You can take as long or be as quick as you like along the FREEDOM TRAIL; it is 2-1/2 miles of brick lined route, which meanders through the downtown of Boston, so you can always stop for food, browse other places, see the historical places in depth, or just pass by. Come back another day and do some more!!
Signs along the Trail identify each of the 16 stops, which include Bunker Hill and Boston Common.
Your hotel can provide information or, there are a number of good websites, in addition to the one below, there is: http://gonewengland.about.com/cs/bostonattractions/a/aafreedomtrail.htm
which has a lot of information too.
The Bunker Hill Monument is a bit of a misnomer, as it is built on Breed’s Hill (where the Battle of Bunker Hill took place). Bunker Hill is a short distance from Breed’s Hill. This enormous monument marks the spot were British and Rebel forces clashed on June 17, 1775. The Monument is 67 metres tall, and you can climb all 221 steps to the top, from which there are excellent views of Boston, Charlestown and the River. Although the land for the Monument was purchased in 1825, it wasn’t dedicated until 1843 – and the Society that built it nearly went bankrupt because of it. Today there is a small building attached to the monument with a few paintings of Revolutionary figures, while the main museum (opened in 2007) is across the street. Bunker Hill (or rather Breed’s Hill) is allegedly where the phrase “don’t fire till you see the whites of their eyes” was popularized. The accuracy of this popularization is in dispute, but it’s still a fitting end to Freedom Trail, as you get to see the whole of the spectacular city from the top of the Monument once you’ve climbed up.
Boston's Freedom Trail is the best and easiest way to see much of what Boston has to offer. This 2.5 mile (4 km) walking trail starts at Boston Common and takes you to the 16 most important historic sights of downtown Boston. You don't need a tour guide and you don't need to do any research - all you have to do is follow the red line painted on the sidewalk. Created in 1958, it's probably the most tourist-friendly feature I've ever encoutered!
The Freedom Trail is an excellent way to introduce yourself to Colonial Revolutionary Boston. In about 2 to 3 hours the Trail will take you along 16 historical sites. It covers well over two and a half centuries of what is considered "America's most significant past".
The sites are followed along a brick or painted line which serves as the guide connecting the sites along the route. Along the Trail you will encounter many other interesting and significant sites.
Following is a list of the sites along the Freedom Trail:
Massachusettes State House
Park Sreet Church & Granary Burying Ground
Kigns Chapel & Chapel Burying Ground
First Public School Site & Ben Franklin Statue
Former Site of the Old Corner Bookstore
Old South Meeting House
Old State House
Boston Massacre Site
Paul Revere House
Old North Church
Copp Hill Burying Ground
USS Constitution & Charleston Navy Yard
Bunker Hill Monument
You can meander yourself around the Freedom Trail at your own pace or sign up for a Guided Tour. For more information check out their website where you'll find locations and times of where you can start your guided tour.
Definitely a not-to-miss experience during your Boston visit. The Freedom Trail is about a 2 1/2 mile historic walking path, marked in red bricks, that will take you on a journey through time when America was struggling to make its mark as an independent nation. This trail will lead you to the history of America through the various historical sites--from parks, churches, burial grounds, among other interests of historic significance.
It is best to obtain a free map from the Information Center at the Boston Common and do a self-guided walk through this trail. There is also a free ranger-guided group walk from the Old State House.
For more information about the Freedom Trail, check out this website:
Exploring beautiful Boston is best on foot, as I'm sure you've been well-informed of already. The Freedom Trail has sixteen historic sites, all significant in this country's early struggle for freedom, are connected by a 2.5 mile red brick line that not only links one place to another, but the past to the present.
It is a red brick and painted line that you can follow to get a good grasp on the history and for appreciating the area's beauty. Because most of the buildings are tall and crammed together it can be hard to photograph some areas - keep in mind that shadows tend to strongly appear in pics and can ruin a good photo op.
