Freedom Trail is a famous 2.5-mile red line which recites the story of bygone times to its visitors. With 16 official sites, Freedom Trail has a lot to offer, especially to history buffs. These sites range from meeting houses and burying grounds to Churches and Chapels. You can either opt for a paid guided tour or get a map of the train and explore the sites on your own. The highlights of Freedom Trail are Faneuil Hall, Bunker Hill monument, Old State House Museum and the Old North Church.
Often referred to as “the Common,” Boston Common happens to be a central public park in downtown Boston and a part of the Emerald Necklace. The 50-acre piece of land is the oldest city park in the country and is surrounded by Tremont Street, Park Street, Beacon Street, Charles Street and Bolyston Street.
Paul Revere House in downtown Boston is the oldest standing structure in the city and happens to be one of the 16 sites linked by the Freedom Trail. Once home to Paul Revere, an American patriot, the House is now run by the Paul Revere Memorial Association as a non-profit museum.
The Old North Church in Boston, often referred to as Christ Church, is the oldest worship house in the city that continues to remain in function. One of the 16 sites linked by the Freedom Trail, this National Historic Landmark is frequently visited by large crowds that not only wish to partake in the worship but also wish to know more about its history.
Bunker Hill Monument is a site of prominence with more than two-centuries-old history. It was built over a span of 17 years to commemorate the first battle between the British and the American revolutionaries, known as the ‘Battle of Bunker Hill’.
Situated next to Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street is one of the oldest cemeteries in Boston and was built in order to meet the city’s growing population after King’s Chapel Burying Ground ran out of space. The cemetery is where a lot of historical figures, including participants of the American Revolution were laid to rest.
Harvard University is a prestigious name that no one is unaware of. This reputed institution is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was established in 1636. The University is a world-renowned university with star-studded alumnus ranging from eight U.S. presidents, over 160 Nobel laureates, and many Olympic winners.
The Boston public library was founded in 1848 and later on became the third largest public library in the United States. The library is currently run by 3 families who look after the growth and maintenance of the entire library. The Boston Public library is also known as the Library of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where all adult members borrow and renew anything of the 24 volumes of books present in the library.
Also referred to as Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution happens to be the oldest commissioned vessel belonging to the United States Navy that remains afloat and in service. Right across from the vessel, in Building 22, is the USS Constitution Museum that offers the public a chance to learn in depth about its history and legacy.
The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum provides an excellent opportunity for anyone who wishes to learn in depth about all that transpired in 1773 following the Tea Acts imposed by the British Government. It is known for its exhibits, interactive reenactments, display of historic artefacts and restored tea ships, all of which elicit an impression of being back in that era, during the historic events of the Boston Tea Party.
The holy metropolitan Trinity Church is one of Boston’s oldest Romanesque style churches. Trinity Church has intricate details in its sculptures and paintings. The church is easily accessible by public transports and has parking spaces in and around the friendly neighborhood. The beautiful church is a representation of not only the ancient style of architecture but also shows the practice of religion back in the days.
Situated in Beacon Hill, the Massachusetts State House is the state capitol along with being the seat of the government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It houses several key government offices including that of the state’s Governor and the Massachusetts General Court or the State Legislature. Owing to its gorgeous Federal style of architecture, the building became a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
The Newbury street in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the earliest developed roads in the city. Previously a part of Boston Harbour, it is over a mile long and stretches across Arlington Street in the east to Brookline Avenue in the west. Not only is Newbury Street known for its historical significance and brownstone architecture, but it is also one of the world’s most expensive streets.
An extremely popular attraction among locals and tourists alike, Castle Island, formerly known as Castle William Island, is an island turned peninsula on the Boston Harbor. The site of the historical Fort Independence, it’s quite close to the city centre and is the perfect destination for a day’s outing for people of all age groups. The beach, playground, scenic view, historical monuments and trails make it a fitting destination for an excursion.
Beacon Hill in Boston is a historic neighbourhood lined with residential buildings representative of different architectural styles. Located close to sites such as Boston Common, Charles River Esplanade, Boston Public Garden amongst others, this area, made up of three sections (north and south slopes, Flat of the Hill) attracts a significant amount of crowd throughout the year.
A popular site linked by the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall is a meeting hall as well as a marketplace. Often called “the Cradle of Liberty,” it is a part of the Boston National Historical Park and played a key role in the country’s independence from the British during the 18th century.
One of the oldest remaining buildings in Boston, and the seat of the Massachusetts General Court, the Old State House is a National Historic Landmark and one of he 16 Freedom Trail sites. The building is now a museum that not only attracts visitors for its architecture but also for its involvement in government proceedings and its association with the Boston Massacre and the country’s freedom.
One of the 16 sites on the Freedom Trail, the Old South Meeting House in downtown Boston is a former Congregational church turned museum. It is an extremely popular building not just in Boston but in the country since it is associated with a number of historical events, including the beginning of the Boston Tea Party.
Built for the country’s 35th President, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is situated at Columbia Point in Boston. It was dedicated to late John F. Kennedy in 1979 by Jimmy Carter and Kennedy family members and houses many documents, books, artefacts, artwork etc. and is open to the public 7 days a week.
