were times when Javier joked with us, making everyone on the bus shake with laughter. At other times he thundered and gestured wildly to make his point (about how indignant he was that some movies shot on locations in New York City pretended to be happening in Boston.)

That said, since Boston was the location not only for the famous Good Will Hunting, but also The Town, The Departed, The Heat, Boston Legal, Mystic River, Ted, Field of Dreams, and many, many other movies, there were plenty of sites to visit on this On Location Tour.

We started off with a slow drive around the Public Garden and Boston Common, and drove past the Boston Athenaeum, which sometimes pretends to be Harvard University (since the university rarely grants permission to film on site).

Next, we went down the Commonwealth Avenue and saw the Big Green Monster (the Fenway Park) “starring” among others in Field of Dreams, Blown Away, and Ted.

Fenway Park, the Big Green Monster, home of the Boston Red Sox
Fenway Park, the Big Green Monster, home of the Boston Red Sox

Then, while we were watching clips of Ted climbing the lights tower (in Ted) and Ray Kinsella having an epiphany while watching a Red Sox game (in Field of Dreams), the driver got us back up town, to the Copley Square with the John Hancock Tower, Trinity Church, and Copley Plaza Hotel, where Suite Life of Zach and Cody, Blown Away, and The Serpent and the Rainbow were shot.

Trinity Church in the Copley Square, with the Hancock Tower behind
Trinity Church in the Copley Square, with the Hancock Tower behind

And then we went to Southie.

Now, Southie, or South Boston to outsiders, is a place where few if any tours go. While the area is undergoing rapid gentrification, a few decades ago it was a working class Irish neighborhood, where you didn’t go unless you lived there, since that was a James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s territory.

But Southie is also the location of the L Street Tavern, a real bar where many scenes in Good Will Hunting were shot, and we got to stop there for a drink and sit around the tables where Robin Williams, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck sat.

Ron, the bartender at the L Street Tavern
Ron, the bartender at the L Street Tavern

L Street Tavern is located at 685 E. 8th Street on the corner of 8th Street and L Street. If you’d like to check it out yourself, per “Famous Movie Locations: Woody’s L Street Tavern in ‘Good Will Hunting’ (Boston)” article in Movie|Fone you need to “take the Red Line to Andrew Station and walk down Dorchester Street to E. 8th Street. Walk past G Street and H Street to L Street.”

My fellow WITS15 blogger, Just Go Places, wrote a whole post on the L Street Tavern, and posted a lot of photos from the inside – “The L Street Tavern Has The Luck of the Irish.” Go check it out!

The L Street Tavern was fun but it wasn’t the end of the tour!

We headed for Charlestown next, which does get visited by some tourists because of the Bunker Hill Monument.

The area has been gentrified beyond recognition in some sections, but still retains the urban, neighborhood feel in some parts that worked as just the right location for The Town, Celtic Pride, and others.

The last stop of the tour was, of course, the famous bar, “where everybody knows your name” aka Cheers. You simply can’t do an On Location Tour without stopping at Cheers.

You can't do an On Location tour in Boston without stopping at Cheers
You can’t do an On Location tour in Boston without stopping at Cheers

Now, I do need to disclose that my Boston TV & Movie Sites On Location Tour was offered free of charge by the company to participants of the Women in Travel Summit that I attended.

However, as I said, this tour is not just a tour, it’s also a show, and $39 + $2 ticket fee seems like a pretty good deal for a two-hour show.

And if you don’t believe me, the famous Kate from Adventurous Kate loved this tour as well! Check out her post “Boston Movie Tours, or, THE BACK OF MATT DAMON’S HEAD.”

Javier and On Location Tours – thank you for a very entertaining morning!

And Javier – I do wish you all the best in your career! I’m looking forward to the day, when watching you on a TV or movie screen, starring in a blockbuster, I’ll be able to say “I once went on a tour of Boston with that guy! And he was just as awesome back then!”

Javier, our Boston TV & Movie Sites Tour Guide
Javier, our Boston TV & Movie Sites Tour Guide

Buying the tickets for On Location Tours

To purchase tickets for the tour, go to the Boston TV & Movie Sites On Location Tour page.

Where To Stay in Boston

Since we are local to the area, I can’t really recommend a specific place to stay, since we usually come into the city for just a few hours and then go home for the night. But be assured, there are PLENTY of choices – TAKE YOUR PICK!

Women in Travel Summit

The weekend-long Women in Travel Summit was organized by Beth Santos, creator of the Go Girl Travel Network, and was an amazing experience as well.

The 2016 WITS will be held in Irvine, CA. For updates on the upcoming WITS, follow Women in Travel Summit on Twitter.

Shout Out to #WeekendWanderlust and #TheWeeklyPostcard

#WeekendWanderlust, hosted by Chris & Heather (A Brit and a Southerner), Carmen (Carmen’s Luxury Travels), Jessi & Tara (Outbound Adventurer), Ashley (A Southern Gypsy) and Lauren (Justin Plus Lauren), is a collaborative effort to share travel blog posts, and to discuss all travel-related things!

#WeekendWanderlust logo
#WeekendWanderlust logo

#TheWeeklyPostcard, hosted by Travel Notes and Beyond, A Hole in My Shoe, As We Saw It, and Selim Family Raasta, is another place where travel bloggers can share their most recent posts, and read other travelers’ stories.

Travel Notes & Beyond

 

You can read a lot of interesting stories from all over the world on those blogs!

8 thoughts on “In the footsteps of movie stars: Boston TV & Movie Sites On Location Tour with Javier”

  1. Isn’t it amazing how some people can talk almost non-stop and still have something informative to say, or entertaining? I think I would have enjoyed this tour. I’ve been in Boston several years ago, but was not aware about it. I find it very fascinating to see some movie locations after you’ve watched the movie. Every time I go down to San Diego and see the iconic Coronado Hotel, I remember the movie “Some Like it Hot,” an old comedy with Tony Curtis and Lemmon.
    Anda recently posted…Why I Love Skiing in UtahMy Profile

  2. I love TV and movie tours! We did a good one in NYC several years ago – and it was a lot of fun. An entertaining guide makes all the difference. And the reverse of that is that I love watching movies or TV shows that are set in places I have been – I’m always looking over the characters shoulders to the sights in the background that I recognize.
    Fairlie recently posted…365 docobites…a year of strangersMy Profile

  3. I honestly didn’t realise that Boston was used for so much and the fact that Harvard University doesn’t like filming is definitely completely new to me. An interesting read! :)

  4. Hi Jolanta, this tour sounds so so much fun!! I didn’t know that they offer this tour in Boston. Now that you have mention them all, I didn’t realize that much movie and shows were based in Boston. I’ve been to the “Cheers” bar a long time ago, but nothing else. Thanks for the info. Will keep it in mind next time I’m in Boston.

  5. You hit so many of the fun places in Boston in this post! I lived in Rhode Island and New Hampshire for most of my life, so I’ve been to Boston many times. I still love it and try to get there when I’m back in New England visiting family and friends. Sounds like this tour was a blast! What a difference a great guide can make!
    Patti Morrow recently posted…50 Best Travel Quotes EverMy Profile

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