Boston's Freedom Trail may be one of the most visited historical landmarks in the city. With many tours offered, you could book one and pay a per-person charge, or you could do a little advanced planning and create your own. Tackle the entire Trail in a day, or break it into sections and do it in two or three pieces.
The do-it-yourself tour is customizable, so you can be sure your whole family will have fun. Enjoy select highlights or the whole kit and caboodle. The red line weaving throughout the city will make sure you never get off track and when you're the guide, you can make sure your Freedom Trail tour is a fit for your family. Following the red trail, starting at the Boston Common and ending in Charlestown, you'll wind through several of Boston's popular neighborhoods, allowing you the opportunity to explore more than just historical highlights along the way.USS Constitution — Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti
Section 1: Boston Common to Faneuil Hall
Start off by popping into the Thinking Cup to fuel up. Across from Boston Common, and accustomed to providing patrons with items to go, you'll be treated to one of the best cups of coffee in the city (along with pastries and sandwiches), and your family will be fueled up and ready to start their tour, be it early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Enjoy some time in the Boston Common. America's oldest public park, the Common (as locals call it), has seen war and celebration, play and even live theater. Today, the Common welcomes visitors to play; the playground, open green space and Frog Pond all make for fun frolicking while learning about its past.
Between the Boston Common and Faneuil Hall, you'll encounter Park Street Church, Granary Burial Ground (final resting place of many famous American Patriots including Paul Revere, John Hancock and Sam Adams), King’s Chapel, King’s Chapel Burying Ground, Benjamin Franklin Statue & Boston Latin School, Old Corner Book Store, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, and the site of Boston Massacre.
At this point, you'll have spent a few hours checking out the landmarks and can easily stop for the day (a good idea with younger kids),or enjoy a midday respite then continue. Either way, take some time to shop the many stores around the parameter of Faneuil Hall, then head into the marketplace filled with 36 international food vendors; it is great for families with kids who'd rather not sit and offers a large selection of fast options that can please every member of your family. Or get a table at one of the restaurants dotting the exterior, and get off your feet for a while.Old State House — Photo courtesy of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
Section 2: The North End
Cross the Greenway and you'll find the North End. Here, the Freedom Trail continues and provides a look at Paul Revere's House in scenic North Square as well as Old North Church and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. The North End, a neighborhood unto itself, is filled with some of the best Italian food and pastry shops in all of Boston, well worth a taste.Paul Revere — Photo courtesy of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
Section 3: Charlestown
Stroll over The North Washington Street Bridge into Charlestown where you'll find your final two stops along the Freedom Trail. Neither should be missed. The Bunker Hill Monument and USS Constitution are the final official sites of the Freedom Trail, but don't forget to visit the Constitution Museum and grab some food at America's oldest tavern, Warren Tavern, where pillars of freedom, Paul Revere and George Washington dined. Bunker Hill Monument — Photo courtesy of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau