Beacon Hill, one of the oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods in the United States has some of the most cramped confines in Boston.
In September 1630 the Puritans landed on the Shawmut Peninsula, named by the Wampanoag tribes who were living there. Located to the west and looming over the Puritan settlement of Trimountaine, Boston’s most notable hill was originally the largest of three peaks that comprised the Trimountain, Tri-mount or Tremont. A beacon on Sentry Hill was erected in 1634 and the cow path that crossed it’s peak was officially laid out and renamed Beacon Street in 1708. Sentry hill was renamed Beacon Hill shortly thereafter. A monument behind the State House marks the original location of that beacon. The original Beacon which topped the hill reached to about the height of the State House!
Abutting Boston Common, Beacon Hill is home to the Massachusetts State House, a passageway from the Underground Railroad, the Charles Street Jail House (now Liberty Hotel), the home of Louisa May Alcott, and a bar where everybody knows your name. Designated in 1955 Beacon Hill is the oldest historic district in Massachusetts.
View from Beacon Hill
Getting to Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill is located south of the West end between Cambridge St. on it’s northern border and Beacon St. on it’s south. Storrow Drive will speed you right past Beacon Hill unless it’s anywhere close to rush hour.
Things to do in Beacon Hill
Places to Stay
Due to it’s historical status you won’t find many hotels here save for historic Liberty Hotel, located on the west side near Storrow. Now Owned by MGH the Liberty Hotel began life as the Charles Street Jail. At various points in history it housed Sacco and Vanzetti, suffragists imprisoned for protests when President Woodrow Wilson visited Boston in 1919, and World War II prisoners of war from the German submarines U-234 and U-873, and Malcolm X. We recommend a quaint but pricey Aribnb or perhaps a hotel near Government center.
Where to Eat in Beacon Hill
With great old bars you can’t go wrong with a pint and a burger, or a bunch of pints and few platters of chicken wings. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more upscale stop in at one of Boston’s famous steak houses or one of 3 Michelin star restaurants located within the quaint confines of Beacon Hill.
Places to go/things to do: Walk anywhere! The freedom trail, a 2.5 mille long path stretching from Boston Common to Bunker Hill gives you an awe-inspiring look at historic Boston and it’s most prominent locations. Tour the State House built in 1798. Visit the Museum of African American History and then walk the Black Heritage Trail. Read a book at the Boston Athanæum or just stroll the tight cobblestone streets.
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