Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA

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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.

Although most of the shipyard buildings are not open to the public, you can wander around the dry docks and see how the ships were repaired while resting on wooden blocks. The oldest building in the yard is the imposing Federal-style Commandant’s House, dating to 1805. Other interesting buildings on the grounds include the 1000ft-long Ropewalk, where all the Navy’s rope was made for 135 years. Next door, in the forge shop, metal workers hammered out ‘die-lock’ chains, which eventually put the ropemakers out of business.

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Nearby Charlestown attractions

1. USS Constitution

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‘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…

2. USS Constitution Museum

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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…

3. USS Cassin Young

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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…

4. Great House Site

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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…

5. John Harvard Mall

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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…

6. Bunker Hill Museum

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Opposite the Bunker Hill Monument, this redbrick museum contains two floors of exhibits, including historical dioramas, a few artifacts and an impressive…

7. Langone Park


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8. Bunker Hill Monument

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This 220ft granite obelisk monument commemorates the turning-point battle that was fought on the surrounding hillside on June 17, 1775. Ultimately, the…