The red-lined Freedom Trail, seen here at Downtown Crossing, is a four kilometer walk past 16 historically significant sites in Boston. Highlights include Boston Common, America’s oldest public park, Paul Revere’s home and the USS Constitution.
Boston – Been there

The birth of America? Just follow the red-lined trail

Photo by Essdras M Suarez

Boston – Been there The birth of America? Just follow the red-lined trail

DC may be America’s political heartland, and New York City its financial and cultural capital, but when it comes to American history there’s no place like Boston.

Tara Isabella Burton
Tara Isabella Burton Travel Writer

Between the Financial District and the regenerated Seaport, a boat still rocks on the water. It’s a replica revolutionary-era ship museum commemorating the Boston Tea Party. The dumping of imported tea was the nation’s first major protest against “taxation without representation” and heralded the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775. The Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston from the balcony of the Old States House in 1776, a tradition that is repeated every 4th of July.

Visiting the ship is easy – you just follow the red-lined trail that snakes through many of Boston’s most historic sites. Or you can book a guided tour with the official Freedom Trail Association.

As I walk, I pass by the home of Paul Revere, the American hero of folklore, who rode all night to warn revolutionary soldiers of the incoming English attack. Then Faneuil Hall, site of the first town meeting in America and the place where the issue of “taxation without representation” was first debated in public. The Bunker Hill Monument commemorates the site of the first major battle in the Revolutionary War.

These monuments don’t quite feel like they belong totally to the past, however. Here, among the red bricks, the low trees, the cobbled streets and the lampposts, the birth of America feels very much part of today.

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Patriotic Boston celebrates Independence Day with a free open-air concert and firework display. The Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston from the balcony of the Old State House in 1776, a tradition that is repeated every 4th July. Photo by Matt Moyer / Alamy

Matt Moyer

Matt Moyer

Agency
Alamy

Patriotic Boston celebrates Independence Day with a free open-air concert and firework display. The Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston from the balcony of the Old State House in 1776, a tradition that is repeated every 4th July.

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