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I’ve been a fan of history and books for as long as I can remember. When I knew how close I was going to be to Concord, Massachusetts, I knew that I had to visit – hands down, no questions asked. My day in Concord simply started out with a quick search of some spots that I knew wanted to go to, plus a few other recommended stops the night before. I created a list of sites on my iPhone and I hit the ground running that morning. After that longggggg day in Salem and after checking out of my Airbnb, I started the drive through Boston to make my way to Concord.
Minuteman National Historic Park
As a history buff, I knew the Minuteman National Historic Park would be high on my list. This park is phenomenal. Not only is it great for those of us who are extremely interested in the history, I can’t tell you how many runners and families with strollers I saw taking in the gorgeous weather and all of the path options. Lots of people with bikes and picnics were out and about enjoying the park that day as well.
It’s very beautiful with well-laid paths that guide you through some historic parts of the American Revolution – like Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride that actually ended on the grounds of the park. There’s even a marker for the spot where he was captured. Markers are also placed for homes and other significant locations along the “Battle Road” path. There’s also a little museum in the visitor center that can tell you more about the historical events that actually happened on the grounds and the nearby towns.
To visit: 250 North Great Rd, Lincoln, MA 01742 – Cost: Free – Website
Within just a few miles of the Minuteman National Park, you’ll find yourself amongst several notable historic homes – like The Wayside and the home to which I was making a childhood pilgrimage….
Orchard House – Home of the Alcotts and Little Women’s famous author, Louisa May Alcott.
Childhood dreams were coming true all around that day. The tour of the house itself is another one that’s full of great information and artifacts – so many original drawings and paintings are still hanging on the walls in great condition. I’m also sad that they didn’t allow pictures because I would have loved to share them all with you. However, the grounds are beautiful and there are lots of nostalgic & fuzzy feelings that I felt because I love Little Women so much! I was squealing with so much excitement.
To visit: 399 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742 – Cost: Adults $10 – Website
Following that, I made my way to the Concord Museum…
But not without snapping a few portraits of the nearby (as in across the street) home of Ralph Waldo Emerson. When in Concord…
If you didn’t know, Concord was a hotbed for transcendentalist authors and thinkers of the mid-1800s. Between Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, there were some amazing pieces of literature coming to life in Concord.
This museum, while small, is one of the nicest that I’ve ever visited. The exhibits were extremely informative and the museum was very calm on a Sunday, so I got to enjoy lots of quiet time learning about the history of Concord, Massachusetts. I was especially drawn to the one about Thoreau’s time on Walden Pond. The computer/virtual reality game was insanely informative and the graphics were on point. It was EASILY the best museum interactive that I’ve ever experienced.
There’s also a very thorough recreation of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s study on display within the museum and other period rooms from Concord’s history. This is a necessary stop for all of the literature and history buffs who travel through the area.
To visit: 200 Lexington Rd, Concord, MA 01742 – Cost: Adults $10 – Website
Then, it was onward to my final destination in Concord – Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
Yes, I found myself in another cemetery on this trip. Then again, when in Concord, you just have to see everything while you can! I was here for the infamous “Authors Ridge” where literally all the big authors that I’ve already mentioned are buried in large family plots. I will add that this cemetery is old. OLD. And, the paths and driveways are very windy and steep up to “Authors Ridge.”
I even got my car stuck on one path and had to drive in reverse around a cemetery with stones very close to the path – I don’t recommend this, but I survived. Speaking of steep, I was still super gimpy at this point in the trip, so it took me an obscene amount of time to get up this ridge, but I did it!
To visit: 34 Bedford St, Concord, MA 01742 – Cost: FREE – Website
Another amazing day full of beautiful weather, history, and sites to have seen! I’m the luckiest traveler. I didn’t get any photos because I was driving through, but I can only imagine that downtown Concord is beautiful in the fall. It was already beautiful in the summer, so I’m sure it’s even better in the fall.
The final city on my New England adventure took me to Mystic, CT and I’ve got a lot to say about that place!
Ever been to Concord, Massachusetts? Did you even know it existed? Would you stop at any of these places?