Waltham is a city in the American state of Massachusetts. Located some 10 miles west of central Boston on the Charles River, Waltham is considered part of the Greater Boston conurbation; even so, it still retains its own unique character amongst Boston's outer suburbs. It is sometimes called "Watch City" because it was home to Waltham Watch Company. Many high-tech companies have made Waltham their home. It is also home to Bentley University and Brandeis University.
One of the oldest of American cities, Waltham was first settled by British settlers in 1634 and officially incorporated in 1738. In 1813, the Boston Manufacturing Company was formed in Waltham by Francis Cabot Lowell. It was the first modern factory in the United States and history books have credited this as the beginning of America's industrial revolution. In 1854, the Waltham Watch Company was established by Aaron Dennison. The company went on to make the first watches with interchangeable parts and the first 100% American-made watch, designing advanced machinery that spread to other industries and led to America's industrial power. Waltham is also noted as the home of such famous persons as Governor Christopher Gore and General Nathaniel Banks.
Waltham is accessible via Interstate 95, also called Route 128, or Interstate 90, also known as the Massachusetts Turnpike or "Mass Pike". This is of importance if you are flying in or out of Logan Airport because you are going to take I-90 West to get into Waltham and vice versa. But there are two things to keep in mind when driving on I-95. First, there are two sets of toll plazas of $1.25 each. The second thing to consider while driving is the time of day, because the rush hour, between 4:30 and 6:30 PM. can set you back anywhere between 25 to 30 minutes.
There are several trains that go in and out of Boston daily. To get into Waltham from Boston, take the Fitchburg line from North Station on the MBTA  Commuter Rail to the Waltham or Brandeis/Roberts stop. The trains are a good way to get into Boston, especially on the day of a sports game because they go directly into The Boston Garden and a couple blocks over from Fenway Park. They are moderately priced, which is also a plus.
Local MBTA buses 70 and 70A run from Central Square in Cambridge to Waltham with an average headway of 10 minutes during rush hour and every 20 minutes thereafter. Additionally, several MBTA Express Buses (505, 553, 554, 556, & 558) serve Waltham Center and the surrounding neighborhoods. All Express Buses originate at the corners of Franklin and Federal Streets in Downtown Boston, just a few blocks from South Station, and continue on to Waltham on weekdays only, with the except of the 553 which also runs once an hour on Saturdays. Buses are usually reliable and inexpensive, but tend to get crowed around rush hour (4:30 to 6:30). See the MBTA Website for detailed and up to date schedule information.
Driving around Waltham is not difficult and you can be just about anywhere in the city in 15 to 20 minutes. There are three main streets to Waltham: Main Street, Moody Street, Lexington Street. While they are the best way to travel throughout the city, during rush hour(4:30 to 6:30) you will hit some traffic that may slow down your commute by 10 to 15 minutes. Main Street is probably the worst during that time, and Moody Street can also be busy on a Friday or Saturday night. Parking is accessible with several public parking lots in high traffic areas, as well as on-street parking.
There are local city buses, that are a ok way to get around the city. They are cheap and usually reliable, but can get crowed and stuffy at times. The best place to catch the bus from is on the Common; the bus stop is directly across the street from the train stop.
Charles River Museum Of Industry, 154 Moody Street, Phone: +1 781-893-5410, . Th-Sa 10AM-5PM. Exhibits on textile mills, American Waltham Watch Company and a power plant.
Waltham Museum, 25 Lexington Street, Phone: +1 781-893-8017 or 781-893-9020, . Tu-Sa 1PM-4:30PM. An extensive collection of memorabilia including watches, clocks, automobiles and other industrial products made in Waltham. Fee.
Bentley College Bowles Performing Art Series, 175 Forest Street, Phone: +1 781-891-3424, . Theatre, music,dance, and lectures. Art gallery open M-F 10AM-6PM.
Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Phone: +1 781-736-3432, . $10.
