Sites

5 things to know about living in Lexington

News Lexington
It’s hard to find a more historic town, but that’s not all Lexington has to offer.
It’s hard to find a more historic town, but that’s not all Lexington has to offer. Joanne Rathe / Globe Staff

With a nickname like “Birthplace of American Liberty’’ and a motto like, “What a Glorious Morning for America!’’ you can get a sense of Lexington’s historic nature. Only 11 short miles from Boston down Massachusetts Avenue, it was here where the “shot heard round the world’’ was fired, leading to the start of the American Revolution. But beyond the town’s association with one of the most significant moments in American history lies an excellent place to live in the present.

1. You’ll live in…

A renovated Queen Anne Victorian in historic Lexington. —Lane Turner / The Boston Globe

…a piece of history (or at least close by). Like many Massachusetts towns settled in the 17th century, Lexington has a variety of historic home styles built across different centuries. According to the Lexington Historical Commission, up until the mid-19th century, the town was mostly fields and farmland. An increase in tourism started in 1875, then after WWII residential construction boomed and “academicians and high-tech associates became neighbors of descendants of the early settlers.’’ Along with the high number of Colonial and Victorian homes, modern structures were beginning to pop up.

The Lexington Historical Commission also provides an extensive list of the histories and the architectural significance of neighborhoods and streets within the town. There are also four historic districts in Lexington where the town’s Historic Districts Commission needs to approve changes to the existing structures.

2. You’ll pay…

The Weiss home in Lexington was built in the style of Walter Gropius. —Wendy Maeda / The Boston Globe

… not as much as some other Boston suburbs, but still quite a lot. The current Zillow Home Value Index puts Lexington’s median home price at $822,300. Like most other Boston-area towns, that median has gone up over the last year, about 5.6 percent, and is expected to rise another 2.6 percent over the next year.

For $700,000 to $800,000 you can get a condo or single-family home that is about 2,000 square feet.

Home security and safety company SafeWise recently ranked Lexington the No. 21 safest town in Massachusetts.

3. You’ll hang out…

Hancock-Clarke House. —Flickr Creative Commons / gpparker

… basically in a time machine. The top rated Trip Advisor “thing to do’’ is to tour the Hancock-Clarke House, which was built in 1737 and was the home where John Hancock and Samuel Adams were sleeping when Paul Revere rode to wake them up on April 19, 1775 before the start of the American Revolution.

George Quintal Jr., tour guide on the Lexington town green, explains what happened at the site where the American militia stood to face the British. —Kayana Szymczak / The Boston Globe

You can also spend time on the Lexington Green, better known as the site of the first battle of the American Revolution, where there is now a statue commemorating the Lexington Minute Men.

Other historic structures you can go inside include the Buckman Tavern and the Munroe Tavern, both wartime meeting places. The latter was taken over by the British on the afternoon of April 19, 1775, according to the Lexington Historical Society.

Wilson’s Farm in Lexington. —Lane Turner / The Boston Globe

For a non-war related activity, you can go to Wilson Farm, which has been in operation since 1884. The original owners were Irish immigrants who took their produce into Boston to sell at Quincy Market.

Other highly rated food options include Neillio’s Gourmet Kitchen, Royal India Bistro, Jackson’s Kitchen, and Via Lago. Artistry On the Green is very highly rated for breakfast and brunch and don’t forget dessert at Sweet Thyme Bakery, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, or any of the other places to quench your sweet tooth in town.

4. Your kids will….

Coach Jonathan Casale led a T-ball clinic at Lincoln Park in Lexington. —Aram Boghosian / The Boston Globe

…go to some of the best schools in the state. Lexington High School is ranked the No. 5 best public school in the Bay State, according to U.S. News and World Report, and every public school in the town, with one exception, is ranked a 9 or a 10 on the 1-10 GreatSchools rating.

WalletHub just ranked Lexington the No. 26 best small city in America and the No. 1 best small city for education and health.

5. You’ll love…

The Lexington Minute Men, and local British Revolutionary War reenactors, depict the skirmish that took place on Lexington Green, early on the morning of April 19, 1775. —The Boston Globe

…the Patriot’s Day celebration. For many Bay Staters, Patriot’s Day is synonymous with Marathon Monday, but Lexington has its own tradition. Every year those in town commemorate the Battle of Lexington, which occurred on the Lexington Green on April 19, 1775. The members of the Lexington Minute Men Company and His Majesty’s Tenth Regiment of Food perform a battle reenactment at 5:30 a.m. The rest of the Patriot’s Day weekend is also filled with parades, historic house tours, and other events.

Related: Here are the 50 safest towns in Massachusetts: