Aug 17, 2015

How I (Accidentally) Walked 14 Miles in Boston - Part 1

My conference ended on Saturday, so that gave me half the day to see some of the sights of Boston. I decided to walk the Freedom Trail, and somehow wound up walking 14.5 miles throughout the day, according to my FitBit...and my tired and sore feet and legs.

View of Charlestown

For those who have not been to Boston before, the Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile long path that goes through downtown Boston, from Boston Common to Charlestown, and has 16 historical locations along it.

I started from the north end of the Freedom Trail and stopped first at the USS Constitution. The USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides, was first launched in 1797 and is famous for her service during the War of 1812. Today, it is a museum, docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard.

USS Constitution

Visitors are lucky enough to be able to board the ship and check out some of our country's naval history.

Crew members aboard the USS Constitution are all active duty U.S. Navy Sailors and they are available to answer questions from visitors.

The Constitution is currently undergoing a 3-year restoration project, but is still open to the public.

The Freedom Trail is marked by red brick or a painted red line, so one would think that it would be easy to follow. I, however, managed to take a couple of wrong turns throughout the day, which added to my walking distance!

Freedom Trail red brick path
Cute buildings in Charlestown

My second stop on the Freedom Trail was Bunker Hill Monument, which commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill, fought in 1775 during the American Revolution. It is not actually located in the Bunker Hill section of Boston but in Charlestown. Confusing?

The monument stands 221-feet tall and you can climb its 294 steps to the top. For some reason, 294 steps didn't sound like a lot but it was quite a hot and tiring journey!

Once you get to step 294, you are afforded beautiful views of Boston!

View from Bunker Hill Monument

Leaving Charlestown, I headed back to the North End of Boston to continue on the trail.

I visited the first of three graveyards on the Freedom Trail: Copp's Hill Burying Ground.

Copp's Hill is the last resting place of patriots, like Robert Newman, as well as horrible characters from early American history, like Cotton and Increase Mather, ministers of Salem Witch Trials fame. 

I loved the detailing of the tombstones. 

Speaking of Robert Newman, next up was the Old North Church

It was here that Robert Newman, along with two other patriots, hung two lanterns from the church steeple to communicate the movements of the British Army before the Battles of Lexington and Concord. If you recall from the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, "one if by land, two if by sea." Once the signal was given, riders on horseback, including Paul Revere, disseminated the message.

Interior of Old North Church

I thought the church's box pews were so cool. They were even labelled with family names and dates, mostly from the 1700s.

Next door to the Old North Church is The Ebenezer Clough House, which houses Captain Jackson's Chocolate Shop and the Print Shop of Edes and Gill.

It was super touristy, so I just snapped a few photos. 

Chocolate making demonstration 

Colonial printing press

It was getting to be time for some sustenance, but first, I visited Paul Revere Mall, which features a statue of Paul Revere on horseback. 

Since I was in the North End, which is Boston's Little Italy, Italian food was a must-eat. I popped in to Locale for some delicious pizza. I had the parma with prosciutto, figs and arugula. It was so good, but way too much for me to eat.

Even though I was stuffed, I had to stop in to Mike's Pastry for a cannoli. I am usually not a huge cannoli fan, but who knows when I will be back in Boston. There were a ton of different cannolis but I went with the chocolate dipped to eat later. 

Chocolate-dipped cannoli from Mike's Pastry

I was now carrying around half a pizza and a cannoli. Oh and Raisin Bread was calling me. It was time to head to my hotel to rest my feet and drop off my food.

First though, I saw that Paul Revere's House is right in the middle of the North End.

I hopped on the T and made my way to the Westin Copley Place in Back Bay.

After four nights of sleeping on a twin-sized dorm room bed, I was grateful to be able to come back to a hotel room with a king-sized bed. 

Dorm room in Northeastern's International Village

King room in the Westin Copley Place

This post is getting a little lengthy, so I'll split it up into two posts. More of the Freedom Trail next time!

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