The USS Constitution is the last stop on the Freedom Trail, and it’s a great way to end the day. The tour of this naval ship, which first set sail in 1797, gives you a firsthand look at this carefully preserved boat. Known as “Old Ironsides,” because of her hardened walls that protected many a soldier in battle, the ship is equipped with real cannons (although the security team will keep you from trying to fire them yourself).
Why You’ll Love the USS Constitution
Stepping onto the hull of the USS Constitution is like stepping into the 18th century. If it weren’t for your fellow modern day passengers, you’d be able to suspend belief as you come across relics from battles throughout the nation’s history. You’ll also get access to knowledgeable naval officers who are there to answer any of your questions and teach you about the beloved ship’s history.
One lure of the site is the opportunity to tour the USS Constitution Museum. Inside, you’ll go through a hands on journey. In the All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812 exhibit you step into the shoes of a sailor. Experience battle first hand, and leave with a deep understanding of what they went though.
In the Figgie Theater, you can watch a short video, “Learning Adventures Aboard Old Ironsides.” The video was filmed on the ship, and will take you into all the nooks and crannies you missed while exploring the vessel.
The Old Ironsides 1812 Discovery Center allows you to follow the design process that led to such a magnificent and successful war ship.
Lastly, stroll through the “Old Ironsides” in War and Peace exhibit, where you can follow her entire journey, through her first launch at sea up to her most recent historical monument status.
What Makes the USS Constitution Special?
Back when the USS Constitution was built, it was expected to last about 15 years. This exquisite ship is now well over 200 years old, and has seen some of the most prolific battles of the 19th century. Now, you get to tour the ship that kept thousands of sailors safe during wartime. Who knows, maybe she protected of one of your ancestors from the heat of battle!
What Else Is in the Neighborhood?
You’re on the water, so you might as well stick in the neighborhood and enjoy the scenery! Explore the Charlestown Navy Yard, which is where the USS Constitution is docked. Grab a bite to eat and a glass of wine at the Navy Yard Bistro, which celebrates fresh seafood and fine wine. You’ll probably be tired after a long day on the Freedom Trail, so book yourself a room with the nearby Constitution Inn.
Who’ll Have the Most Fun at the USS Constitution?
Everyone will enjoy a visit to the USS Constitution! The ship is a sight in itself, but the museum provides hands on, engaging exhibits that will get kids and adults alike excited about learning about this Revolutionary ship.