This Walking Route Is One Of The Best Tourist Attractions In New England For History Buffs

The United States hasn't been around that long compared to countries in other parts of the world, but a lot has happened over the two-and-a-half centuries of our existence. There are Revolutionary War landmarks all over the East Coast, but Boston, Massachusetts, is chock full of them. When you visit this city, which is one of the oldest cities in the country, it's easy to immerse yourself in American history. Boston makes it very simple for you to follow the birth of the USA.

The city has something called the Freedom Trail, which is a 2.5 mile route of 16 historic landmarks in Boston. Most of them are from the 18th century, telling the story of those who fought for (and against) the formation of a new country, but a few landmarks are from outside of that time period. Not only can you take informative guided tours of this route, which is marked with a brick path and plaques embedded into the sidewalk, but you can also grab a map, brochure, guidebook, audio guide or use a smartphone app for a self-guided experience. Let's check out the Freedom Trail and give you a taste of what it has to offer.

What to know about the Freedom Trail

You can get all of the information at the visitors center in Boston Common, but you can really start wherever you'd like (and go in any direction). Even better? It's free to visit the Freedom Trail, though you will have to pay admission to some of the historic sites — you can visit 16 of them in total. The Freedom Trail was created in 1951, it's wheelchair accessible, and when you explore it as a self-guided tour, you can go at your own pace. If you book a tour however, led by the Freedom Trail Foundation, you'll have a knowledgeable person in 18th century costume who can give you some real insight into the creation of the USA. The foundation-led walking tours take about 90 minutes on average and you can purchase tickets in advance online.

There is plenty to see here including the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House, and the Granary Burying Ground, which has graves that date back to 1660. Keep in mind that while dogs can follow the sidewalk trail and visit public places like Boston Common, Charlestown Navy Yard, and the Bunker Hill Monument grounds, they can't go inside historic buildings.

Things you'll see along the way

A good starting point on the trail is at Boston Common, the oldest park in the country, created in 1634. It's called the Common because each Puritan colonist homeowner who lived there paid six shillings to pay the 30 pounds charged for the land. Next up is the Massachusetts State House, with its shining dome. It was designed by Charles Bulfinch and is the current home of the state's government. Following that is Park Street Church, which was founded in 1809 and designed by Peter Banner.

It's not all buildings. You'll visit the Granary Burying Ground which has the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin's parents, and that of John Hancock and Paul Revere. King's Chapel, Boston's first Anglican church (original building dated from 1686, and the current building from 1754) and its Burying Ground is next. You'll find the graves of the state's first governor, and the first woman off the Mayflower, Mary Chilton.

You'll see the Boston Latin School (1635), the oldest public school in America, and a statue of Benjamin Franklin who studied there. You can also see the Old South Meeting House, where the Boston Tea Party got its start. Then there is the Old State House (1713), the site of the Boston Massacre in 1770; and Faneuil Hall, the site of the first Town Meeting of the new country. Additionally, you can visit the Paul Revere House from 1680, and the Old North Church (1723), where Revere's famous ride happened (and where more than 1,100 bodies lie under the church in a crypt you can visit). You can even visit the USS Constitution, which launched in 1797. You may know it by the nickname "Old Ironsides" from the War of 1812. That's just a sampling of this incredible, historical walking tour.