27 Things to Do in Concord MA All Year Round

The Little Women Orchard House in Concord Massachusetts

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From the start of the American Revolutionary War to beautiful Walden Pond and the home of Little Women, there are countless wonderful and interesting things to do in Concord MA.

Come and explore this town’s rich American revolutionary and literary history amidst its lovely scenic landscapes and thriving cultural scene.

Concord is only about a 35-minute drive from Boston (up to an hour in traffic), so it makes for an excellent day trip from the city whether you’re local or visiting.

If you’re looking to explore more historical spots in MA, you might like our list of things to do in Salem, Massachusetts.

Don’t skip our Massachusetts bucket list to plan all your adventures around the Bay State.

Our guides are timeless and great for trips all year round, but if you’re looking for more seasonal activities and attractions, check out our guides for the spring, fall, and winter in Massachusetts.

Excellent Things to Do in Concord Massachusetts

Our guide starts at the Visitor Center so you can enjoy an introduction to the area before setting out for the day.

Start by walking around pretty downtown, and then hop into the car to tour several authors’ homes before you delve into all the Revolutionary history sites.

We’ll wrap up at the iconic Walden Pond and a beloved family-run farm where you can shop and eat local.

Full-Day Historical Tour

First, are you coming from Boston?

This historical tour will make things even easier for you!

Spend the entire day checking off many of these popular things to do in Lexington and Concord that we’ll list below.

You’ll get to explore the sites with an American history expert who will guide you throughout the tour.

Some of the stops included in this tour are Old North Bridge, Minute Man National Historical Park, and Old Manse — all of which we recommend below.

Lexington and Concord Self-Guided Tour

Alternatively, explore at your own pace with this innovative self-guided driving tour.

All you need are the downloaded app, your smartphone, and your own vehicle, and you’re good to go!

This tour covers all of the essential Lexington and Concord tourist attractions.

The app acts as a tour guide and a map all in one (the stories play based on your GPS location), which ensures an immersive experience.

If you’d rather do your own DIY adventure, then you can piece together any or all of our recommendations below.

Concord Visitor Center

Start at the Concord Visitor Center (58 Main St) and enjoy a walking tour led by local guides.

There are a lot of things to see in Concord so it’s best to get an introduction on a 75-minute stroll around sites including Monument Square, The Milldam, and The Old Hill Burial Ground.

Or just stop in to get information from the helpful staff to start your day.

Bathrooms are available as well.

Monument Square

In the heart of Concord, you’ll find Monument Square, which marks one of the first permanent colonial settlements away from the coast.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977, a stroll around Monument Square feels like a step back in time.

It’s just a block away from the Visitor Center and a perfect start to your historic tour of Concord.

Old Hill Burying Ground

The Old Hill Burying Ground is the oldest cemetery in Concord, located just beside Monument Square.

Look for the gravestone of Hugh Cargill, who was previously a British soldier but lived the rest of his days in Concord until his death in 1799.

Concord Center for the Visual Arts

For something a little more modern during your visit to Concord, go to the Concord Center for the Visual Arts (37 Lexington Rd) and enjoy a variety of exhibits.

Locally referred to as simply Concord Art, it was founded in 1922 by Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts (known as Elsie to her friends). 

Her collection of paintings, sculptures, and drawings still form the core permanent exhibits at the museum.

Beyond the galleries, Concord Art also offers classes and workshops for local artists and artists-to-be, as well as events with authors and artists from all over.

Admission is free to the main four galleries.

Be sure to step into the small garden out back before you leave!

Main Street Shopping

Main Street in Concord is idyllic for a slow stroll so you can stop into various local shops, art galleries, and boutiques.

Stop into the Concord Bookshop to browse titles or go to the Concord Cheese Shop to pick a picnic snack!

Three Stones Gallery is a delightful local art shop you’ll want to explore, as is Artisans Way for its unique creations.

51 Walden

Check out local musical performances and cultural events at 51 Walden (51 Walden St), a performing arts center that is host to the Concord Orchestra, Concord Players, Concord Band, and Opera51.

The building is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so it’s a perfect venue for those who appreciate architecture and history!

Umbrella Arts Center

Enjoy a performance or take an art class at the Umbrella Arts Center (40 Stow St), a non-profit that’s dedicated to bringing the arts to the Concord community.

There is truly no shortage of fun Concord activities, thanks to cultural spaces like this.

With two theaters, spaces for three galleries, and private event spaces, this is a venue that caters to creatives at all levels.

