The Freedom Trail

A walk through History

Probably the best place to start when coming on a vacation to Boston. The Freedom Trail offers one of the most popular and acclaimed historical tours in all of New England.

The freedom trail marks a path walked by them for us

Normal walk time with a guide, who is dressed in 18th centuryattire, is about 90 Minutes and takes in allot of the importantbuildings in our countries march to independence. It is a 2.5 mile (4km) from the Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument which is avery popular tourist attraction. Many of the sights along thered-painted line of the Freedom Trail are free of charge so take thetime and linger at a few of the stops. The Freedom Trail begins atthe Boston Common and finishes at the Bunker Hill Monument on theopposite side of the river separating Boston and Charlestown. Inorder of appearance on the Freedom Trail, the 16 sites are:

  • Boston Common: This 40-acre area is the nation's oldest public park. The land was set aside for public use in 1634 (originally as a cow pasture and training ground). Today, the park tends to be full of sun worshipers relaxing and picnicking on the grassy hills during nice weather. The Commons also has a longstanding tradition as a place where demonstrators can exercise their right to freedom of speech without the hassle of getting a permit.

  • New State House: The New State House's golden dome, which is one of the city's most well- known landmarks, marks the political center of Boston. Completed in 1795, the "new" State House was designed by architect Charles Bulfinch, who later planned the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The free tour (which lasts about an hour) is a good way to see the building's rich, luxurious interior.

  • Street Church: This church is best known for its location at "Brimstone Corner" (so named for its use as a gunpowder storage area during the War of 1812) and as the setting of William Lloyd Garrison's first anti-slavery speech.

  • Granary Burying Ground: The first of the three burying grounds on the trail, Granary is notable as the final resting place of John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.

  • King's Chapel and Burying Ground: Famous for its architectural beauty, King's Chapel became the first Unitarian Church in the U.S. after the American Revolution.

  • Site of First Public School/Ben Franklin Statue: This Freedom Trail stop features a statue of Ben Franklin and the site of Franklin's Alma mater: the Boston Latin School (built in 1635).

  • Corner Bookstore: This brick building, where legends like Longfellow, Emerson, Hawthorne and Thoreau gathered, was once the literary center of Boston.

  • Old South Meeting House: Much of the discussion and debate that led to the Boston Tea Party and other events connected to the American Revolution took place in the old South Meeting House.

  • Boston Massacre Site: A simple circle of cobblestones marks the site where five colonists were killed by British soldiers in 1770. The apparent brutality of this incident helped spark the anti-British rage that ultimately led to the American Revolution.

  • Old State House: The original State House, Boston's oldest public building, now operates as a museum of Boston history. Run by The Bostonian Society, it offers half-hour staff presentations along with numerous exhibits. Visitors choosing only one Freedom Trail site to explore should consider the Old State House because it offers a wide range of information on Boston history and culture.

  • Faneuil Hall: The term "Faneuil Hall" is commonly used to refer to the multitude of shops and restaurants in the buildings flanking the central Quincy Market. The lower floor of Faneuil Hall proper is a marketplace, while the second is a meeting hall, and the third holds the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company Museum. Faneuil Hall is often crowded and busy, but it is one of Boston's most famous tourist sports and should not be missed by first-time visitors to Boston.

  • Revere House: Paul Revere owned this house from 1770-1800. He left from it for his famous ride across the colonial countryside in April 1775. The tour of the house (which is currently preserved by the Paul Revere Memorial Association) offers a more "personal" perspective on Revolutionary history.

  • Old North Church: "Old North," Boston's oldest church building, is located in the city's Italian North End. The church played an important part in the American Revolution by acting as a signal (via two lanterns hung in its steeple) of British troop movement.

  • Hill Burying Ground: The last Freedom trail site on the south side of the Charles River, Copp's Burying Ground is the resting place of thousands of merchants, artisans and free blacks. Be sure to check out the chips in the headstones (believed to be the result of redcoat target practice during Colonial times).

  • USS Constitution: Nicknamed "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution, is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. Its final port is in the Charlestown Navy Yard, which is about a one-mile walk from the North End.

  • Bunker Hill Monument: A tall granite obelisk commemorating the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill (which actually took place on Breed's Hill). You can climb this monument's 294 steps for a terrific view of Boston. Note that there is no elevator, so make sure you have enough energy to climb all the way up and down before you start off. During the summer, visitors also can observe free musket firing demonstrations and "battle talks."

    In this little tour is so much to see and do that if you unpacked this whole tour and explored all the stops you could spend a week. The Freedom Trail really is one of the best ways to start any tour of Boston.

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