15 Best Things to Do in Waltham (MA)

Waltham, Massachusetts is a beautiful, diverse city located just west of Boston. It’s the perfect destination for visitors looking to explore the area, as it has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax and take in the sights or find an adrenaline-filled adventure, Waltham has plenty of activities that will help you make the most of your visit.

1. Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation

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Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation is a unique and fascinating destination located in Waltham, Massachusetts (MA), United States. The museum showcases the rich industrial history that the local area has to offer and the incredible innovations made by those who have lived here. Visitors can explore seven different galleries, each dedicated to a different sector of industry or innovation in the region. They’ll learn about how early settlers established various industries such as textile manufacturing, shoe making, watchmaking and more. They’ll also discover how new technologies were invented over time to make these industries even more efficient and successful. From interactive exhibits to educational programming, Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation provides visitors with an enlightening experience about the growth of this part of Massachusetts from its earliest days till now. It’s ideal for anyone interested in learning more about American manufacturing and technology development throughout history!

2. Gore Place

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Gore Place is a historical estate located in Waltham, Massachusetts. It is considered to be one of the finest remaining examples of Federal period architecture in the United States. The site is open to the public for guided tours, programs and special events year round.

The property was originally purchased by Christopher Gore in 1793 as a country home for him and his family. Gore served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1809-1810 and was later appointed U.S. Minister to Great Britain in 1812 by President Madison. He built his grand mansion on the land which he named “Gore Place” after his family’s ancestral home in England. The house was completed in 1806, with its landscape designed by Charles Bulfinch, renowned architect of early America and designer of the state Capitol building in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood.

3. Downtown Waltham

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Downtown Waltham, Massachusetts is located in Middlesex County and is part of the Greater Boston metropolitan area. With a population of nearly 63,000 people, Waltham was first settled in 1634 and was officially incorporated as a city in 1738. It is known for being one of the earliest planned industrial centers in the United States, with some of its factories having been built by 19th-century textile manufacturers.

Today, Downtown Waltham offers visitors a unique blend of history and modern amenities. The downtown area features many historic buildings such as City Hall, the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation and several other landmarks that harken back to the city’s past. In addition to its historical attractions, Downtown Waltham also boasts an array of restaurants offering cuisine ranging from traditional American fare to global flavors.

4. Rose Art Museum

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The Rose Art Museum, located in Massachusetts (MA), United States, is an innovative and exciting art gallery that offers a unique cultural experience. Founded in 1961, the museum has become an integral part of Brandeis University’s culture. It features exhibitions of contemporary art from around the world and hosts lectures, workshops, and educational programs for all ages.

The Rose Art Museum’s collection includes over 8,000 works from renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and Louise Nevelson. The permanent collection focuses on modernism to postmodernism with specific attention given to American painting and sculpture since 1950. An interactive guide is available for visitors to explore the galleries at their own pace or take a guided tour with an expert docent who can provide insight into the works displayed throughout the museum.

5. Stonehurst, the Robert Treat Paine Estate

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The Robert Treat Paine Estate, also known as Stonehurst, is a historic site located in Waltham, Massachusetts. It first served as the summer home of industrialist Robert Treat Paine and his wife Mary Lyman Paine. The estate was designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1886. Today, it is managed by Historic New England and open to the public for tours.

Stonehurst’s architecture is emblematic of the Shingle style popularized during the late 19th century in the United States. Its main house consists of two stories with an irregularly-shaped footprint that wraps around a large central courtyard with a circular fountain at its center. The exterior of the building features rustic wooden shingles and stone walls that create an organic texture and provide visual interest throughout all sides of the structure.

6. Charles River Greenway (Charles River Bike Path)

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The Charles River Greenway, more commonly known as the Charles River Bike Path, is a scenic trail located in Massachusetts (MA), United States. This path is perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride, and it allows visitors to get up close and personal with the natural beauty of the area. The Charles River Bike Path stretches along both sides of the Charles River for nearly 80 miles through 35 different cities and towns in MA. It connects areas that are both urban and rural, including historic sites such as Cambridge Common and Harvard University.

This pathway features beautiful views of nature—including rolling hillsides, lush trees, rushing waters—and takes travelers through some of MA’s most vibrant cities. Additionally, it links recreational parks such as Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge with existing trails like the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway which runs from Boston to Bedford.

7. Lyman Estate

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The Lyman Estate, located in Waltham, Massachusetts (MA), is a historic property that tells an important story in United States history. Built by the prominent Lyman Family in 1793, the estate was home to Theodore Lyman, a Harvard-educated lawyer and politician who actively opposed slavery during his lifetime. The house has remained largely unchanged since its original construction and offers insight into early 19th century New England life.

Today, visitors can take guided tours of the property which includes the main house, outbuildings and gardens. Inside the main house guests will find many of the original furnishings left behind by Theodore Lyman’s family. They can also explore an extensive collection of artifacts from the era including clothing items and photographs.

8. Prospect Hill Park

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Prospect Hill Park in Massachusetts is a natural park located in the United States. The picturesque landscape of Prospect Hill Park offers visitors an opportunity to explore the outdoors and take in its beauty. This public park covers 102 acres of land and provides a variety of activities for people of all ages.

Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, picnic tables, playgrounds, tennis courts, open fields for sports, and even a pond that is stocked with bass for fishing all year round. There are also plenty of wildlife species to observe including wild turkeys, deer, turtles and more! For those looking to discover something new about nature or just have some down time in the great outdoors, Prospect Hill Park is ideal destination.

The park has free admission so come visit any day between 8:00am – 5:00pm to experience this natural wonderland first-hand.

9. American Waltham Watch Company Historic District

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The American Waltham Watch Company Historic District in Massachusetts is a registered U.S. historic district and an important part of the United States industrial heritage. Established in 1851, this site not only served as the first factory to use an assembly line to increase production, but also as a center for many technological advancements in watchmaking. The factory was eventually closed down in 1957, but its impact on the industry still echoes today.

The district includes several buildings that played a role in the history of watchmaking including two main factories, offices and employee housing, all of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There is also a museum located at this site which showcases artifacts from the company’s long and illustrious history such as machines used for manufacturing purposes, office furniture and documents from that era.

10. Embassy Cinema

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The Embassy Cinema, located in Waltham, Massachusetts (MA), is an iconic landmark in the United States. Serving as a movie theater since 1927, this historic building has been entertaining movie-goers for nearly a century. It’s now one of the oldest continuously running cinemas in MA and has been recognized globally for its historic significance.

This unique theater boasts a vintage atmosphere like no other with rustic décor and timeless ambiance that make it a special place to watch movies. The Embassy Cinema provides guests with classic American fare snacks and beverages to enjoy while watching their favorite films or catching up on the latest releases. Many patrons have enjoyed its rich history while also getting to experience top-of-the-line digital projection equipment as well as comfy seating from which to view their favorite movies.

11. Charles River Canoe and Kayak

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The Charles River Canoe and Kayak is a popular tourist attraction in Massachusetts (MA) for those looking to explore the beauty of the United States. Located in downtown Boston, this place offers a wide range of services from renting canoes and kayaks to guided tours around the river. The Charles River Canoe and Kayak has been providing quality service for over 20 years, making it one of the most experienced outdoor recreation spots in MA.

Visitors have plenty to do with their rented canoes or kayaks such as exploring various points of interest along the river’s edge including historical sites, parks, monuments, and more. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful paddling adventure or an invigorating journey on the rapids, there’s something here for everyone!

12. Beaver Brook Reservation

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Beaver Brook Reservation is a gorgeous natural area located in the northeastern state of Massachusetts (MA). Spanning over 1,400 acres of lush woodlands, rivers, lakes and streams, visitors to Beaver Brook can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and bird watching. The site was first acquired by The Trustees of Reservations in 1926 and has since become one of Massachusetts’ most popular attractions for nature lovers.

The reservation is home to an array of wildlife including deer, owls, hawks and many more species. Also found onsite are miles upon miles of pristine trails perfect for walking or biking. Visitors to Beaver Brook can take advantage of several educational programs offered throughout the year that provide insight into the natural history and ecology of the region.

13. Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary

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Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique wildlife refuge situated in Belmont, Massachusetts. Established in 1974, the sanctuary serves as a safe haven for numerous species of animals native to the United States. Visitors can explore the grounds of this protected area and appreciate the diverse habitats that are present here. The center consists of over 200 acres of land with ponds, wetlands, meadows, woodlands and other natural habitats. These areas provide habitat for more than 230 bird species as well as dozens of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. The diversity of wildlife found at Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary makes it an ideal place to observe nature while learning about conservation efforts in Massachusetts.

14. Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co.

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Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co., located in Waltham, Massachusetts (MA), is a craft beer brewery and taproom owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Naveen and Suzy Goldsmith. Founded in 2013, Mighty Squirrel brews over 50 different types of beer for sale throughout the United States. From light lagers to bold ales, every style of craft beer is represented at the brewery’s tasting bar.

The brewery takes its name from a story about a brave little squirrel that was spotted helping an injured cardinal out of danger. Their mission statement is to “create beers that inspire bravery” and they have succeeded, creating unique flavors like the award-winning Mojo IPA, which was recently named one of the best IPAs in MA by The Boston Globe.

15. DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

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The DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Massachusetts (MA), United States is a one of a kind in the world. Located on more than 30 acres, it is the largest sculpture park of its kind in New England. Visitors to this museum and park can view works by renowned international sculptors, as well as pieces from emerging contemporary artists.

The museum’s permanent collection includes over 60 large-scale outdoor sculptures arranged around large meadows, woods, ponds, and streams. Meanwhile, the indoor galleries exhibit changing exhibitions that provide an opportunity for visitors to experience new art forms or revisit classic favorites. DeCordova also offers educational programs for children and adults alike, such as artist talks and workshops led by staff members or visiting artists. Additionally, the sculpture park hosts various cultural events throughout the year including concerts, lectures and workshops featuring local musicians and poets.

In conclusion,Waltham, MA is a great place to visit for a vacation or weekend getaway. With its plethora of historical sites, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions, visitors are sure to find something that will keep them entertained. Whether you’re looking for an educational tour of the area’s museums or just want to hang out in one of the city’s many parks, Waltham is sure to have something for everyone.