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With its handsome, clapboard houses, graceful church steeples and swathes of oaks and maples, Concord, 20 miles west of Boston, is the picture of a prosperous New England town. It’s not surprising to learn that it nurtured some of America’s most famous literary figures. Less obvious is that was also the location of the start of the American Revolution. Culture, countryside and history are what draw visitors and our choice of the best places to stay in Concord ensures you can enjoy all three.
The first shots of the American War of Independence were fired here, in 1775, when colonists fought back a British contingent at Old North Bridge forcing them to retreat to Boston, culminating in the infamous Siege of Boston. Much of this history, together with a rich collection of Americana, can be found at Concord Museum, close to Monument Square. The museum also contains the world’s largest collection of author Henry David Thoreau artefacts, including his writing desk from Walden Pond.
Thoreau is one of a clutch of 19th-century writers who were born or drawn to Concord and whose homes you can visit including the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial House, where he lived for almost 50 years, and Orchard House, the childhood home of Louisa May Alcott. Author of Little Women, one of the most popular young-adult books ever written, Alcott largely set the novel in Concord. Thoreau fans can visit the farmhouse where he was born and Walden Pond - gorgeous in the fall, and the inspiration for his book, ‘Walden’ - where he built a rustic cabin amongst the forest.
Today Walden Pond offers hiking and cycling trails while the Concord River is a good place for canoeing, particularly for first-timers, as it is relatively placid.
Which pretty much sums up Concord: an elegant, gentle place, surrounded by nature, where you may well feel moved to start your own novel. Choose our pick of the best places to stay in Concord for inspiration!
For colonial charm
- Concord’s Colonial Inn lives up to its name with a splendid façade of pillars and veranda, wood-panelled bar and graceful, light-filled rooms with beautiful panelling and polished-wood floors. The restaurant serves up fresh New England menus, too.
Best Hotels in Concord
Concord's Colonial Inn 46 rooms from $148Concord (Massachusetts)
Inn set in history, architecture and literature. Light, modern rooms with newspapers and coffee machine. Enjoy the New England cuisine at the restaurant and bar. Concord known for its pivotal role in American Independence ensures a great stay for history buffs. Great weekend break for activities.TraditionalSights nearby - Spend an afternoon looking around Concord's historic homes - The Wayside, The Manse and more.Kayaking - Walden Pond for boating and kayaking.Opulent