You can purchase a spot for a guided tour or the newly usage of audio headphone sets ($12) each. Since we were budgeting ourselves we downloaded a guide off the internet (free) and map of the trail (free) and toured it solo. While we may not have gotten detailed versions, I recommend doing this if you're budgeted because you'll still get a good grasp on the buildings/attractions.
The Boston National Historical Park Visitor Center is located at 15 State Street. Friendly Park Rangers staff the center year round and provide scheduled, seasonal free tours. A book and souvenir shop inside the center offers a variety of informative reading materials, postcards and other visitor products.
Hours: Daily 9am until 6pm,
June through August
Daily 9am until 5pm,
September through May
Call: 617-242-5642 for more information and to reserve tours.
Free Public Restrooms are available at the Information Center at 147 Tremont Street, the Visitor Center at 15 State Street, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, the Charlestown Navy Yard and Bunker Hill.
Called after the State Motto "give me freedom or give me death". so here is the freedom trail.
I found out, that it is way more comfortable if you make the Trail backwards. Meaning: start at Bunker Hill and follow the red line from there to the Boston Common.
This way you don?t walk together with other groups of tourists and have more time to do it in your way.
Actually I think the idea of a real line to walk on right through the town funny, but it works very well. You just can?t get lost. No way.
I won?t tell you all the stations of the Trail here. They can be found in any travel guide or tourist pamphlet.
Also go and try the other walks. Boston is a town best visited by foot.
Sixteen historic sites, all significant in this country's early struggle for freedom, are connected by a 2.5 mile red brick line that not only links one place to another, but the past to the present.
What makes the sites on the Freedom Trail so special is that they are not recreations or adaptations. They are real. Each one has a role in the beginning of a nation, each one connects us to the spirit of Boston's early patriots whose hearts were ignited by the spark of liberty.
Puritans establish the town of Boston.
The first Old South Meeting House, a two-story cedar hall, is built.
James Otis speaks against the Writs of Assistance at the Old State House.
The Sugar Act taxation and Currency Act infuriate Colonists.
The Stamp Act taxation sparks rioting in Boston.
September 18-British garrison troops in Boston.
March 5- The Boston Massacre leaves five dead. British uphold the Tea Act.
December 16-The Boston Tea Party prompts the Intolerable Acts as punishment.
April 18-Paul Revere and William Dawes, Jr., ride from Boston to alert the countryside that British troops are headed to Lexington.
April 19-The British retreat to Boston after the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
June 17-The Battle of Bunker Hill leaves heavy casualties.
March 17-Washington liberates Boston. British evacuate with troops and local Tories.
July 18- Declaration of Independence is read from the Old State House balcony.
June 21-The Constitution is ratified.
George Washington makes triumphal visit to Boston as first President.
Construction begins for the new State House.
USS Constitution is launched.
The Park Street Church is built.
Boston is incorporated as a city.
July 4-William Lloyd Garrison speaks against slavery at the Park Street.
June 17 -Bunker Hill Monument is dedicated.
The Freedom Trail should be the #1 Thing to Do on every American visitor's list - here is where you will walk in the footsteps of America's founders. The 2.5 mile trail makes sixteen stops along a red brick or painted line, so you can't lose your way. If you start at Boston Common, you can visit the information building there near Tremont and buy a map for $2 (I'd printed out a map and all the info online but hubby didn't realize I had all the descriptions before buying the map). If you start at Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, go to the 2nd floor of Faneuil and ask for a Park Service map (free).
Besides Boston Common, the other sites are:
the State House, Park St. Church, Granary Burying Ground, King's Chapel, First Public School, Old Corner Bookstore, Old South Meeting House, Old State House Museum, site of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Copp's Hill Burying Ground, USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill. Some sites charge admission but most are free. Altogether an easy walk which can take a couple hours or all day depending on your level of interest.
