A Historic Trip Through Boston

As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston is littered with living artifacts from the past. Exploring old world charm through the streets of three Boston neighbourhoods, visitors can skip museum exhibits and instead see history come to life in the very places it unfolded.

North End Boston, Behind The Scenes Old North Church

Boston's North End

In Boston’s North End, a tour of the Old North Church reveals stories of both light and darkness. Inside, its pure white decor is symbolic of the battles of Puritan and Anglican religious divide in New England. Standing on the balcony overlooking the pews below, it becomes evident how puritan beliefs influenced the simplistic decor of this Anglican chapel, the oldest remaining church in the city.

Above the pews, the steeple holds its own rich history. It was from here Paul Revere hung the lanterns to signal the midnight ride during the American Revolution. Revere himself had been a volunteer bell-ringer at the Old North Church, signing an original contract for the job as a teenager. As the guide describes the story, visitors can picture the young Paul Revere climbing the narrow steps up the church steeple, working a block of flint, and lighting the two lanterns to signal the British army’s path across the river into Cambridge. In this space, the history of the American Revolution comes alive.

Beacon Hill and Boston's North End

Beacon Hill, Boston By Foot

While electric lamp posts and luxury hybrid cars now line the streets in Beacon Hill, remnants of 18th-century architecture and colonial life still shape the character of this charming residential neighbourhood.

Beacon Hill, Boston

On a guided tour with Boston by Foot, visitors will have the chance to observe the stunning design choices of famed architect Charles Bulfinch, with his signature style shaping the foundation stones and beautiful recessed window arches. The tour continues with a rich history of those who have lived in this neighbourhood, including great writers like Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson.

Visitors will see how history has shaped these homes. What are now small basement apartments in row houses were once servants quarters. Old ballast from nearby shipyards make up the stone edging along driveways of historic homes. City sidewalks remain lined with the original granite they were formed with, adding to the historic charm that transports visitors back in time.

Cambridge, Harvard Walking Tour

Across the river in Cambridge, a tour of Harvard University showcases Massachusetts’ role in developing formal education. Standing in Harvard Yard, one can’t help but feel inspired by its tremendous academic history.

Harvard Walking Tour

A tour of the campus, offered by current students, reveals the unique history tied to each building, including the story of how the Harvard Library was deeply influenced by the death of a passenger on the infamous Titanic ocean liner in 1912. While visitors may never have the opportunity to study at Harvard, a walking tour offers a chance to learn more about the history of the campus itself.

Feeling inspired? Visit Boston and explore the city’s academic roots and rich history.