Beacon Hill and Boston Common

Once the seat of the Commonwealth's government, Beacon Hill was called "Trimountain" and later "Tremont" by early colonists because of its three summits: Pemberton, Mt. Vernon Hill, and Beacon Hill (named for the warning light set on its peak in 1634). In 1799, settlers leveled out the ground for residences, using it to create what is now Charles Street. By the early 19th century, the crests of the other two hills had also been lowered.

When the Hill's fashionable families decamped for the new development of the Back Bay starting in the 1850s, enough residents remained to ensure that the south slope of the Hill never lost its wealthy Brahmin character. By the mid-20th century, most of the multistory single-family dwellings on Beacon Hill had been converted to condominiums and apartments, which are today among the most expensive in the city.

A good place to begin an exploration of Beacon Hill is at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center , where you can buy a map or a complete guide to The Freedom Trail.

Read More


Find a Hotel


Fodor's Boston

View Details

Plan Your Next Trip