I’m a veteran and a history buff, so I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to visit one of America’s most famous naval ships.
USS CONSTITUTION is bethed at the former Charlestown Navy Yard; she’s still considered to be on active duty and is manned by a Navy crew, so before boarding you’ll have to pass through a security checkpoint and screening before proceeding to the ship. In addition to CONSTITUTION, the National Park Service runs a free museum that shares the story of the Charlestown Navy Yard that’s adjacent to the ship, and a short walk away are USS CASSIN YOUNG, a World War II era destroyer also run by NPS and open to visitors free of charge. A museum and gift shop about CONSTITUTION is a slightly longer distance away; it’s run by a non-profit organization and they do charge admission to visit.
CONSTITUTION is beautifully preserved and has exhibits telling visitors of the ship’s history and about life for the officers and sailors onboard during her time as an active warship; the crew are stationed throughout the ship and are happy to answer questions from visitors about the ship and the exhibits.
My family and I had a wonderful time exploring the ship and the NPS museum, as well as CASSIN YOUNG; the crew of CONSTITUTION and the volunteers on CASSIN YOUNG are passionate about their ships, and the museum fascinated my daughter. The Battle of Bunker Hill Monument is only a short walk away, so it’s a nice day out. You can either walk the Freedom Trail from downtown Boston to Charlestown (but leave early to leave time to explore the ship) or you can take the T to the Boston Aquarium station and take a ferry to Charlestown if your time is more limited. Either way, don’t miss the opportunity to explore our country’s naval heritage!