My only impression of Charlestown has been the movies, i.e. bank robberies and drug trafficking, so I had just always avoided the neighborhood. I also knew that the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill were in Charlestown, but I never got around to finishing the Freedom Trail (always ended in the North End because I got hungry and the cannolis are irresistible). So, in my nearly nine years of living in Massachusetts, I have never visited those two attractions. Today, P and I decided to make an afternoon of it and play tourist in Charlestown. I figured I could also get a bit of a workout from climbing the Bunker Hill monument.
I guess there’s the “nice” part of Charlestown and then the “not so nice” part of Charlestown. We spent our day in the “nice” part of the town and the weather was perfect. Our day started off with brunch at the Warren Tavern, a favorite amongst P’s colleagues and my former boss. It’s the oldest tavern in Massachusetts (225 years old!) and has been visited by George Washington and Paul Revere. The tavern is nestled amongst beautiful colonial houses and is a popular stop for the locals and tourists. It was pretty neat sitting where George Washington once had a beer, but the food was honestly just mediocre.
After brunch, we set off for Bunker Hill, only a few blocks from the restaurant. The monument was surrounded by a park where people could lay out and enjoy the views. P and I climbed the 294 steps up to the top (which wasn’t as bad as I thought) where we could peek out of little windows and get a 360 degree view of the surrounding cities, including Boston. Surprisingly, our trek down was a little more wobbly and my legs felt like jello when we finally got to the bottom. Afterwards, we thought it best to just take a little nap on the grass and take in the sunshine.
Next stop was the USS Constitution, about a 10-15 minute walk from Bunker Hill. I’m not a huge American history buff, but what I did learn was that this ship has never lost a battle. There is also a free guided tour every half hour where you can enter the lower decks. If you don’t do the tour, you can only access the top deck. Because of time constraints, we could only visit the top deck, but it was still fun to run around the ship. Guess Charlestown ain’t so bad after all…