Millions of visitors to Boston walk the Freedom Trail – a two-and-one-half-mile red stripe on the sidewalk that takes you to 16 historical sites pertaining to the Revolutionary War – our fight to gain our freedom from Great Britain in the 18th century.
What most visitors don’t realize is the Freedom Trail does not shut down in winter. The Freedom Trail Foundation offers daily guided tours of the first mile of the trail, weather permitting, starting at 12 noon from the Boston Common. The tours are given by members of the Freedom Trail Players who are actors and school teachers portraying historical persons from the time of the Revolution.
If you can’t get a tour then purchase a map or a guide book at the visitor’s center and be your own guide.
Each of the Freedom Trail sites is open year round. The official start of the trail is the Visitor Information Center
near the Boston Common. The trail is marked on the sidewalk by either a red stripe or red bricks that winds its way up to the gold-domed State House, then down to the Park Street Church. Next to that is the Granary Burial Ground, across the street to Kings Chapel and burying ground, then down to the Old South Meeting House, around to the Old State House in front of which is the Boston Massacre Site. Then it crosses to Faneuil Hall, past the Union Oyster House, the oldest continuously operated restaurant in America, to Paul Revere’s House, then onto the Old North Church and Copps Hill burying ground. The Freedom Trail continues across the bridge to the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument.
Other advantages of following the trail in winter; there are no throngs of tourists waiting to get into the historic buildings, and, the cold is a good excuse to stop into a café along the way for some hot cocoa or a historic pub such as the Green Dragon for a pint of Samuel Adams beer.
So, layer up your clothing, dig out the mittens, hats and scarves and take a walk on a winter’s day in Boston, one of America’s most historic cities.