Boston, Massachusetts is not just a beautiful coastal city, but a city steeped in American history. The 2.5 mile red-brick tour of the Freedom Trail follows along the streets of Boston and is packed with historical landmarks, sites, and burial grounds of famous Revolutionary War Patriots.
There are seventeen major landmarks on the Freedom Trail that can take an entire day to traverse by foot depending upon your speed and the size of your group. If you have the day to enjoy Boston and stop along the way to enjoy lunch, we recommend doing it. If not, here are several must-stops if you want to hit the major landmarks but have the full day to spend in beautiful Boston.
Before you visit the Freedom Trail, download the official brochure. If you plan to spend the day meandering the streets of Boston to see all the attractions this brochure and our team at Wolfe Tours can help you organize your day.
Located in the heart of Boston, this is a great starting point for your day of touring. At nearly 50 acres, Boston Common is one of the nation’s oldest existing public parks.
It was once used as pasture land by the Puritans and a place to muster the militia during the Revolutionary War. It’s now used by joggers, walkers, and Bostonians looking to enjoy the greenery and even a Frog Pond as a skating rink during the winter months.
While you are enjoying the Boston Common, don’t forget to walk by the MassachusettsState House with its golden dome. The state government has served from this building since it opened in 1798.
Old South Meeting House
The Old South Meeting House, built in 1729 as a church, also hosted town meetings during this era. Here, in 1773, more than 5,000 men crowded together to debate the controversial tax on tea. What happened in the days following are described at the Boston Tea Party, when Patriots dumped hundreds of chests of tea in Boston Harbor as a protest against the British tax on colonial tea.
The Old State House & Site of the Boston Massacre
Nearby the Old South Meeting House is the Old State House, a center of political meetings during the weeks and months leading up to the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence was first read publicly on the balcony of this historical site.
On the street right in front of the Old State House sits a maker denoting the location of the Boston Massacre. On this site on March 5, 1770, the tensions between the British and colonists boiled over and resulted in the first bloodshed of the war. During an uprising in the streets, the Redcoats fired on the colonists, killing five and setting into motion the eventual declaration of war. A medallion on the road commemorates the lives lost on this day.
Old North Church
If you are a fan of the spy networks that were at work during the American Revolution, you will want to stop by the Old North Church where the famous “One if By Land, Two if by Sea” secret signal was displayed on the night of April 18, 1775, indicating the way that the British would start their movement toward Lexington and Concord to hunt out the militia and leaders of the Sons of Liberty.
At this point in your walking tour you may need a moment to refresh and have a snack. The shops at Faneuil Hall are a great resting spot where you can enjoy this lively outdoor venue.
Grab a bite to eat, rest a bit, and experience what is called the “Cradle of Liberty” where colonists gathered to discuss the incidents of the day and held protests against British colonial rule.
No walk along the Freedom Trail would be complete without visiting the Charlestown Naval Yard where Old Ironsides or The U.S.S. Constitution sits in retirement. The naval frigate launched in Boston in 1797, served valiantly in the War of 1812, and was retired from service in 1881. It now serves as an educational visitor site and museum.
Want to plan your next trip to Boston with Wolfe Tours? We will handle all the planning and take into consideration the needs of your group when planning your historical trip.