National Archives and Records Administration, New England Region, 380 Trapelo Road, 781-663-0130, . M,Tu,W,F 7AM-4:30PM, Th 7AM-9PM. New England historical records including census, naturalization, passenger arrival lists for Boston, military service, pension, and bounty land application records from 1789 to 1970s. Primarily of interest to family history researchers. Free.
Girl Scout Museum At Cedar Hill, 265 Beaver Street, 781-893-6113, . By appointment. Exhibits and archives of Girl Scouting. Free.
Concerts On The Waltham Common, Phone: +1 781-893-2787, . Summer only. Tuesday night concerts on the Waltham Common Tuesday evenings at 7:30PM. Free.
Boston Rock, Prospect Hill. Mon-Sun: 10am-7pm. This is good place to take a quick little car ride, and have lunch at the top. There are picnic tables and grills scattered around the viewing area. But the best part is the view of the Boston skyline, which is beautiful. It is also a good workout, if you want to run up the road instead of driving. edit
Veterans Memorial Rink, 295 Totten Pond Road, ☎ (781) 314-3474, . Public Skating Hours: Sunday 2:00 PM 3:50 PM Tuesday 10:00 AM 11:50 AM Wednesday 10:00 AM 11:50 AM Thursday 10:00 AM 11:50 AM Friday 7:00 PM 8:50 PM Saturday 2:00 PM 3:50 PM. The ice rink is a fun place to go and mess around for a couple hours. You can get pick up games going as well as just skate around for fun. Unfortunately they do not rent skates. But if you have your own gear it's not expensive and usually not very busy. $2.00 - $1.00. edit
Landmark Embassy Theater, 16 Pine Street Waltham, MA 02453, ☎ (617) 499-1995, . The Embassy Theater is a nice size local theater with six screens. They usually have a good mix of popular new releases and independent films. Also, they run different daily specials and discounts which is a good way to catch a cheaper movie. edit
Waltham does not offer a lot in the world of shopping.
TJ Maxx, 846 Lexington St., ☎ (781) 893-2968. Sun: 11am - 8pm Mon-Sat: 9:30am - 9:30pm. This is a good store if you need some cheap clothes or shoes but does not actually offer a huge variety of high quality items.edit
Olympia Sport, 868 Lexington St., ☎ (781) 899-0459. M-Sa: 9am - 9pm, Sun: 10am - 6pm. Olympia is a good store for basic athletic equipment and athletic shoes. But still does not offer much in high quality shopping. edit
However there are three malls located with in neighboring towns: Natick, Watertown, and Burlington. They are all with in a 15 to 20 minute drive.
Natick Collection, 1245 Worcester Street, Natick, ☎ (508) 655-4800, . The Natick collection has a great variety of store, including but not limited to Lacoste, Pac Sun, EB Games, Oakley, and many more. It offers a good mixture of high-end stores to average mid-priced stores. Besides stores there is a crepe place, Frozen Yogurt place and food court. Also there is a Cheese Cake Factory in parking lot.edit
Watertown Mall, 550 Arsenal Street, Watertown, ☎ (617) 926-4968, . Mo - Sa: 9:30 AM to 9 PM, Sun: 11:00 AM to 6 PM. The Watertown Mall is a smaller mall, but contains a few specialty stores such as a tobacco store, as well as a DMV if you need to go to one. There is also an "Old Country Buffet" and "Papa Gino's".edit
Burlington Mall, 75 Middlesex Turnpike Burlington, ☎ (781) 272-8667. Mon to Sat: 10:00am - 9:00pm Sun: 12:00pm - 6:00pm. The Burlington Mall is similar to the Natick Mall, in stores they have. They offer a good variety of high-end stores and mid-priced stores. There is a large variety of stores to satisfy all ages.edit
Most of the good restaurants in Waltham are along Moody Street. This includes Thai, Chinese, Indian, and American cuisine. Start at one end and walk the length before deciding on a spot.
