By 4Squares Residential Group in Partnership with Judi 411
Next Door Adventures in Arlington, MA
Welcome to another segment of 4Squares Residential Group's "A Day Away," where we feature fun places to spend the day across Massachusetts.
This month we're featuring Arlington, MA, a town rich in history with a delightful mix of green space and urban flair. Minutes from Medford, you've probably driven through Arlington but have you thought of spending the afternoon doing something other than running errands? Here are our suggestions for Living La Vida Local in the town next door.
Fun Facts about Arlington
The Town of Arlington was originally settled in 1635 as a village under Menotomy. In 1807, the town and a section of what is now Belmont were incorporated as West Cambridge. In 1867, the town changed its name to Arlington in honor of the heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.
Patriots' day has special meaning in Arlington because of the town's prominent role on the first day of the American Revolution - April 19, 1775. Minutemen from surrounding towns united at Menotomy to ambush the British on their retreat from Concord and Lexington. More than one-half of that historic day's casualties took place between Foot of the Rocks (at the intersection of Lowell Street and Massachusetts Avenue) and Spy Pond.
While many Americans recognize Uncle Sam as a symbol of patriotism, Arlington lays claim as the birthplace of Samuel Wilson, the inspiration for Uncle Sam. Born Menotomy in 1767, Wilson started a meat-packing business in Troy, N.Y., where he became known as Uncle Sam. The Uncle Sam Memorial Statue commemorates Arlington's native son and can be found at the Mystic Street entrance to the Minuteman Bikeway in Arlington Center.
Arlington is also home to Moxie, a soft drink created by Dr. Augustin Thompson in 1876. Dr. Thompson originally developed Moxie as a digestive aid tonic and later a carbonated soft drink that, for a time, was one of the most popular soft drinks in the U.S., endorsed by athletes like Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox. Moxie's popularity led the word to become part of the English language meaning energy, courage, or guts. Moxie is still enjoyed by many people locally and across New England. In fact, it's the official drink of the State of Maine!
Something to Do
Many towns have a Main Street, and for Arlington residents, that's the Minuteman Bikeway, where neighbors see one another while walking, jogging, or riding their bikes along the path that runs through town.
Built by the Commonwealth on an inactive railroad right of way, the "bike path," as folks call it, has become a hallmark location of the community both for recreation and commuting. The path connects to the Alewife MBTA station and offers an easy way for bicyclists and pedestrians to travel to and from the subway and bus lines. Bike enthusiasts can venture out to Somerville, Belmont, Lexington, and Concord from various points along the 14-mile pathway.
Capitol Theatre: 204 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA
Rainy days (or continual heat waves) are what movies are for! Take a step back in time and watch a modern-day movie in the cozy seats of Arlington's cinematic gem, the Capitol Theatre.
The Capitol opened in 1925 as a neighborhood movie house, and its vintage marquee remains from its heyday in the 1940s. The lobby's granite columns and gold leaf also remain intact, and the lobby doubles as a children's birthday party venue, where kids of all ages enjoy Richardson's ice cream and – of course! – the best popcorn for miles!
The Capitol is devoted to keeping movie outings affordable and features a variety of family-friendly films and independent productions. Theatre rentals are available for all sorts of celebrations. Every Monday, the Capitol hosts "Baby Matinees," where they keep the lights at mid-level and volume down lower so parents, caregivers, and the smaller set can enjoy a first-run movie.
Somewhere to Shop
Maxima Gift & Book Center, 212 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA
Looking for a gift for the person who has everything? Well, search no more, Maxima to the rescue, with their treasure trove of puzzles, board games, and splendid stationery. Their eco-friendly selection is perfect for back-to-school stocking up: reusable straws, food wraps, lunch totes, and water bottles galore. Tea-lovers will savor the extensive collections of loose-leaf teas and the different styles of tea steepers, teapots, tea towels, and trivets, while bibliophiles will revel in the collection of "bookish" gifts.
Speaking of books, while Maxima's 212 Mass Ave location has always had books, their second location, Maxima Book Center, a few blocks down, has even more. Get on their mailing list for new book releases and author events.
Arlington Centered, 487 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA
The sister store of Somerville's Davis Squared, Arlington Centered is more than just a great play on words; it's packed to the brim with gifts, foods, and housewares celebrating all that is Arlington. Specializing in gift boxes, the Arlington Centered team curates signature boxes filled with chocolates, jams, species, honey, and hot sauces from in and around the Arlington area -- the perfect gift for someone who may be abroad and a bit homesick for all the tastes and smells of home.
Someplace to Eat
La Victoria Taqueria, 12 Medford Street, Arlington, MA
More than a taqueria, La Victoria is a celebration of Mexican street food. Offering something for everyone, La Victoria's tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and tasty tortas are all made to order with the freshest ingredients. Carnivores will devour the barbacoa and carnitas, and vegetarians will enjoy the Plato with delicious grilled vegetables. Don't forget the guacamole and chips, and be sure to top off your meal with some of La Victoria's flan – you can thank us later.
Menotomy Bar & Grill, 25 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA
Fall is just around the corner, and comfort food is on our minds. Look no further than Menotomy Bar & Grill, where all the comforts of home plus a full bar and floor-to-ceiling hearth make that wish a reality.
Brunch options include good old standbys like the Minuteman Breakfast of eggs, toast, and bacon, decadent Cinnamon-Stuffed French Toast, Monte Cristo sandwiches, and Fried Chicken and Waffles. Dinnertime delicacies range from PEI mussels in a savory garlic wine broth with chunks of chorizo to the Forbidden Rice Bowl with egg and vegetables in a fermented Korean chili sauce. Burgers and salads are also available, as is a kid's menu for the smaller set.
What's your favorite town to staycation near Medford, MA? Showcasing cities throughout Massachusetts is one of our favorite ways to help our readers (and clients!) love the way they live in Medford and beyond. Drop us a note at Jen@4SquaresRE.com and tell us your hidden gems hangouts! Want more? Subscribe to our newsletter!