Revolution Up Close - A Self-Guided American Freedom Journey

From
USD3000

Free cancellation

A full refund will apply if you cancel more than 24 hours before the activity start time.

Duration3 days
Guide LanguageEnglish
Good To KnowE-voucher
1 review

About

Return to the American Revolution with this essential bundle of driving and walking tours! Walk in the footsteps of the founding fathers along Boston’s Freedom Trail and in Philadelphia’s historic Old City. Visit the spot where the Boston Tea Party began. Follow the famous battle of Lexington & Concord, where the “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired! Plus, take a trip through Valley Forge, the site where General George Washington’s army faced impossible odds early in the revolution.
After booking, you can check your email before downloading the Tour Guide App by Action, enter your unique password, and access your tour. The preceding steps require good internet/wifi access. Simply follow the audio instructions and the route from there.
This is not an entrance ticket. Check opening hours before your visit.
New, extra validity — now, it’s yours for an entire year! Use multiple times over multiple trips!

Itinerary

Embark on this adventure into America's Revolutionary past at the heart of old Boston: the Boston Common. This spacious green has been a part of the city since its early colonial beginnings. We'll begin the tour by the Visitor Center and find the red-brick path. As we follow the path, we'll dive back in time to the 1700s and set the scene.
The first stop along our red-bricked Freedom Trail tour is right at the corner of Boston Common: the Massachusetts State House! This building is both historic and architecturally beautiful.... and of course, we can't forget about it's eye-catching golden dome! We'll pause in front of the State House to catch up on a couple of key Revolutionary War characters (and soon-to-be American heroes) and a little colonial history. We'll also take a look at the Robert G Shaw and 54th Memorial, which stands opposite the State House. Who was Shaw and what made the 54th Regiment so significant? We'll get into all of those details right here.
From the State House and Shaw Memorial, we'll continue following the Freedom Trail. That brings us through Boston Common and out to the Park Street Church. As we walk, we'll dive into the most important question of all: what prompted the Revolutionary War? As we peel back the layers, we discover that the battle for American Independence was one falling domino in a long chain of dominos stretching across multiple continents and older wars.
This brings us to the truly ancient Granary Burying Ground! Established in 1660, this is only Boston's third-oldest burying ground. Can you imagine what's changed in the last 400 years? Well, for one thing, this ground is so old it actually holds the grave of Mother Goose. We still hear her stories today! We'll also visit the graves of American legends like Paul Revere, Robert Paine, and James Otis. And we can't miss John Hancock and Sam Adams' graves either! Lastly, we'll visit the graves of those killed in the Boston Massacre, one of the stepping stones to the full-blown revolution. We'll be heading to the site of this Massacre later.
From the Granary, we'll continue following the Freedom Trail's red bricks. We'll check out the King's Chapel along the way and pause in front of the Latin School. This historic site contains a number of fun statues to pose with (including a donkey!) and quite a lot of rich history to dive into.
A few steps down from the Latin School, we'll find the Irish Famine Memorial. Here we'll jump a bit later into Boston history and talk about the new wave of immigrants after the revolution. We'll learn about the hardships they faced and overcame... and where these communities are today.
Just across the street from the Irish Famine Memorial, we'll find the historic Old South Meeting House. This small, tucked-away building is easy to miss but we'll pause in front of it. Here, we'll be transported back in time to one of the most fateful events leading up to the Revolutionary War... the Boston Tea Party. We'll learn all about the organizers, their motivations, and of course the consequences of their "tea party".
As we continue along the Freedom Trail, we'll learn more about the Tea Party and the Sons of Liberty who were behind it. We'll also pass the historic Old Corner Bookstore while walking and dive into its connection to colonial Bostonians.
Our red-brick road finally brings us to the one of the most popular stops along the Freedom Trail: the Old State House. We'll pause here to identify key architectural features and learn about it's significance (and long history!). Then, we'll walk around to the other side
To see the site of the infamous Boston Massacre! But was it a massacre? Or just a rowdy riot, as the British said? We'll dive into the thrilling tale while standing at the very spot where history unfolded. We'll also learn about Crispus Attacks, an honored American hero.
We'll follow the Freedom Trail to another popular resting spot: Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market! First we'll explore the site's fascinating history and then explore it's huge range of food options!