Up until Paul Revere's house, the sites are located close together so be sure not to accidentally pass by one (we missed the Bookstore at first - you walk right next to it and can see it better from the Meeting House).
Copp's Hill Burying Ground
Copp's Hill Burying Ground is the final resting place of merchants, artisans and craft people who lived in the North End. Located on a hill on which a windmill once stood, the land was given to the town.
The grounds are also the final resting place of thousands of free African-Americans who lived in a community on the current Charter Street side of the burying ground, called the "New Guinea Community."
Because of its height and panoramic vistas, the British used this vantage point to train their cannons on Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Freedom Trail Walking Info :
Follow The Trail down Hull Street. Turn left onto Commercial Street, and continue on North Washington Street over the Charlestown Bridge into Charlestown. Once you have crossed the bridge, follow The Trail right to Chelsea Street, take your first right and follow The Trail to Constitution Road and " Old Ironsides".
Rowan and I expressed an interest in old graveyards and we spent a fair amount of time looking at old gravestones. Yes, this graveyard is the final resting place of Paul Revere, the Franklin Family obelisk (but not Ben Franklin) and many more luminaries of United States history.
Site Of The Boston Massacre
On the way out of the Old State House, notice the ring of cobblestones marking the site of the Boston Massacre on what is now a traffic island. This event helped to fuel the spirit of rebellion in the Colonies.
Five men were killed in this clash of Patriots and Redcoats on March 5, 1770, including Crispus Attucks, the first African-American to die in the Revolution.
Freedom Trail Walking Info :
From the Old State House follow The Trail across State and Congress Streets to Faneuil Hall.
One of stops on the Freedom Trail is that of the oldest house standing in downtown Boston. This 2 1/2-story wood structure was the home of Paul Revere when he set out for Lexington on April 18, 1775 to announce the British route.
Revere had 16 children, eight with each of his two wives, and he supported the family with a thriving silversmith's trade. Revere owned it from 1770 until 1800, although he lived there for only 10 years, and rented it out from 1780 to 1800.
It was then put to a number of uses before being was saved from demolition in 1902 and restored to an approximation of its original 17th-century appearance. The clapboard sheathing is a replacement, but 90% of the framework is original. It is furnished with 17th- and 18th-century furnishings and artifacts, including famous Revere silver.
The tour is self-guided, with staff members around in case you have questions, allowing you to soak in whatever is of interest.
King's Chapel Burying Ground
Located next to King's Chapel on Tremont Street, King's Chapel Burying Ground was Boston Proper's only burying place for nearly 30 years.
The Burying Ground is the final resting place of some of Massachusetts Bay Colony's most prominent citizens - John Winthrop, the Colony's first governor; William Dawes, Jr., who rode with Paul Revere to Lexington and Concord; and Mary Chilton, the first woman to step off the Mayflower in Plymouth Colony.
Freedom Trail Walking Info :
Turn left as you leave King's Chapel Burying Ground and follow The Trail down School Street to the site of the First Public School and Benjamin Franklin's Statue.
Despite the fact that the 13 Colonies were, until 1776 (well, de jure, until 1782), part of the British Crown and thus under the suzerainty of the head of the Church of England, the founding fathers of Massachusetts and the first families to establish Boston were Puritans. These dissenting Christians sought to break away from the Anglican tradition, and that’s why the names of some of the religious institutions that formed the bedrock of the community seem a bit strange. Take the Old South Meeting House, which sounds like a recreation centre for Alabamans but is in fact a Congregationalist church that was first founded in 1729. Its members included Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams and William Dawes, so it should not be a surprise that the building’s fame comes from its use as a meeting place for the Patriots who took part in the Boston Tea Party. Not only was the Old South Meeting House important as a meeting place for revolutionaries, but like the Park Church, it has been a place for people to organize for free expression of dissent and protest. These days, however, the most common people to gather here are the souvenir hawkers, who are a bit of a contrast against the plain, Puritan lines of the building’s structure.