The 2.5 mile trail through the heart of Boston passes by some of the city’s most historic sites
By Time Out Boston Staff|
For the first-time visitor to Boston, there’s no better starting point than the Freedom Trail for checking out the best attractions in Boston. The two-and-a-half-mile tour, clearly marked by a red line on the sidewalk, winds its way past several of the Hub’s best-known historical sites and attractions. It’s an easy self-guided tour, though several options for led tours are available. The trail is a must for locals too, providing the opportunity to brush up on the city’s history. Fortunately the trail also winds past some of Boston’s best restaurants and Boston's best bars, offering plenty of spots to take a rest. Our guide to the Freedom Trail has everything you need to get the most out of the historical, cultural trail.
Where does the Freedom Trail start and end? You can join the Freedom Trail at any point, but to get the most out of the tour, it helps to follow from start to finish. The Trail begins at the Visitor Information Center on the Boston Common, where you can pick up a map or rent an audio tour. The Trail ends at the Bunker Hill Monument and USS Constitution in Charlestown. You can take the Charlestown Water Shuttle to get back Downtown.
Where does the Freedom Trail go? The Freedom Trail covers a 2.5 mile stretch from Downtown Boston to Charlestown. Along the way, you’ll pass 16 historic landmarks where you can learn about American history. The 16 sites are Boston Common, Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King’s Chapel and Burying Ground, Boston Latin School/Benjamin Franklin Statue, Old Corner Bookstore, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Boston Massacre site, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, USS Constitution, and the Bunker Hill Monument.
How long does it take to walk the Freedom Trail? The amount of time it takes to walk the Freedom Trail depends on how much time you spend at each historical site. Allow a couple hours, more if you’re a real history buff. The halfway point is near Faneuil Hall and Quincy Marketplace, so you can stop for a bite to eat before walking the rest of the Trail. You can also schedule in more time to explore the historic North End.
Are there guided tours of the Freedom Trail? The Freedom Trail is very easy to follow even without a map, as it’s clearly marked with a painted red line. However, The Freedom Trail Foundation offers educational and entertaining daily tours, with a variety of themes, starting at both ends of the Trail. Choose from basic historical tours to more specific topics like African-American Patriots, Revolutionary Women, lantern-lit nighttime tours, a pub crawl, and more. An audio tour of the trail is also available.