Must see attractions in Charlestown

  • Top ChoiceSights in Charlestown

    USS Constitution

    ‘Her sides are made of iron!’ cried a crewman upon watching 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 its nickname. Indeed, it has never gone down in a battle. The USS Constitution remains the oldest commissioned US Navy ship, dating from 1797, and it is normally taken out onto Boston Harbor every July 4 in order to maintain its commissioned status.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Charlestown

    Bunker Hill Monument

    This 220ft granite obelisk monument commemorates the turning-point battle that was fought on the surrounding hillside on June 17, 1775. Ultimately, the Redcoats prevailed, but the victory was bittersweet, as they lost more than one-third of their deployed forces, while the colonists suffered relatively few casualties. Climb the 294 steps to the top of the monument to enjoy the panorama of the city, the harbor and the North Shore.

  • Sights in Charlestown

    Charlestown Navy Yard

    Besides the historic ships docked here and the museum dedicated to them, the Charlestown Navy Yard is a living monument to its own history of shipbuilding and naval command. Visit the National Park Service Visitor Center here for a free film, guided tours and other info about the Navy Yard and Freedom Trail sites.

  • Sights in Charlestown

    USS Constitution Museum

    Head indoors to this museum for a play-by-play of the various battles of the USS Constitution, as well as its current role as the flagship of the US Navy. The exhibits on the War of 1812 and the Barbary War are especially interesting, and trace the birth of the US Navy during these relatively unknown conflicts. Upstairs, kids can experience what it was like to be a sailor on the USS Constitution in 1812.

  • Sights in Charlestown

    USS Cassin Young

    This 376ft WWII destroyer is one of 14 Fletcher-class destroyers built at the Charlestown Navy Yard. These were the Navy’s fastest, most versatile ships. Cassin Young participated in the 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf, as well as the 1945 invasion of Okinawa, during which the ship sustained two kamikaze hits, leaving 23 crew members dead and many more wounded. ᠎Take a free 45-minute tour, or wander around the main deck on your own.

  • Sights in Charlestown

    Bunker Hill Museum

    Opposite the Bunker Hill Monument, this redbrick museum contains two floors of exhibits, including historical dioramas, a few artifacts and an impressive 360-degree mural depicting the battle. If you can find where the artist signed his masterpiece, you win a prize.

  • Sights in Charlestown

    Great House Site

    Besides being an urban plaza, the aptly named City Sq is also an archaeological site. Big Dig construction to reroute I-93 unearthed the foundation of a structure called the Great House, widely believed to be the home of Gov John Winthrop and the seat of government in 1630.

  • Sights in Charlestown

    John Harvard Mall

    North of City Sq, this shady, brick plaza leads up Town Hill. Back in the days of the earliest European settlements, a fort crowned Town Hill, which you can read about on the bronze plaques along the mall.