Boston is a city built on historic happenings, dating back several centuries. Boston’s history is pivotal in creating and evolving American history. The city is known by some as the City on the Hill or the Cradle of Liberty because of its history in forming the American tale. From the American Revolution that started in the Boston area, to the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill, Boston has deep roots in the country’s fundamental base. Almost everywhere you look in the city, there is a piece of history to acknowledge and enjoy.
Freedom Trail Foundation
99 Chauncy St., Suite 401
Boston, MA 02111
This 2 1/2 mile walking trail around the city, which typically starts at the Boston Commons but can be picked up at any of the sites, is a full history lesson about Boston. There are 16 stops along the Freedom Trail including the Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Faneuil Hall, USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument. There are free guided tours offered, or visitors can do their own self-tour.
137 Warren Ave.
Plymouth, MA 02360
Plimoth Plantation is located about 45 minutes south of Boston. It is a living history museum depicting life in America, specifically Plymouth Colony, in the 1600s. This 17th-Century English village allows visitors to experience what day-to-day life was like for the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. The costumed role players strictly stick to the time period in their actions and discussions as visitors walk between the sites. Visitors are encouraged to join in conversations with the “residents,” whether in their home, during their chores or while walking on the dirt roads of Plimoth Plantation.
Boston Harbor Islands
Take a short, relaxing boat ride out to the Boston Harbor Islands, a member of the National Park system, to learn about and experience some of the war history surrounding Boston. The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area is a collection of 12 fun-to-explore islands, including popular Georges Island and Little Brewster Island where Boston Light, the oldest lighthouse in the country, sits. There is Fort Warren, a Civil War era fort, on Georges Island, to explore, hiking trails to walk, wildlife to observe and plenty of space to have a picnic or even camp.
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220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Museum has interactive exhibits demonstrating the rights and history of the city from the 1600s to the present time. There are charts, flags and other artifacts on display, including a copper plate used by Paul Revere. The museum offers a cellphone narrated tour, a web tour, or visitors can make a personal visit to see the artifacts.
Harvard University, an educational institution rich in history and the country’s oldest university, sits in Harvard Yard along with Memorial Church, the Peabody Museum and the Fogg Museum. The university plays a role in US history given the fact that eight Harvard alumni signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Several US presidents, including John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama (Harvard Law School), walked the Harvard Yard campus on their educational journey to graduation. This area in the City of Cambridge amid Harvard Square is an eclectic and interesting piece of Boston history.
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