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Top education towns 2011: Median home prices $600,000-$799,999

Location, location, location: Homes in these cities aren't cheap, but they offer a wonderful lifestyle and top-flight schools.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Concord, MA

Educational quality index: 89.56
Median home value: $611,320
Population: 16,846

Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Alcott. "The biggest little place in America," is Henry James' nickname for this scribblers' history town, where literary giants now rest on Author's Ridge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Only 19 miles from Boston, Concord boasts 26 registered historical buildings and its own Revolutionary War skirmish, when Yankee guerillas routed the Redcoats. Walden Pond offers the perfect picnic spot for reading the musings of local luminaries, while nibbling on Concord grapes (naturally), developed by a local grower.

Not surprisingly, Concord-Carlisle High School carries on the town’s tradition of thinking, writing, and speaking out. Rated #1 in cost-efficiency among high schools in eastern Massachusetts, the high school offers dozens of intriguing extra-curriculars like a political journal, literary review, radio station, Amnesty International chapter, Gay/Straight Alliance group, two environmental clubs, and Bass fishing club. In sports, the boys' soccer team was ranked #16 nationally in 2010, with football and ski squads also of championship caliber.

Learn more about schools in Concord, MA.

Photo credit: Sebastià Giralt