Hotels & Inns

Concord has three fine inns within walking distance of the sights, and several comforable hotels on the outskirts.

These are the most convenient lodgings for seeing Concord and Minute Man National Historical Park. There are plenty of other lodgings in the neighboring towns of Bedford, Lexington, Chelmsford, etc., and at exits along I-95, but the ones on this page are best located for Concord.

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Concord’s 3-star, 54-room Colonial Inn, on Monument Street at the northern end of Monument Square (map), is certainly Concord’s most central lodging-place. Nearly everything in this historic town is within an easy walk.

The oldest part of the Colonial Inn was built in 1716, and has seen a lot of history: when the British Regulars marched into Concord on April 19, 1775 looking for the “colonials'” caches of arms and provisions, some of them were hidden here.

Henry David Thoreau lived here from 1835 to 1837, when he was a student at Harvard College. Later, his aunts managed the building as a boarding house and hotel.

It has been a hotel open to the general public since 1889. During the 20th century, the inn was expanded to 54 rooms, all decorated with colonial-style accents but offering all modern comforts.

Only 15 original colonial-era rooms are available to guests, and these are often the ones most in demand. If you call or write ahead for reservations, you might ask for one of these. The manager will do his best to put you in one, but cannot guarantee any particular room to any guest.

Housekeeping suites (with kitchenette) are available in The Cottages, a separate building next to the inn.

The Colonial Inn is also a Concord gastronomic favorite:

—The Liberty Restaurant is the informal gastro-pub dining room, cozy pub bar, and wonderful front porch (reserve your table in advance if you can).

Merchants’ Row is the more formal suite of dining rooms for gastronomy, private dinners, and special occasions.

Both restaurants take advantage of local, seasonal ingredients and beverages, including surprisingly good Massachusetts wines. (I’ve tasted some fine Westport Rivers bottles here.

A  six-room B&B at 21 Monument Street, almost next door to the Colonial Inn, the North Bridge Inn shares some of its neighbor’s advantages—location, convenience, charm—and has some of its own: small, quiet and personable.

Accommodations include a one-room suite, several two-room suites, and an apartment-sized suite with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and full bath.

A full breakfast is included in room rates. 

Monument Square is right outside your door, the Colonial Inn’s two restaurants and tavern are only a few steps away, and other Concord Center restaurants, cafés, sights and shops are all within a few minutes’ walk.

Rates are low-season (winter), high-season (summer), last-minute (within 24 hours of check-in), and long-term.

Located a mile east of Monument Square along Lexington Road, the Hawthorne Inn is very close to The Wayside, the Hawthornes’ one-time home, and to Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women.

The inn has pleasant gardens with a tiny fountain, and seven luxury guest rooms renovated in 2017 and decorated with period pieces, antique beds, and original works of art. All guest rooms have private bathrooms.

From the Hawthorne Inn, it’s a 10-minute walk to the Concord Museum and Emerson House, a 20-minute walk to Monument Square.

Longfellow's Wayside Inn

Longfellow's Wayside Inn
Longfellow's Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn, 12 miles (19 km, 30 minutes) southwest of Concord, was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‘s poems telling Tales from a Wayside Inn and now boasts that it is the oldest operating inn in the USA.

Bought by Henry Ford in the early 1920s, it is now a private, nonprofit operation, and all proceeds from the guest rooms and restaurant are put toward its upkeep and restoration.

The inn has eight twin rooms and two doubles: Rooms 1 through 8 are of modern construction and traditional decor; rooms 9 and 10 are in the old, original part of the inn, and are very quaint. These latter two rooms are the ones most in demand, particularly from April to December.

 

Should you want to stay at the inn, it’s wise to make reservations as far in advance as possible, even a month or two; but if you can’t make them, call up in any case and see what vacancies they might have.

There was a fire in the inn around 1955 and it was heavily damaged (as you can see in the old kitchen), but restoration work was done well and the rooms are worth seeing even if you don’t plan to stay for the night. A short tour of the inn is free if you drop in for a meal. Lunch is served from 11:30 am to 3 pm; dinner, from 5:30 to 9 pm; Sunday dinner, from noon to 8pm.

Besides the inn itself, you should explore the grounds and surroundings: the beautiful formal garden near the inn, the reconstructed barn across the road, and the Grist Mill, a short (15-minute) walk away, farther down the road.

The Grist Mill, a pretty and romantic stone building, is a replica of the mills that used to dot the New England rivers and streams. It is in a beautiful spot, with a copse of pines nearby, and although it’s not 100% authentic (the mill wheel is made of heavy-gauge steel instead of wood), it is worth a look and a walk around.

The flour ground at the mill is used in the Wayside Inn’s kitchens, and is for sale at the inn’s shop.

By the way, the Martha-Mary Chapel, on the road between the inn and the Grist Mill, is a typical New England meetinghouse that Ford had built to be rented out for weddings. The chapel and the Wayside Inn are popular with wedding parties and honeymooners.

Marriott operates two hotels right at the eastern end of Minute Man National Historical Park:

Aloft Lexington is a W Hotel with a youthful spirit, a Grab-n-Go food bar, the trendy XYZ Bar, an indoor pool, and a location just off I-95 on the slope of Fiske Hill, the eastern end of Minute Man National Historical Park. You can walk to the park’s Minute Man Visitor Center in just over 10 minutes. Concord’s Monument Square is 5 miles to the west, a 15-minute drive.

Element Lexington, located next to Aloft, is the more mature member of the family, with rooms and suites, indoor pool and gym, free hot breakfasts, and meeting rooms. Pets are welcome. Again, you’re on Fiske Hill here, right at the eastern end of the Battle Road Trail.

This modern, comfortable motel-style hotel is 2.3 miles (3.7 km) west of Monument Square, just off MA Route 2 near the Concord Rotary. A hot-and-cold breakfast buffet is included in the rates, as is use of the various exercise equipment. (The outdoor swimming pool is closed for renovations at this writing.)

Several rooms are designated as pet-friendly, and can accommodate one or two dogs up to 80 pounds (36 kg) each.

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Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Concord is an extended-stay lodging in the Baker Avenue office-building complex just off MA Route 2 near the Concord Rotary, 2.5 miles (4 km) west of Monument Square. The 118 rooms include kitchens, and the hotel has a fitness center, bar and lounge serving food.