Charlestown

Its infamous past lends Charlestown cool street cred while its bright future attracts new life to this ever-evolving neighborhood.

Monuments signify areas steeped in history, and Charlestown boasts more than one. Ascend Bunker Hill Monument’s 294 steps, imagine sailing the high seas aboard “Old Ironsides,” or ask about “The Town’s” infamous mobster past, and you’ll begin to scratch the surface of Boston’s rich history. Despite its fabled altercations, Charlestown has emerged as a destination known for its dive bars serving cool attitude and historic restaurants serving hot chowder with a side of nostalgia.

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On the Map

Charlestown is bordered by North End, West End, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, and Cambridge

  • Public transit is Possible
  • Having a car is Possible

Logan International Airport: 11 minutes on the T or 15 minutes by car
Boston Common: 10 minutes on the T
Harvard Square: 15 minutes on the T
Downtown Boston: 9 minutes on the T

Classic Boston Character Across the Charles

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As Boston's oldest neighborhood, Charlestown boasts a storied past.

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Often referred to as "The Town," the neighborhood's historic reputation attracts families and visitors to explore its numerous monuments, pastoral street scenes, and Irish upbringing.

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During the 1860s, an influx of Irish immigrants saw that Charlestown grew into a stronghold for Erin go Bragh culture.

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Charlestown's Irish roots have only deepened.

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Its many pubs and taverns evidence their presence.

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Take in a view of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge from your pub stool and ponder Boston's "Big Dig."

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Its suspension cables cut geometric lines through Charlestown's views of Downtown Boston.

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Charlestown is a little over 1 mile from the downtown financial district of Boston. Boston Logan Airport is a quick 12 minutes away; and South Station, where the trains and buses come in, is just 3 miles away."

Charlestown: A Monumental Neighborhood

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Charlestown's claim to fame as Boston's oldest neighborhood results in another reason to brag.

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The neighborhood's longevity has garnered it multiple cultural attractions and monuments.

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Red Coat contrarian Colonel William Prescott's statue peers at colonial descendants from the foot of the Bunker Hill Monument.

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Standing 221 feet tall, the Bunker Hill Monument's granite form marks the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution.

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Oddly enough, the Bunker Hill Monument actually stands atop a hill of a different name, Breed's Hill.

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Museums complement Charlestown's monuments. Some are on land.

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Some float upon the ocean.

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The USS Constitution was launched in 1797, and the affectionately termed "Old Ironsides" hasn't left the sea since. The ship remains the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat.

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She's now open to visitors to promote citizens' understanding of the Navy's role during war and peace. She also marks the end of Boston's Freedom Trail.

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The USS Cassin Young anchors across the docks from "Old Ironsides." The ship serves as a WWII memorial.

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Charlestown is a well-established, historic, and beautiful gas-light district with Victorian red-brick rowhouses and parks. Walking distance to a number of local restaurants, but also to the North End and the Navy Yard - a decommissioned navy yard now home to an active district filled with the USS Constitution ( i.e. Old Ironsides), several museums, residences, parks, restaurants, and million dollar views of downtown Boston! A ferry ($3) runs directly from the Navy Yard to the Aquarium and other sights downtown including Quincy Market, the Greenway Parks, TD Banknorth Garden, and museums nearby in Fort Point (ICA and Children's museum)."

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Brian Samuels is a Boston-based lifestyle photographer and writer. He is also the creator of A Thought For Food, a blog of recipes and personal anecdotes pertaining to cooking. His work has been featured in Edible Boston, the Improper Bostonian, the Boston Globe, Saveur and the Huffington Post. This Airbnb project has allowed him to explore and discover more of Boston.

Brian Samuels

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