As we continue our journey along the red-bricked path of the Freedom Trail, we'll also dive into the story of the historic Haymarket, the new and striking Holocaust Memorial out in front, and the stunning view of the Custom House Tower a little beyond. We'll learn a bit about each of these sites as we make our way to another popular stop.
Our path brings us to another popular stop along the Freedom Trail: Paul Revere's House! Here we'll learn about Paul Revere's famous "Midnight Ride", its immortalization in a poem by Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow, and the truths and myths behind this historic moment.
From Paul Revere's House, we'll make our way to the Old North Church. This is the iconic site where the "one if by land, two if by sea" lanterns were lit, silently signalling the British troops' movements to colonial revolutionaries.
From the Old North Church, we'll follow the Freedom Trail farther up to the historic Copp's Hill Burying Ground. This historic cemetery in Boston's North End is older than the Granary... but only by a year!
Our last few stops are a little farther along, over the bridge and into the Charlestown Navy Yard. There we'll see the historic and impressive USS Constitution -- and learn all about her epic battle against the Guerriere. We'll explore the naval battles of the War for Independence in more detail while at this historic site.
Finally, we'll follow the Freedom Trail up to the Bunker Hill Monument, built to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill. We'll walk around this hill, exploring the site of this epic battle and getting an understanding of the brutality and intensity of the battle for freedom. This site is the last along our comprehensive tour along Boston's historic Freedom Trail.
Our historic tour begins at one of Boston's most underappreciated marvels of architecture: South Station. We'll take a moment to analyze the enormous eagle and clock dominating the facade.
Right across the street, we'll find a stunning example of modern architecture with the Federal Reserve. As we walk past, we'll learn the intriguing stories behind the bland name.
At Russia Wharf, we're officially at the start of our Harborwalk journey and our trip into the past. We'll learn about the booming international trade during the colonial era.... the foundation which would later lead to the epic Boston Tea Party.
As we walk along Boston's Harborwalk, we'll look out across the water for a glimpse of an actual blast from the past: a colonial ship packed with tea crates! We'll learn about the events of Boston's Tea Party but we'll also dive deeper: what really caused this riot? Why were taxes so high? What did a far-away international war have to do with the price of tea in Boston?
Our journey brings us to Rowe's Wharf — named for one of the tea smugglers who encouraged the "Tea Party"! We'll learn about John Rowe and his adventures with the law as we walk through.
The Harbor Hotel is a stunning piece of architecture, blending modern and colonial styles seamlessly. Its 80-foot copper dome contains a glass cupola. If you walk to the center of the archway and look straight up, you can see all through the top of the dome to the glass cupola above.
As we continue our walk along Boston's Harborwalk, our journey back in time takes us from the Boston Tea Party into a more recent era. As we walk, we'll admire the beautiful Moakley Courthouse across the water and learn about its significance to the city and its people.
The Brutalist-style Harbor Towers are unmissable. Brutalism was all the rage in the 1970s. Today, the style polarizes observers. Some people see a kind of strange beauty in the sparse, overbearing structures. Others see, well, just plain ugly buildings! These days, you can always identify the style anywhere by its grim, fortress-like appearance. We'll learn about the towers, Boston's struggle between affordable and luxury living, and one of the city's most ambitious projects: cleaning up this very harbor.
We're now approaching a popular stop in Boston and along the Harborwalk: the Aquarium! This huge attraction is partially built over the Harbor, allowing the aquarium access to the natural environment of Boston's Harbor.
Our tour along the scenic Harborwalk ends at one of Boston's most historic spots: Long Wharf. From colonial battles against the British to modern crowds of tourists, this Wharf remains a Boston hotspot. Enjoy the views and the history as we conclude our story at this scenic stop.
North Bridge Visitor Center (174 Liberty St. Concord MA.) is located in a brick mansion built in 1911 by descendants of the Buttrick family (Major John Buttrick was the colonial officer who first ordered his militia to fire upon British soldiers.), the North Bridge Visitor Center features a short video about the North Bridge fight, a bookstore, and exhibits.
Once you’ve parked, pick up the Battle Road Trail trail at the end of the lot farthest from the entrance. Once you walk a few hundred feet, you’ll come to Meriam’s Corner. It might not look like much, but this was the site of a disaster for the British.
This is the site where Paul Revere was captured, and a great opportunity to reflect on how the British ended up in such a predicament. Remember, their mission to confiscate weapons was supposed to be secret.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord left 73 British dead and 174 wounded. 49 Americans died and 39 were wounded. But the aftershocks of the battle went far deeper than that. The American victory was all the proof the colonists needed that they could win a war against Britain.
