The starting point of the Freedom Trail, Boston Common is the oldest park in the country. At 50 acres/20 hectares, the Common is the anchor for the Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that winds through many of Boston’s neighborhoods.
The Common has served many purposes over the years, including as a campground for British troops during the Revolutionary War. Today, though, the Common serves picnickers, sunbathers, and people watches. In winter, the Frog Pond attracts ice-skaters, while summer draws theater lovers for Shakespeare on the Common.
Spend a day wandering freely in the Common. Walking paths crisscross its green, which is dotted with such monuments and memorials as the Boston Massacre Monument, the Great Elm Site, and the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial. Nearby sites include the Central Burying Ground and the Boston Athenaeum.
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Boston Common is on the south end of the Beacon Hill neighborhood. The MBTA subway, or the T, services the area with a number of stations, enabling you to visit a variety of nearby sites. An on-site information kiosk is a great source of information and maps. Throughout the year, especially in summer, the Common hosts a number of activities, from free concerts to political rallies to seasonal festivities.