All About Framingham, MA (And Why We Love It)
Framingham, Massachusetts has been the center of Middlesex County since the 1700s. Just a few miles west of Boston, the city of Framingham is home to the world headquarters of major industrial players such as Bose and Capital One. Ethnically diverse and nestled along the Sudbury River, Framingham has all the New England appeal that people flock to the East Coast for, along with great shopping opportunities, great natural scenery, and historical charm that dates back before our country’s founding.
So why do we love Framingham? Here are some of the reasons why we’re happy to call Framingham home, and some of the greatest attractions that you can only find in our corner of the world.
Framingham is All About History
There are few places in the United States that scream “Americana” than the New England area. First settled in the 1640s on the west bank of the Sudbury River, Framingham has seen its fair share of key moments in American history. For instance, militia members from Framingham were sent to the Battle at Lexington and Concord. In the years leading up to the American Civil War, Framingham was the gathering spot for several Abolitionist meetings. In the most recent history, Framingham has been home to several technological advances, and many corporations have come to call Framingham home. Now, the town of Framingham has now become the city of Framingham—the town was incorporated effective January 2018.
Plenty of Living Options
Whether you’re looking for a suburban experience or you want something more ranch-like or historical, you’re bound to find something you’ll like in one of Framingham’s unique neighborhoods. For more modern homes, you’re in luck: Framingham has seen an uptick in new developments over the last few years.
However, if you’re looking for something a little different, you can find that, too. For farm living, check out the Northwest corner of Framingham, near Grove Street to Wayside Inn Road. You’ll find lots of mature trees and nice, aged homes with some established farms here and there. Want to stay more downtown? Try Dennison Road or check out the Victorian homes near Learned and Gleason ponds or along Concord Street and Union Avenue. For beautiful, natural scenery, try the area between Potter School and Garden in the Woods. You won’t be disappointed.
What’s Around Framingham?
Just a stone’s throw from Boston and Cambridge, Framingham has close proximity to Massachusetts’ largest cities and educational systems. Culturally diverse, Framingham has a lower unemployment rate and higher median income rate than the national average. And there’s plenty to explore near and in Framingham—check out the Village of Saxonville.
Essentially part of Framingham, Saxonville is on the National Historical Register and has a robust residential, commercial, and artistic community. John Stone, Framingham’s first settler, built his home in Saxonville in the 1640s (which is why the area was known as Stone’s End). Plenty of parks, schools, and cultural amenities like Saxonville Artists’ Studios, are able to be experienced in Saxonville. Don’t forget to check out the newly-restored Athenaeum Hall. This historical landmark was built in the 19th century, and has had several uses through it’s past: it was a jail, schoolhouse, hospital, and more.
Shopping and Dining in Framingham
There are several places to get your shopping fix, whether you’re looking for high-end luxury or a more sedate pace. Located at off I-90, the Golden Triangle is home to the Natick Collection Mall, the Framingham Mall, and Shoppers World. You won’t have to leave the area for any of your shopping or dining needs. There’s something there to fit every budget. Head down Route 9 for more shopping and local stores—pay close attention to the area around Framingham Centre and Technology Park. Get artsy in Downtown. Around Concord Street or Waverly Street, you can get your fill of traditional Brazilian or Italian food, check out some live music, and get your retail fix.
Places to Explore in Framingham
Callahan State Park
With more than 800 acres of land claimed for the park, Callahan State Park is the perfect place for a nature enthusiast to spend hours exploring. Go horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, or explore the 7 miles of hiking trails through the beautifully wooded areas. Fun for the whole family (including your furry friends), Callahan State Park is nature at its finest.
Garden in the Woods
Want to experience the natural wildlife New England has to offer? You can learn about and see the rare and native plants that call Massachusetts home in the Garden in the Woods botanical garden, sponsored by the New England Wildlife Association. Set on 45 acres of land, the Garden in the Woods is a naturalistic botanic garden. Here, you can experience common native and rare plants by following through the 2 miles of natural walking paths (when open for the season). There’s plenty for adults and kids to learn in the Garden in the Woods.
Framingham Historical Society and Museum
The Framingham Historical Society and Museum houses historical collections spanning Framingham’s (and America’s) history. Focusing on what makes Framingham unique, you can learn about all the regional and national events that were spearheaded and shaped in Framingham. 12,000 artifacts, photographs, and documents can be found in the museum and the research library. Come explore the exhibits, programs, and virtual exhibits to learn about New England and early American history.
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
For the naturalist, you’ll want to check out the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. On the edge of Framingham and established in 1944, the first 250 acres of land was donated by avid hunter Samuel Hoar, and that land is still part of the refuge. 85% of the over 3,500 acres is freshwater wetlands. Running along the Sudbury and Concord Rivers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages and protects the refuge as a natural habitat for wildlife, especially migratory birds.
There’s a diverse array of plant and animal life that visitors can see from the refuge rails, so if nature study is your thing, you’re in luck here. Are you a bird watcher? More than 220 species of birds have been recorded at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, and you can find the annotated list at the refuge.
There is much to love in Framingham. If you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or are looking for a place to live and visit with lots of shopping and unique dining, you’ll be able to get your fix here. Welcome to Framingham, Massachusetts. We think you’ll like it here.