Almost in the Concord Museum’s backyard, you can find the former home of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
This museum’s collection explores the area’s revolutionary and literary history. If you want to learn more about the town and see some unique artifacts, be sure to stop by!
Many famous authors lived in Concord, and several found their final resting place here in Authors Ridge. Thoreau, Alcott family members, Emerson, Nathaniel, and Sophie Hawthorne, and others are buried there.
This 1650 house is where Alcott wrote Little Women in 1868. At Orchard house, you can learn about Louisa May and the rest of her family, who were known for their commitments to abolition, women’s suffrage, and social reform.
The Wayside, built-in 1700, became home to several of these famous figures. The Alcotts bought the house in 1845, naming it Hillside. The experiences of the Alcott sisters in the home were later written into her classic Little Women.
Just a mile outside of town, off Walden Street, is another site of literary history -- Walden Pond. This is where Thoreau lived for two years beginning in 1845, in a cabin he built, collecting his thoughts for his 1854 classic on self-reliance, Walden, or Life in the Woods.
Just ahead on the left is what remains of the home of Ephriam and Elizabeth’s son Samuel. Samuel was a sergeant in the Lincoln Minute Men on April 19 and saw action up to and down the road. His wife Mary is said to have helped bury dead British soldiers.
At the far end of the visitor’s center parking lot is a path leading to Battle Road Trail, which runs the length of Minute Man park. It follows what remains of the original Bay Road, which is the route the British took to Concord and back. It passes many historic sites.
Embark on this journey into America's past at Philadelphia's City Hall! As we make our way into the heart of Historic Philly, we'll dive into 1700s to explore the foundations of the Revolutionary War. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and other Founding Fathers had deep roots in Philadelphia, as we'll quickly discover. Then we'll We'll explore the events that led up to the revolt, including the catalyst: the Tea Tax.
At the corner of historic Washington Square, we'll catch a glimpse of where it all began: the site of the First Continental Congress. We'll explore the consequences of this historic conference before approaching the iconic Independence Hall.
We're finally at Independence Hall, the birthplace of America. This is where the First Continental Congress unified the colonial states into one entity, working together. This is where military revolts and battles against the British were planned. This is also where the Second Continental Congress took place, when votes were gathered from across all the colonies. Ultimately, this is where the Declaration of Independence, and America, was brought to life. As we walk around this historic hall, we'll learn about additional American figures like John Hancock, Patrick Henry, and John Adams, and their contributions to the new nation. We'll also understand what this Independence Hall represented to colonial Americans -- and what it represents to modern Americans today. We'll also check out George Washington's statue out front, and dive into his backstory.
Next up: the Liberty Bell! We'll learn about what makes this bell iconic -- and what makes it so suceptible to cracks! As we explore it's history and majesty, we'll also explore it's significance in later years as Americans fought for their freedom from slavery, for equal voting rights, and for true liberty.
Then we'll head over to Ben Franklin's museum. This historic statesman figures heavily in America's past -- and we'll learn why. As we walk through the museum we'll also peel back the layers of his personality, learning about his vast store of knowledge and huge diversity of interests. Then, we'll jump to the anti-hero to Franklin's hero: the traitor Benedict Arnold. As we continue to walk, we'll learn all about what Arnold planned to do -- and how.
Next up, the very first White House! We'll explore the original presidental home of George Washington and then of John Adams. Here, we'll be able to dive into the history of the presidents' lives and better understand life during the colonia era.
Then we'll head over to another unique historic home: the Graff House. This is where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and where Ben Franklin helped him edit it. Walk in the footsteps of these earliest inklings of American freedom as you pass by this site! Plus, we'll take this opportunity to learn about Thomas Jefferson, and understand his life and contributions towards American independence.
Philadelphia's history may be all about independence and freedom, but that didn't apply to African-Americans! As we pass this wonderful museum, we'll continue to explore slavery and it's impact of early America. We'll also learn about the historic contributions of African-Americans like Crispus Attucks and others.
Our journey into America's past then brings us to Franklin Square, where we can rest up and catch up on everything else that Ben Franklin did -- other than driving independence of course! We'll learn about his many book, ideas, and of course... experiments!
