Boston, MA

One Trail That Doubles as a History Lesson and an Experience to Remember

Chetna Jai

I know what you're thinking - who’s interested in a history lesson while out on a trail? But hear me out. The Freedom Trail in Boston is one walking trail not to miss. If you love walking, what’s wrong with added history and good food along the way? Don’t let me convince you, join the 4 million people who walk the red line every year.

The idea to connect the different sites came from a journalist, Bill Schofield, who wanted to make it easier for tourists to find these landmarks. His vision reached John B Hynes, Boston’s Mayor at the time, and he officiated the Freedom Trail in 1951.

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Image by Kim Heimbuch from Pixabay

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile trail. Without any stops, it will take you 90 minutes to 2 hours to complete. With stops, five hours or an entire day. It’s really up to you and how much you want to see. Here are the 16 sites of significance in the American Revolution:

  1. Boston Common
  2. Massachusetts State House
  3. Park Street Church
  4. Granary Burying Ground
  5. Kings Chapel
  6. Ben Franklin Statue/Boston Latin School
  7. Old Corner Bookstore
  8. Old South Meeting House
  9. Old State House
  10. Boston Massacre Site
  11. Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market
  12. Paul Revere’s House
  13. Old North Church
  14. Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
  15. USS Constitution
  16. Battle of Bunker Hill Monument

There are several ways to approach this trail. Take note that some sites might be closed because of Covid, and face coverings and social distancing rules still apply.

You can download a map, do a DIY tour with an audio guide or book a guided tour.

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Map of Freedom Trail in BostonFree Tours by Foot

Must-haves for your trek, first and foremost, is your best pair of walking or running shoes. Hey, it’s a walking trail, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the heart rate pumping and run the course in less time. You’ll still get to see all the historic sites, only in fast motion.

Must-sees along the way, apart from the 16 American Revolution sites, are the Boston public gardens. The garden's main highlight is taking a swan boat ride on the pond, and you might even see some beautiful white swans during the summer.

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Courtesy of Wally Gobetz/Flickr

Another must-see or rather must-stop is the restaurants along the way. 2.5 miles of walking on a hot day is going to leave you thirsty and hungry. Check out these popular local spots.

Need a quick something on the go, give Boston’s best-voted fries, Saus a try. They boast 15 unique sauces on their menu and even serve waffles. They respectfully still require masks even with the lowering of restrictions. Find them here.

If you are making your way back and want to catch an early dinner, check out Yvonne's. Availability is limited, so plan and make a reservation. They have a wide selection of items on their menu and cater to vegetarians and vegans.

If you are a morning person looking for that pick me up to start your trek early, why not try George Howell Coffee, located on the ground level of The Godfrey Hotel. Touted as one of the best and most popular coffee shops in Downtown Boston, they serve real coffee along with sweet and savoury breakfast items.

A worthy rival to Thinking cup, located a few steps from Boston Common. They have an extensive menu and serve "Stumptown Coffee" exclusively, coffee that originated in Portland and is known as the best in the world.

With all the above interesting, educating and mouth-watering things to do, the Freedom trail doesn’t sound out of the question anymore.

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BIomedical technologist turned Digital marketer turned Freelance writer and content creator. I write with the voice in my head, my challenges in life and the people, places and events that inspire me. I hope by reading my writing, others can learn something.

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