The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts that passes by 16 significant locations to the history of the United States.
Marked largely with brick, it winds between Boston Common to the USS Constitution in Charlestown. Stops along the trail include simple explanatory ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and buildings, and a historic naval frigate.
While most of the sites are free or suggested donations, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House charge admission.
Following are some of the must visit places on the trail. Check out the map at the end of the post for your reference to The Freedom Trail self guided tour
Boston Common and State House
The Freedom Trail begins at Boston Common where cattle once grazed and British soldiers camped. Puritan settlers established the Common in 1634, making it the nation’s oldest public park.
Old State House
Built in 1713, it was the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798, and is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States. One of the landmarks on Boston’s Freedom Trail, it is the oldest surviving public building in Boston, and now serves as a history museum operated by the Bostonian Society.
Old North Church
Built in 1723, Christ Church is better known as Old North. Boston’s oldest church building, it remains an active Episcopal Church.
Near to the Old North Church, there is a small memorial with tags representing the fallen soldiers on the wars of Irak and Afghanistan.
Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood, the North End, includes the Paul Revere House, downtown Boston’s oldest residence, built in 1680. If you don’t know, Paul Revere was an American silversmith, engraver, early industrialist, and a patriot in the American Revolution. He is best known for alerting the Colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, as dramatized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride”.
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
From this spot British soldiers bombarded Breed’s Hill with cannon fire on June 17, 1775. Robert Newman, black educator Prince Hall and blacks and mulattos who worked in North End shipyards are buried in these grounds dating to 1660.
Charlestown Navy Yard/USS Constitution
After the revolution, citizens proved their willingness to defend their newfound freedom and economic independence by developing and supporting a navy. From 1800 to 1974, Charlestown Navy Yard built, repaired and outfitted US Naval vessels. Today the yard is home to the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, and the USS Constitution Museum.
While I was doing a tour inside USS Constitution, the staff mentioned that there won’t be any longer any tours inside the ship since there will be repairs happening on it and after the repairs work has been completed.
Bunker Hill Monument
Dedicated in 1843, this 221-foot obelisk commemorates the Revolution’s first major battle. You are able to climb the monument’s 294 steps visiting the museum that it is across the street (free admission) and asking for a pass for the long climb. The museum has exhibits about the community, monument and battle.
Travel & Photograph Tips
- Visit the museum at Bunker Hill so you can get free passes to climb the 294 steps inside the monument.
- The USS Constitution museum has a lot of interactive activities that you will enjoy.