If you’re interested in American history, you know Boston is the place to be for historical landmarks and attractions related to the colonial era, the American Revolution, and the birth of our country.
However, visitors often overlook the two sites that have some of the most significance for this time period: Lexington and Concord.
A Lexington and Concord tour is the best way to experience the origins of the United States and learn about the unique history with authentic attractions.
Lexington and Concord attractions are many and varied, going beyond the Lexington Battle Green to include museums, 18th century houses inhabited by famous early Americans, and even immaculately restored taverns.
Here’s a look at some of the must-see Lexington and Concord attractions.
Though it starts in Lexington, the Liberty Ride is actually a Lexington and Concord tour along the historic Battle Road.
On your air-conditioned trolley, a knowledgeable costumed tour guide will recount the exciting events of the American Revolution as you pass the Lexington Battle Green, the Old North Bridge, Minuteman National Historic Park, and the Lexington and Concord visitor centers along with all of the attractions listed below.
On the day before the Battle of Lexington, Munroe Tavern served as a meeting spot for colonials and minutemen.
The next day, after the Battles of Lexington and Concord that started the Revolutionary War, retreating British troops overtook the tavern and turned the tavern into a field hospital for the wounded. Today, the preserved Munroe Tavern is run by the Lexington Historical Society.
Buckman Tavern served as a gathering spot for militiamen awaiting the arrival of the “Red Coats” on April 19, 1775.
When the alarm bell ran to signal the enemy’s approach, then men left the tavern for Lexington Common, where the first Revolutionary War conflict would occur. Buckman Tavern was restored in 1920 and today the original tap room fireplace remains next to a reinstalled bar.
Hancock Clarke House
You know about Paul Revere’s famous ride, right? Well, the Hancock Clarke House, home of Reverends John Hancock and Jonas Clark, was Paul Revere’s destination that night. John Hancock and Samuel Adams were visiting at Reverend Clarke that night, and Paul Revere and William Dawes were sent to warn these legendary Patriots of the arrival of the British troops.
Housing many authentic artifacts and important documents of the Colonial era and the American Revolution, the Concord Museum was founded in 1886—making it one of the oldest and well-documented historical collections in the country.
It is most famous for its extensive collection of artifacts belonging to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Other relics are just as impressive, such as one of the lanterns hung in the Old North Church on the eve of the Revolution.
Old Manse House
With a location right next to the Old North Bridge, the Old Manse House has an important place in Revolutionary History.
The house was built by Raplh Waldo Emerson’s grandfather in 1770, and Emerson watched the battle at North Bridge in 1775 from his farm fields.
The Old Manse House has a renowned literary legacy: It is here where Ralph Waldo Emerson drafted “Nature,” Nathaniel Hawthorne established his literary career, Henry David Thoreau tended the land, and Horace Mann, Margaret Fuller, and John Brown paid regular visits.
Louisa May Alcott House
Speaking of literary legacies, the Louisa May Alcott House—where Little Women was written—is also located in Concord.
Real-life family members who resided in the house inspired the story, and guided tours offer insights into their lives. Though over 300 years old, the house has genuine architectural integrity and still contains original family artifacts.