For the charm of a quintessential New England town paired with an opportunity to discover more about American history and literature, Concord, Massachusetts, tops the list. Just twenty miles outside Boston, off Route 2 and close to Interstate 495 and 95/128, it is best known as the site of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the first conflict in the Revolutionary War. Its rich legacy includes American literature and legendary authors from the mid-19th century. And, fortunately for the jelly lovers among us, it was around that same time a Mr. Bull developed a variety of grape here that became known as the Concord grape.
Concord has also been--and continues to be-- home to renowned American writers, poets, and essayists. Stop at Author’s Ridge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and begin your literary trip through the Transcendentalist movement when you see names like Alcott, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau.
Visit the Old Manse, built by Reverend William Emerson and home of Nathaniel Hawthorne and his bride for three years. Henry David Thoreau built a vegetable garden there as a wedding present.
Tour Orchard House, home of Louisa May Alcott, author of literary favorites like Little Women.
Visit Minute Man National Park and take the ranger tour that includes Nathaniel Hawthorne’s home, The Wayside.
Stop by essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson’s House then head for the Concord Museum to view the furnishings from his study.
There’s also the North Bridge, National Heritage Museum, and DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park; all a short distance from the Monument Square.
Head for Walden Pond and be inspired to “live deliberately” like Henry David Thoreau. Rangers lead interpretive programs.
For an ultimate early America experience, book a room at Concord's Colonial Inn on Monument Square. This immersion in history is coupled with traditional yet innovative dining. Guest rooms offer modern amenities and comforts while retaining historic elements where possible, like original beams and floor boards in the main inn. There is complimentary wifi, a complimentary continental breakfast Monday-Friday, and a popular Sunday brunch.
Top off the evening with nightly entertainment in the Village Forge Tavern or the Gastropub is aptly named Liberty. Experience “colonial chic” cuisine in the fine dining restaurant, Merchants Row.
For more information, see the Concord Chamber of Commerce website.