Any visit to the Boston area must include a walk along the famous Freedom Trail. Yes, it’s a well-known tourist attraction here, but unlike any other place in the country, you can discover America’s past by walking along this 2.5 mile red brick trail that intersects many different historical American Revolutionary history sites. There is such a connection to history in this part of the country, just walking the old Freedom Trail plugs you into it and takes you back in time as you walk past the sites we’ve all read about in our history books.
You can do the walk yourself or for $6 to $12 join the Walk Into History Public Tour by the Freedom Trail Foundation, which is led by a costumed guide. The 90-minute tour, which mixes humor and history, departs from the Boston Commons Visitor Info Center end at Faneuil Hall. There are several tours offered, including a North End tour from Faneuil Hall that covers the Boston Harbor, the North End, which includes Paul Revere’s House, Copps Hill Burying Ground and ends at the old North Church.
Historical sites along the Freedom Trail:
Boston Common: Established in 1634, this almost 50 acre-park is the oldest park in the country and a nice bit of greenery in the middle of Boston. One popular thing to do is to take a ride on the Swan Boats in the Public Garden Lagoon, which has been operating for 130 years.
Park Street Church: Was known as “Brimstone Corner.”
Granary Burying Ground: This is an interesting place to stop by and walk through for a few minutes. It’s next to Park Street Church. It’s the final resting ground of Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin’s parents, John Hancock, Samuel Adams (who had the victims of the Boston Massacre interred here, including Crispus Attucks), and Robert Treat Paine. Paine, Hancock and Adams are three of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Other stops: King’s Chapel, King’s Chapel Burying Ground, the Boston Latin School (oldest public school in the country), Old Corner Book Store, Old South Meeting House, Old State Meeting House, Site of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House (a must-see!), the Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Bunker Hill Monument, USS Constitution (Old Ironsides during War of 1812).