5 Must-See Historic Places to Visit in Boston
You can’t talk about United States history without mentioning Boston. It’s one of the oldest cities in the nation and was the scene of several important historical events during the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. To this day, Boston’s historical sites draw thousands of tourists and give tremendous character to the city. If you’ve recently relocated to Boston, exploring these historical places is an integral part of learning about your new home.
Bring out your inner history buff by visiting these must-see historical sites in Boston.
1. The Freedom Trail
If you want to pack a ton of history into one Boston outing, walk along the Freedom Trail: a 2.5-mile long brick path through downtown Boston that passes by 16 historical sites. Major sites include:
- Boston Common
- Benjamin Franklin Statue
- Site of the Boston Massacre
- Paul Revere House
- Bunker Hill Monument
- USS Constitution
You can enter or exit the Freedom Trail anywhere you’d like along the path, so feel free to pick and choose which historical sites you really want to see. For an immersive experience, take a Freedom Trial guided tour led by a “Freedom Trail Player,” a costumed guide in character as an 18th-century citizen of Boston.
2. Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
Boston’s most widely-known historical event is undoubtedly the Boston Tea Party. The defiant protest was the single most important occurrence leading up to the American Revolution, and carries a legacy that is still felt today.
Visitors and residents of Boston can relive the event by visiting the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. This popular historical site features period actors, interactive exhibits, artifacts, an award-winning documentary screening and more. You can even climb aboard two full-scale replicas of 18th-century sailing vessels, the Eleanor and the Beaver, and reenact the dumping of tea boxes yourself.
3. Paul Revere House and Statue
The Paul Revere House is the colonial home of American patriot Paul Revere. A National Historic Landmark, the house now functions as a nonprofit museum dedicated to Revere’s life and legacy. He lived there with his family until his legendary midnight ride to alert the colonial militia that “the British are coming!” Tour the house to get a firsthand look at 18th century colonial domestic life in Boston.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the Paul Revere House, at Hanover and Clark Street, you’ll find the iconic statue of Paul Revere atop his horse. This beautifully sculpted statue is one of the most photogenic spots in Boston, so have your camera ready.
4. Bunker Hill Monument
On June 17, 1775, in one of the earliest battles of the American Revolutionary War, colonial soldiers faced the British army in a bloody siege. Although the British claimed victory, the number of casualties they suffered was staggering. Of the 2,400 British soldiers engaged in the battle, 1,000 were killed or wounded.
The Bunker Hill Monument, a 221-foot tall pillar built entirely of granite, pays tribute to the pivotal battle. Visitors come to learn about the battle, spread out on the nearby lawn, or even climb the 294 steps to the top of the Monument for killer views of Boston. Adjoining the Monument is the historic 1901 Bunker Hill Lodge, containing portraits, statues and a real Revolutionary War cannon. The Bunker Hill Museum is also located across the street.
5. USS Constitution
Named after the United States Constitution by President George Washington, the USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat today. She was launched in 1797 and later played a crucial role in the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom. Since 1907 the Constitution has served as a museum ship, and still does to this day.
Visitors can enjoy the surreal experience of boarding the Constitution and exploring the ship inside and out. While you’re there, explore the Charlestown Navy Yard where the ship is docked, or check out the nearby USS Constitution Museum.
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