Visiting Colleges in Boston? Take a Stroll Along the Freedom Trail

It’s the 4th of July and Boston is the place to be. This is where it all began: the Boston Tea Party, the historic ride of Paul Revere, the first shot “heard round the world.”

If you have a scheduled college visit in the Boston area this summer, or early in the fall, you can relive the events surrounding the country’s independence on the Freedom Trail. It’s an experience every American should have—walking where our founding fathers walked and fought.

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The Freedom Trial is marked by two rows of red bricks.

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile, red-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites beginning in Boston Common–Boston’s largest park located in the center of the city. You can take a guided tour (which I recommend), or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can pick up a brochure and follow the red bricks on your own. The tours are led by volunteer experts on the history of Boston dressed in period costumes.

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Freedom Trail guides are dressed in period costumes.

The trails weaves throughout Boston taking you through old neighborhoods, by famous landmarks and cemeteries, where some of the heroes of the revolutionary war are buried. You should plan a day for the trip, especially if you want to stop along the way and visit Paul Revere’s home, the Old North Church, Independence Hall, Fanieul Hall, The Oyster House restaurant, and wander through all the cemeteries along the trail.

If you’re a history buff, Paul Revere’s home, the Old North Church and Independence Hall are a must see along the trail. Paul Revere’s home is a modest, small home with many artifacts of his silver trade. The Old North Church is at the top of a hill and you really can see the city of Boston and across the Charles River where the revolutionary war troops were signaled about the impending invasion of British troops.

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The Old North Church stands at the top of a hill where the revolutionary war troops were signaled about the impending invasion of British troops

If you are a foodie, there are many offerings from seafood to Italian food in the North End to pastries like Boston cream pie at Mike’s Pastry shop.

A stop at The Old Boston Oyster House is a must. This is the oldest restaurant in the United States. Of course, they have many different varieties of oysters, along with their infamous New England clam chowder and other seafood offerings.

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The Old Oyster House in Boston–the oldest restaurant in the United States.

Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes. The trail meanders along old cobbled streets, up hills, and across a bridge to Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution. It’s a hike and that’s why I recommend making stops along the trail to rest, relax and soak up the history.

Boston is famous for their 4th of July celebration. Every year on Independence Day, people gather to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the balcony of Independence Hall; just as it was read over 200 years ago. Men dressed in British and revolutionary war period costumes participate in a parade to Fanieul Hall where a speech was given spurring the people to fight for freedom. If you have the chance, you should spend the 4th in Boston.

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The Declaration of Independence being read from the balcony of Independence Hall.

For more information about the Freedom Trail, visit The Freedom Trail Foundation


SCV airplaneCheck out the Boston colleges information page here on Smart College Visit: plan your visit, find out which hotels are near campuses, book flights, discover nearby restaurants and learn more about the colleges in Boston!

To discover other exciting things to do before or after your campus tour, Visit Boston provides a wealth of information and a revolutionary war guide for visitors.