Because we had been sick earlier on, we chose to head back down to Boston during our time in New Hampshire. Neither of us had ever been, so we didn’t want to get so close and not take the opportunity to see this historic city. It took about an hour and a half to drive down, and we found an open lot at Sullivan Square to park for just $9.00 for the entire day. We walked from here, but there are also public transit options nearby, including multiple bus lines and a subway line.
Our main goal for the day was to walk the 2 1/2 mile Freedom Trail, which takes you through multiple parks to 16 sites of significance in US history. We did things in reverse, starting at Bunker Hill in Charlestown and culminating our tour at Boston Common in downtown. Though you can purchase guided tours, and we certainly ran into many along the way, we wanted to do things at our own pace. Here are the highlights.
Atop Bunker Hill is a monument honoring those who fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill, fought against Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. From here we walked through a few smaller parks to the beautiful five-acre Paul Revere Park that sits along the Charles River. I liked the decorative mosaic tile and undulating benches, which seemed to be a nod to Gaudi’s Parque Guell. The views from the top of this layered park are also outstanding.
From here we walked across an impromptu pedestrian bridge to the North End while the main bridge was under construction. It flexed a lot under foot, so I can imagine that anyone afraid of heights or going over bridges might freak out a bit. 😬 We walked up to the Copps Hill Burying Ground, the second-oldest burial ground in Boston where many of the North End’s residents of lesser means were laid to rest.
Down the street from the cemetery is the Old North Church, where Paul Revere’s signal lanterns were hung to warn Americans of the onslaught of British troops. A statue of Paul Revere stands behind the church in their courtyard. By this time, we were getting peckish. The North End is Boston’s oldest residential community, and is filled with gorgeous historic buildings and dozens upon dozens of Italian American restaurants. If you love Italian food, you really can’t go wrong here. 😋
After lunch, we continued to several more sites, including the Granary Burial Ground, Boston’s third-oldest cemetery. Therein lie the remains of notable figures, including Paul Revere, the five victims of the Boston Massacre, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Robert Treat Paine to name a few. For us, it was interesting to see commemorative plaques on the walls of the surrounding buildings, which made me wonder where their bodies were actually buried. Our tour ended at the expansive Boston Common, America’s oldest public park, dating from 1634. It is a beautiful park, bordered by the state capitol building to the east.
Finally, we took a cab across the river to Harvard and walked around their campus grounds before deciding to “call it” and head back toward our truck. Our feet were worn out by this time. 😑 We had parked on the northern edge of Boston and were conveniently located next to the freeway entrance, so we had a relatively speedy exit during rush hour. Though we couldn’t live in such a densely populated area again, Boston is a beautiful city, very walkable, filled with history, and worth going to see for yourself.