99 restaurant, 110 South Street Waltham, MA 02453, ☎ 781-893-4999. The 99 is a good family restaurant, with American style food. The price is reasonable and is a good, quick little dinner option. edit
Green Papaya, 475 Winter St., Phone: +1 (781) 487-9988. Decent Thai food for New England. Good vegetarian selection. Although the spicy level is rated at 1 - 3 stars, the chef will kick it up a notch if you ask for 4 or 5 stars. Their red curry is very good.
Little India Restaurant, 475 Moody St., Phone: +1 (781) 894-8755. This restaurant is one of many Indian places along Moody St. Little India is probably the smallest, tucked into a small front. Although, they have a second dining room in the back. They have a well spiced menu. Try the Saag Paneer.
Naked Fish, 455 Totten Pond Road #1, ☎ (781) 684-0500, . Naked Fish is a nice place to eat, and is within a 5 minute walking distance of the Doubletree and Hilton Hotels. It is primarily a seafood restaurant with a very good selection. They do also have a children's menu and it is a upper scale family dinner spot. It is middle-priced and good quality food. They do serve alcoholic cocktails with a tropic flair; I have heard the Mui-Tui is delicious. edit
Pricey- date night restaurants
Tempo, 474 Moody Street, ☎ (781) 891-9000. Monday - Thursday: 5:00 - 10:00 Friday - Saturday: 5:00 - 11:00 *Bar open late every night.. Tempo is a fine dinning restaurant and bar. The menu is always full and changing. Also, there are daily specials and appetizers using local grown and fresh caught ingredients. Tempo also has a hoping bar scene on a Friday or Saturday night. But if you plan to eat on weekend call ahead for reservation because the place fills up quickly. Tempo is on the pricer side but is a great place to go on a date.edit
La Campania, 504 Main Street Waltham, MA 02452., ☎ (781) 894-4280. Monday to Thursday 5:30 to 9:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 5 to 10pm. La Capania offers up scale Italian food, that tastes like your Italian grandmother cooked it for you. It also has its own wine store, with a large selection of both Italian vino and other wines from all around. This restaurant has a quiet, intimate atmosphere and is perfect for a romantic date. Although, the bill will put you out of some money, because this is a pricey restaurant, but you are paying for great, home-cooked food and great wine. edit
Doubletree Guest Suites Boston/Waltham, 550 Winter Street +1 800-HILTON, . The Doubletree Guest Suites Boston/Waltham puts you close to top Boston attractions, with Lexington and Concord just minutes away. Convenient to Brandeis University and Bentley College and only 20 minutes from both downtown Boston.
Holiday Inn Express, 385 Winter Street at exit 27 off of I-95 (Rt 128), Phone: +1 781-890-2800, fax 781-890-1021, reservations 800-824-2538, . Get free Wi-Fi (bring your own computer and wireless card -- they don't have any loaners). Make sure to book a room on the first floor of the main building to get access from your room as there is only one access point in the main lobby. Room charge was $89/night plus tax. Includes a well stocked complimentary breakfast with fruits, cereal, bagels, and cinnamon buns. A quick ten minute drive to downtown Waltham.
Hyatt Summerfield Suites Waltham, 54 Fourth Avenue, Phone: +1 781-290-0026, . In the heart of the Route 128 corridor, where corporate residents like IBM, Microsoft, Lycos and Oracle, Bentley College, Brandeis University and Boston College are all close by.
Hilton Garden Inn Boston/Waltham, 420 Totten Pond Road, Phone: +1 781-890-0100, . 148 guest rooms, café, lobby lounge, an indoor heated pool and exercise room.
The Westin Waltham, 70 Third Avenue, ☎ 1-781-290-5600, . 15 miles from downtown Boston and provides access to nearby corporate headquarters. This hotel has 346 guestrooms. Gym.edit
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