Perhaps more than any other city in the USA, Boston is home to a multitude of famous landmarks with historical significance. Make sure to see as many of these sites as possible on your next vacation to Boston. Many of them are located on or near the Freedom Trail, so just follow the red brick path and they’ll be hard to miss.
Old North Church
The oldest active church building in Boston, the Old North Church was built in 1722. Well known for many reasons, it is perhaps most famous for being the site where Paul Revere ordered lanterns be hung to notify the colonists of the British Troops’ movements. This order is where the phrase “one if by land, two if by sea and I on the opposite shore will be” originated from. A National Historic Landmark, the Old North Church hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, offering tours that showcase the architectural and historical significance of the building and the events that it played a role in throughout America’s past.
The oldest public park in the United States, Boston Common was established in 1634 and throughout its long history has served many purposes. Nearly 50 acres in size, the Common was once where the British troops camped before the Revolution and where many well-known personalities came to gather followers and make speeches. A part of the Emerald Necklace, which is a system of parks that extends from the Common south to Franklin Park, Boston Common is where people come to relax in a beautiful natural setting. Whether enjoying sporting events, jogging, biking, walking, a concert or event, this central park beckons visitors and locals throughout the year.
Bunker Hill Monument
A tribute to those who fought in the famous Battle of Bunker Hill, this stirring monument was erected between 1827 and 1843. The 221-foot granite pillar rises magnificently on Breed’s Hill, where most of the fighting took place during this historic battle. A visit to Boston should definitely include a visit and a photo here, and if you’re up for it, a climb to the top, which is 294 steps.
Moored at the Boston Navy Yard, the USS Constitution is a prime example of historic naval vessels that once served the United States. The ship, which was first launched in 1797, is the world’s oldest floating commissioned naval vessel and played a role in the Quasi-War and the War of 1812. Today, you can walk on her decks, learn about the rich maritime history of our country and the significance of the USS Constitution.
Old State House
Built in the late 1700s, this historic building is the state capitol and the house of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Located in Beacon Hill, the building is known for its crowning dome, which was originally made of wood but since it leaked was replaced by Paul Revere’s company in 1802. Today’s gilded dome was re-gilded in 23K gold in 1997 and remains an iconic sight in the city. Visitors can tour the inside of the building and learn about its history.
Old South Meeting House
One of most famous Boston’s landmarks, the Old South Meeting House has been the site of many major historical events since the early 1700s. It was here that Samuel Adams inspired fellow colonists to act out against taxation without representation on the night of the Boston Tea Party. It was also here that Judge Samuel Sewall apologized for his part in the Salem Witch Trials years before. An ancient building that holds the rich heritage of a nation and a Revolution, The Old South Meeting House is an important site for all who visit Boston.
The site of numerous public meetings and gatherings, Faneuil Hall was built in the 1760s on property that was donated by Peter Faneuil. One of the most visited spots in the city, it has always been a public marketplace, a meeting hall and the site of various insightful speeches. It was here that Samuel Adams, James Otis and other patriots spoke out against British oppression. Part of the Freedom Trail and Boston National Historical Park, the “Cradle of Liberty” as it has been deemed, is a must see while visiting Boston.
Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
Set on a barge at the end of the Congress Street Bridge, it’s here that visitors can become a part of one of America’s most significant events, the Boston Tea Party. This floating museum offers guests a chance to participate in the events that took place on that fateful night by marching alongside the Sons of Liberty to Griffin’s Wharf, throwing tea overboard and exploring authentically restored tea ships. A multi-sensory experience, the museum features 3-D, holographic, interactive technology that transports visitors back to colonial Boston.
Paul Revere House
Built in 1680, the Paul Revere House is the oldest surviving house in Boston. It was Revere’s home and is located in the city’s North End. Now a museum and a National Historic Landmark, the Paul Revere House offers tours daily and an intriguing look into the famed Midnight Ride of its occupant.
Boston Public Garden
The first public botanical garden in the United States, the Boston Public Garden was established in 1837. Visit the garden to enjoy the lush flora and fauna, towering trees, shaded walking paths, historic statues, fountains and for a ride on the famous Swan Boats. There are several monuments to view, and the ever popular Make Way for Ducklings bronzes, sculpted as a tribute to the classic children’s story by Robert McCloskey.
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