That brings us to this gigantic memorial to Franklin's most beloved discovery -- electricity! Here we'll explore what exactly Ben Franklin was discovering, why he wanted to try, and how exactly he planned to do it!
Next up, we'll pass by the National Constituion Center. Just like with the Declaration of Independence, we'll learn about how the colonists gathered here in Philadelphia to formalize their union into a concrete nation: the United States of America. We'll explore how American citizens' most fundamental rights were guaranteed, laying the basis for the American society today.
Our walk then brings us to the Mint! We'll learn about the gold and silver coins that formed the basis of the early American economy... and about the copper, nickel, and paper that makes our money today!
We'll walk by Benjamin Franklin's grave and learn about an important part his legacy: the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania. We'll dicover how UPenn represented Franklin's ideals for the young nation's next generation and about how his legacy continues to shine through Philadelphia today.
Our trip jumps us back in time a bit -- to the birth of the American flag! The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution often overshadow this historic home but it's legacy is far more visible today! We'll learn all about Betsy Ross and her fateful meeting with George Washington one morning during Sunday service at Christ Church.
This brings us to Elfreth's Alley, the modern Instagram hot-spot of Philly and the historic origins of this great city. As the very first downtown, Elfreth's seen generations of changes... but has remained as quaint and colonial as ever!
We'll then walk over to historic Christ Church, where George Washington, Betsy Ross, and plenty of other American revolutionaries worshipped. We'll pass by the Church, diving into it's historical significance and admiring it's soaring architecture.
That brings us to the Museum of the American Revolution! Our journey ends near here, allowing you the opportunity to step inside if you didn't get quite enough revolutionary history already!
Welcome to Valley Forge, where George Washington and his Continental Army faced one of their greatest ever challenges. When he arrived here in December of 1777 and hunkered down for a long, cold winter, Washington knew his army may not survive to see the spring. It stands today as a testament to the strength and resilience of the rebel forces.
Next, you'll arrive at the site of the Muhlenberg Brigade, where you'll hear about "Devil Pete" Muhlenberg, a former reverend who set aside the good book to pick up a rifle during the revolution.
After that is the Maine Memorial, honoring the soldiers from Maine and emphasizing how tenuous the connections were between men from the different colonies during this time.
Then you'll arrive at the National Memorial Arch, perhaps Valley Forge's most notable monument. This impressive arch honors the entire continental army who wintered here, both those who survived and those who didn't.
The next monument, a statue of General Wayne, is dedicated to another of Washington's fiercest fighters. Wayne didn't earn the nickname "Mad Anthony" for nothing!
Next, you'll visit Henry Knox's quarters, where the self-taught artilleryman turned general served as an important voice of reason during the long winter months.
Continuing on, you'll come to the Delaware Memorial and learn about how the situation at Valley Forge began to unravel.
Next up, at the huts of George Washington's personal guards, you'll get a glimpse into a secret plot to take down the Commander in Chief.
Then it's on to Washington's Headquarters, the unassuming stone house from which the general led his army through their difficult days at Valley Forge.
Your route takes you next to the New Jersey Brigade Memorial, which honors some of the most well-trained, dependable troops in the entire ragtag army.
Then you'll arrive at Artillery Park, where Henry Knox strategically stationed his cannons during the winter.
Next, you'll see the stone house used during that fateful winter by General James Mitchell Varnum, one of Washington's closest advisors. Varnum is best known for bringing the first Black soldiers into the Continental Army.
After that is a monument which honors those very soldiers: the Patriots of African Descent Monument. This memorial provides a fascinating window into an often overlooked slice of history.
An optional stop takes you to the Philander Chase Knox Estate, where the Attorney General who served under Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt once lived.
Another detour takes you to the Valley Forge Train Station, which has all sorts of info not only on old-timey trains, but also on General Washington.
Fans of revolutionary history will want to detour to the Washington Memorial Chapel, which boasts a replica of Philadelphia's Liberty Bell!
Behind the Memorial Chapel you'll find the Washington Memorial Cemetery, where several important figures like Philander Knox have been laid to rest.
You can also visit the Mauricce Stevens House, built atop the site of another general's quarters used during the winter of 1777.
Those intrigued by abandoned places will find lots to like at the Port Kennedy Railroad Station, a defunct station that's been shuttered since the 1980s.

