Boston’s historic Freedom Trail (99 Chauncy St #401, Boston MA) is more than just a charming way to brush up on your U.S. history. This 2.5-mile walk from Boston Common to the USS Constitution in Charlestown is a chance to put down the smartphone, take stock, and be part of your surroundings. It puts you in history.
It’s certainly a shame that we don’t see more of this tourism/history concept — literally making a beautiful narrow brick path that connects local historic sites. In this case, there are 16 sites to behold, each with its won story that helps shed light on the American Revolution.
The Freedom Trail was established in 1951 by local journalist William Schofield. Its legacy is now protected by the hands of Boston’s Freedom Trail Foundation, which describes the famous path in this way:
“…a 2.5-mile, brick-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites — each one an authentic treasure. Explore museums and meetinghouses, churches, and burying grounds. Learn about the brave people who shaped our nation. Discover the rich history of the American Revolution, as it began in Boston, where every step tells a story.”
The Black Heritage Trail crosses the Freedom Trail between Massachusetts State House and ParkStreetChurch.
The Foundation allows visitors to download audio tours from its website. You get two hours of narrative for just $15, so it’s a pretty good deal.
There are simply tonnes of options for Freedom Trail tours. There are historical-themed pub crawls and tours with historical characters in costume, you name it.
A sample of some tour options:
On the official Freedom Trail tours, famous patriots such as James Otis, Abigail Adams, and William Dawes will walk alongside you sharing fascinating anecdotes about the drama of the American Revolution.
One of my favourite stops on the Freedom rail is the oldest cemetery in Boston. Founded in 1630, it’s the final resting place of John Winthrop, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s father, and Mary Chilton, the first European woman to come to New England.