Concord, Massachusetts, is a quintessential New England town, bursting with historical and cultural significance. Concord is home to the Nipmuc tribe, the first inland settlement in Massachusetts Bay Colony, sites on the Underground Railroad, Sleepy Hollow cemetery — where literary giants sleep, hiking trails and tranquil ponds, as well as independent stores and farm-to-table restaurants serving gourmet meals.
Visit Concord is the Tourism Division for the Town of Concord. Formed in 2019 as a result of a long-range strategic plan, Visit Concord’s goal is to promote sustainable tourism in Concord.
We talked with Beth Williams, Visit Concord’s tourism professional, to learn more about the town and what it offers for groups.
Q. Tell us about yourself. What is your role with Visit Concord?
A. I am the first tourism professional hired by the Town of Concord, and I arrived in August of 2019. My background is in nonprofit marketing and management, having worked for arts and culture organizations all over New England. I specialize in building relationships between cultural, business and municipal organizations to showcase the best Concord has to offer.
Q. What makes Concord a unique destination?
A. Concord is a quaint New England town, with cultural and historical assets. Also, it’s home to over 20 walking trails, Walden Pond, a National Historical Park and an amazing wildlife refuge. Many do not know the Native American and African American history here, and that Concord was a hub for the suffragist, transcendentalist and anti-slavery movements.
Q. What was Concord’s role in the American Revolution?
A. Concord’s North Bridge was the site of the “Shot Heard ’Round the World” — the first beginning of the first battle in the Revolutionary War. This is the site where a colonist, still a British citizen, fired on the approaching regulars, also British citizens, committing an act of treason.
Q. Why should tour operators bring their groups to Concord?
A. Concord offers something for every type of traveler. From educational school groups, food tours, fall scenery and everything in between, we have many activities to fit your needs. We offer full-service planning from transportation to accommodations, to attractions.
Q. What’s new in Concord this year?
A. More tours! We have private tours available for groups of four or more, from buses to walking, from literary to chocolate! Custom designed just for your group, allow us to help you plan the perfect day or week in Concord.
Q. What services do you offer to tour operators?
A. We offer hop-on guides, private walking tours, lodging and meal booking assistance as well as full-service itineraries for groups of all sizes. We have dedicated bus parking, public restrooms that are open all year long and a tourism manager that is a full-time Town of Concord employee.
We are a vehicle to share all of the resources Concord has — from tours to food options, parking and itineraries.
Q. What do you think surprises groups the most about visiting Concord?
A. Concord is much more than our role in the Revolutionary War. Many of Concord’s cultural and historical attractions are within walking distance of the Town Center.
Q. What’s the next big thing for Concord?
A. In 2024 and 2025 Concord will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War. Revolution250.org was founded to collaborate and promote all the events tied to this exciting anniversary in Massachusetts.
Main image: Bicycle tour, Credit: Town of Concord