8 places to warm up while exploring the Freedom Trail

Don’t let the chill keep you from experiencing Boston’s historic past.

Walk along the Freedom Trail: Marked by a red line, it starts in Boston Common and ends in Charlestown, stretching 2.5 miles. Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Connecting 16 historical landmarks throughout the Boston area, the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail is a city staple for locals and tourists alike. With a visible path of red laid into walkways, the path is an easy one to follow, logistically speaking. But when the New England chill hits, walking the trail in one go becomes a more daunting task. Here are eight spots along the way to explore while you regain feeling in your fingers.

Brattle Book Shop

Used books at Brattle Book Shop.

Escape the elements and peruse over 250,000 books, maps, prints, postcards, and more housed within this used bookstore near the starting point of Freedom Trail. Established in 1825, the Brattle Book Shop boasts two floors of used books, a third floor dedicated to rare and antiquarian finds, and a stocked outside alley, making it a challenge to leave without new reading material. Just don’t overburden yourself too much for the rest of your walk. (9 West St., Boston)


Voted one of the best escape rooms in the country by USA Today readers this fall, this downtown destination offers visitors a choice between two adrenaline-inducing adventures: the “reasonably challenging” Magician’s Study and the “very challenging” Conundrum Museum. Put your brain to work helping your team decipher puzzles and connect clues to solve the mystery before time runs out. (55 Court St., Boston)

Boston Athenæum

Take a culture break and admire the art, architecture, and vast collection of books, maps, photographs, and prints offered at this stunning membership library near the Granary Burying Ground. Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the country’s oldest independent libraries. Visitors are welcome on Tuesdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to explore the first floor of the Athenæum. (10½ Beacon St., Boston)


Customers wait as their automatically prepared food is dropped from a cooking pot into a bowl at Spyce.


Come lunchtime, refuel with a hearty bowl prepared by robots at Spyce, a tech-centric restaurant founded by four robotics-obsessed MIT grads. “The Spyce Boys” — Michael Farid, Brady Knight, Kale Rogers, Luke Schlueter — partnered with chef Daniel Boulud with the goal of creating nutritious meals at an affordable price. Since opening in May, Spyce’s founders were included on this year’s Forbes’ 30 under 30, so go and see what all the fuss is about. (241 Washington St., Boston)

Boston Fire Museum

If you’re trekking the Trail with kids, take a pit stop at the Boston Fire Museum, located inside the historic firehouse on Congress Street. Learn about the city’s history of firefighting, and check out a collection of artifacts, equipment, and fire engines, including one built by Paul Revere circa 1793. You can even visit with real-life firehouse dog Sparky. (344 Congress St., Boston)

Boston Public Market

Vendors at Boston Public Market.

Snack time? Home to nearly 40 New England vendors, Boston Public Market is a year-round indoor marketplace that hosts all sorts of local fare, from apple cider doughnuts from Red Apple Farms to Asian-inspired dishes from Bon Me and Bay State wines and cider from Massachusetts Farm Winery and Growers. (100 Hanover St., Boston)

Bova’s Bakery

It’s hard to walk through the North End without stopping for something sweet. Indulge yourself with a visit to family-run Bova’s, and take your pick of pastries including cannoli, tiramisu, whoopie pies, and lobster tails. (134 Salem St., Boston)

Brewer’s Fork

Once you make your way to Charlestown, dig in to a wood-fired pizza at this industrial-chic favorite, and choose a thoughtfully-sourced craft beer with which to toast to your completion of the Freedom Trail. You deserve it. (7 Moulton St., Boston)