The land that makes up Downtown Boston has been occupied for as many as 7,500 years. Originally the site of ancient Native American settlements, the area was colonized by Puritans in 1630. The neighborhood has been at the center of many crucial moments in American history, including the Boston Massacre, the Siege of Boston, numerous Revolutionary War battles and anti-slavery movements of the Civil War. The Kennedy family, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere all called the area home at one point in history. Over time, the Puritan population gave way to the Boston Brahmins and the Irish Catholics. Today, the neighborhood houses
people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
Downtown Boston contains a staggering array of museums and historical sites, such as the Old South Meeting House, Boston Massacre site and the Park Street Church. Don't miss the Old State House, where you can see one of John Hancock's coats and read about the Royalist and Patriot speeches that took place within the walls. At the Granary Burying Ground, take a tour of the Revolutionary-era graves with a tour guide in period costume. Many of the neighborhood's museums and sites lie along the Freedom Trail, which winds through the area. Theatres in Downtown Boston largely gather in the nearby Theatre District, which hosts operas, plays, musicals, instrumental works and dance performances year round. Festivals are a constant in Downtown Boston, and residents participate in events such as BostonFest, the Summer Street Market and ArtWeek Boston.