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Massachusetts’ Greater Merrimack Valley

From the leafy streets of Lexington and Concord, where the battle for America's freedom began, to the 19th century textile mills lining the Merrimack River in Lowell, whose workers and goods gave birth to the modern economy, the story of the Greater Merrimack Valley is the story of America. Claim your piece of our history with a visit to one of our two National Historical Parks, retrace Paul Revere's midnight journey with a tour on the Liberty Ride, or get inspired while following in the footsteps of some of America's greatest minds: Thoreau, Hawthorne, Emerson, Kerouac and the Alcotts.

Just 30 minutes northwest of Boston, the Greater Merrimack Valley is today home to a vibrant arts community, two national parks, exclusive shopping, fine and ethnic dining and endless choices for sightseeing, performing arts, museums and nightlife.

The Fabric of America

Her factories powered by hand-dug canals, Lowell was America’s first planned industrial city. A testament to the character and drive of our country’s immigrant workers, Lowell’s textile mills wove the fabric that built a nation.  Feel the roar of the power looms as you walk through a day in the life of a worker at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum. Experience what it was like to be a young mill girl away from her family at Lowell’s National Historical Park, and learn how America’s independence was secured when we stopped depending on foreign-made textiles at The American Textile History Museum.

Writing America’s Stories

Once home to literary greats Henry David Thoreau, Jack Kerouac, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson, the main roads and quiet hamlets of the Greater Merrimack Valley are lined with chapters from America’s stories. Hike the woods that inspired Thoreau’s Walden, at Concord’s Walden Woods State Reservation. Step into the pages of Little Women at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, and see the places that inspired Kerouac’s On the Road with a tour of his hometown of Lowell.

Music, Festivals & Celebrations

From the vibrant tones and harmonies of the Lowell Folk Festival, the largest free folk festival in the U.S., to the lively summer concerts performed on the lawns of the Greater Merrimack Valley's small towns, our region is alive with sound and celebration. Visit Lexington and Concord's Patriots Day events each April for a real taste of America's history. Come to Lowell's Southeast Asian Water Festival in August to experience the largest gathering of Southeast Asian culture and cuisine on the East Coast, or stay for the weekend to enjoy the Lowell Quilt Festival, a city-wide celebration of all things textile. And even when the weather's not so hot, the music in our region flows on at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium and Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, each playing host to a number of fantastic acts throughout the year.

Dine and Stay in Style

Our long history of welcoming immigrants from afar has given us an edge when it comes to cuisine. From fine French wines and Italian pastries, to Greek roasted lamb, Portuguese seafood and Cambodian delicacies, the Greater Merrimack Valley has something for every palate and price range. And if you'll be staying, you'll be pleased to find a wide range of accommodations. From five-star luxury inns, historic bed and breakfasts and tidy business hotels, to the very best in budget lodging, it's all here.
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