The Boston Freedom Trail: 4 Reasons to Step in the Founders' Footsteps

BY: Editors | Jul 12, 2017

When you think of Boston, lots of images come to mind: maybe it's the city's eponymous cream pie, or perhaps it's a raucous crowd packing the iconic Fenway Park. Whatever the case may be, there are a ton of things to see in Boston. And one of the best ways you take in a bunch of them at once? A tour of the Boston Freedom Trail. Stretching from Boston Common in the south to the Bunker Hill monument in the north, the trail winds through the heart of the city, connecting 16 historical sites (including Paul Revere's house and the site of the Boston Massacre), making it one of the best things to do in Boston. Here's why you should check it out.

You don't need a tour guide to follow it.

The trail's roughly 2.5-mile-long route weaves along Boston's notoriously zig-zagging, cramped streets, but it's a breeze to walk it by yourself. That's because the entire thing is lined with red bricks, so even if you've never set foot in Boston before, you'll be able to find your way from the trail's beginning to its end.

But if you do choose a guided tour, you can learn from the characters of the Revolution themselves.

A good guide can take a history-themed tour from a mere educational activity to an experience that makes you feel like you're part of the story being told. The latter is what you'll get from the Freedom Trail Players: the trail's group of costumed guides who dive into the roles of Ben Franklin, Abigail Adams, George Washington, Paul Revere, and more while leading tour groups from site to site.

You can drink like a revolutionary.

Planning a revolution takes guts, and nothing helps ignite that kind of courage quite like a few pints, which is probably why there's a historic pub within sight virtually anywhere you find yourself along the Boston Freedom Trail. If you're in the Faneuil Hall area of the trail, pop in to America's oldest bar, the Bell In Hand Tavern, for one of their signature foamy ales. Find yourself near Bunker Hill part of the trail? Check out the Warren Tavern, a watering hole favored by the likes of Paul Revere and George Washington.

You can leave the trail and still find tour-worthy sites.

Along with seeing the 16 official historical sites on the Freedom Trail itself, it's easy to create your own mini Boston tours of the countless other monuments near the trail. Highlights off the trail's red bricks include the Black Heritage Trail, whose 14 sites honor the countless African-Americans who fought against the British during the Revolution; and the Charlestown Navy Yard's USS Constitution and USS Cassin Young, which saw action in the War of 1812 and World War II, respectively.