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Framingham

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Framingham [1] is the largest town in Massachusetts, with a population of more than 67,000. Originally a blue-collar manufacturing town, Framingham is now known for its high density of white-collar technology and business professionals, as well as diverse ethnic populations, due to its proximity to Boston (only 25 miles away) and the tech corridor, Route 128.

Understand

Framingham is the home of several major corporations, including Staples, TJX, Perini, Boston Scientific, and Bose Audio, and also is part of what is known as the Golden Mile, a large conglomeration of shopping malls and retail outlets. This is where the first mall in America was built.

Get in

By car

Framingham has 2 exits on I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike toll road). Exit 12, on the western edge of town (near Southborough town line), intersects with State Route 9. Exit 12 is near Staples, Inc. and Bose Corporation. Hotels near Exit 12: Econo Lodge, Motel 6, Residence Inn (Marriott), and Sheraton Hotel. Exit 13, on the eastern edge of town (near Wayland and Natick town lines), intersects with State Route 30. Exit 13 is near the Golden Triangle retail/business center including Shoppers World, Natick Mall, and TJX Companies, Inc. Hotels near Exit 13: Courtyard Inn (Marriott), Crowne Plaza, Hampton Inn, Red Roof Inn, and Travelodge.

Framingham is served by several state routes - from the north-south via Route 126 (Old Connecticut Path/School St/Concord St/Irving St/Hollis St), and from the east-west via Route 9 (Worcester Rd), Route 30 (Cochituate Rd/Worcester Rd/Pleasant St), and Route 135 (Waverly St).


By train

The MBTA provides commuter rail service from South Station, Boston to Framingham. Trains run approximately hourly, and at the half hour during rush hour.

By plane

Framingham is accessible only via Logan Airport in Boston. Travelers must take the Logan Shuttle or private shuttle from the airport, or use the trains.

Logan Express Bus Service

  • Logan Express Depot, Shoppers World Mall (Route 30), Phone: 508-872 5424, [2]. Operates 7 days a week, year round. One of the most hassle free ways to get to and from Framingham (and MetroWest) to Logan Airport in Boston $ Adult 1-Way Fare: $11.00, Adult Round Trip Fare: $20.00, Senior (65+) 1-Way Fare: $10.00, Senior (65+) Round Trip Fare: $18.00, Children under 12 free.

Get around

  • Local Inter Framingham Transit (LIFT), Toll free: 1 800-649-6096, Phone: +1 508-532-5459, [3]. Town-operated bus system operates throughout Framingham and surrounding towns.
  • Tommy's Taxi, 167 Franklin St., Phone: +1 508-872-3500.
  • Town Taxi Co., Phone: Phone: +1 508-875-4241.
  • Executive Coach, Phone: +1 508-872-6100.
  • Typically several taxis are waiting for arrivals from the airport at the Logan Express station.*

See

  • Danforth Museum of Art, 123 Union Avenue, Phone: +1 508-620-0050, [4].
  • Framingham Town Common, Edgell and Vernon Streets (Park on Oak street.) The Town Common is the home to several historic buildings including The Old Village Hall, Edgell Library, the Framingham Historical Society [5] as well and the Unitarian (First Parish) and Plymouth Churches. There are also various monuments and plaques throughout the Common.


Village of Saxonville [6] [7]

Saxonville is a village in Framingham. The main road is Concord Street (Route 126) and branches out on to Central Street and Elm Street. The Sudbury River surrounds the village on 3 sides. Saxonville has some wonderful historic landmarks and architecture to see.

  • Athenaeum Hall, Concord Street at Watson Place. Built in 1847, Athenaeum Hall was first the town hall. The building has also server as "a school, a jail, a hospital, a polling place, and a newspaper pressroom."
  • Old Danforth Street Bridge, Danforth Street. This bridge was completely renovated and refurbished in 2003. The bridge also leads to the Carol J. Getchell Nature Trail.
  • Carol J. Getchell Nature Trail, Starts at the intersection of Sudbury Landing and Danforth Street next to the bridge. Named for one of the founders of the Friends of Saxonville [8], the trail runs along 1 mile of the Sudbury River.
  • Saxonville Fire Station, Concord Street to Watson Place next to the Athenaeum Hall. The fire station was built in 1902 and is the oldest active fire station in Framingham.
  • Saxonville Mills & Josephine Kochnowicz Clock Tower, Concord Street and Central Street. The mill complex runs along Concord Street and turns left onto Central Street by the Sudbury River. Building #7 (on Concord Street) is the only original building to have survived the great fire of 1883. (All the other buildings are circa 1884 or after.) The Clock Tower is on Central street across from the Saxonville Falls Dam.
  • Saxonville Falls and Dam, Central Street at the intersection of Water Street across from the mill clock tower. The dam was built on the falls to use the Sudbury River to power the mill turbines before the mill switched to steam power. Today it is used for flood control.
  • Edwards Church & Edwards Cemetery, Off of Elm Street. Edwards Church is one of the oldest churches in Framingham. The cemetery has an interesting array of headstones both "old" traditional headstones and newer headstones that are more pieces of a "artwork".

