Walking Boston’s iconic Freedom Trail is a must when visiting this city. The 2 1/2 mile path winds throughout downtown, passing 16 locations significant in United States history.
The Freedom Trail is marked with a painted brick red line indicating where to walk. You can pick up a map at the visitor’s center for a self-guided tour. For a more immersive experience, book a guided tour. They run approximately 2 hrs and 30 minutes. You can purchase tickets here: Tickets
The guides are incredibly knowledgable and provide insight into the historic events that took place along the Freedom Trail.
My friend Rachel and I toured the famous route. Certain locations offer a pinch me moment when realizing you’re standing in a spot that shaped American history.
Here are 5 highlights when walking Boston’s Freedom Trail!
Paul Revere’s House
It’s here the American patriot began his midnight ride on April 18, 1775 shouting “the British are coming.” Revere owned the home for 30 years. His family of 16 children – eight with his first wife Sarah, who passed away, and eight with his second wife, Rachel, lived in the modest home.
The house is open daily for self-guided tours.
Illustrated text panels are throughout, as well as staff to answer questions. The “Best Chamber” (master bedroom) was also used as a parlor. It was customary in those days to utilize rooms for many functions. The Hall served as a dining room, workshop and business office. Other rooms on display illustrate how the Revere family lived.
Granary Burying Ground
Dating back to 1660, the historic burying ground along the Freedom Trail has 2,345 grave markers. Notable men including three signers of the Declaration of Independence —Samual Adams, John Hancock, and Robert Treat Paine — are laid to rest here.
A 25-foot obelisk serves as the resting place for Benjamin Franklin’s parents. He is buried in Philadelphia.
Through the years numerous landscape projects took place adding pedestrian walkways for visitors to stroll among the gravestones, planting large shade trees, and arranging the grave markers haphazard configuration into straighter rows. The gates are open daily from 9AM – 4PM.
Site of the Boston Massacre
The Boston massacre was a street fight between the patriots who were protesting the occupation of their city by British soldiers. It resulted in the death of five civilians.
Today, inlaid stones on the Freedom Trail circled with a brass band inscribed “site of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770” act as a remembrance of the tragic event.
This pivotal moment in history is said to be the catalyst for the American Revolution— also known as the U.S War of Independence — which stared in 1775.
If you are in Boston on the massacre’s anniversary, reenactments hosted by the Bostonian Society take place every year.
The Boston Latin School
America’s first public school opened its doors in 1635 to educate young men free of charge. Girls attended private schools at home. Five of the 56 Declaration of Independence signers attended.
The original Boston Latin School House was torn down in 1745. Since then King’s Chapel and two of the city’s three City’s Halls have been erected on the grounds.
In 1865 the present day structure was built serving as Boston’s City Hall.
While you’re walking the Freedom Trail you’ll see a mosaic in the sidewalk marking the original site of the Boston Latin School. The school continues to run today in the Fenway neighborhood. As of 1972 they admit both boy and girls.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Located on the Freedom Trail in the heart of the city is this not to be missed food hall. Actually four places in one, the dining destination encompasses Faneuil Hall, Quincey Market, North Market and South Market.
Built in 1742, the meeting place was slated for demolition until a group of Bostonians preserved it in the early 1970s.
Today, 18 dine-in restaurants, 30 food merchant stands, and 49 shops welcome visitors. Take time to stroll the aisles and see your choices of fare before deciding what to eat. Local favorites include Boston Chowda — yum — and Wicked Lobsta — both pronounced in the iconic Boston accent. If seafood isn’t your thing, there is pizza, hoagies, and cuisine from around the globe. Click here to see a marketplace map: Map. Hours are Monday – Saturday 10AM-9PM, and Sunday 11AM-7PM.
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