The Greater Merrimack Valley region is rich in history and culture. Home to the historic communities of Lowell, Lexington and Concord, the region was the birthplace of the American Revolution and the American Industrial Revolution. The region also served as a cradle for much of America’s great literature. It is the home and inspiration to such notable writers as Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Jack Kerouac.
Come see for yourself what makes the Merrimack Valley such a memorable place to visit! Adventures await and we suggest that you start by planning your visit with these top-5 attractions:
The Greater Merrimack Valley boasts history in both the Revolutionary War and the Industrial Revolution with two Historic National Parks calling the region home.
Minute Man Historic National Park located in Concord, Mass., is the location of the first battle of the Revolutionary War. It features historic sites such as: the North Bridge, the location of “the shot heard round the world” that marked the first deadly fire of the Americans on the British; the capture site of Paul Revere; and, Battle Road, where the colonists continued fire upon the British on April 19, 1775, as they retreated to Boston.
Lowell Historic National Park played a different role in history as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the United States. The LHNP in the Mill City features attractions such as the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, canalway boat tours, and a street car trolley for travel throughout LHNP and downtown Lowell.
The state of Massachusetts celebrates Patriots’ Day each April on the third Monday of the month. The holiday commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord that began the Revolutionary War on April, 19, 1775. Patriots’ Day, April 15, 2019, is the 244th Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
The Massachusetts holiday also plays host to the Boston Marathon, yet just up the road in the Greater Merrimack Valley, it’s a cause for reenactment of the fateful day that forever changed the course of America’s history. On Patriots’ Day itself, you can get up early and head to Lexington Battle Green at 5:30 am, where British and Colonial reenact the Battle of Lexington. Then, head to Minute Man Historic National Park in Concord for a reenactment of the “shot heard round the world” at the North Bridge and make sure to stick around for the Concord Patriots’ Day Parade.
On the Saturday before Patriots’ Day, April 13, 2019, the towns of Lexington, Mass., and Lincoln, Mass., host a demonstration on Battle Road known as Parker’s Revenge. This reenacts the confrontation of Capt. John Parker and his colonial militia against the British.
The Lowell Folk Festival is one of the longest standing, free-to-attend folk festivals in America. It takes place each year during the last weekend in July. The event starts on Friday evening with a multi-cultural parade that shows off the numerous nationalities represented by the city of Lowell. The parade beings at JFK Plaza and ends at Boarding House Park, where the music begins for the next three days.
The event features five different music stages with acts running from midday to late in the evening. Just as significant as the music, the weekend also features food from around the globe, as well as an arts and crafts walk along the canalways of Downtown Lowell.
Aside from the Lowell Folk Festival, Boarding House Park also hosts the Lowell Summer Music Series throughout the warm months. The LSMS brings in musical acts to Downtown Lowell where they entertain a park audience that brings its own lawn chairs for the show.
History meets modern in the Greater Merrimack Valley as seen in our array of hotel offerings. If you’re looking to connect with the historic, colonial feel of the region, the Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington and Concord Colonial Inn make for great accommodations. Conversely, those looking for the most modern overnight stays can find them in Lexington at Aloft or Element. Business travelers looking to host an event with easy access to the city can do so at UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. For those of you looking for the traditional hotel, we have those, too! The Boston Marriott Burlington or Boxboro Regency Hotel & Conference Center offer luxurious stays and hub and spoke transportation convenience!
New England is known for specialty seafood, like clam chowder and lobster rolls. The Greater Merrimack Valley provides plenty of that, but branches out through its multi-cultural connections to provide a variety of foods from around the world.
Lowell, Mass., notably offers an diverse palette with restaurants like Athenian Corner (Greek), El Potro (Mexican), Garcia Brogan’s (Mexican and Irish fusion), and Fuse Bistro (an American scratch kitchen).
In Concord, Mass., Trail’s End offers great breakfast and lunch options. Debra’s Gourmet, in West Concord, serves as a grocery store for premium and organic foods. Those that stay at the Concord Colonial Inn will find a fine dining restaurant on site. The same goes for the Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington, where Artistry on the Green is an award-winning restaurant. And if your looking for a pick-your-own experience that also has a deli and fresh produce, make sure to stop in to Verrill Farm in Concord.