Boston Freedom Trail
The best way to get to know Boston is to walk the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail. Following the trail is made easy by a red line which marks the trail. There are 16 stops along the way and if you want to stop and see all of these sights you need to give yourself at least three hours. Once you have walked the Freedom Trail you will really feel that you are getting to know this historical and interesting city.
The Starting Point
The best starting point is Boston Common which is America's oldest public park. The 50 acre common was originally a grazing field for the Boston cattle.
Admission to Most of the Sites is Free
The majority of the sites along the trail are free except for the three following sites that charge for admission:
1. The Paul Revere House – this is the oldest surviving building in Boston. It was built in 1680 and Paul Revere, a silversmith, lived there from 1770 to 1800. There is an entrance fee and the house is closed on Mondays in January, February and March.
2. The Old South Meetinghouse – this was the largest building in Colonial Boston and as the name suggests, was the meeting place for the colonists. On December 16, 1773 these colonists got so fed up with the English telling them what to do and the tea tax was the final straw, that they went to the sea and dumped a boatload of tea in it! This is what we now call the Boston Tea Party.
3. The Old State House – today this is museum of Boston history. The building dates from 1713 and was the first headquarters for the British government in Boston.
The stop before the Paul Revere house is Quincy Market. Also known as Faneuil Hall Market this is an alive and colourful place where you can really feel the true Boston experience. You can find almost anything here in the many stalls including food, fruit, clothes, toys and Boston souvenirs.
If You Decide to Walk The Freedom Trail
If you decide to walk the Freedom Trail the information booth for the trail is located on Tremont Street on Boston Common. You can get to Boston Common by subway on the red or green line to Park Street station. You will see the information booth as you exit the station. They will provide you with a map and answer any of your questions. Theoretically you can start the trail at any of the 16 sites but if you want to see all of them it is best to start at Boston Common. The trail is not a loop and the last stop is the Bunker Hill Monument which marked the first official battle of the American Revolution.
If you are interested in a guided tour of the Freedom Trail they are available between mid-April and September. These tours are conducted by National Park Service rangers. Call (617) 242-5642 for details.
The Freedom Trail – The Official Website
BostonHotels.org – Find hotel rooms in Boston