Overwhelmed by History
A trip to Boston is like a trip back into the very early founding stages of this great nation. This city, so rich in culture, is one sightseeing stop that you will want to schedule plenty of time to take in. The city is respectful of it’s own historical significance and they proudly offer every opportunity for you to jump into history and the fascinating culture of this diverse east coast community.
The very layout of Boston is a study in history. It is a city that is seemingly impossible to find your way around in. The roads twist and turn, change names and take on new routes as though they have minds of their own. The reason that Boston’s streets are such a maze is that they reflect the days when the city was built around trails to accommodate farmers and merchants. So the roads were not laid out to be logical, they were made to be efficient for a people who lived there two hundred years ago. Today, travel around Boston can be as much fun as it is confusing as you see it as a challenge to try to learn the layout of this complex town.
Unlike many cities that exploit their natural attractions, you can absorb Boston’s rich historical past for free or for the low cost of a shuttle bus ride that will take you around to the sights at your own pace. For starters, you can step out onto the street at many corners in downtown Boston and look down and find what they call “The Freedom Trail”. This is a two and a half mile walk marked clearly in red on the streets below that takes you by some of the great historical locations in the city.
To make your experience with The Freedom Trail more meaningful, pick up one of the many guides and commentaries that you can use to follow along the trail and “re-learn” your history of what happened at each location. It is almost impossible not to get goose bumps as you stand near or inside such historic locations as The Paul Revere House, the location of the Boston Massacre, The Old North Church and many more.
No trip to Boston would be complete without taking some time out of the car to enjoy the out of doors in the huge park in the middle of everything known as the Boston Common. Just as with almost everything in Boston, there is a rich history to this park. It is the oldest public park in the USA. It’s designation as a public park dates back to 1640. Boston Common was originally used by the British as a place where their troops could camp during the Revolutionary War. Today it is the jewel of this great city with the city hall on one side and the Freedom Trail running along the other taking you gracefully to your next location for sightseeing.
There are numerous tour operations that give you from a lot to a little, with the price difference to match, to enhance your ability to appreciate the history of this great town. One of the best is the local shuttle of historic locations. For one low price you can get on and get off of the shuttle all day long, taking your time at the sights you really want to savor and moving along at your own pace. This is the perfect solution to renting a car and it gives you a wider range of things you can see than if you go by foot alone.
Of recent historic note, you may wish to give in to have a brew at that bar where everybody knows your name. The very popular TV show Cheers was based on a historic pub right off of the Boston Common itself. Now you will have to look for it. The name of the pub is not Cheers but The Bull and Finch. But when you see it from the street, you will immediately recognize the outer façade of the pub. It was used for the opening of the show.
Your trip to Boston will leave you with rich memories of this historic city. But more than that, it will fill you with pride and a renewed reverence for the amazing beginnings of this the greatest nation on earth, much of which here occurred right here in Boston, Massachusetts. 739