This post is written in partnership with Smart Destinations and contains affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will make a commission on the sale. All opinions are my own.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel within the U.S. and outside of the U.S., but there are still several cities and states that I haven’t visited yet. I find inspiration on places to visit by talking to family and friends, researching online, browsing on social media and by reading about destinations in magazines and books. One of my favorite things to do each year is to create a list of cities that I want to visit. Since getting married, I’ve included my husband in this yearly ritual and we work together to figure out which destinations we want to visit together.
Instead of giving each other gifts for our anniversary each year, my husband and I opt to take vacations or go on trips with one another. We’re the type of people that would rather spend money on experiences than material things. Last year we went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for our anniversary trip and this year we decided to go to Boston. My husband’s whole family is from New England, but both of us had never been to Boston so it was the perfect place for us to explore with each other.
We booked our travel plans back in February, so over the last few months we were busy planning our trip and deciding all the things we wanted to see and do. We knew that we wanted to see all the historical sites and check out all of the cool neighborhoods in Boston during our long weekend in the city. As our planning got underway, I stumbled upon the Go Boston Card and I was intrigued right away.
Here’s how it works:
GO City Cards provide admission to multiple attractions for one low price. You don’t pay anything at the gate/ticket window. All you do is show your pass, get it scanned and then enter the attraction. You can choose from a variety of passes/packages. They range from “All-Inclusive” passes, to “Explorer” and “Build Your Own” passes. The all-inclusive pass allows you to choose from tons of different attractions and time frames. For example, if you were to visit Boston, you could choose a 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7-day pass. For the Explorer pass, you can visit 3, 4 or 5 different attractions for one low price. If you already know which attractions you want to visit, you can build your own pass and save 20% when you add 2 or more attractions to your pass.
Now that you have some background on how GO City Cards work, let’s dive into the pros and cons of these passes. These, of course, are my own opinions so keep this in mind when deciding if the GO City Card is right for you and your travel needs.
Easy to use: You can either print out your GO City Card, or you can keep it on your mobile device. We chose to keep ours on our phones and it was great. As my husband and I walked around Boston and approached different attractions, all we had to do was show our Go Boston Card at the ticket window and we were admitted entrance right away.
Affordable: If you were to visit various attractions in Boston individually, you would pay more. I priced out all the attractions that we visited to determine what we would have had to pay if we didn’t have the Go Boston Card. Here’s the breakdown/ticket prices for one person:
- Freedom Trail Walking Tour: $14.00
- Old South Meeting House: $6.00
- Old State House: $10.00
- Paul Revere House: $5.00
- New England Aquarium: $27.95
- Museum of Science: $25.00
- Fenway Park Tour: $20.00
- Sam Adams Brewery Tour: Admission is free
- Total for all attractions listed above: $107.95
- Cost for 2-day Go Boston Card: $81.00
*As an FYI, all of these prices are listed on the GO City Card website, so as you decide which attractions to visit, you can refer to the gate prices shown for each attraction and determine for yourself how great the value of the GO City Card really is.
Saves time: One of the best things about the GO City Card is the amount of time you save since you already have tickets that are pre-purchased. You don’t have to fumble around for your wallet or wait in long lines just to get a ticket to gain entry to an attraction. Instead, you just show your GO City Card, get it scanned and enjoy the attraction. For some places, you may have to pick up tickets at a will-call window, but lines for will-call are typically much shorter than lines you’d have to wait in to buy tickets for general admission. When my husband and I went to the New England Aquarium in Boston, we just walked to the will-call line, approached the window and were handed two tickets. The line for everyone else that wanted to purchase tickets was extremely long and people waited over an hour in the hot sun just to reach the ticket window. Thanks for our Go Boston Card, our total wait time was about 5 minutes. I’d much rather wait 5 minutes versus an hour, especially when there are other sites and attractions that I want to take advantage of when I’m visiting a new city.
Covers a variety of attractions, time frames and areas: GO City Cards offer something for everyone. There are all sorts of different attractions listed for each city, including kid-friendly activities and museums, historical sites, zoos and aquariums, behind-the-scenes tours, tickets to sporting events and amusement parks and more! GO City Cards offer flexible options when it comes to passes, so you can pick and choose which type would be best for you and your travel needs. If you’re spending an extended period of time in a city, you could opt for a 7-day pass, or if you’re only spending a few days in a city, you could purchase a 1, 2 or 3-day pass. I was really surprised (and happy) to see that the Go Boston Card offered access to a lot of attractions that were outside of downtown Boston. If we wanted to, we could have visited the Salem Witch Museum, gone to Six Flags New England or gone on a Cape Cod Canal Cruise.
Risk free guarantee: With every GO City Card, there is a Risk-Free Guarantee, meaning that you have 30 days from your purchase date to return any non-activated pass to receive a full refund. This is a great benefit/perk since plans change sometimes. If you can't use your pass due to unforeseen circumstances, you won't be stuck with it and you can simply get your money back.
We wish our passes lasted longer: My husband and I had the 2-day Go Boston Card, but we wish that we would have had passes that lasted 3 days. We arrived to Boston at 7:30am on a Friday morning and left at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. We didn’t want to rush through things and have nothing to do on Sunday, so we made sure to pace ourselves during our visit. Although we were able to fit in a lot of activities on Friday and Saturday, we had to pay out of pocket for any remaining activities that we wanted to do on Sunday as our Go Boston Card had expired. This could have been avoided if we had a 3-day pass, but now we know for next time!
The 1-Day and 2-Day passes don’t cover premium attractions: If you want to visit premium attractions that are listed on the GO City Card website, you’ll have to purchase a pass that covers 3-7 days. In Boston, the premium attractions include the Boston Duck Tour, Boston Red Sox tickets and the New England Aquarium Whale Watch (my husband and I really wanted to do this during our trip but we couldn’t). Although three premium attractions are offered with the Boston City Card, you can only choose one of them to experience.
Overall, my husband and I had a terrific experience with our Boston City Cards and they helped us to make the most of our trip. Without them, we would have had to pay a lot more money to visit the attractions we wanted and we would have had to wait in long lines to purchase tickets (which would have been terrible considering how hot it was outside when we visited Boston). I would definitely recommend the GO City Card to family, friends and all of my blog readers.
You can purchase GO City Cards to use in any of the following destinations:
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Washington D.C.
My husband and I are currently planning a weekend getaway to New York this fall, so we’re considering getting GO City Cards for that trip. I’ve done a little bit of research and found that GO City Card offers access to 80+ attractions in New York, so I’m sure it would be worth purchasing a New York City Explorer Pass or building our own passes with specific attractions that we want to visit.
Like I mentioned previously, our Boston trip wouldn’t have been the same if we didn’t have our Go Boston Card, so now I can’t imagine traveling to any of the destinations above without a GO City Card. I’ve seen firsthand the value that these cards provide and I think they’re well worth the time and money that you save.