The Freedom Trail extends for 2-1/2 miles, following a red line on the pavement, which links 16 historic sites related to the struggle for independence from British control, prior to the American Revolution. There are markers identifying the attractions and providing information about them – from the city center on to the North End, and to Charlestown and the Bunker Hill Monument.
Along the way you’ll see Paul Revere’s House, which is Boston’s oldest surviving house, and home to the famous revolutionary hero, and nearby is the Old North Church where lanterns were hung to warn of British movements. The Old State House is also on the Trail: it was the seat of British colonial government and also the historic location of the reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
At the Old South Meeting House, Samuel Adams delivered an address prior to the Boston Tea Party and a cobblestone circle here marks the site of the Boston Massacre. The USS Constitution is docked in Charlestown: known as ‘Old Ironsides’ it’s the oldest warship afloat. The Bunker Hill Monument, also in Charlestown, is the site of the first battle of the America Revolution, in 1775.
Park Street Church is also on the Freedom Trail: it was the site of important anti-slavery speeches. The Old Granary Burying Ground and the Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall are other Revolutionary-era sites also on the trail. Although the tour is completely self-guided, free tours with guides in historic costumes are also offered by the National Park Service.
The Heart of the Freedom Trail tour begins at Faneuil Hall daily at 10:00. Tours of Beacon Hill begin at the steps of the State House on Beacon Street, weekdays at 17:30, Saturdays at 10:00 and Sundays at 14:00. Other tours and starting points are Victorian Back Bay, beginning at Trinity Church, at 10:00, Friday through Sunday and 17:30 on Tuesday and Thursday; the North End, which begins at Faneuil Hall, at 14:00 on Friday and Saturday; and Literary Landmarks, beginning at Borders on School street, at 14:00 on Saturdays.