The walker's Boston is best approached by the Freedom Trail, developed in 1950 by Boston newspaperman William G. Schofield to link together sites that were important to the beginning of this nation.
The 16 sites, anchored by the Bunker Hill Monument at one end and Boston Common at the other, are connected by a red line marked on the sidewalk. It takes about a day to walk the whole trail.
Some of the noteworthy stops:
*U.S.S. Constitution, at the Charlestown Navy Yard in the Charlestown neighborhood. Launched in 1797, the Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat in the world. Nicknamed "Old Ironsides" by its crew after British cannonballs bounced off its sides during an 1812 battle, the Constitution fought 47 battles and won them all.
*Copp's Hill Burying Ground, Hull and Snowhill streets. Many of Boston's Founding Fathers are buried in this cemetery, which was established in 1659 and sits on the highest land in the North End. In June 1775, British cannons fired from here on Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill.
*Paul Revere's House, 19 North Square. Built in 1676, the two-story clapboard house is the oldest surviving building in downtown Boston. Best-known as a silversmith, Revere was also a false-tooth manufacturer, designer, engraver and printer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' paper money -- and the father, by two wives, of 16 children. His 1775 midnight ride warning of the British was immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1863.
*Boston Common, bounded by Boylston, Charles, Beacon, Park and Tremont streets. Sold by the hermit William Blackstone to the townspeople of Boston in 1634, this is the oldest public park in America. Used as a grazing ground for goats and cows, a campground for troops, and, until the 19th century, as a hanging grounds, the Common has always been favored by Bostonians as a spot for relaxation.
*King's Chapel, 58 Tremont St. at School Street. Established in the 1680s, this was the first Anglican church in Boston. After the Revolutionary War, the chapel became the country's first Unitarian Church. A stone spire was designed but never built, giving the chapel a curiously square appearance. The chapel bell was made by Paul Revere, and he considered it his sweetest-sounding. The adjoining King's Chapel Burying Ground is the oldest graveyard in Boston. Among those buried there: John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, and Elizabeth Pain, claimed as the model for Hester Prynne in Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter."
*The Old Corner Bookstore, Washington Street at School Street. In the 1850s, this building was home to Ticknor and Fields, publishers of Hawthorne, Emerson, Whittier, Thoreau and Longfellow. The office, which became an informal literary center and gathering place, now contains publishing exhibits.
*Faneuil Hall, at Dock Square. Given to the city in 1742 by Peter Faneuil, the marketplace was redesigned in 1805 by Charles Bulfinch; a third story was added in 1898. Faneuil Hall was dubbed "the Cradle of Liberty" by patriot James Otis for its role as a meeting place during the Revolutionary years. Opposite is Quincy Market, which has now been redeveloped into a popular eating and shopping complex.