The 16 Sites on the Freedom Trail in Boston
The Freedom Trail in Boston has a total of 16 historical sites.
I live in the next town over from the “Athens of America” so getting to and from is super easy.
I am so grateful that I live so close to this historic city. I have to admit, I’ve always taken it for granted.
I hopped on the bus that has a stop that’s a two-minute walk from my house for USD 1.70 and took it to Orient Heights. Orient Heights is on the blue line. From the blue line, I went to Government Center on the green line. I could’ve taken another line to the start of the Freedom Trail but it was only an 11-minute walk from Government Center.
The 16 Historical Sites on the Freedom Trail in Boston
- Boston Common
- Massachusetts State House
- Park Street Church
- Granary Burying Ground
- King’s Chapel/King’s Chapel Burying Ground
- Boston Latin School Site
- Old Corner Bookstore
- Old South Meeting House
- Old State House
- Boston Massacre Site
- Faneuil Hall
- Paul Revere House
- Old North Church
- Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
- USS Constitution
- Bunker Hill Monument
When my friends and I go to Boston, we usually just go to Faneuil Hall because they have karaoke there and it’s just a few stops away from all of us on the blue line.
This time while I’m home, I have decided to make time to visit the historical sites in Massachusetts. I made a Google spreadsheet so I can cross off the sites as I go.
I realized I was already walking the Freedom Trail when I was walking from Government Center to the Boston Common when I saw the Granary Burying Grounds on the right. However, I keep trotting my way to the start line.
At the beginning of the trail, in the Boston Common and on Tremont Street, they have a visitor center. The visitor center holds useful information about Boston and some of the attractions that the city has to offer. There are also pamphlets about Salem, MA, and other historical towns in Massachusetts.
Don’t worry, following the Freedom Trail in Boston is easy- you just have to follow the yellow brick road.
But it’s actually red.
I read that the whole trail takes 90 minutes but I have to say it took me a lot longer. I have to add though that I really took my time reading and taking in the historic scenes. So I guess it really just depends on how fast you want to go.
I did the Freedom Trail way back when I was in I think middle school? But figured I’d give it another go.
I was able to take my time and split up my time on the Freedom Trail. I did the beginning of the trail one day and then Charleston another day and then Paul Revere House another day. Then another day I went back to the Old State and Old Meeting House to do a tour. I also went to the USS Constitution on another day because the two times I tried to go before they were closed. In total, I think I went into Boston maybe ten separate times?
Make sure you check on Google to see the hours. I made the mistake of not doing so a few times. It was fine though because I was able to make a few trips into Boston which I thoroughly enjoyed.
There are 11 sites in downtown Boston, 3 in the North End, and 2 in Charlestown.
Here, I’ve listed the amount of time it took for me to complete each of the stops on the Freedom Trail in Boston:
- Boston Common – 15 minutes
- Massachusetts State House – if you do an in-person tour it takes about 40 minutes
- Park Street Church
- Granary Burying Ground – 15-20 minutes
- King’s Chapel/King’s Chapel Burying Ground – 8 minutes
- Boston Latin School Site/Benjamin Franklin Statue – 5 minutes
- Old Corner Bookstore – 2 minutes
- Old South Meeting House – 10 minutes
- Old State House – 20 minutes
- Boston Massacre Site – 2 minutes
- Faneuil Hall – 15 minutes
- Paul Revere House – 20-30 minutes
- Old North Church – 10 minutes
- Copp’s Hill Burying Ground – 10 minutes
- USS Constitution – 15 minutes
- Bunker Hill Monument – 10-30 minutes
My total time: 182 minutes / almost 3 hours.
If there is no time next to it, then they were closed at the time I wrote this.
Of course, it is hard to time each stop.
What I didn’t realize before I started the Freedom Trail in Boston is how much history is inside this beautiful city. I spent hours walking throughout Boston. Each time I went, I discovered more that the city has to offer. It is truly amazing.
The Beginning of the Freedom Trail in Boston starts in the US’s oldest public park:
1. Boston Common
To get to the Boston Common, I usually just take Orient Heights (blue line) to Government Center (green line) and then walk. It’s less than a ten-minute walk. However, the closest stop is Park Street which is both the red and green line. It sits right inside of the Common.
As you walk through the Common, you see street vendors and bright green grass. There is also a fountain to the right when you follow the brick path. Inside of the Common is also Frog Pond. In the summer it’s filled with water and in the winter people skate on it.
There’s a statue dedicated to the people who died during the Boston Massacre.
You can also go off course and across the street to see the Boston Public Garden.
The Public Garden is gorgeous on a summer day. Walking through you’ll see people doing various activities. There is also a George Washington statue and the famous restaurant and TV show: Cheers is right across the street.
Make Way For Ducklings sits inside of the Boston Public Garden.
The Boston Common is huge. I spent a good 15 minutes walking through it before I continued on my journey. There are benches and trees everywhere. Just like every other city, you should be cautious of your belongings and yourself.
Once when I went with my friends we saw a girl feeding nuts squirrels and birds. She was basically Snow White.
2. Massachusetts State House
The Massachusetts State House is right across the street from the Boston Common. It is located on Beacon Hill. You can take a virtual tour or an on-site tour. I decided to do a virtual tour because it is just easier, of course.
3. Park Street Church
Park Street Church is only open on Sundays so I only got to see the outside. It is right next to the Boston Common; you can’t miss it.
4. Granary Burying Ground
Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams are all buried here.
