Boston. Lovingly known as Beantown, the Athens of America, the Cradle of Liberty, Titletown, the Hub, and more, this coastal city in Massachusetts is a great place to be from, live, or visit. While going there and walking the Freedom Trail, eating lobster, going to a Red Sox game, and exploring the neighborhoods is an unbelievable experience, listening to podcasts offers a great way to introduce yourself to the city. Even the historical sites have virtual options due to COVID-19.
Watch for future Vurbl posts and playlists on what makes Boston a great American City today, but how did it start?
Podcasts for Historical Tours
Boston was the site of the most famous tea party in American history, as rebels dumped a large shipment of tea into Boston Harbor which sparked retaliation by the British and led to the Revolutionary War. Initial battles were fought at Lexington and Concord; later, though the British won an important battle at Bunker Hill, the rebels at Boston resisted capture and retained control of the city.
Tourists flock to Boston to walk the Official Freedom Trail of historic sites. The Freedom Trail Foundation, which manages the site offers online video tours but Ben’s Boston Freedom Trail podcast offers a 55-minute audio adventure. Northeastern University also presents Welcome to Boston – Audio Tours – Freedom Trail Audio Tour with 14 episodes on historical buildings recorded in 2007. If you want a chronological recreation of history, these tours area good placed to start,
Boston, like most cities, has an official history, along with folklore that often shows the darker side. The Lore Podcast has many episodes set in New England. Created by Aaron Mahnke, who also produces the Unobscured and Cabinet of Curiosities podcasts and many other shows and writes supernatural thrillers, the well-researched stories are factual and compelling.
Social and Cultural History Podcasts
For insights into interesting historical tidbits of Boston history, Hub History is the podcast to tune in to. From an epidemic of dysentery or “the bloody flux” in 1775, the developments leading to the suburban Auto Mile, whale watching in 1860s Boston, and unequal distribution of the death penalty, this podcast presented by tour guide professionals Jake Sconyers and Nikki Stewart may engage you to become a regular listener.
Named after a well-known figure in early American history, Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast that covers social and cultural history in Boston. What was it like to have a pet then? Who was Paul Revere and what was so special about his ride to Lexington, MA? What was life like for a slave in Maryland? Each podcast considers not just these basic questions but related questions that give context to the discussion. Host Dr. Liz Covart and a guest historian present the podcast and then ponder what would have happened had someone acted or things unfolded differently.
For an introduction to Boston that includes not just historical sites also bars and restaurants, cultural points of interest, sports areas, neighborhoods, and a whole lot more to see, an episode of Conde Nast Traveler podcast called We Planned Your First Trip to Boston. This podcast is hosted by Brad Rickman, and features podcast regulars Laura Dannen Redman and Sebastian Modak, and to contributor Todd Plummer for bringing the Boston intel.
Tuning into these Boston history podcasts will introduce you to the best of Boston’s past with a modern twist.
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