Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston is literally like stepping back into history. Sixteen significant historic sites are found along the 2.5 mile redbrick walking trail. Dating back to a century before America's War for Independence a strong heritage and culture of freedom was entwined amongst Boston colonists. The sites along the Freedom Trail encompass areas where townspeople educated their young, proclaimed their rights as groups, buried their dead, governed their own churches, and protected their property from the British. John Adams said of that time "The Revolution was in the hearts and minds of the people." So then along the Freedom Trail tourists can see individual collections of museums, meeting houses, churches, graveyards, parks, a colonial era ship, and historical signs that all tell a true tale the American Revolution and beyond.
The Boston Freedom Trail begins at Boston Common and moves on to the New State House, when when completed in 1795 became the political center of Boston. Here there is an option for a free one hour tour. The next point of interest is the Park Street Church where William Lloyd Garrison gave the first inspiring anti-slavery speech. The Boston Freedom Trail moves on to where Samuel Adams and Paul Revere are buried at the Granary Burying Ground, and further on to the King's Chapel Burying Ground and the Ben Franklin statue, which is also the site of the first public school in the area. From here the Boston Freedom Trail takes visitors to the Old Corner Bookstore where legends like Thoreau and Emerson gathered, and then on to the Old South Meeting House.
The Freedom Trail Boston also includes such sites as Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, and the site of the Boston Massacre where a simple cobblestone circle marks the area where 5 colonists were murdered by British soldiers in 1770. Paul Revere House owned by Revere from 1770-1800, can also be found along the Freedom Trail Boston and is one of the favorites among visitors. Tours of the inside are available. When walking along the Freedom Trail Boston history seems to come alive again and visitors draw a unique perspective from seeing all the monuments and historical houses with their own eyes.
Toward the end of the trail tourists will find Old North Church, Copp's Hill Burying Ground, the USS Constitution, and the Bunker Hill Monument. Freedom trail tours that are guided are definitely a great way to get the most out of the freedom Trail. Many are available 7 days a week and meet at the Boston Common which is normally first on the list. The National Park Service conducts guided Freedom Trail tours which start every half hour from the park visitor center on State Street opposite the Old State House. There are also trolleys which take visitors along Freedom Trail tours. This is more of an unofficial guided tour but does go to many of the sites along the way. There are selected stops where people can disembark and take a closer look. The Visitors Bureau offers full details.
The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) suggests that Freedom Trail tours are best self-guided. Maps are available at the Visitors Center and the trail is easy to navigate. Freedom Trail maps can also be found in most hotel lobbies and many Boston pamphlets will include an outline of the trail and the monuments. Be sure to check before paying for a map. Whether you choose to take the tour in the morning or the early afternoon, the 2.5 mile expanse of trail is near plenty of dining. A tasty lunch or dinner afterward is a great way to spend a half day or so.