Written by Joanna Farley
This year the Women in Travel Summit (WITS) is headed to Boston, and while the discussion may be all about how to use modern technologies, travel accessories and communication methods to make us more productive and happier travelers and bloggers, it’s all taking part in one of America’s most historic cities.
At over 300 years old and the home of many of America’s biggest political, social and religious movements (think Abolition, Puritanism, and the American Revolution), there’s enough history around to keep any vintage lover or amateur historian thrilled.
While the city abounds with opportunities to experience America’s history through tours, architecture, museums and more, we’ve compiled a “Top 5” list of historic experiences that any travel-loving woman can enjoy, even if she’s not a history buff!
Walk the Freedom Trail
A 2.5 mile walk, the Freedom Trail is a series of markers that leads people across Boston and back in time to its colonial beginnings and the founding of the United States. Starting at the Boston Common (which is right near the Revere Hotel where WITS ’15 will be held), the trail winds past 15 other monuments and historic sites before ending at the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest warship.
While the trail is free to walk, several of the stops on it (such as the Old State House and Paul Revere’s home) charge an entrance fee. The trail can be walked on your own or in the company of a costumed tour guide, but in either case, it’s a good idea to stop by the Freedom Trail tourism office for a free trail map. If you get tired on the way, stop into the Bell in Hand Tavern, America’s oldest bar, for a pint or a snack.
Explore Beacon Hill
A must see for anyone who loves Federal, Georgian or Victorian architecture, and the ambiance of row houses and cobbled streets, Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s most picturesque and affluent neighborhoods. Impressive sights include the towering spires of the Church of the Advent, the gold dome of the State House, and the cobblestones of Acorn Street.
You can shop antique shops on Charles Street for a perfect Boston souvenir. Or follow the Black Heritage Trail, which includes the Museum of African-American History and the African Meeting House, the oldest black church building still standing.
Get Educated at Harvard
How could any experience of Historic Boston not include America’s oldest university? Begun in the 1630s, Harvard oozes old age, distinguished lineage, and upper-crust education. Head over to Cambridge to soak in some atmosphere, explore historic buildings dating back to the 1700s, and imagine yourself one of the educated elite. Learn about the history of the school through tours of Harvard Yard which are available every hour from student guides.
Feast your eyes on Copley Square
Boston is full of impressive historical architecture, and Copley Square, located in Back Bay has more than its fair share. Check out the gorgeous and Romanesque Trinity Church, or head into the glorious Boston Public Library. Filled with murals and paintings, it’s the perfect free combination of library and art museum guaranteed to appeal to any history buff.
Drink your fill on the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour
History doesn’t have to be especially old to be terrific. Only 30 years old, the Samuel Adams/Boston Brew Company is one of America’s top craft breweries. Considered the brewery that brought craft beer back to the American masses, the brewery runs daily tours that allows visitors to learn about the craft of brewing beer (a very historic activity in Massachusetts) over the course of an hour, and finishes with a taste-testing of several varieties of lagers, stouts, and fruit beers.
If you want to experience these vintage sites and meet with other women who love to do the same, join Go Girl Travel Network at the Women in Travel Summit. From March 27-29, and prominently featuring the Revere Hotel Boston Common, you won’t want to miss this great gathering of travel-minded women!