Monday, August 17, 2009

Boston: The Freedom Trail

Bunker Hill Monument
We had two 1 full day and part of another day in Boston and the Freedom Trail was the top tourist attraction for us. Why? I guess I had incomplete memories of it having visited it in elementary school and I wanted to remedy that. In fact the only thing I can remember are the shops in Faneuil Hall. Nothing else. Was it worth it this time? Yes.

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile walk from Boston Common to Bunker Hill Monument (across the river in Charleston). We walked it slowly in about 3 hours stopping for a quick lunch – at an Italian street fair nonetheless. The trail starts out busy (around the Visitor Center in the Common) and comes to peak in the food court of Quincy Market. After that visitors at least following the red brick (or painted) line seem to lessen. When the Trail crossed over the big dig into the North End it suddenly felt more interesting for us: food-wise (Italian!), crowd-wise (less people), and architecturally (interesting and human-scaled buildings). We skipped the USS Constitution in order to fit in the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. Bunker Hill Monument was more interesting than we expected. It is a refreshing place to sit and relax after walking the trail and climbing the 294 steps to the top of the monument. Admission to the monument is free.

The Freedom Trail Foundation Web site is worth checking out before visiting and there is a map you can download. Audio guides can be found here and here.
Paul Revere's Tomb

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