We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Boston a handful of times in the past year and we find something new to love about this beautiful city every time. One of our favorite things that we’ve gotten to experience is the Freedom Trail. You get to see so much of the city along with some of the most significant historical sites in the entire United States. If you’re visiting Boston and have half a day or full day to spare, we highly recommend it! You can choose to go on a paid, guided tour, or do what we did and get a map (PDF version) and take the trail at your own pace! If you’re reading this and wondering “What is the Freedom Trail?”, here's a little run down...
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile long walking path that winds through downtown Boston, Massachusetts, and passes by 16 historically significant sites along the way. Marked by a red brick pathway (2 bricks wide), it runs from Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. Most of the sites are free of charge or suggest donations, but the Old South Meeting House ($6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, $1 for children 5-17), the Old State House ($12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, $0 for 18 and under), and the Paul Revere House ($5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and students, $1 for children 5-17) charge admission.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here’s all the fun details and our recommendations and tips to make your Freedom Trail experience as amazing as ours!
*Be sure to watch our "Massachusetts: Boston for a Day" vlog for a closer look at our time on the Freedom Trail*
The best way to get started on your Freedom Trail Adventure is to take the Green or Red Line to Park Street Station, which is the closest station to Boston Common and the beginning of the Freedom Trail. Or you can take the Blue or Orange Line to the State Street Station and you’ll have a 5-7 minute walk.
1. Boston Common: Serving as the starting point to the Freedom Trail, this beautiful central public park dates back to 1634, making it the oldest city park in the United States. From 1634 to 1830 the Boston Common was used as a common space for the grazing of cattle and is now a place for visitors and locals to meet up with friends, relax, and enjoy a day in the park.
Once you’ve spent some time taking in the sites and beauty of Boston Common you’ll make your way up the trail and through the park to the next stop on the trail...
2. Massachusetts State House: Built in 1787, this is where the state legislature meets and is the oldest continually running state capitol building in America. The dome was originally made of wood and in 1802 it was covered in copper by Paul Revere. It is currently gilded in 23k gold! During weekdays the State House offers free guided tours of the inside of the State House. Tours run on the half-hour, Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. You can make your reservation by calling 617-727-3676. Directly across the street from the State House, you’ll find the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial which is worth seeing. It shows Gould-Shaw and his men of the 54th regiment of the Union Army. The 54th Regiment is the first all-volunteer African American unit in the US Army which was formed in 1863 during the American Civil War.