Freedom Trail#5 in Best Things To Do in Boston
Stretching 2½ miles, the Freedom Trail weaves past 16 of the city's most historic sites, including Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the Paul Revere House and Old North Church. Taking in all of the trail's attractions requires at least half a day (and some comfortable walking shoes), but you can easily plot points of interest before you begin your jaunt from Boston Common.
Though most recent visitors agreed the trail is easy to navigate on your own, some culture hounds said joining one of the walking tours with the 18th-century costumed Freedom Trail Player tour guides offers an informative, 90-minute introduction to Boston's revolutionary roots. If you have a Go Boston Card, standard guided tours are covered by your pass.
To reach Boston Common and start your trail tour, take the Red Line or Green Line to Park Street Station and head to the Boston Common Visitor Center. Some guided tours start a few stops into the route at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Limited street parking is offered in the area, so leave early if you plan to drive. Tours operated by the Freedom Trail Foundation are available daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Most tours cost $12 to $20 per person (discounted rates are available for seniors, students and children ages 6 to 12). If you choose to do a self-guided tour, a smartphone app is offered on the Freedom Trail's website for $4.99. Walking the trail is free, though some attractions along the trail do charge admission fees. If you're interested in other ways to see Boston, see four other top tours locals recommend.
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#1 Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Four buildings – Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market – constitute Faneuil Hall Marketplace, with the oldest being Faneuil Hall. Built in 1742 and now located on the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall has had a long and important history in Massachusetts politics. Samuel Adams once stood here to push for resistance against the British, and abolitionists and suffragists have stood on their soapboxes here. In fact, this is where Jonathan Mayhew famously challenged the Sugar Act of 1764 by proclaiming, "no taxation without representation." Since Mayhew's declaration, the marketplace has expanded to include more than 100 shops and restaurants.
Some former visitors caution that the items sold at Faneuil Hall Marketplace are a bit overpriced. However, if you're looking to kill some time or snap some great photos, consider strolling through the market's halls. You'll also find various cuisines served in Quincy Market if you're in need of a quick bite. Keep in mind that this market gets crowded quickly (especially on weekends and in the summer), so it's best to visit during a weekday if you don't want to encounter hordes of people.
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