Concord, Massachusetts, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Boston, was founded in 1635, the first Massachusetts Bay colony town away from tidewater.
It's a pretty, historic town of 18,000 people. Visitors come to tour its historic sites, walk its streets, forests and fields, bicycle its country roads and rail trails, visit its museums and the graves of famous Concordians, browse its shops, dine in its restaurants and to stay in its country inns.
Concord is easy to get to from Boston.
21 miles (34 km), 30-40 minutes via MA Route 2 west. More...
MBTA Commuter Rail Fitchburg Line train from North Station, 40 minutes; 30 minutes from MBTA Subway Red Line Porter Square station. More...
MBTA Bus 62/76 or Bus 76 from MBTA Red Line Alewife station, 40 minutes to Old Mass. Ave. at Marrett Road stop, then walk 4.5 miles/7 km west along Battle Road Trail. More...
From MBTA Red Line Alewife station, Minuteman Bikeway to Reformatory Branch Trail (15 miles/24 km, 80 minutes). More...
The historic and commercial center of town is Monument Square and the adjoining block of Main Street, traditionally known as the Milldam. Nearby are most of Concord's shops and restaurants, the Concord Depot (MBTA Commuter Rail Concord Center train station), Concord Museum, Emerson House, Orchard House, The Wayside, Old North Bridge, and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the resting-place of many famous Concordians.
Two miles (3.2 km) west of Concord Center is the town's second, smaller commercial area, with its own shops, restaurants, the West Concord MBTA train station, and the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.
Walden Pond, 1.7 miles (2.75 km) southeast of Concord Center in Walden Pond State Reservation, is famous for its historical associations and as a swimming, fishing, and walking destination.
Concord is walkable, though Walden Pond is a bit far from Concord Center. See my Walking Tours for distances and travel times. More...
Minuteman Bike Share rental bicycles are available behind the Concord Visitor Center, 58 Main Street (tel 978-318-3061, email@example.com). You can ride them to and from Walden Pond, but not on its trails. More...
MBTA Commuter Rail trains run hourly between the stations at Concord Center and West Concord, a 2-mile, 4-minute, $2.75 ride. More...
The Monument in Monument Square, Concord Center.
For walkers, Concord has the Battle Road Trail, the Emerson-Thoreau Amble, the Bay Circuit Trail, Reformatory Branch Trail, Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, the Pond Path around Walden Pond, and lots of Town Trails.
Swimmers love Walden Pond, but note: on hot summer days it fills up fast. More...
Bikers love Concord's country roads, as well as the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail and the Reformatory Branch Trail connecting to the Minuteman Bikeway. (No bikes allowed on trails at Walden Pond.) You can bring your bike on the train.
Bring your boat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard for a cruise on Concord's rivers or on Walden Pond. Don't have one? Rent kayaks and canoes at South Bridge Boat House.
Birding and wildlife observation is good on any of Concord's trails, but best at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, accessible via the Reformatory Branch Trail.
Canoeing on the Concord River.
With a history spanning nearly four centuries, Concord has lots to see: Old North Bridge and other Revolutionary War sites; the Alcotts' Orchard House, the Concord Museum, Ralph Waldo Emerson's House, the Hawthorne's Wayside, the Old Manse, the Caesar Robbins House, Thoreau Farm and others. More...
Painting, sculpture, music, theater: all the arts thrive in Concord, indoors and out.
Venues include: 51 Walden Performing Arts Center, Umbrella Arts Center, Concord Art Association, Concord Free Public Library, Concord Academy Performing Arts Center, and Concord-Carlisle High School.
Concord arts organizations include the Concord Band, Concord Orchestra, Concord Players, Concord Chamber Music Society, Concord Chorus, Concord Women's Chorus, Beyond the Notes, Concord Youth Theatre, Balkan Music Night, and Concord Conservatory of Music. More...
On April 19, 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles at Lexington and Concord between British “redcoats” and colonial Minutemen.
Patriots Day, the Monday nearest April 19th, is a public holiday in Massachusetts and Maine. All Massachusetts state, county and town government offices, and some local businesses close, though federal government offices, post offices, offices of large interstate and international companies, and most shops remain open.
Patriots Day events in Concord include a parade with lots of fife-and-drum bands and groups of Minutemen from surrounding towns and as far away as Michigan.
The parade is followed by a re-enactment of the battle at Old North Bridge, commemorative ceremonies, and the repeated firing of brass cannons by the Concord Independent Battery.
Several church halls open to provide pancake breakfasts to the multitude.
Musketaquid was the Algonquian name for what is today Concord. Earth Day celebrations, in late April, are organized by the Umbrella Arts Center. A parade with floats and displays makes its way from Concord Center to the Old Manse and Old North Bridge to celebrate nature and its preservation. Lots of fun, especially for families (if the weather cooperates).
Earth Day tribute
Like many towns and cities, Concord has a patriotic parade and commemoration ceremonies on America's national holiday.
Color guard leads the parade.