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Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

Little Rock, AR
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Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

My family visited Boston for 7 days & took a day trip to Concord using a rental car. I'd asked a question previously about day tripping there, so I thought I'd share our experience in case it might be helpful to others.

Our primary goal was to visit Walden Pond. We also wanted to check out Sleepy Hollow Cemetery for Author's Ridge, see the Old North Bridge, & see a few authors' homes. Rather than buy train tickets and pay for Uber or Lyft to get 4 of us to all these spots and back, we rented a car for the day. We were so happy with this decision!

We saw all I mentioned above, plus had a delicious little snack at Haute Coffee & a late lunch at Main Street Cafe (really good food!), both in Concord. My gosh, Concord is so pretty & charming! I wanted more time to walk around & explore. While in the town center, we visited the book shop, the visitors center (super friendly gentlemen there that we talked with), and I popped in another local store that I can't recall the name of.

While out & about, we did not visit in the authors' homes/museums, just stopped to look and snap a few pics (Louisa May Alcott & Nathaniel Hawthorne). Most of our time was spent at Walden Pond so that my husband & son could hike out to the space where Thoreau's cabin originally was. My husband is a former English teacher with a great love for the Transcendentalism period, so this experience meant a lot to him. He took many beautiful pictures while there and since we were there by 9:15 or so, it wasn't crowded at all. The Walden Pond area was lovely and well worth our time! We also enjoyed Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. How fitting to see the pencils & other mementos on the graves of Hawthorne, Alcott, Thoreau, and Emerson! We later drove to The Minute Man National Park to walk to the Old North Bridge. Kind of gave me chills to realize my freedoms and liberties started there, in a manner of speaking.

My husband booked our car through Budget for $75.00. He originally thought we'd go on a Wednesday or Thursday, but we didn't reserve right away & the prices shot up by the next day--and weekend prices were way too high no matter what. We ended up booking the car for a Monday; picked it up after 7 a.m. & had it back by 5 or so (we could keep it until 7:00 p.m.). My husband took the T to the Budget rental agency around Government Center to pick up the car & came back to pick us up from our Air B&B rental in Back Bay Village. Once our day trip was over, he dropped us off & took the car back. All went smoothly.

We were so pleased with how this trip turned out! Driving out of Boston took a bit of time b/c of traffic volume, but it was easy to get to Concord and back. We liked having the car so that we could go at our own pace, see what we wanted to, stay as long or as little as we liked, and not be on a tour bus schedule or have to worry about the train schedule. For our family, this was the way to go. If we're lucky enough to return to the area one day, I want time to explore more outside of Boston--lots to see!

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9 replies to this topic
Boston...
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1. Re: Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

What a nice report. Thank you for taking the time to write. It's sure to be helpful to other visitors.

Little Rock, AR
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2. Re: Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

Thanks! We had such a great trip.

New Orleans...
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3. Re: Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

Glad you had such a great day in Concord - I find that cemetery touching too. Love that people leave dollars on Louisa May Alcott's grave because she always had to write for money.

Boston, MA
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4. Re: Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

One of my favorite places to visit! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

Boston, MA
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5. Re: Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

That worked out very well. Thank you for reporting back.

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

Glad you had fun! We did something similar last visit. We used to live in the area...amazing how the Rt. 2A and Minuteman Park area has been changed.

We went to Great Meadows Concord Unit also because that was a favorite when we lived in Cambridge. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/great_meadows/

Little Rock, AR
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7. Re: Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

Thanks for your comments! We enjoyed our day trip to Concord so much. I'd love to go back to explore the area even more.

Boston...
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8. Re: Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

Thanks for the report. It's always interesting to hear from people from elsewhere about places I take for granted and makes me realize I shouldn't.

For example if I was to travel and knew I could see the graves of Hawthorne, Alcott, Thoreau, and Emerson that would be on the top of my list. I'd be so all over that as a visitor to a place. Yet, I've been though Concord hundreds of times and never have even considered it. So thanks for the reminder to take advantage of things I shouldn't take for granted. Glad you had a nice trip.

Edited: 05 August 2017, 23:26
Little Rock, AR
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9. Re: Concord/Walden Pond Day Trip w/rental car--report

Hank W, I know what you mean! I forget to be a tourist in my own state sometimes.

My uncle joined us on this day trip and had a great time seeing Walden Pond and all the rest. It was his first Walden Pond visit, even though he's lived in Boston for 30 years. I believe it was also his first visit to that cemetery. He mentioned that there's a bus tour from Boston that goes to Concord & Lexington, but it's a 7/8 hour day and there's not a lot of time to linger. He told us a few times how much he enjoyed going by car so that we could stay as long or as little as we wanted. I agree!

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