Boston National Historical Park

One of the best ways to see all that Boston National Historic Park has to offer is to walk The Freedom Trail. Following a line of bricks 2 ½ miles across the streets and sidewalks of this historic New England city, visitors to the park are treated to 16 historic sites, including the site of the Boston Massacre where British troops first fired on Colonials five years prior to the conflict at Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere’s house (“The Redcoats are coming!”), the Old North Church (“One if by land, two if by sea”), and the Bunker Hill Monument (“Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!”)—All icons of the American Revolution.

In addition, you can visit the U.S.S. Constitution, commissioned by President George Washington in 1797, and one of the first ships in the U.S. Navy. Nicknamed "Old Ironsides" because a cannonball supposedly bounced off her thick oak siding during a battle in the War of 1812, the ship is docked in the historic Charlestown Navy Yard.

The Navy Yard itself produced ships for 175 years until it was closed in 1974. During World War II, the Yard employed hundreds of women welders. The Destroyer U.S.S. Cassin Young, an example of the type of ships they built and repaired, is now available for viewing.

As the park encompasses most of downtown Boston, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to sample the city's famous baked beans and New England clam "chowdah."

And for a fitting ending to your trip, don’t forget to check out where many famous Bostonians ended their lifetime journeys at the Granary Burying Ground. This cemetery is the final resting place for five victims of the Boston Massacre, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and...Mother Goose. Really.

—Tracey McIntire, NPCA

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