A must-see for any Boston visitor (and resident, for that matter), is the Freedom Trail. It is a two-and-a-half mile trip that brings the city’s rich history to life. All along the trail, which is marked with a distinctive red line, you’ll pass by 16 essential landmarks.
The first is Boston Common, the oldest public park in the country. It was established in 1634 but remains the best place in the entire city to stroll, sit, and picnic to this day. Many historic celebrations took place here, including those marking the end of the Revolutionary War and the Stamp Act.
Head to the State House, whose distinctive golden dome is totally Instagram-worthy. Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, the King’s Chapel, and the King’s Chapel Burying Ground follow.
Check out the Boston Latin School. (Ben Franklin is one of its most famous dropouts!) And pick up some reading material at the Old Corner Bookstore. A short walk takes you to the iconic Old South Meeting House, which was initially used as a place of worship for the Puritans. Grab a souvenir at The Old State House. It’s been standing since 1713 and is the site of the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.
On your way to famous Faneuil Hall, you’ll set foot on the grounds of the Boston Massacre, which occurred on March 5, 1770. Today, this meeting hall and marketplace is one of the most popular places to visit in the city, with retailers and restaurants galore. Stick around for the musicians, acrobats, and escape artists that perform throughout the day.
Wander Into the North End (Boston’s Little Italy). Explore Paul Revere’s House, the Old North Church, and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. If you have time, try a delicious cannoli at one of the two rival bakeries in the neighborhood: Mike’s and Modern Pastry.
The trail finishes up in Charlestown, where you’ll get the chance to admire the Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitution — better known as Old Ironsides.
Several guided public walking tours are offered daily, with times and details available on http://www.thefreedomtrail.org. If you choose to go it alone, however, you can also opt for a self-guided audio tour that allows you to explore at your own pace. No matter how you explore the trail, you’ll walk away with a greater understanding and appreciation of Boston’s incredible past.