Monday Postcard from Boston’s Freedom Trail

1. When I was in the States with my in-laws this summer, Boston was one of our stops. I’ll admit it’s not everyone’s first stop, but it’s one of my favorite cities. It’s also a great way to get a glimpse of history on foot – which is one of my favorite ways to visit new cities. The Freedom Trail might sound hokey, but in reality, this 2.5 mile walking tour of the city sends you to some of the most important historical locales, including the Old North Church, where the lantern warning that the British Army was invading the colonies was hung.

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2. The Trail begins at Boston Common, which was originally planted so that locals had a place to graze their cattle. Today, there are far more sunbathers than cows. At one end of the Common, one of the first stops is the Massachusetts State House, which was designed by Charles Bulfinch (for whom, as a bizarre aside, the English building at my high school was named). The wood dome was covered in copper in 1802 by Paul Revere’s copper company – aside from being the guy who rode his horse “through every Middlesex village and farm,” Revere was also the first American to successfully roll copper into sheets. It is now gilded.

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3. The Trail leads you through several historic cemeteries, including the Granary Burying Ground, where Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere himself are buried. A large monument dedicated to Benjamin Franklin’s family can be seen in the middle, and the tomb of the woman who many assume to be Mother Goose is also found here.

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4. If you time things out properly on the trail, you’ll find yourself in the Italian North End just in time for lunch. This is definitely my favorite part of Boston – and not just for the food. I love the beautiful red brick you see throughout.

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5. The trail technically ends at the Bunker Hill Monument, but I always continue all the way down to the USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironside. Not only would it be a shame to miss it, but there’s a boat leaving from the docks here that takes you right back to central Boston, and after all that walking, it’s a welcome respite to have a seat.

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