Miles, tour guide extraordinaire at the Freedom Trail

Last week I returned to my place of birth—Boston, Massachusetts—to visit some old friends, and in a city with so much American history it’d be a crime not to take at least one walking tour. (So deep down I’m a middle aged dad on vaction—what can you do?)

I decided to tackle the Freedom Trail (@TheFreedomTrail), which is a 2.5-mile red brick path through downtown Boston. Along the path there 16 historic sites, ranging from graveyards to naval ships, that together tell the story of early America. I’m a veteran of the Freedom Trail, but it’s been about 23 years since I last “walked” it, and my mother was forced to carry me most of the way.

Me at age 3, about to tackle the Freedom Trail for the first time.

Before taking a stroll through history, I created a playlist to remind me of what sites I’d be visiting along the tour. I also wanted to demonstrate how teachers can prepare students so that they can get the most out of a field trip!

My favorite site on the trail was the Bunker Hill Monument—a granite tower almost 225 feet tall. And I managed to learn a few fun facts about it while I was there:

  • It takes exactly 294 steps to get to the top of the monument.
  • The tower is not actually built on Bunker Hill. It’s built on Breed’s Hill, where most of the fighting actually took place during the battle of Bunker Hill.
  • The Freedom Trail wasn’t an official landmark until the early 1950s.

So if you’ve roamed the streets of Boston but never taken a trip down history lane at the Freedom Trail, I encourage you to do so. Education should be fun, and fun should be educational—and the Freedom Trail is both!