Book it over to Concord

Concord is a town rich in literary history. Emerson, Hawthorne, and the Alcotts lived and wrote in Concord. In Concord you have the opportunity to walk through their houses, learn about the authors, and see their actual writing desks.

Start your day at the Orchard House, the family home of the Alcotts and the house that inspired author Louisa May Alcott to write Little Women. Next, venture over to the home of Ralph Waldo Emerson. This is the house where Ralph Waldo Emerson lived as an adult and held meetings with the other local Transcendentalist writers, including Henry David Thoreau and Bronson Alcott. The house is a 9 minute walk from Orchard house.

Old Manse

Take a break for lunch at Helens or coffee at Haute Coffee, then head over to The Old Manse, where Emerson wrote the document that founded the Transcendentalist movement. He also wrote The Concord Hymn about the bridge in the backyard. Later, author Nathaniel Hawthorne lived in this house and wrote stories compiled in Mosses from an Old Manse.

This might be enough for the day; you can relax and go antique or gift shopping and get ready for day two, Walden Pond and Thoreau’s Home Site. While Thoreau’s original cabin was removed long ago, at Walden Pond you can visit a replica, as well as the site of the original cabin. Then head over to the Concord Museum, which has furniture from Thoreau’s cabin, Emerson’s study, and Paul Revere’s lantern. The museum is next door to the Ralph Waldo Emerson House.

The Wayside was home to several different authors with the most famous being Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Harriet Lothrop, who went by the pen name Margaret Sidney. While it is not open for tours, you can view the outside of it.

A favorite stop for visitors is Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Author’s Ridge. This is the cemetery where you’ll find the graves of Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Their final resting place is on a hill named Author’s Ridge.

Another favorite pastime for literary lovers is exploring Concord’s bookstores, including The Concord Bookshop, a local indie bookstore located in Concord’s town center. Established in 1940, you can find some classic reads for all ages. Also located in Concord center is Barrow Bookstore which offers  a wide range of rare and gently-read books to suit the eclectic reader.

Finally, stop by the Concord Public Library for a glance into our amazing history. Filled with art, sculpture and a special collection that includes the original manuscript of Little Women, you won’t want to miss this architecturally beautiful building.