The Freedom Trail: Exploring Boston’s Past
16. USS Constitution
View of the Boston skyline from the ship
The USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned warship. Today you can walk around the ship and take a tour to learn more about its’ history. The ship which was launched in 1797 is also commonly referred to an “Old Ironsides” because cannonballs bounced off the hard sides of the ship during the War of 1812. The views of the Boston Skyline are pretty great.
Free Trail Attractions
Massachusetts State House – Free tours are provided on weekdays from 10:00am-4:00pm. You will need to call (617) 727-3676 for reservations.
Park Street Church – Open from late June-August on Tuesdays – Saturdays from 8:00am-3:00pm. Make sure to plan your trip around mass times, which take place on Sundays at 8:30am, 11:00am & 4:00pm (you will not be able to tour the church during these times).
Granary Burying Ground – Open daily from 9:00am-5:00pm.
King’s Chapel – Tours are offered daily from 10:00am-5:00pm. Tuesdays & Wednesday the church is closed from 11:30am-1:30pm, and on Sundays the church opens at 1:30pm. During the winter months, the church closes at 4:00pm. Mass services run on Wednesdays at 12:15pm and on Sundays at 11:00am.
King’s Chapel Burying Ground – Open daily from 10:00am-5:00pm.
Faneuil Hall – Open daily from 9:00am-5:00pm, with historical talks offered every half hour.
Old North Church – Free for visitors to take a look around, during the following hours: January – February: 10:00am – 4:00pm,
March – May: 9:00am – 5:00pm, July – October: 9:00am – 6:00pm, November – December: 10:00am – 5:00pm p.m. (this excludes worship times of 9:00 & 11:00am). Free history presentations are offered, in addition to a $5 behind the scenes tour.
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground – Open daily from 9:00am-5:00pm.
Bunker Hill Monument – The museum is open everyday from 9:00am – 5:00pm and until 6:00pm during the months of July and August. The monument is open from 9:00am-4:30pm from September-June and from 9:00am-5:30pm from July-August.
USS Constitution – It is free to walk around this 200+ year old ship. Even if you aren’t interested in touring the ship, you should take advantage of the beautiful harbor views. The hours are as follows: November 1-March 31, Thursday–Sunday, 10:00am – 4:00pm, April 1-September 30, Tuesday–Sunday 10:00am- 6:00pm, October 1-October 31, Tuesday–Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Free tours are offered every half hour.
Trail Attractions with an admission fee
Old South Meeting House – Open for tours November through March, daily from 10:00am – 4:00pm. During the months of April – October, the hours are daily from 9:30am – 5:00pm. Adult admission costs $6, while children 6-18 are only $1. Students and senior citizens get a $1 discount. To purchase tickets, visit Trusted Tours website.
Old State House – Open from April 15 through Oct. 31 from 9:30am – 5:15pm and November through April 14 from 9:30am – 4:15pm (Note: Old State House is closed on Mondays from January-March). Admission to the Old State House is $10 for adults and free for children under 18 (admission includes guided tours of the Old State House, the Boston Massacre, and the Revolutionary Boston tour).
Paul Revere house – Take the opportunity to tour Boston’s oldest downtown building. Admission to the Paul Revere house is $3.50 per adult and $1 per child. Hours are 9:30am-5:15 (closed at 4:15 from Nov 1-April 14th, closed on Mondays from Jan-March)
Other notable attractions along the way
Boston Public Garden – This beautiful 24 acre park built in 1837 is amazing any season, even during the winter months. The park is adjacent to Boston Common, the starting point of the trail.
Bell in Hand Tavern – The oldest tavern in America (located in Boston’s North End neighborhood). Treat yourself to the Fisherman’s Platter!
The Dog Tag Memorial (next to Old North Church) honors those who lost their lives in the Iran and Afghanistan wars
Boston’s North End neighborhood – More than 80 authentic restaurants are packed together in Boston’s Little Italy. Look no further than Giacomo’s and order the Pumpkin Tortellini!
A view of TD Garden from the Charlestown Bridge (home to the Boston Celtics)
St. Stephen’s Church – The only Boston church, designed by Charles Bulfinch, still in existence (located in Boston’s North End).
Tips for a Smooth Experience
*Plan at least half a day to give yourself time to explore all the wonderful attractions along the way.
*Check operating hours of each attraction. Hours vary depending on day, time, and season. I have included hours for each of these attractions for you in the section above.
*Bring with plenty of water. The trail is not a loop, so you will end up walking roughly 5 miles.
*Plan for lunch or dinner in the North End. This is a great opportunity to test out one of Boston’s fabulous Italian restaurants. I highly recommend Giacomo’s; the pumpkin ravioli is delicious!
*Plan on a Sunday morning for the fewest crowds and least traffic.
*Free parking is available on side streets and by parking meters on Sundays. Parking in the city can be pretty pricey, so head out early in the morning on a Sunday for your best shot at free parking. The best place to find free parking is around the Boston Common area, which is the starting point for the trail.
*Follow the red brick road and you won’t get lost. The path is visible throughout the entire trail.
Tours are available for a small fee ($11 per adult, $9 per student/senior, & $5.50 per child). Visit the Freedom Trail Foundation Tours for more information.
Directions: The Freedom Trail starts in downtown Boston in Boston Common at the Visitor’s Center (139 Tremont Street).
Visit the Freedom Trail website to learn more about the trail’s history.
Download our Map to guide you along the way Boston’s Freedom Trail Map