Located in Middlesex County, approximately 20 miles northwest of Boston, the capital city of Massachusetts. Steeped in Revolutionary War significance and surrounded by picturesque landscapes, Concord offers a myriad of activities for visitors seeking a blend of cultural enrichment and outdoor adventure. In this guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Concord MA, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this charming town.
- Minute Man National Historical Park:
Start your Concord journey at Minute Man National Historical Park, where history comes alive. Walk along the Battle Road Trail, a route that traces the footsteps of the Minutemen and British soldiers during the first battle of the American Revolution. Explore the North Bridge, a symbol of freedom, and visit the Old Manse, home to renowned American writers Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- Walden Pond State Reservation:
Nature enthusiasts will find solace at Walden Pond, famously associated with transcendentalist philosopher Henry David Thoreau. Immerse yourself in the serene surroundings, take a dip in the pond, or hike the trails that wind through the woods. The site encourages reflection and appreciation for the simplicity of nature, echoing Thoreau’s sentiments from his time spent living in a cabin on the pond’s shores.
- Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House:
Literature lovers will appreciate a visit to Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, the historic home where the author penned the classic novel “Little Women.” Step into the world of the March sisters and gain insights into Alcott’s life through guided tours. The house is preserved with period furnishings, providing a glimpse into the 19th-century literary scene.
- Concord Museum:
Dive deeper into Concord’s rich history by visiting the Concord Museum. Exhibits showcase the town’s role in the American Revolution, featuring artifacts, documents, and interactive displays. Explore the famous Revere lantern, Paul Revere’s original 1775 lantern that signaled the approach of British troops.
- Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge:
For a change of pace, head to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. This expansive natural area along the Concord and Sudbury Rivers is a haven for birdwatchers, hikers, and nature photographers. Traverse the trails and boardwalks, keeping an eye out for diverse bird species, including herons, eagles, and migratory waterfowl.
- Sleepy Hollow Cemetery:
Discover the final resting place of notable figures such as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Take a guided tour to learn about the town’s literary and historical luminaries while strolling through the peaceful and well-maintained grounds.
- Dining in Concord:
After a day of exploration, savor the local flavors at one of Concord’s charming eateries. From cozy cafes to fine dining establishments, the town offers a diverse culinary scene. Try farm-to-table cuisine, indulge in artisanal desserts, and enjoy the warm hospitality of Concord’s dining establishments.
- Old North Bridge:
Marvel at the iconic Old North Bridge, a historic site where “the shot heard ’round the world” was fired. The bridge played a pivotal role in the Battle of Concord during the Revolutionary War. Enjoy scenic views of the Concord River and the surrounding landscape, making it a great spot for both history enthusiasts and nature lovers.
- Shop and Stroll in Concord Center:
Explore the quaint shops and boutiques in Concord Center. From charming bookstores and antique shops to specialty stores offering unique gifts, the town center provides a delightful shopping experience. Take a leisurely stroll along the brick sidewalks, and don’t forget to visit the local art galleries showcasing works by talented regional artists.
- Concord Art Association:
Immerse yourself in the local arts scene at the Concord Art Association. The gallery features rotating exhibits of contemporary and traditional art, providing a platform for both emerging and established artists. Check the schedule for art classes, workshops, and events that may coincide with your visit.
- Thoreau Farm:
Pay homage to Henry David Thoreau at Thoreau Farm, the birthplace of the renowned philosopher and writer. The site offers guided tours that delve into Thoreau’s early life, his connection to nature, and the inspiration behind his transcendentalist philosophy. The adjacent museum showcases Thoreau’s writings, artifacts, and exhibits related to his environmental legacy.
- DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum:
Just a short drive from Concord, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln is a haven for art enthusiasts. Explore the outdoor sculpture park, featuring over 60 contemporary sculptures set against the backdrop of rolling hills. The museum itself houses a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art, providing a dynamic cultural experience.
- Concord Free Public Library:
Delve into Concord’s literary legacy at the Concord Free Public Library. Beyond its extensive collection of books, the library hosts events, lectures, and author talks. The library building itself is an architectural gem, combining historic charm with modern amenities.
- Concord’s Colonial Inn:
Experience a touch of history by staying at Concord’s Colonial Inn. This historic landmark, dating back to 1716, offers a unique blend of traditional charm and modern comfort. Even if you’re not staying overnight, enjoy a meal or a drink in the historic tavern, soaking in the ambiance of centuries past.
- Concord Center for the Visual Arts:
Another gem for art enthusiasts, the Concord Center for the Visual Arts features rotating exhibitions showcasing the works of local and regional artists. Attend an art opening or workshop to engage with the vibrant creative community in Concord.
Concord, Massachusetts, offers a delightful blend of history, literature, and nature, making it an ideal destination for diverse interests. Whether you’re tracing the footsteps of revolutionaries, immersing yourself in literary history, or exploring the natural beauty of Walden Pond, Concord invites you to step back in time and embrace the timeless charm of this quintessential New England town.