Travel and history often go hand-in-hand. To really experience a city, it is important to understand what events and customs shaped the city into what it is today.
When it comes to a place like Boston, however, one city can end up shaping an entire nation. While plenty of towns all over the thirteen colonies played a part in the formation of the United States, Boston found itself in the center of it all.
Today, we're looking at 8 important historical sites that you have to see in Boston!
1. Old North Church
While it is the oldest surviving church building in Boston, that is not what people usually associate with the Old North Church. On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous "midnight ride." As you may recall, a signal was to be lit from the church steeple, telling the militia leaders how the British were travelling - "one if by land, two if by sea." The Old North Church was that church, and while you won't find it lit today, visitors are able to tour the famous site.
2. Site of the Boston Massacre
In 1768, the British had occupied Boston in order to calm taxation riots and to protect customs officers. The Boston Massacre was a product of these tensions. Afterwards, the attack was heavily publicized by Patriots such as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, sparking even greater acts of rebellion.
3. Boston Tea Party Ships
On December 16, 1773, Samuel Adams, along with members of the Sons of Liberty snuck onto three ships carrying tea and dumped over 300 chests of tea overboard into the harbor to protest the Tea Act. This act of defiance pushed the two opposing sides even closer to war.
4. Old South Meeting House
The Old South Meeting House is most commonly known as the place where the Boston Tea Party began. In 1773, over 5,000 people gathered here to discuss British taxation. After the meeting, a group of people decided to take matters into their own hands, raiding three nearby tea ships.
5. Paul Revere House
Built in 1680, the Paul Revere House is the oldest surviving building in downtown Boston. Revere bought the house for his family when he was 35 and was living there at the time of his famous midnight ride and for the duration of the Revolutionary War.
6. USS Constitution
Also nicknamed "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution was built in Boston in 1797. While not a part of the Revolutionary War, the ship played an important role in the War of 1812. In a battle with a British frigate, cannonballs fired at the ship seemed to merely bounce off the side, doing very little damage (hence, the nickname "Ironsides").
7. Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall is often referred to as the "home of free speech" or the "Cradle of Liberty." It was the location of the nation's first town hall meeting, sparking a whole new world of politics where people could openly express their opinions.
8. Bunker Hill Monument
The Battle of Bunker Hill was the first major battle of the Revolutionary War and forecasted how the rest of the war would go. It took three assaults by over 2,000 Redcoats to remove the small Colonial Militia from their fortification atop Breed's Hill. The battle showed the British just how determined the Patriot militia was and how effectively they could defend themselves.
While Boston can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to planning student travel because of other important destinations such as Washington DC or New York City, it is such a great city, rich in historical value. Whether it's a school field trip you're planning, or just a family vacation, don't count Boston out of your itinerary! Check out more information about Boston here and start planning today!