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Nestled on the northern side of the Boston Peninsula, the neighborhood of Charlestown stands as a testament to America's rich history and continuous transformation. Charlestown's cobblestone streets, elegant brownstones, and storied landmarks offer a cultural tapestry that is as diverse and vibrant as the city itself. If you're planning a trip to Boston and love historical sites, Charlestown should be at the top of your list. Here is a detailed guide on the best things to do in Charlestown, Boston.


The Warren Tavern

It is named after Dr. Joseph Warren, the Revolutionary War hero. The Warren Tavern is a living legacy to the old-world charm. Established in 1780, it is America's oldest tavern and has welcomed guests through the ages, including those who scribed and etched the nation's early narrative. The tavern boasts a remarkable collection of memorabilia, and the warm glow of its brass lamps and polished wood is a soothing backdrop to the buzz of conversation. From clam chowder to Shepard's Pie, the menu is a gourmet salute to the era it hails from. The bar serves a range of libations that would prompt a nod of approval from colonial and contemporary patrons alike.


The Navy Yard

The Charlestown Navy Yard was one of the original six United States Navy yards established in 1800. Nowadays, it is part of Boston National Historical Park and is home to the USS Constitution. This iconic ship is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and a major draw for tourists. Visitors can also explore the USS Constitution Museum, which looks at the history of the ships and their maritime life in the 19th century. The Navy Yard's significance as a shipbuilding and repair location during the War of 1812 adds to its historical appeal.


Place & gather and June bug

The heart of any neighborhood is its community; Charlestown's spirit is evident in its local establishments. Place & Gather is a casual women's clothing boutique that prides itself on offering a curated collection of stylish yet comfortable clothing. Just a few steps away is June Bug, a quaint shop specializing in children's clothing, toys, and gifts. Both places offer a charming stop to find unique, locally sourced items and soak in the welcoming sense of community that Charlestown is known for.


Bunker Hill Monument

The Bunker Hill Monument stands proudly on the site of the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War and is a powerful symbol of freedom and unity. Visitors can climb the 294 steps to the top for a panoramic view of Charlestown, the neighboring city of Boston, and the Boston Harbor. The adjacent grassy knoll of the Monument Square is an ideal spot to relax or have a picnic and take in the historic surroundings.


USS Constitution

Affectionately known as "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution is a must-see National Historic Landmark. This three-masted frigate played a crucial role in the War of 1812 and became renowned for her victories and survival against the British Navy. A tour of the ship offers an up-close look at its impressive construction and an understanding of its participation in shaping U.S. naval history. Living history programs often take place on board, bringing to life the daily routine of sailors during the ship's active service.


USS Cassin Young

Docked adjacent to the USS Constitution, the USS Cassin Young provides visitors with a contrasting view of naval history. This destroyer ship, named after a Medal of Honor recipient from the attack on Pearl Harbor, saw action during World War II. Guests can meander through its narrow corridors and imagine life on this formidable warship in the turmoil of the mid-20th century. The presence of both the USS Constitution and USS Cassin Young at the Navy Yard offers a dynamic comparison of naval technology and life across different eras.


St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church is one of Charlestown's most stunning landmarks, a beacon of faith and architectural splendor. This Romanesque Revival-style church, with its intricate stained-glass windows and a 186-foot spire that graces the skyline, is a sight to behold. Whether you appreciate the serenity of a house of worship or admire grand historic architecture, visiting St. Catherine of Siena is rich in aesthetic and spiritual value.


Battle of Bunker Hill Museum

Situated at the base of the Bunker Hill Monument, the Battle of Bunker Hill Museum invites visitors to account for the history of the famous battle through exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. The museum celebrates the bravery and dedication of those who fought in one of the war's critical moments, and the dioramas and multimedia presentations create an immersive experience that brings the battle and its heroes back to life.

Charlestown is more than just a neighborhood. It is a living history book with page after page of significant events and influential people. Exploring this part of Boston is an adventure through time, where America's colonial past and maritime legacy converge. For those who cherish historic charm and the spirit of yesteryear, Charlestown offers an unforgettable experience. Whether you're enjoying a meal at The Warren Tavern, scaling the Bunker Hill Monument, or sailing the Boston Harbor aboard the USS Constitution, each place you visit will deepen your appreciation for the vibrant history that is alive in every cobblestone and brick.

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