‘Her sides are made of iron!’ So cried a crewman as he watched a shot bounce off the thick oak hull of the USS Constitution during the War of 1812. This bit of irony earned the legendary ship her nickname. Indeed, she has never gone down in a battle. The USS Constitution is still the oldest commissioned US Navy ship, dating to 1797, and she is normally taken out onto Boston Harbor every July 4 in order to maintain her commissioned status.
Make sure you bring a photo ID to go aboard the Constitution. Currently undergoing restoration, the USS Constitution is now in dry dock until approximately 2018. She is still open to the public, but tours (given by Navy personnel) are limited to the top deck. You'll still learn lots of fun facts, like how the captain’s son died on her maiden voyage (an inauspicious start).