Paul Revere arrived in Lexington  on the night of April 18, 1775, on a mission—to get word to John Hancock and Samuel Adams. “The regulars are out,” he told the two rebel leaders, who were staying as guests in a parsonage now known as the Hancock-Clarke House (35 Hancock St., 781/862-1703, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun. April to mid-June and daily mid–June–Oct., $6). Today, the home retains much of its original 18th-century character, as well as several artifacts from the day of the battle. After debating their course of action, Hancock and Adams decided to flee back to Boston  to evade capture, while other rebels took up arms.
During the long night, they gathered at Buckman Tavern (1 Bedford St., 781/862-5598, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. daily Apr.–Oct., $6) under the leadership of Captain Jonas Parker to steel themselves for the confrontation. The interior of the tavern has been meticulously restored to its original state, down to its old front door that still bears a bullet hole from a British musket ball.
Later in the afternoon of April 19, the retreating British again stopped in Lexington  under much different circumstances to regroup and treat their wounded. They set up their headquarters at Munroe Tavern (1332 Massachusetts Ave., 781/674-9238, 12–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Apr.–mid-June and daily mid-June–Oct., $6), a 17th-century barroom where George Washington also later dined; the table where he sat is marked to prove it.
All three of these historic homes are now owned by the Lexington Historical Society (www.lexingtonhistory.org ), which offers regular guided tours of their interiors. A combination ticket for all three houses is $10.