You Can Take a Helicopter Tour Tracing Paul Revere’s Ride

Lexington’s Inn at Hastings Park is offering “One If by Land, Two If by Sea, Three If by Helicopter.”

Photograph by Michael Blanchard

As Bostonians, we’re used to history tours. We’ve walked the Freedom Trail, listened to those guides in traditional garb, and seen more cemeteries, churches, and statues than most folks can handle. And then, of course, there’s the helicopters—wait, helicopters?

For those looking to see the city from a new angle (or with an added thrill), the Inn at Hastings Park, a historical boutique hotel in Lexington, is now offering history-themed helicopter rides to their guests. The airborne tour, called “One If by Land, Two If by Sea, Three If by Helicopter,” traces the midnight ride of Paul Revere, who in 1775 warned local militias that the British Redcoats were approaching over the Charles River.

The modern-day experience starts at Hanscom Field, a private airport five minutes away from the inn, and heads into Boston over the waterfront. Both historical and modern landmarks are highlighted: the location of the Boston Tea Party, the Old North Church (where two lanterns were hung on the night of Revere’s ride to signal that the Redcoats were approaching “by sea”), Boston Common, the State House, Fenway Park, Harvard University, and others.

After heading back west toward Lexington, the tour ends over the Inn at Hastings Park and the Battle Green, where the first battle of the American Revolutionary War was fought the morning after Revere’s ride. The trip makes it easy to imagine Revere traveling through the night, first on horse and then on foot, alerting his fellow Patriots before arriving at the green just as the battle began.

Photograph by Michael Blanchard

“I grew up in Lexington, so to see it from the air and really realize the distance that they covered during that weekend when the revolution started is pretty daunting,” says Trisha Pérez Kennealy, owner and general manager of the inn. “It made me appreciate even more what went on that morning.”

Misconceptions about Revere’s midnight ride are common, and historical tours like this one try to amend that. For one, there were actually three riders during the ride (Revere was temporarily captured by the British that night) and people often forget that the Back Bay neighborhood was a watery bay at the time, making Revere’s ride much more lengthy.

For the true history buffs, the inn’s helicopter tour can provide further depth to the story—personalized tours are available through private guides. Plus, a helicopter isn’t the worst place to take in some fall foliage.

“There’s nothing really cookie-cutter in anything we offer here,” explains Melissa Stewart, the inn’s head of marketing. “That’s in part what makes it special.”

The “One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Three If by Helicopter” helicopter tour is available in a package for a one night’s stay at the inn. It includes a trip for two riders and complimentary breakfast. The package starts at $695 and can be purchased here.

Photograph by Michael Blanchard

Photograph by Michael Blanchard

Photograph by Michael Blanchard

Photograph by Michael Blanchard

Photograph by Michael Blanchard