Boston Freedom Trail Self Guided Tour

When I first visited Boston, I was on a very tight budget. So, rather than spend money on a guided tour of the Boston Freedom Trail, I opted for a self-guided tour instead.

The Boston Freedom Trail was first established in 1951 by William Schofield. Scofield, a local journalist, suggested building a trail linking important local landmarks. John Hynes, the mayor at the time, agreed to Schofield’s idea, which was implemented in just two years.

In 1951, 40,000 people walked the trail. Today, that number is thought to be in the millions.

The Boston Freedom Trail is free to walk, and floor markers cover the entire distance, ensuring you don’t get lost.

Based on my experience, I recommend allocating one full day to the Boston Freedom Trail.

I started my self-guided tour at 10:30am and reached the final stop (Bunker Hill Monument) at 4.30pm. This included stopping a handful of times for a drink and lunch at Faneuil Hall.

The final stop on the Boston Freedom Trail, Bunker Hill Monument, is 2.5 miles from the start, Boston Common. So, it may take an additional hour to return to your car or hotel.

The Start of the Boston Freedom Trail

The start of the Boston Freedom Trail is Boston Common.

There are several hotels and parking garages within a ten-minute walk of this site. Alternatively, Boston Common is well connected by the public transport network.

Boston Common, established in 1634, is the oldest public park in the United States. Just next to Boston Common is Park St Subway Station, the first subway station to open in the United States in 1897.

Since its opening in 1634 and 1830, Boston Common has been used for cattle grazing. Today, however, it’s a hive of activity, with a mix of locals and tourists using the park to meet, relax, and enjoy themselves.

If you want more information on the Boston Freedom Trail, the Boston Common Visitor Center is a great place to visit. Located in Boston Common, this visitor centre has maps, souvenirs, and more.

The Sites of the Boston Freedom Trail

There are 16 sites on the Boston Freedom Trail; they are:

  1. Boston Common: The oldest city park in the United States.
  2. Massachusetts State House: The state capitol and seat of the Massachusetts government.
  3. Park Street Church: A historic church known for its role in social justice and abolition movements.
  4. Granary Burying Ground: The final resting place of many notable figures from the American Revolution. These include Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock.
  5. King’s Chapel and Burying Ground: A historic church and cemetery.
  6. Boston Latin School Site: The site of the first public school in America and a statue of Benjamin Franklin.
  7. Old Corner Bookstore: Popular meeting place for notable authors such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Dickens.
  8. Old South Meeting House: The organising point for the Boston Tea Party.
  9. Old State House: The oldest surviving public building in Boston and the site of the Boston Massacre.
  10. Boston Massacre Site: The location where British soldiers killed five colonists on 5th March 1770.
  11. Faneuil Hall: A marketplace and a meeting hall known as “The Cradle of Liberty.”
  12. Paul Revere House: The colonial home of American patriot Paul Revere during the American Revolution.
  13. Old North Church: The location where the famous “One if by land, two if by sea” signal lanterns of Paul Revere’s midnight ride were displayed.
  14. Copp’s Hill Burying Ground: A cemetery where many notable Bostonians from the colonial era are buried.
  15. USS Constitution: The world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat, known as “Old Ironsides.”
  16. Bunker Hill Monument: A granite obelisk that marks the site of the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The End of the Boston Freedom Trail

Bunker Hill Monument is the final stop on the Boston Freedom Trail.

This monument is dedicated to the Battle of Bunker Hill, which occurred on 17th June 1775 at the start of the American Revolutionary War.

The Bunker Hill Monument took 16 years to complete and was opened to the public in 1843. Between April and June, you can climb the 221-foot-tall monument with a climbing pass from the Bunker Hill Museum at the foot of the hill.


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  1. Pamela Gann says:

    So many great details. Thanks so much for sharing! We are homeschoolers and my son is currently studying the American Revolution, so a trip to Boston is coming soon!

    1. That’s awesome! With very little background in American History (being from England) we learnt so much and had a fantastic time. I’m sure your son is going to enjoy it even more 🙂