History lovers, boat enthusiasts and military aficionados alike can't miss the chance to board the USS Constitution. Docked at the Boston National Historical Park in Charlestown, this historic vessel is the world's oldest commissioned warship still operational today. It is helmed by United States Navy sailors, who also serve as the ship's guides.
Previous visitors highly recommend checking out this floating attraction, citing its interesting history and knowledgeable staff as highlights. To make the most of your visit, many suggest perusing the exhibits at the accompanying USS Constitution Museum before or after touring the vessel. If you go to the museum first and buy a flag at the gift shop, make sure to let the ship's crew know: Several past travelers enjoyed watching their flags get raised and lowered on board.
The USS Constitution and USS Constitution Museum can be reached by walking the Freedom Trail, riding the No. 93 bus to the Charlestown Navy Yard stop, taking the Charlestown Ferry from Long Wharf to Charlestown Navy Yard's pier, or driving to and parking in the nearby Nautica Parking Garage. The ship and museum are free to visit, but the latter encourages donations. A museum store with souvenirs, snacks and drinks is available on-site.
From May to early November, the USS Constitution welcomes visitors Tuesday through Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 or 6 p.m.; from early November to early April, the vessel is open Wednesday through Sunday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The museum permits entry from 9 or 10 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m., depending on the season. For more information, visit the USS Constitution's website and the USS Constitution Museum's website.
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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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