If you're into history, you may be familiar with Lexington, Massachusetts because it was where the American Revolution began in April of 1775. Because this small Boston suburb—located less than 10 miles northwest of the city—is rooted in our country’s history, there are many museums to dive into, historic landmarks to see, and activities for all ages to enjoy. Even Paul Revere and President George Washington are part of the stories behind some of the town's history.
Discover the top things to do with our guide to the best sights and attractions in Lexington.
Visit the Lexington Battle Green
In Lexington Center, right where Massachusetts Avenue and Bedford Street meet, is the spot where the American Revolution began on April 19, 1775. The Lexington Battle Green commemorates this moment in history by showcasing the Revolutionary Monument, which dates back to 1799 and is the country’s oldest war memorial.
Follow Paul Revere’s Footsteps to the Hancock-Clarke House
You may have heard of the Paul Revere House along Boston’s Freedom Trail, but you may not know about the Hancock-Clarke House; it's where Paul Revere stayed on April 18, 1775, when he traveled from Boston to alert Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were coming. There’s also a barn out back that is now the Society’s Fire Equipment Museum.
The Minuteman Bikeway starts in Cambridge at Alewife Station, passes through Arlington and Lexington, and ends in Bedford. This 11-mile, 12-feet wide path is perfect for biking, walking, running, and even cross-country skiing after a good snowstorm.
ACROSS Lexington was a project designed to help people live a healthy lifestyle by getting them outdoors. It has so far resulted in nearly 29 miles of walking, running, and cycling routes, with plans to extend the network to 40 miles. Within this is a 5.5-mile circular trail that goes north from Lexington Center. A full map, along with key landmarks located throughout, can be found here.
Explore the Battle Road Trail
This route is another spot to walk, run, or bike in Lexington. The 5-mile path is located within the Minute Man National Historical Park, and follows the original remnants of the Battle Road from the Battle of April 19, 1775. If you plan to take advantage of this trail, park in one of the lots along Route 2A and Lexington Road.
You can easily spend the morning or afternoon hitting the links at this 9-hole golf course. The club is owned by the Town of Lexington and is open to the public. If you prefer to work on your swing, try the Stone Meadow Driving Range.
The Lexington Venue, a small town movie theater with two screens, shows a variety of feature and independent films. Come here to watch movies, both new and old, throughout the year.
The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library was opened in 1975 by Scottish Rite Freemasons in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America. Here you’ll find exhibits on a variety of different topics related to American history, Freemasonry, fraternalism, and the Scottish Rite.
Have a Beach Day at Walden Pond
Walden Pond, technically located one town over in Concord, is a great family spot for a summer day. Its history dates back to the mid-1800’s, when author Henry David Thoreau was inspired to write "Walden." Here you can have a beach day, go for a boat ride on the water, or walk around the pond. There’s even a replica of Thoreau’s cabin open to visitors.
Visit the Munroe Tavern
The 300-year-old Munroe Tavern also has ties to 1775—particularly April 19, 1775, when British Brigadier General Earl Percy and his troops used it as a headquarters and hospital. Today, you can see items from when President Washington dined here in 1789, along with those from the Munroe family, who operated the tavern from 1770 to 1827.
If you had visited Boston’s Quincy Market in the late-1800s, you would have likely purchased items from Wilson Farm. James A. Wilson and his brother-in-law, George Reynolds, were Irish immigrants who began growing an assortment of vegetables and other plants in 1884. In 1920, the farm was taken over by Wilson’s sons, who then passed it down to their sons in the early 1950s. Today, the farm sits on 33 acres in Lexington, with far more land in New Hampshire. You can pick up produce, baked goods, cheese, and more at their farm stand.
Take a Liberty Ride Trolley Tour
If you want to get a taste for Lexington’s history and a lay of the land, you may want to take a Liberty Ride Trolley Tour. This 90-minute trolley tour is led by a guide dressed for the late-1770s; he will tell you all about the Battles of Lexington and Concord as you drive around and explore sites in both towns.
The tour includes some of the previously mentioned attractions—including the Lexington Battle Green and Minute Man National Historical Park—as well as new sites: Paul Revere’s Capture Site, Hartwell Tavern, the Belfry, and more. Tickets for adults are $28.