So You Want to Live in Concord, Massachusetts?

One-of-a-kind shops, grand old Colonials, and history galore: Here are five things to know if you’re considering a move to this quintessential New England town.

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1. Pick Your Price Point

With roots dating to the 1600s, Concord has seen practically every architectural phase over the past few centuries, and many historical home styles remain prominent in the town. Here, 1800s Colonials are mixed in with brand-new builds among available homes for sale. One thing they all have in common, though, is the high cost: The median price of a single-family home in Concord in 2022 was more than $1.4 million.

Photo via Creative Commons/Doug Kerr

2. Plot Your Commute

Even though Concord is about 20 miles outside of downtown Boston, the commuter rail makes getting in and out of town relatively easy: If you’re heading into the city, you can get to North Station within 50 minutes on the Fitchburg line. Otherwise, you can drive in and out in about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.

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3. Take in the Vibe

If you’re looking for a New England town that’s both quaint and not too sleepy, this is your place. Concord has a walkable downtown area, miles of wooded trails for hiking (and excellent leaf-peeping in the fall), and enough historic sites and entertainment to keep you occupied for days. Your weekends here will be filled with strolls in Brewster’s Woods Wildlife Sanctuary and shows at 51 Walden Performing Arts Center.

4. Check out the Culture

We all know about Concord’s Revolutionary War roots (the town was literally its starting place). But Concord is equally steeped in literary history: It’s home to Walden Pond, the Ralph Waldo Emerson House (still owned by the famous author’s family), and the Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women.

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5. Scope out the Schools

Of course, a town that’s produced so many great authors is bound to have a killer public school system. Concord-Carlisle High School (which also serves students from the neighboring town) is continually ranked high in this magazine’s Top Schools list for its A-plus test scores and student-teacher ratio. Plus, the abundance of sports teams means your kid will be kept plenty busy after school.

First published in the print edition of the September 2023 issue with the headline, “So You Want to Live In…Concord.”