5. King’s Chapel / King’s Chapel Burying Ground
The Chapel and Burial Ground are on Tremont Street. I think that the church is only open on Sundays but the burying ground is open every day. I didn’t go inside the Chapel.
6. Boston Latin School Site / Benjamin Franklin Statue
The Boston Latin School is the oldest public school in the US.
When you walk by the site, you will see a sign that says “Old City Hall.” This is where the school was located. Inside the gates, you’ll see two statues of humans and then a donkey. Those two are Benjamin Franklin and Josiah Quincy.
Inside of the old building sits a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
7. Old Corner Bookstore
This is Boston’s oldest commercial building.
It is now used for retail shops and commercial offices. As you can see, Chipotle is one of those stores.
8. Old South Meeting House
You can buy a ticket for both the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House for $15. I bought mine at the Old South Meeting House because I decided to stop there first. Then I backtracked to the Old State House. You can take pictures inside both of the buildings. I didn’t take that many so you’ll just have to go and see for yourself!
9. Old State House
The Old State House was the largest building in Boston in the 1770s which is insane when you see all of the other buildings that surround it now. Look how tiny it looks now!!!
You buy your ticket in the main room and then make your way up the stairs. The first room that you see is the Government Room Council Chamber 1764.
It is where officials sat and discussed you know, government things. The dude that worked there told me that George Washington actually read the Declaration of Independence from the balcony to tons of Bostonians back in 1776.
Two Hundred years later, Queen Elizabeth spoke from that same balcony. How cool?!
10. Boston Massacre Site
The plaque for the Boston Massacre Site is right outside of the Old State House.
11. Faneuil Hall
Before you get to Faneuil Hall, there’s a statue of the famous Sam Adams. Right next to it is the Sam Adams Taproom. It’s a nice place to get a refreshing drink.
Around Faneuil Hall is where I spent most of my early 20s. On a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, there will be lines out the doors for some of the bars. Sissy Ks/Hong Kong, The Black Rose, and Wild Rover are all close by and less than a minute walk from Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Ned Devine’s is also right there.
There are a bunch of other bars and restaurants around there but those are the main ones that I’d go to. The Black Rose is an Irish pub so I love going there. Sissy Ks and Hong Kong always have karaoke and they are right next to each other. Love me some karaoke.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is actually a building and you can do some shopping inside. It’s a fun time.
Right near Faneuil Hall is Quincy Market Place. Inside the Marketplace, they have even more restaurants. They have Greek food, chowder, lobster, ice cream, sandwiches, noodles, and so on.
It’s another great place to stop on the Freedom Trail in Boston, especially if you’re hungry or want to try some of New England’s clam chowder.
Right down the street near Union Oyster House is Boston Public Market. Union Oyster House is one of the oldest continuously running restaurants in the US.
The Boston Public Market has a bunch of local food. On one of the days that I walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, I stopped inside to take a gander and got a delicious cheddar bagel with extra cream cheese for about $4 from Levend Bagelry. Then I stopped to get some dessert and got a fresh glazed donut from Union Square Donuts.
12. Paul Revere House – North End
The Paul Revere House is right in the North End so hopefully, you still saved some room for even more food! The North End in Boston has outstanding food and numerous restaurants to choose from.
At the time that I went to the Paul Revere House, the price was only USD 6 for adults. They prefer cash because then 100% of the proceeds go to the house so try and hit the ATM before heading there.
It is a self-guided tour but they have staff inside of the house that gives a good perspective on how life was back then. You can’t take pictures inside the house but they have a gift shop and mini-museum once you exit his house.
13. Old North Church – North End
Another interesting part of history on the Freedom Trail in Boston is the Old North Church. It is tiny but lovely inside:
I came here on a whim one day because I was in Boston and I saw on Google that it was open. It was also close to where I was walking. It is right on Salem Street which is right near all of the inviting Italian restaurants in the North End.
It is only USD 5 to enter.
The Old North Church was built in 1723 which makes it Boston’s oldest church.
It is also where the famous “One if by land, two if by sea” signal was sent during Paul Revere’s midnight ride. Pretty coool.
14. Copp’s Hill Burying Ground – North End
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground is huge. In it lies merchants and craftspeople that lived in the North End. The Burying Ground was used by the Britains during the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 because the height of the cemetery was so high.
15. USS Constitution – Charlestown
To board “Old Ironsides” is free. It looks like a huge ship from the outside.
I ended up going to the USS Constitution 2 times before actually getting in LOL. The first time, I didn’t check to see when they closed, the second I was too late, and the third is when I finally made it. It was on a Friday too so I was a bit nervous. However, I lucked out; there weren’t too many people.
On the inside, the stairs were very steep and the ceilings were quite low. Luckily, I’m just about 5 feet (152 cm), so I was able to walk freely-ish. The rooms were tiny and they just had hammocks inside of them. There were three floors: the top deck, then three lower levels. You couldn’t go to the bottom level though.
16. Bunker Hill Monument – Charlestown
The Bunker Hill Monument is the last stop on the Freedom Trail in Boston. Although it was closed the two times that I went due to the pandemic, I remember going in it when I was in high school and there were countless stairs.
And that’s the end of The Freedom Trail.
The Freedom Trail in Boston is ideal for a summer or fall day. Perks of going in the fall: you get to see the foliage. Just make sure to get to the Paul Revere House and other spots before they close. Do a quick Google search before planning your day.
What a fascinating trail! I love a history walk.