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Travel Guide to Boston's Freedom Trail


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Your trek around Boston’s Freedom Trail might begin in the 21st century. However, once you start walking this two-and-a-half-mile stretch, your feet become a time machine, transporting you back to the 1600s and 1700s and America’s beginnings.


History comes alive as you wander through an old ship, peruse incredible works of art from bygone eras, and wander the cobblestone streets where the country’s Founding Fathers once walked.


Along the way, knowledgeable guides, costumed in period clothing, as well as numerous visitor centers and a Freedom Trail app, help you make the connections between the events of the past and how those events continue to shape America even today.


What Is Boston’s Freedom Trail?

The Freedom Trail consists of 16 sites that hold great significance in both the history of Boston and America. The trail follows a two-and-a-half-mile course, bringing you face-to-face with the buildings and sites that played a role in America’s Revolutionary War centuries ago.


Sites on the trail include:

  • The Boston Common

  • The Massachusetts State House

  • Park Street Church

  • Granary Burying Ground

  • King’s Chapel and King’s Chapel Burying Ground

  • Boston Latin School Site/ Benjamin Franklin Statue

  • The Old Corner Bookstore

  • Old South Meeting House

  • Old State House

  • The Site of the Boston Massacre

  • Faneuil Hall

  • The Paul Revere House

  • Old North Church

  • Copp’s Hill Burying Ground

  • The USS Constitution

  • The Bunker Hill Monument


What Route Should I Take on the Freedom Trail?

While there are lots of different possible jumping off points for the Freedom Trail, we recommend that you start at the Park Street Station, which allows you to enter the Boston Commons at the corner of Park and Tremont Street.

End your tour at the Charlestown Navy Yard (and the USS Constitution) and take the shuttle back.


How Long Does it Take to Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston?

While the actual distance of the trail is only a couple of miles, it takes at least a full day to see it and to visit all the stops along the way.


However, if you’d like a deep dive into history, then you may want to spend several days walking the trail, as well as exploring “off-shoot” destinations that aren’t officially part of the trail but still have a part of the story to tell.


It should also be noted that, according to the Parks Service, very few of the tours take visitors through the whole tour.It’s mostly segmented into smaller tours that allow visitors to take a closer look at specific spots along the trail.


In light of that, you may feel more comfortable if you pack along drinks and small snacks in a day pack and opt for clothes and shoes that you’ll feel comfortable walking in for the length of a day. Do be aware that the tour is open year-round, so it is also advised that you wear weather appropriate clothing when you go.


Do I Have to Take a Guided Tour of Boston’s Freedom Trail?

While guided tours have a lot to offer, it’s also possible to get suggested tour itineraries and embark on a personal tour of your own. In fact, tour organizers strongly suggest using the walking tours as a supplement to walkers’ personal explorations of the trail.


In other words, it’s perfectly okay to “mix and match” elements of the tour as you see fit. That might include beginning your experience with some guided tours and then, going back to sites you find the most interesting and exploring those in more depth.


These days, trail walkers have many options. They can take a look at the brochure to learn more about each site. There’s also an audio guide, a guidebook, a kid’s guide, teachers’ guides, and an app for your phone. Each of these resources support walkers who want to take the trail at their own pace.


Additionally, Boston’s Freedom Trail is marked along the way. It’s easy to follow even if you don’t pick up a map. However, we do recommend picking up a map and some other resources because they provide you with some background information that makes the tour more meaningful.

Does the Freedom Trail Have a Visitors’ Center?

It has several visitors’ centers along the route. You’ll find visitors’ centers at:

The Boston Common

139 Tremont St.

Boston, MA 02111

PARKS@BOSTON.GOV

(617) 635-4505


Faneuil Hall

1 Faneuil Hall Sq.

Boston, MA 02109

(617) 242-5642

The Charlestown Navy Yard

1st Ave &, 3rd St

Boston, MA 02129

(617) 242-2543


What’s the National Park Service Tour?

In a nutshell, it’s one of the options you have when you walk Boston’s Freedom Trail. There are both tours offered by the National Park Service, as