The Freedom Trail

Boston’s fascinating and unique walk winds its way through the city and introduces you to the birthplace of the American Revolution.

Follow the course of the birth of the United States on Boston’s Freedom Trail. This innovative walking tour connects 16 important spots around Boston to create a 2.5-mile-long trail that’s used by more than 40,000 people a year.

The Freedom Trail makes its way from Boston Common (America’s oldest public park) to Bunker Hill Monument (which marks the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War in 1775), via the pretty city center and Charlestown Bridge. Along the route you’ll learn how the revolution started and stop by historical sites including churches, burial sites, and museums.

The trail will take you past Paul Revere’s house. Built in 1680, it’s the oldest building in downtown Boston and is now a museum. Step inside and experience what 17th-century Boston was like for the famous messenger. Another site on the trail is the Old Corner Bookstore, the oldest commercial building in town and once the heart of Boston’s literary scene. In the 18th century the city was known for publishing some of America’s most famous authors, including Louisa May Alcott (Little Women), and Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin).

Another must-do on the Freedom Trail is the USS Constitution. The famous wooden frigate, made from layers of oak and copper fastenings, fought off the British and earned itself the nickname “Old Ironsides.” While it’s berthed in the Charlestown Navy Yard, it is still a commissioned naval ship with a functioning crew. The on-shore museum explains what life would have been like on the high seas chasing pirates in the 18th century.

You can explore the Freedom Trail in either direction on your own, or there are guided tours several times a day, complete with actors dressed in 18th-century costumes.

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