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Concord and Lexington, MA, Make For a "Revolutionary" Vacation

Lexington and Concord, MA, offer a remarkable preservation and respect of Colonial America while keeping a foot in the 21st century

Old North Bridge, Concord, MA

The Old North Bridge, Concord, MA (photo, courtesy of MOTT)

Article by Eric H.

Rapid urban and suburban development might be off the charts in Massachusetts, but, thankfully, towns like Lexington and Concord, MA, have made the "revolutionary" effort to keep a sense of Colonial history intact.

Lexington and Concord serve as prime examples of
integrity-driven Colonial preservation. Both towns share quiet,tree-lined streets with big, old Colonial-style homes, classic town commons and enough attractions to please the most dedicated purveyor of Colonial times. In Lexington, you can tour historic landmarks like the Buckman Tavern, Monroe Tavern and Hancock-Clarke House, walk the Lexington Battle Green, and view the famous Lexington Minuteman statue. The 970-acre Minuteman National Park offers guided tours of the battlefields and reflections of famous Colonial times and Concord authors while experiencing some beautiful countryside. In Concord, one can get a sense of Colonial times and its history by touring historic Walden Pond, the Monument Square town common, the historic Colonial Inn for lodging and dining, the Old North Bridge, the Old Manse, the Concord Museum and the Ralph Waldo Emerson House.  Concord's sense of history goes beyond attractions, however.  You can just walk down a street and feel the history in many sections through a high concentration of homes and buildings from that era.

Our favorite Colonial-style destination is the Old North Bridge. Here, you not only get a sense of history (the location of the first day of battle in the Revolutionary War), but also some wonderful scenery. The Concord River, juxtaposed with the Bridge, is absolutely stunning to look at -- especially at sundown -- and the meandering wide, dirt trail leads to old trees, open land vistas and the Buttrick Estate "Secret Gardens" -- a network of paved stones and steps offering beautifully terraced gardens and more views of the Concord River. The Buttrick Mansion was built in 1991 by descendants of Maj. John Buttrick, who first told his Soldiers to fire upon the British. The estate is an fine brick mansion that houses a book store and exhibits as well as offering a short video about the fight at the North Bridge.

The Old North Bridge is also right next to the Old Manse, the former home of Nathaniel Hawthorne. It's not well-known, but Hawthorne rented!

While Lexington and Concord have their Colonial roots intact, both towns have modern amenities to please the 21st century vacationer. While limited, there are enough hotels, motels and inns to accommodate travelers, particularly the historic Concord's Colonial Inn where quaint lodging and a fine upscale but casual restaurant make it a top lodging and dining choice. Lexington offers many nice restaurants, including Bertucci's, Via Lago and Mario's (Italian), Yangtze River (Asian), the Lemon Grass (Thai), and of course, the Hartwell House for modern-style colonial dining.  In addition to the Colonial Inn, other standout Concord restaurants include the cozy Walden Grille (steaks, chicken, seafood in a former firehouse), New London Pizza for delicious pizza, and the 99 (a local chain with a wide menu).

Both towns have many delightful, independently owned stores in the downtown sections and feature other nice travel attractions:

* Wilson's Farm in Lexington for some amazingly fresh produce.

* Great Meadows in Concord for peaceful nature walks.

* National Heritage Museum in Lexington for diverse American educational displays, exhbitions and storytelling.

* The 11-mile Minuteman Bikeway, a great stretch for bikers, walkers, joggers and inline skaters, with plenty of scenery in Lexington, Bedford, Arlington and Cambridge.

* Debra's Natural Gourmet, a model of how a community health. Delicious wholesome foods!

* The Concord River, great for canoeing!

Do you know of a Massachusetts town or city that has retained its sense of Colonial history? Write us!


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