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“A must see”

Black Heritage Trail
Ranked #56 of 148 Tours in Boston
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Operated by the National Park Service, this is a walking tour of Boston's 19th-century African-American history. Tthe Black Heritage Trail focuses on the emerging free black community of the 1800s and their leading efforts in the Abolition Movement, the Underground Railroad, and the early struggles for equality and justice. The tour's focus is on the years between 1783 when Massachusetts abolished slavery to 1865 when slavery was abolished nationwide after the Civil War.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

This tour was the best tour I have done during my 2 days in Boston. You meet a Ranger for free and he takes you around beacon hill. Great combination between historical part of the freedom as well a amazing view of this part of the city. A must do.

Thank Lau167
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"african americans"
in 8 reviews
"park ranger"
in 9 reviews
"underground railroad"
in 5 reviews
"free tour"
in 8 reviews
"beacon hill"
in 18 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 5 reviews
"shaw memorial"
in 2 reviews
"american heritage"
in 2 reviews
"brick sidewalks"
in 2 reviews
"walking tour"
in 5 reviews
"excellent tour"
in 4 reviews
"lovely walk"
in 2 reviews
"tour takes"
in 2 reviews
"boston commons"
in 2 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 8 reviews
in 19 reviews

45 - 49 of 64 reviews

Reviewed May 15, 2013

This walking tour is run by the Park Service so it's free - but it would still be worth every penny whatever they charged. This is a tour that focuses on the experiences of black americans in Boston from their arrival as slaves through emancipation. The houses and buildings you see are interesting, but the fascinating thing about this tour is the encyclopedic knowledge of the guide about individuals and events that shaped Boston society. They have stories about every stop on the tour and relate each stop to a particular individual or event so you can feel - even if just for a moment - the struggle experienced every day for equality and freedom. It was an amazing glimpse of another world for this white Canadian, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

1  Thank TravellingCanuckYOW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2013

Interesting and informative information on the Black Heritage Trail. We downloaded the pdf maps of the trail, and wasted an hour playing find the buildings. Our take away from this attempt was, that this is not a tour to take without a guide, because for some unfathomable reason, the locations which are supposed to have such historical significance have no markers.

We spent a lot of time saying, "oops, i think we passed it". Apart from the lack of markers we had to spend way too much time sidestepping dog poop on the cobblestone sidewalks, "pick-up after your dogs, neighbors".

If you too decide to forego the guided tour, then put your map away, meander around Beacon Hill, a charming neighborhood, then relax in the park or one of the many Starbucks and read all about the Black Heritage 'landmarks'.

1  Thank Tena W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

We decided to do the self guided tour using the leaflet handed out at the museum so that we could go at our own pace, however, this turned out to be a mistake. The leaflet itself was interesting, however, walking around and seeing the various buildings from the outside didn't really add anything to the experience. If I have the opportunity to go again, I will certainly take a guided tour.

2  Thank miss_muriel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 30, 2012

With two friends, I took this tour in August 2012 and it exceeded my expectations. We were the only three on the tour, which was free and led by a National Park Service ranger (Fred, who was great); it started at the Robert Gould Shaw monument across from the MA State House and then wound its way through part of Beacon Hill. I'm a history buff but much of what I heard was new to me. And it was fascinating. We stopped at numerous houses and learned about their occupants or events that happened there, including places that were on the Underground Railroad. There is a map available online and in the Museum of African American History that has descriptions of each place on the tour. Because my friends and I had many questions, our tour lasted almost two hour but more usually the tour is between one and a quarter to one and a half hours. BTW, tours are offered only at 10am, noon, and 2pm; we were on the 2pm tour.

The tour ends at the Museum of African American History, which also makes for a very interesting visit. It's small but there is a nice video explaining the history of African-Americans in Boston, as well as a gift shop. There is a $5.00 admission fee to the museum. A few steps away is the African Meeting House and it's possible to go on a free tour there, too; that lasts maybe half an hour. What was really fascinating to me was to be able to stand on the very floorboards where Frederick Douglass spoke to the congregation.

For a view of American history not always presented in textbooks, the tour and museum are a definite must.

6  Thank Lanhua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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