Boston’s Best Historical Sites

June 18, 2012 6:00 AM

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Old Ironsides, file image (credit:AP)

Old Ironsides, file image (credit:AP)

The city of Boston is synonymous with America’s historic origins and past as a new nation. It’s no surprise that millions of visitors come to Boston from around the world to learn about how our nation rose from humble beginnings to become a symbol of freedom. From the rebellious Boston Tea Party to Paul Revere’s famous ride, Boston’s connection to the birth of America is alive via the city’s preserved landmarks. Throughout the city, there are dozens of historic locations, buildings, exhibits and sights to see and enjoy. Here’s just a few suggestions for you to sample as you embark on a thrilling journey into our nation’s honored past.
bostoncommon Bostons Best Historical Sites

(credit: thefreedomtrail.org)

Freedom Trail 
Visitor Information Center, Boston Common
148 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 357-8300
www.thefreedomtrail.org

One of the best ways to sample the wide variety of impressive history that Boston has to offer is to embark on the city’s renowned Freedom Trail. By following a simple red line that weaves throughout the city, either on your own or via guided tour led by costumed experts, tourists can visit 16 of Boston’s most significant historic sites over the course of three hours. Walking along the trail, visitors not only see a multitude of fascinating buildings and landmarks that are part of our American history; but also, they get to see much of Boston as it is today. It’s truly a tour that combines the best of both worlds and allows visitors to get a comprehensive crash course on the richness and diversity of historic Boston.

oldironsides Bostons Best Historical Sites

Old Ironsides, file image (credit:AP)

U.S.S. Constitution
24 5th St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 426-1812
www.history.navy.mil

She’s been affectionately dubbed “Old Ironsides” and this magnificent warship is one of the most unique icons of America’s early history and fight for freedom. The U.S.S. Constitution remains permanently moored in Boston as a proud reminder of the nation’s early naval development and its pivotal role against the British in the War of 1812 and more. Visitors are able to walk the various decks of this historic vessel and be transported back in time through the vivid guided tours conducted by active-duty Navy sailors. Visitors over 18 years old to this unique reminder of our nation’s military past may be asked to present a valid photo ID as measures to protect this important historic floating monument to America’s colonial naval might.

Related: Offbeat Museums In Massachusetts

oldnorthchurch Bostons Best Historical Sites

(credit: oldnorth.com)

The Old North Church 
193 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-6676
www.oldnorth.com

On the night of April 18th, 1775, The Old North Church became a symbol of America’s fight for Independence as two lanterns were lit from the church steeple to signal that the British were coming to Lexington and Concord by sea; sending Paul Revere on his now legendary ride into history. The church was the starting point, in a sense, to the American Revolution. Built in 1723, this historic landmark is the oldest church building in Boston. The interior of the church is restored to the way it looked back at the dawn of our nation’s fight for freedom and the building is a popular stop along the famous Freedom Trail. This is a must-see stop in Boston to experience where our nation’s history had its revolutionary roots.

jfklibrary Bostons Best Historical Sites

(credit: jfklibrary.org)

JFK Presidential Library and Museum 
Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125
(617) 514-1600
www.jfklibrary.org

The historic legacy of one of America’s most beloved presidents is meticulously on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Here, one can experience a variety of both permanent and ever-changing exhibits that depict the life, public service and continuing impact of the nation’s 35th president. Visitors to this tranquil, yet impressive edifice will see not only artifacts from JFK’s presidency, videos, historic documents and much more; but also, they can enjoy an impressive array of special events, honored speakers and educational forums. The JFK Library is a unique, ever-evolving experience that merits repeat visits to fully appreciate all it continues to offer.

Bunker Hill Monument 
Monument Square
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-5689
www.nps.gov

The 221-foot Bunker Hill Monument marks the site of the first major battle of the Revolutionary War. It was on this spot that ill-equipped colonists stood their ground against a powerful opposing force of British soldiers on June 17, 1775. During this battle, Colonel William Prescott issued the famous order, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” to ensure his colonist fighters made every shot count against overwhelming odds. The poorly trained colonial forces were energized enough to repel two assaults by the British before they were forced to retreat. Visitors to this granite monument, if brave enough, may climb the 294 steps to the top to witness an extraordinary view of the city and remember the bravery of the men who fought on the ground below.

Related: Museums Even A Guy Would Like

Tim Estiloz is an experienced, two-time Emmy-winning TV journalist / performer with over a decade of covering entertainment news and features. Based in Boston, Tim is also a voting member of the prestigious Broadcast Film Critics Association which awards the annual Critics’ Choice Awards in Hollywood. Find his work on Examiner.com. Contact him direct at Estiloz@aol.com or follow him on Twitter @TimEstiloz

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