Over the course of my 4 days in Boston, I spent most of my time (when not at my conference) exploring town on the Freedom Trail. Heck, the trail passed right in front of the hotel I stayed in. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Freedom Trail, it's a 2.5 mile long trail, marked with a red line,
The Freedom Trail starts in historic Boston Common, a short walk from my hotel, the Omni Parker House. Boston Common itself was established in 1634 and is the oldest public park in the United States. The trail heads north to the Boston State House,
The Granary Burying Ground contained some of the most ornate (and perhaps creepy) old, carved headstones that I've seen in any cemetery.
When I visited the King's Chapel site on Monday, it was raining hard, and so I did not spend much time exploring it or the adjacent burying ground. The cemetery there contains the grave of Massachusetts' first governor John Winthrop and Winthrop's grave is said to have inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write The Scarlet Letter. From The King's Chapel the trail turns onto Schools Street and passes the site of the first public school in America. Today the Old City Hall stands there, along with a nice statue of Benjamin Franklin. The trail continues on to the Old Corner Bookstore which was a meeting place for such writers as Hawthorne, Longfellow, Emerson, and Dickens. Today it houses a Chipotle and on Thursday I stopped in to eat a burrito just like Charles Dickens would do if he were alive today.
From the historic Chipotle restaurant, the heads across the street to the Old South Meeting House.
The Old State House is, perhaps, one of the most recognizable historic landmarks in Boston. It houses a subway station and a museum. When I visited on Sunday I discovered the museum to cost a whopping $10. I felt the admission was a bit pricey, and so I headed back outside. I'm glad I did, because I got to see some history going on outside the building right before my very eyes. Located on the building are a gilded, gold lion and unicorn which are symbols of the British monarchy. The existing statues are replicas of the originals that burned in 1776. The replicas themselves, however,date from 1882 and were recently restored. I got to see the restored unicorn lifted using a crane and hoisted over the Old State House to be set back in place on top of the building.
After leaving the Old State House the Freedom Trail heads over to Faneuil Hall
After passing a plethora of Italian restaurants the trail finally arrives at another historic site, this time the Paul Revere House.
From Copp's Hill the Freedom Trail crosses the Charles River into Charlestown.
The highlight of the Navy Yard is the USS Constitution,