Situated in the state of Massachusetts, 20 miles northwest of Boston, the town of Lexington was the scene of a landmark event in US history, when the first shot of the American Revolutionary War was fired on Lexington Common on 19 April 1775. As a result, today the town is dotted with landmarks and memorials relating to the war and the infamous role that Lexington played in it.
While its war time heritage is perhaps Lexington’s most prominent visual feature, there are also a handful of more contemporary sites and attractions. If you’re planning a visit and would like to enjoy a flavour of both the past and present during your stay, then check out our list below of 7 of the best things to see and do in and around Lexington.
Once a gathering place for locals and travellers, this historic American Revolutionary War tavern dates back to the start of the 18th century when it was built on Lexington Green. Today it serves as an educational venue complete with an exhibition and self-guided audio tour. For souvenirs and gifts, the site is also home to Lexington Historical Society’s Museum Shop, with staff are dressed in revolutionary war period clothing.
1 Bedford Street
Minute Man National Historical Park
Built to commemorate the opening battle in the American Revolutionary War, this expansive 900-acre public park in the nearby town of Concord is home to a vast number of statues and other memorials associated with the war. Visitors can explore the park at their leisure as well as pop into a visitor’s centre which hosts a continuous multi-media theatre program on the Revolution, plus rotating exhibits and book store.
174 Liberty Street, Concord
Idle Hands Craft Ales
Located a short drive east of Lexington is an acclaimed brewery that sits at the vanguard of America’s burgeoning craft beer scene. Owned and run by a passionate and dedicated husband-and-wife team, the brewery produces high-quality Belgian-style ales, along with a handful of kettle sours and hazy IPAs, that are widely considered some of the best you’ll find anywhere in the region. As well as its on-site production facility, the venue has a buzzing taproom where beer enthusiasts can come and sample the in-house brews. There’s also an enticing food menu serving up American classics including hot dogs and pretzels.
89 Commercial Street, Malden
Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library
The teachings and practices of freemasonry have a reputation for being shrouded in secrecy, but there are in fact a number of institutions around the world that shed light on the historic secular fraternities that come under its umbrella. In Lexington, the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library is packed full of exhibits, galleries, artefacts and documents that together tell the story of Freemasonry in the context of American history and culture.
33 Marrett Road
Located in Concord, Orchard House was the long-standing home of novelist Louisa May Alcott, who wrote and set her famous novel Little Women here. Today it’s been converted into a living museum and is a popular attraction with lovers of the book – and indeed the movie based on it – who flock here to see the real-life artefacts and rooms where the distinguished author spent so many fruitful years.
399 Lexington Road, Concord
Nashoba Brook Bakery
Everyone loves a local bakery and in Lexington’s neighbouring town of Concord the natives flock to Nashoba Brook to pick up their famous breads that are freshly crafted each day. Based on similar principles to the ‘Slow Food’ movement, the bakery has developed a ‘Slow Rise’ approach to bread-making which takes almost 24 hours from mixing to cooling. The results are self-evident in the steady stream of patrons who descend here each day, while home deliveries are available too. Visitors are even encouraged to come and watch the doughs rise slowly themselves.
152 Commonwealth Avenue # 3, Concord
It would not do it justice to call Wilson Farm a mere farm shop. While its upscale, farm-fresh produce and homemade baked goods are a major draw for dedicated foodies across Lexington and beyond, the historic 500-acre site is also home to a lavish flower department as well as a greenhouse that has become a favourite touring site for local and national growing associations.
10 Pleasant Street HOURS Mon-Sun 9am-7pm
By Paul Joseph