Old Manse, Concord, MA
Concord, MA has a long and illustrious history in New England. As the first inland settlement of the colonists, it became a prosperous farming community. However, it is probably best known for the birthplace of the American Revolution, it’s famous authors, and it’s ties to the Transcendentalist movement. For it was in Concord that America carved out it’s freedom from Great Britain, where Louisa May Alcott wrote “Little Women” and where Thoreau built is cabin on Walden Pond. Needless to say, Concord is full of history and things to do but it also boasts many fine shops and restaurants. Overall, visiting Concord is great fun, and we highly recommend visiting.
Where to Eat: A Few of Our Favorites
Woods Hill Table – Farmer and nationally acclaimed film maker Kristin Canty, renovated an historic West Concord building and turned it into a beautiful setting for farm to table cuisine. Sourcing their food from their own organic farm and other local purveyors, the emphasis is on fresh, sustainable cuisine. Dinner only.
80 Thoreau – Tucked away in the historic train station depot sits 80 Thoreau. This fine-dining restaurant features an award-winning chef, a lively atmosphere, locally inspired cuisine and delicious small-plates served at the bar. Dinner only.
Saltbox Kitchen – Saltbox Kitchen is a lovely cafe to pick up a freshly baked breakfast pastry or enjoy a farm-sourced lunch. Much of the ingredients come from their own farm. They even have their own brewery.
The Cheese Shop – Now in business for 50 years, the cheese shop is a must visit on your next trip to Concord. They offer fine cheese and wine from all over the world (with plenty of samples). They also have a great takeout counter in the back serving to-go sandwiches, salads and desserts for your local picnic at Walden Pond.
Verrill Farm – Well, what can we say. Verrill Farm has been been a family business since 1918 and their love for local food and produce comes shining through in everything they grow and make. Whether you want to buy fresh vegetables, local gourmet items or pick up pre-made meals, Verrill Farm is the place to go. They have a brand new cafe serving sandwiches and salads and a full service bakery featuring homemade items and some of the best scones you’ve ever tasted. Eat-in, take-out picnic items, or head out to a picnic table under the tent on the farm. You’ll be glad you stopped by.
Haute Coffee – Haute Coffee is an adorable cafe nestled in alley along historic Walden Street in downtown Concord. Have your local barista make you a delicious espresso, cappuccino or choose your favorite blend. Relax while you enjoy your coffee in their cozy cafe along with a fresh pastry.
Priscilla’s Chocolate Shop – Priscilla’s is a staple for old-fashioned handmade chocolates and other sweet treats. Be sure to stop in for some turtles or classic candies.
Bedford Farms – Locally Sourced. Homemade. Ice. Cream.
Hutchins Farm – Hutchins Farm is worth it’s weight in gold. It’s a stunning organic farm with some of the best tasting farm veggies available. You can also buy local eggs, flowers, honey and bread when available. The scenery alone is worth the visit.
Things to Do: Explore Concord
Downtown Shopping – Concord has 3 shopping districts – Historic downtown, the Train Depot area and West Concord. In addition to the shops and boutiques be sure to check out the terrific antique stores in historic downtown. Stop in to Vanderhoof Hardware if you need any gadgets for your house – they’ve been refining their inventory for over 100 years. The Toy Shop of Concord is pure magic and the West Concord Five and Ten will take you back to simpler times.
Walden Pond – Where Thoreau wrote the book Walden. It’s also a great spot for hiking and swimming.
Minuteman National Park – Visit to see where the American Revolution began. The Minuteman statue was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, a Concord resident who also sculpted the Lincoln Memorial.
The Robbins House – Located at Minuteman National Park, this house will give you a glimpse into the life of the first generation of free Concord African Americans as well as how they pursued independence and contributed to the antislavery movement.
Old Manse – The historic home of the Emerson Family as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne, this home offers a peek into history and the lives of famous transcendentalists.
The Ralph Waldo Emerson House – The first permanent home of Transcendental philosopher, poet, and lecturer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, his wife and family.
The Orchard House – Experience the historic home of the extraordinary Alcott family, where Louisa May Alcott wrote and set Little Women.
The Concord Museum – Where Concord and it’s history come to life.
Thoreau Farm – Henry David Thoreau’s birthplace.
The Wayside – Home of famous author Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family. You’ve read the Scarlett Letter, right?
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – Here you can visit the grave sites of some of Concord’s most notable residents from sculptor Daniel Chester French to the the grave of Ephraim Bull, creator of the Concord grape. Authors ridge is the area of the cemetery where notable authors such as Hawthorne, Alcott, Thoreau and Emerson are buried. From Monument square, simply walk up Bedford Street and it’s on your left.
Concord Art Association – Be sure to stop in and check out the latest gallery exhibit.
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge – A lovely place to visit and stroll year-round.
South Bridge Boat House – Hop in a canoe or kayak and explore the Concord River.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Leave a note in the comment below.
We have some great ideas sprouting up so watch this space for more delicious finds.