There are summer art classes and programs for kids, as well as year-round opportunities for all ages.

Concord Free Public Library

One of the best ways to immerse in a town’s history, aside from traveling, is through reading.

What better way to learn more about a town, especially one that has a rich literary history, than to visit their very own library?

The Concord Free Public Library (129 Main St) has books and other special collections that you can freely access.

The library also hosts activities for people of all ages like author festivals, book clubs, film screenings, board games, and more.

Make sure to check their calendar to see the events while you’re in town.

Ralph Waldo Emerson House

Visit the home of literary great Ralph Waldo Emerson (28 Cambridge Turnpike) to walk in his footsteps and explore his ideas on transcendentalism.

The home is open to visitors seasonally, mostly on weekends, so be sure to check opening times to plan your visit.

Also note that the house is not fully accessible.

Concord Museum

The Concord Museum (53 Cambridge Turnpike) offers exhibits showcasing the town’s history and its role in American literature across 16 galleries.

Be sure to check out one of the two famous Paul Revere lanterns, which is permanently on display at the Concord Museum.

Most visitors spend 1.5-2 hours here, so plan your visit accordingly!

Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House

If you’re a literature enthusiast, this is one of the Concord tourist attractions you need to have at the top of your must-do list!

Visit the Orchard House (399 Lexington Rd) to tour the home where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women

The home has been largely maintained as it was when the Alcott family resided here.

The author based her story on her own upbringing in the Orchard House, so whether you read the book or watched the films, you can relive your favorite moments or most heartfelt memories by walking through the home on a guided tour.

The tour takes around 45 minutes and is the only way you can view the interior of the house.

The home is open year-round and also hosts special events throughout the year, including special Christmas decorations and festivities.

The upstairs is not accessible; there is limited parking by the house so you may need to walk from the larger parking area across the street a block away.

The Little Women Orchard House in Concord Massachusetts

The Wayside

Next door to the Orchard House, you’ll find The Wayside (455 Lexington Rd), which was home to several authors, including Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Sidney.

Alcott and her family lived here while Orchard House was under construction for several years, making this a formative part of her childhood stories and memories that made their way into her writing.

The Hawthorne family bought the home from the Alcotts in 1852 and children’s book author Margaret Sidney (real name Harriet Lothrop) lived here in the 1880s.

Because of its multifaceted literary importance, this is one of the top attractions in Concord.

The Wayside is now maintained by the National Park Service.

It is also marked as a former stop on the Underground Railroad; there was at least one person the Alcott family protected here in the 1840s in their search for freedom.

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Enjoy a lovely walk and keep an eye out for a variety of bird life in the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (Monsen Rd).

A small parking area is available; there is a small fee to pay at the machine. 

A walking trail loops around the pond and there is also a small overlook tower for better views.

Note: Dogs are not allowed in the wildlife refuge, so you’ll have to leave your pup at home for this one.

Authors Ridge at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Stop by Sleepy Hollow Cemetery on Bedford Street to pay your respects to several famous folks who are buried here.

You’ll find the gravestones of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne in what’s known as Authors Ridge.

The Old Manse

Once home to both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Old Manse (269 Monument St) is now maintained by The Trustees, a statewide organization working to conserve and protect historic landmarks and natural spaces.

Beyond its literary connections, the upstairs of The Old Manse also overlooks the North Bridge where the American Revolution began (more on that below!).

The grounds are free to explore all year round, while guided tours of the inside of the home are available seasonally and typically last around one hour.

The 1770 Olde Manse House in Concord Massachusetts

Nashawtuc Hill

Spanning 77 acres, there are plenty of trails to walk across the diverse landscapes of Nashawtuc Hill, part of the Concord Land Conservation Trust.

You can opt to stroll through Simon Willard Woods or the Assabet Woodlot; or cross the Brengle-Ham Field to bask in the warmth of a sunny day.

Both French’s Meadow and the Brooks-Hudson Meadow boast beautiful wildflowers in the spring.

Minute Man National Historical Park and Visitor Center

Minute Man National Historical Park preserves the spaces that played critical roles at the start of the American Revolution.

If your list of things to do in Concord is full of Revolutionary War sites, start your visit at the Visitor Center (210 N Great Rd, Lincoln) and plan to explore the places that span Lincoln, Concord, and Lexington, MA.

The Visitor Center is open daily from May through October.

Some of the most significant sites include the Old North Bridge, Hartwell Tavern, and The Wayside — all of which we’ll go into in more detail below.