King’s Chapel is an Anglican worship church which is built in the Georgian style. It is one of the finest architectural designs and sits in the heart of Boston city. Built in 1754, it is the first Unitarian church in the country and operates throughout the week. King’s Chapel is open to visitors throughout the week via various guided tours for students and visitors alike.
Fort Warren is situated on Georges Island and is a National Historic Landmark. It is named after Dr Joseph Warren and is known for its role in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and is a brilliant example of coastal engineering. Fort Warren is a pentagonal fort which is 40-50 minutes ferry ride away from Boston and is a bastion fort.
Mary Baker Eddy Library is located in Boston, Massachusetts, on the grounds of the Christian Science Center at Massachusetts Avenue. It was opened in 2002 for the public and is founded by Christian Science founder, Mary Baker Eddy. Mary Baker Eddy Library is an 11-story structure that holds the manuscripts and letters by her and is a must-visit place for history, architectural, and religious enthusiasts.
Boston Athenæum is located at Beacon Street in Boston, Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest independent libraries in the US. It is known for its massive collection of over 600,000 which keeps circulating. Boston Athenæum houses gems like a part of US President George Washington’s library collection, a first edition copy of Audubon's The Birds of America, among many others.
The Museum of African American History is one of the country's largest museums. It is solely dedicated to telling the story of African Americans throughout the colonial period, during the 19th century. The museum's basic aim is to show the visitors the hardships of life and culture of the African Americans during the 19th century.
Ether Dome is one of its kind monuments in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a part of the Massachusetts General Hospital and has been preserved over two centuries for its historical significance. Located in the Bulfinch Building of the hospital, it was at Ether Dome on 16 Oct 1846, where first successful anaesthetic surgery was carried out by the use of inhaled ether.
Robert Treat Paine Estate is a 113-acre country house and is also known as Stonehurst. Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, this house and the lush greens surrounding it are maintained by the City of Waltham now. The house was built in 1866 for the famous philanthropist Robert Treat Paine Jr. and has been with the Paine family for about a century.
The Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) is located on Harvard University’s grounds and is a part of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, which has two other museums as well. This museum is also known by the name ‘The Louis Agassiz Museum of Comparative Zoology’.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the world’s most prestigious universities and is known for its contribution in the field of science and technology. Following the same path is the MIT Museum, located on the grounds of the university. It is a relatively new museum and was founded in 1971.
Busch-Reisinger Museum is one of the three museums that comprise the Harvard Art Museums. Located on the grounds of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, it holds artwork from German-speaking countries of central and northern Europe. Busch-Reisinger museum was founded in 1901 and that time it was German centric.
Isaac Royall House or more commonly known as the Royall House was a slave quarter and is now the only remaining structure of its kind in North America. It was built in 1732 with Georgian style architecture and is located in Medford, Massachusetts.
Established in 1837 the Boston Public Garden is not only Boston’s oldest but also largest garden that has a total area of 64 acres. The park has a wide range of flora and vegetation on display for the visitors. The garden also has a pathway for people to walk and patches of luscious green grass around the park. There are also historical statues and figures of revolutionary American patriots who gave their lives for the country.
Pierce-Hichborn House is one of the oldest brickwork structures in Boston, Massachusetts. It was built for Moses Pierce around 1711 and was later owned by Nathaniel Hichborn. This house built in Georgian architecture is situated close to the famous Paul Revere House.
Brook Farm is a 188-acre stretch of a National Historic Site that is located in Boston, Massachusetts. This farm was built and developed in 1841 as a part of an experiment by George Ripley. Brook Farm is also called as the Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture and Education and promoted community living based on transcendental ideals.
Located in Allston across Charles River, the Harvard Stadium is a U-shaped football stadium situated on the grounds of Harvard University. It is the United States’ oldest permanent structure for intercollege athletics.
Tremont Street subway is recognized as National Historic Landmark, as it is the nation’s oldest subway tunnel having opened in 1897 and running across 6-acres. It has paved way for the development of subways in the United States and is still in use, making it the world’s third oldest subway system to be running by the means of electric traction.
Charles River Esplanade is a public park on the south bank of Charles River. It is situated in the Bay Area and lies away from the Boston mainframe neighborhoods, separated by the high-speed Storrow Drive. There are eight passageways and two bridges at the extreme ends that connect it to the city.
Boston Massacre Site is basically a cobblestone that is market at the position of the incident for commemoration. It was on 5 March 1770 that five civilians were killed by the British in gunfire, and that enraged the Bostonians. It led to the English being driven out of Boston for about four years.
Boston Harbour Islands is a collection of islands and a peninsula that are ideal for a day away from city life. This stretch of over 1400-acres has a plethora of options for all types of people. Be it hiking, picnic in the sun, laying around the beach, or historical inquisitiveness, Boston Harbour Islands have it all.
This list of the top 21 historical sites in Boston is structured to help one prioritise according to the time and budget at hand and enjoy the stay to fullest.
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