It’s no secret that Beacon Hill is the most beautiful neighborhood in Boston, but during the holidays is when it really shines! This Christmas season, take a morning or afternoon to explore around this historic district and see the brownstones dressed up for the holidays. Here you’ll find a free Christmas walking tour of Beacon Hill, rich with decorations and including some key historic landmarks!
Below you’ll find a downloadable pdf of the tour map, and in total you can expect to be walking for 1.5 miles throughout the tour. It’s quite a hilly walk, with several uphill climbs and downhill walks, so you’ve been warned!
The tour starts on Charles St. at the Tatte Bakery, and I recommend grabbing a coffee or hot cocoa here for your walk! From there you’ll head up to Acorn St., which is the most iconic street in Beacon Hill with its narrow cobblestoned drive and old US flag hanging proudly. At the top of Acorn, head left over to Louisburg Square, which is one of my favorite micro-neighborhoods in Beacon Hill!
Next, walk up Mount Vernon Street and appreciate all the homes of Boston’s founders and greatest influencers. I’ve noted some interesting ones on the map, but be sure to look for plaques on the buildings to see which housed significant figures. Then you’ll turn left onto Joy St. to get to Pinckney Street, which is part of the Black History Trail. Boston was home to many slaves as a stop along the Underground Railroad, and some even lived here on this street!
At the bottom of Pinckney, take West Cedar Street over to Chestnut, down to Charles, and then begin your walk up Beacon Street. You’ll see here the Boston Common on your left, which was the first public park in the country and host to many fun and interesting events throughout the year! One of my favorite spots on this stretch are the lavender windows remaining on some of the brownstones. These were originally a mistake, made with too much manganese so that when the sunlight hit them they took on a purplish hue. Some were sent back to the manufacturer in France but the ones that remain are of great historic value and make the homes especially desirable!
Near the top of Beacon, but before the State House, take a left onto Walnut. The last stretch of the tour is here on Chestnut Street, another collection of brownstones that were owned and occupied by significant figures in both Boston and American history. Check out the plaques on the entrances for more about these historic homes!
The tour ends back on Charles Street, and if you’re hungry from all that exercise then you’re in the right place! There are loads of great restaurants on Charles Street, and I would recommend Hungry I, a cozy and unbelievably delicious French Restaurant across the way from Tatte! If you enjoyed the history portion of the tour, you may want to visit my recommended 17 Best Historic Sites in Boston!
Click here for the downloadable pdf version of the map: Christmas Walking Tour – Map !