Battle Road Trail

Follow the Battle Road Trail on foot or by bike to see many points of interest in Minute Man National Historical Park.

The trail covers 5 miles of the historic route taken by British soldiers on April 19, 1775, after their first battle with colonial militia.

The Battle Road Trail runs between Lexington and Meriam’s Corner in Concord.

Along the trail, you’ll find a variety of historic plaques and information points, plus buildings that have been preserved since the colonial era.

Even if you’re not at all interested in history, this is a beautiful trail to walk or bike and it’s a favorite in the local area!

Captain William Smith House

One of many historic homes along the Battle Road Trail, the Captain William Smith House took in a wounded British soldier to offer aid, though he ultimately died and was buried nearby.

Captain William Smith House in Minute Man National Historical Park in Lincoln MA

Hartwell Tavern

Hartwell Tavern was a popular stop for travelers in the area, and it still stands today along Battle Road Trail.

British troops marched right past the tavern on their way back to Boston.

The Hartwells were involved in the local militia, too; three of the Hartwell boys fought against the British.

You can go into Hartwell Tavern from Memorial Day Weekend through October; note that the interior is not accessible.

The grounds are open all year round to see the restored house from the outside.

Historic Hartwell Tavern in Minute Man National Historical Park in Lincoln Massachusetts

Nathan Meriam House

From the Nathan Meriam House until the British troops marched 18 miles back to Charlestown, colonial militia used their local knowledge to fire upon the Redcoats and harass the troops for hours.

This 18th-century house still stands as a marker to map the historic events of that day in April 1775.

Old North Bridge and Visitor Center

It was at Old North Bridge where the “shot heard ‘round the world” was reportedly fired to start the American Revolutionary War in 1775.

Stand on the spot that changed history!

Look for the Minute Man statue created by Daniel Chester French while you’re there.

You can also walk up a small hill to the North Bridge Visitor Center via a dirt path from the bridge; it’s about 500 yards.

This is one of the many historical Concord sites that you must visit during your trip.

An informational video and other exhibits help narrate the story of the day.

The Old North Bridge in Concord Massachusetts

Hapgood Wright Town Forest

Go for a walk in the woods after learning all about the lives of early American literary greats and transcendentalists.

Hapgood Wright Town Forest is a lovely space to walk the easy loop path around the pond.

Dogs are welcome, and kids love the Dr. Seuss Lorax shrine!

A parking lot is available on Walden Street across from the entrance to Concord-Carlisle High School, but it can fill up quickly in good weather so try to get there early.

There are no restrooms available so plan accordingly.

Walden Pond

While there are tons of wonderful things to do in Concord Massachusetts, visiting Walden Pond is one that you absolutely can’t miss.

Walk in the footsteps of writer and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, who found himself so enchanted by Walden that his writing altered public opinion about nature itself.

To have such a profound impact, you can imagine just how lovely this place is!

Fun fact: Thoreau was partially inspired to spend two years living on the shores of Walden Pond after learning about Zilpah White, a formerly enslaved woman who lived alone in a one-room cabin and provided for herself. 

He included her story in his book Walden; or, Life in the Woods.

You can learn more about Zilpah White from The Walden Woods Project.

The pond is part of the Walden Pond State Reservation and was also named a National Historic Landmark back in 1962.

During the summer, many locals come to Walden Pond to swim and sunbathe.

You can also enjoy boating out on the water; the boat ramp opens automatically at 5am.

In all weather, a walk through Walden Woods can bring back the romanticism of Thoreau’s writing.

Daily parking fees apply unless you have an annual pass; Massachusetts residents (those with an MA license plate) pay a reduced rate.

Scenic pond with trees and views of the sky

Verrill Farm

There are plenty of community-focused things to do in Concord Mass, and Verill Farm (11 Wheeler Rd) is a testament to that.

This family farm has been around since 1918 with a goal to provide fresh produce in the town through sustainable agriculture.

Support local and shop at their farm stand, located in front of their fields, which offers some of the best sustainably grown fruits and vegetables in the area.

Aside from local produce, they also offer other products thanks to their bakery, kitchen, deli, greenhouse, and grocery store.

Make sure to check out their calendar for fun group activities like harvest festivals, cooking classes, and even performances and storytelling for children.

Final Words

Whether you want to surround yourself with nature or soak up significant history, we hope our list of things to do in Concord MA can help you slow down and get the most out of your experience.

Let us know your favorite Concord activities and attractions in the comments below.

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