Despite being a suburb of Boston, Waltham does indeed have its own identity. Being one of the oldest cities in America, Waltham has maintained a ton of its traditional and historic architecture. While new developments do appear in the neighborhood, converted factories and colonial buildings are just some of the choices you have when it comes to housing.
The individuals of Waltham also have a tight-knit community and they are accepting of all backgrounds. Despite the fact that over 65% of the suburb is white, there are numerous other races that are represented here including Hispanic, African American, Asian, Indian and more. In terms of the median range, it is 33 years old and there are many students in the neighborhood thanks to the two major universities in Waltham. In addition to the universities, there are numerous museums and other cultural institutions in the area, which gives it a reputation for being an intelligent city.
Due to the variety of cultures that reside here, there is also a wide range of restaurants to choose from when you want to go out for dinner. New restaurants are always popping up, so the restaurant scene is always getting better. The nightlife, however, is fairly quiet and the city itself is fairly reserved compared to some other areas and suburbs of Boston.
Founded in 1634 as a settlement of Watertown, Waltham became an independent town in 1738. In the early 19th century, the first textile mill on the country was founded here and as a result, it was largely a manufacturing hub. However, as the years went on, it became more of an intellectual and research hub, thanks to its universities and museums.
The cost of living in this neighborhood is a bit more expensive than the rest of the state, but is a bit cheaper than most of Boston (as it is a fair bit away from the heart of Boston). This is similar to the rent in Waltham. While it is a bit pricier than you’ll find in some parts of Massachusetts, it is a far cry from the $2000+ in rent you will often pay closer to Boston. The median rent in Waltham falls right around $1500, and yours could be higher or lower depending on factors such as what kind of building you live in, what area of the city, the amenities and more.
By far, the most common way of getting around and traveling to work in Waltham is by driving, as nearly 75% of people drive their cars for their commute. The town is very easy to drive through, and you can get almost anywhere in the city in under 20 minutes, barring any accident or heavy traffic. There is also plenty of street and public parking to choose from. Despite this, there are also a few other viable ways of getting around in Waltham.
There are a number of different trains and buses that go around Waltham (and beyond) each and every day, so public transit is definitely a viable option for travel. You can basically get anywhere in the city in less than half an hour. There are also many different routes to Boston every day, if you have to commute that far. While walking to work is not common, walking around the town for errands or to see the historic architecture isn’t a bad option.
- University of Massachusetts College of Agriculture
- Bentley University
- Brandeis University
- Near the north-eastern part of the neighborhood sits Beaver Brook North Reservation. This is an absolutely massive natural area that measures 254 acres. The space is full of wildlife, walking paths, hiking places and a ton of green space to have a picnic and relax with your family.
- The Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation is a museum located just off the Charles River in south Waltham. This museum opened in 1980 and is located inside an old textile mill. The mission of this museum is to encourage innovation and it does this by having various collections and exhibits the impact and history of innovation in the area.
- Gore Place is a historic country house that was once owned by politician Christopher Gore, which now acts as a museum. The estate is open for the public to explore for free, but the house charges an admission fee to take a tour. The home is well preserved and gives visitors a peek into how people used to live, hundreds of years ago.
- One of the most unique places to visit in all of Waltham is definitely the Ramble Market. The Ramble Market is a 10,000 square foot space that is full of antiques, vintage furniture, rugs, artwork and much more. You won’t find very many shops like this around, that’s for sure.