Do

  • Nobscot Mountain in North Framingham. Nobscot Mountain and Nobscot Reservation provide over 1,000 acres of hiking, camping, and sightseeing, managed by the Knox Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemenway Rd, Phone: +1 508-877-7630, [9]. A stunning selection of local flora and fauna.
  • Callahan State Park, Millwood St., Phone: +1 508-653-9641, [10] 820 acres of hiking, biking and cross-country skiing in northwest Framingham. Callahan is also dog friendly. On a hot summer day you will find dozens of dogs frolicking in and around Eagle Pond, near the South entrance on Millwood Street.
  • Fun and Games Family Entertainment Center, 50 Worcester Rd. (Rt. 9), Phone: +1 508-879-5707, [11]. Lazer tag, mini-golf, etc.
  • Farm Pond Park, Dudley Road (Route 135 to Fountain Street) This park provides walking trails, picnic / cookout areas, a playground, and the opportunity for swimming, fishing and non-powered boating along the beautiful Farm Pond.

Beaches

Yes beaches in Framingham! (Framingham has 3 public beaches.) Resident permit ($30 per family) or $2 person, per day. (Non resident rates available).

  • Learned Beach on Learned Pond, Shawmut Terrace off of Prindville Avenue. Staffed from mid June to late August. Learned is a small beach located on a scenic pond.
  • Saxonville Beach, Lake Road off of Old Connecticut Path. Staffed from mid June to late August. Saxonville beach is located in the historic Framingham village of Saxonville on the Upper Pond of Lake Cochituate State Park.
  • Waushakum Beach on Waushakum Pond, Nipmuc Road off of Route 126. Staffed from mid June to late August. Huge pond with view of the General Motors plant.

Buy

If you enjoy shopping, Framingham is definitely the place in eastern Massachusetts to visit. There is every major retail chain from Wal-Mart to Best Buy and more. The shopping district, nicknamed "The Golden Triangle", is located along Route 9 (Worcester Rd) in the eastern part of town and extends into neighboring Natick. The shopping district includes Shoppers World (on the border with Natick), a vast outdoor mall featuring 795,308 square feet of retail space.

Absolutely do not miss Jordan's Furniture Store. It may sound strange that a furniture store is considered an attraction, except that this particular furniture store has a Mardi Gras celebration nearly every hour, intensely themed rooms, an IMAX theatre (strange as that may seem), virtual reality arcades, and more. Even the roast beef stand is worth seeing just for the giant aquarium in it.

Eat

  • Minado, on Route 9 near the Hampton Inn. If you like sushi, you'll love Minado. It's an all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet with exquisite sushi at very reasonable prices.
  • Ken's Steak House, on Route 9 near Wal-Mart. Of Ken's Salad Dressing fame. A local favorite.
  • Ginseng Restaurant & Lounge, on 220 Worcester Rd, Route 9 East (next to Cabot House). Pan-Asian cuisine including New England’s first Japanese yakitori menu (grilled skewered meat/vegetable), Phone: +1 508-620-0102 , [12].
  • Firefly's Bodacious Bar-B-Que, 235 Old Connecticut Path behind the Target on Route 30, Phone: +1 508-820-3333 , [13]. Great traditional BBQ and many other innovative recipes developed by chef\owner Steve Uliss as well as several Southern dishes. Firefly's also boasts one of the best children's menu's of any true BBQ joint. Call ahead on weekends to get your name on the waiting list so you don't have to wait an hour to be seated.
  • Aztec Restaurant, 2 Waverly St. (Route 135 at the Natick border), Phone: +1 508-820-2523, A small family owned restaurant serving great Mexican dishes. The menu is limited, but the food is more authentic than at the large Tex-Mex chains.
  • Wasabi, 1060 Worcester Road (Rt. 9), Phone: +1 508-370-7727. A moderate Japanese restaurant serving sushi and other Japanese dishes.
  • The Chicken Bone, 358 Waverly Street (Rt. 135), Phone: +1 800-wings2go. Wings and blues.
  • Bronzetti's, Located next to the EconoLodge on Route 9, they have pool, darts, homemade pizza and other great food/drink. A local secret.

Sleep

There's a large selection of lodging in and near Framingham, including:

  • Best Western Framingham, 130 Worcester Road, Phone: +1 508-872-8811, Fax: +1 508-875-4136, [14].
  • Motel 6 Boston West - Framingham, 1668 Worcester Road, Phone: +1 508-620-0500, Fax: +1 508-820-0868, [15].
  • Residence Inn Boston Framingham, 400 Staples Drive, Phone: +1 508-370-0001, Fax: +1 508-370-0440, [16].
  • Sheraton Framingham Hotel, 1657 Worcester Road (Route 9), phone +1 (508) 879-7200 [17]

Get out

Boston and Worcester are reachable by train. For day trips by car, try Plymouth, Cape Cod, or North Shore towns.


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