Walk in the Footsteps of American Revolutionaries on the Freedom Trail in Boston
Boston is probably the best place in the U.S. to explore American revolutionary history, primarily because most of the events took place in and around Massachusetts. The first shots between British troops and American militia were fired at Lexington and Concord, two towns just outside the city, and many of the country's first subversive meetings of government occurred in sly buildings along Boston's cobbled streets.
Today, you can actively participate in this revolutionary history by walking the Freedom Trail, a brick line walking tour through Boston's most famous places, many of which were important sites during the American Revolutionary War. Starting at Boston Common (America's oldest public park) the Freedom Trail winds its way through downtown Boston, passing 16 official sites which make up an interactive, indoor/outdoor museum.
Included along the Boston Freedom Trail walk are some of America's oldest and most beloved Colonial buildings, including the Old South Meeting House where the Boston Tea Party reputedly had its beginnings; and Paul Revere's House, which was the starting point for his momentous ride. The USS Constitution frigate (more fondly known as Old Ironsides from the poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes), is now a museum.
The Freedom Trail crisscrosses through Boston, finally making its way out to Bunker Hill Monument in nearby Charlestown, which commemorates an outpost where American militia were overtaken by British troops.
Walking the Boston Freedom Trail is like perusing an interactive history museum. The feeling of stepping into the same buildings, cemeteries and houses where revolutionaries once fought, gives you a truly impressive sense of what the American Revolution was all about.
When to Go to Freedom Trail
Of course, you don't have to walk the entire course of the Freedom Trail. Most of the 16 Freedom Trail stops are located in and around downtown Boston, as well as the North End, and are walkable in just a few hours. Only the Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitution are across the river in Charlestown.
The best place to start walking the Freedom Trail is at the Visitor Information Center in Boston Common, which is where the red line begins. Simply follow the red line (which at times is painted and at other times is brick) as it winds through the city.
Odds n' Ends
The winding stone streets and inviting redbrick facades of Beantown beg to be explored on foot.
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