North End Boston City Guide

A few weeks ago I was invited by American Heritage Chocolate to come to Boston to celebrate the 240th Lantern Ceremony at the Old North Church and the running of the Boston Marathon. We live a little over an hour from Boston, but in the short amount of time we have lived here I have never really played tourist. That will not be the case anymore, there is so much to do and see in Boston.

North End Boston City Guide

The North End is known as “Little Italy” and not only is it the oldest neighborhood in Boston, it has the best food around (in my humble opinion). This neighborhood was settled in the 1600s by English Puritans. There is plenty to see, do, and of course – eat.

North End Boston City Guide

The Clough House – Is located on the campus of the Old North Church. I will never take ordering a book on Amazon for granted ever again. The Clough House is the home of The Printing Offices of Edes & Gill. This is a working 18th century print shop. Gary Gregory is a master printer and uses authentic printing inks and presses.

Here, I had my mind blown. The terms lowercase and uppercase come from where the letters were stored. The top of the case held the capital letters, the uppercase. And the bottom of the case held the small letters, the lowercase. Crazy, huh?

North End Boston City Guide

The amount of labor it takes to produce a print is amazing. This is how information was passed through the colonies. This is a quick tour, maybe 10 minutes. But worth a stop, the kids will like it.

American Heritage Chocolate

Captain Jackson’s Chocolate Shop – Located next door to the Print Shop. Watch how chocolate was made and served in colonial times. You can read more about that here.

North End Boston City Guide

Old North Church (or known as Christ Church) – We were very lucky and got a tour of the steeple of the Old North Church (this is not normally open to the public), made famous by Paul Revere. It is where the lanterns were hung on April 18th, 1775, and the famous “one if by land, two if by sea” came from.

We climbed to the top and not only is the view of the city incredible, but you are literally standing where history was made.

North End Boston City Guide

The church also is the home of the oldest set of change ringing bells in North America. Watching the bell ringers is fascinating. The ringers are volunteers, and they ring for an hour after the 11am Sunday service.

North End Boston City Guide

We climbed to the top and not only is the view of the city incredible, but you are literally standing where history was made.

North End Boston City Guide

The church also is the home of the oldest set of change ringing bells in North America. Watching the bell ringers is fascinating. The ringers are volunteers, and they ring for an hour after the 11am Sunday service.

North End Boston City Guide

Guided Tour of the Freedom Trail – We went on an amazing walking tour of the Freedom Trail with Michael Szkolka of Lessons on Liberty. This is the best way to tour the Freedom Trail in my opinion. I like the social history just as much, and Michael told us all kinds of interesting things about how people lived during this time. There is also a big difference between what we learned as children in the history books and what scholars believe. Michael is a scholar, and I learned so much from him.  

North End Boston City Guide

The Freedom Trail – A 2.5 mile trail that takes you to 16 historically relevant sites. We walked it with Michael and he pointed some of the major and minor, but really interesting places. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon. I’m definitely bringing the kids back.

The Paul Revere House – Take a tour through the home of Paul Revere. Paul is obviously a pivotal figure on the road to the Revolution, but touring his home is also a great way to get an inside look at how life was lived during colonial times. Paul had 8 children with his first wife, and another 8 with his second wife. They fit a lot of people in this space, and the kitchen is amazing.

North End Boston City Guide

Old State House – When you go into the Old State House they give you a lanyard with a person on it. They have a profile of the person and when you walk around, you can learn how “you” would have fit into life during this time. This stop is interactive and has a lot of interesting exhibits. You can see the red velvet suit that John Hancock was thought to have worn to when he was sworn in as governor, a vial of tea from the Boston Tea Party, a lantern used by the Sons of Liberty to signal meetings, silver made by Paul Revere, and lots of other pieces.

Faneuil Hall – This building is historic because it hosted America’s first town hall meeting, but it is a good place to stop for snacks, lunch, and some shopping.

Granary Burying Ground – Some very famous Bostonians are buried here. There are markers for Ben Franklin’s parents, Samuel Adams, and for the victims of the Boston Massacre. The grave markers look a little on the morose side, this is because the Puritans did not believe in religious icons or imagery.

 

Where to Eat

(This will be a running list. I have a lot more eating to do in the North End.)

The options are endless in the North End. You can have your fill of pizza, cannolis, gelato, Italian food, and it is all delicious. Walking Hanover Street reminds me of being in Italy, I love it. There are some famous institutions like Regina Pizza and Mike’s Pastry, but there are smaller, less known places that are worthy of a stop.

Maria’s Pastry Shop – Cannolis. I love a cannoli and on the recommendation of a friend, this is a must stop.

Galleria Umberto – Pizza. Perfect pizza.
North End Boston City Guide

This post was sponsored by American Heritage Chocolate. American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic historic line of products—developed from chocolate recipes from the 1750’s—that celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century and is reminiscent of what Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Ben Franklin would have enjoyed, combining all natural ingredients and exotic spices. It is made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, American Heritage Chocolate is an artisanal dark chocolate containing 63% cacao. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you to American Heritage Chocolate and the Old North Church for being such warm and generous hosts. I can’t wait to explore more of Boston and see you again in the very near future.