Inclusions

Easy-to-use app: download Action’s Tour Guide App onto your phone
Great value: purchase per car, not per person. More affordable than bus or guided tours!
Engaging storytelling: Uncover unique tales and thrilling history for a memorable journey!
Perfect narrator: nothing can beat listening to a great voice. Proven with tons of rave reviews!
Offline maps: no signal, no problem! Works perfectly without cellular or wifi.
Comprehensive route and stops: See it all, miss nothing, leave no stone unturned!
Go at your own pace: Start anytime, pause anywhere, enjoy breaks for snacks and photos freely!
Hands-free: audio stories play on their own based on your location. Easy to use!

Exclusions

Attraction passes, entry tickets, or reservations

Additional Information

  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels
  • How to access: Once you book a tour, you’ll get a confirmation email and an instructions email. Follow the instructions right away: • Download the app • Enter the password • Download the tour • MUST DO while in strong wifi/cellular
  • How to start the tour: Once onsite, open the Action's Tour Guide App: • If there is just one tour, launch it. • If there are multiple tour versions, launch the one with your planned starting point and direction. • Go to the starting point. (Note: no one will meet you at the start. This tour is self-guided). • The audio will begin automatically at the starting point. If you face audio issues, visit the FAQ. • Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
  • Amazing savings: • Driving Tours: Save money by purchasing a single tour for the entire vehicle, avoiding individual fees per person like on a bus tour. Connect your phone to the car speakers to share the audio.
  • Flexibility and Convenience: • Use the tour app anytime, on any day, and over multiple days. It's perfect for tailoring your exploration and revisiting your favorite spots on future trips. • Start and pause the tour whenever you like, taking breaks and exploring side excursions at your own pace, free from the constraints of a group.
  • Comprehensive Tour Experience: •The app provides a full itinerary, travel tips, narrated audio stories, scripts, images, videos, and recommendations for additional activities. • Enjoy a private experience without the crowds, ideal for personalized stops and photo opportunities.
  • Ease of Use and Accessibility: • The app is hands-free and activates stories via GPS, offering support through call, chat, or email. • There is no need for a continuous cell or Wi-Fi connection as the GPS map works offline.
  • Memorable Keepsakes: • Utilize the app’s images to create a photo book or share on social media, ensuring you have high-quality, crowd-free memories from your trip.
  • Preparation: • After booking, download the app and the tour using a strong Wi-Fi connection. • Review the tour at home before your trip for a better experience.
  • Starting the Tour: • Open the app upon arrival at your destination. • Select the appropriate tour based on your starting point. • Head to the starting location; the audio will begin automatically. • Follow the suggested route and adhere to the speed limit for an optimal experience. • By following these instructions and taking advantage of the app's features, users can enjoy a personalized, flexible, and in-depth exploration of their destination at their own pace and convenience.

Guide Languages

  • English

Cancellation Policy

  • A full refund will apply if you cancel more than 24 hours before the activity start time.

  • No refund is possible if you cancel less than 24 hours before the activity start time.