kz's Wanderings Around Greater Boston

kz1000ps

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So fate has brought me into the life of a girl who lives near Hanscom, and we've been doing the long distance thing for over three years by now (fun!). I decamped to her place back at the beginning of April given where the situation in NYC vis a vis COVID-19 was at, and have been living a very low key suburban life (with car!) for exactly two months as of today. The downside is that I miss my life, work and friends in NYC, but the upside is that I actually like living with my girl (hooray!) and I actually like the area she lives in.

Everyone here probably already knows this, but the whole Concord-Lincoln-Bedford-Lexington area is stuffed with gorgeous old houses and cute village areas, and while I had a passing familiarity with it before (my mom is from Beverly so I know the North Shore more) I really didn't know just how much there was to see around here. And having seen the vast majority of this country, I can say without question that Boston's suburbs are better than just about any other US city's out there, so that helps me be at peace with not being in a bustling urban environment for the time being. And of course given how much strife so many people are going through out there for one reason or another, I'm fully aware that I'm really fucking lucky to have someone like her to "fall back" on, or that this area is even available to me to begin with.

Having said all that, let's go on a tour of Lincoln and then Concord! These are from yesterday.



















Old Town Hall











 
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DZH22

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I had been driving (and finding places to walk) around this area a lot in the last couple of months, before hurting my knee. I highly recommend taking a ride down Route 117 in particular, super scenic and uncomplicated. If you are feeling ambitious, take a ride all the way out to the Wachusett Reservoir and circle it, stopping at the dam in the Northeast corner. The tallest man made structure in MA is also out there, a 1350' antenna right in Boylston. It's technically off Cross Street but the best place to view it is from the Adams Street neighborhood, where Adams Street meets Longfellow Way. See streetview here: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3399378,-71.7134873,3a,75y,207.3h,102.72t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sLXpfMegTZTALh6wMcP4dwQ!2e0!6s//geo2.ggpht.com/cbk?panoid=LXpfMegTZTALh6wMcP4dwQ&output=thumbnail&cb_client=maps_sv.tactile.gps&thumb=2&w=203&h=100&yaw=45.20804&pitch=0&thumbfov=100!7i13312!8i6656

If less ambitious, still check out other awesome towns closer by to you like Weston, Sudbury, Wayland, and then Carlisle and Chelmsford further north. However, if you are liking cruising out in the woods I think you will really like the route above. The roads get very fast outside 495. From a driving perspective many of those (non-highway) routes are pure joy once you're outside the typical congestion zones.

Some good spots to stop for hikes/walks include Mt Misery (Lincoln), Great Brook Farm (Carlisle), and Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury. Another really good one, but unfortunately difficult to distance at points, is Great Meadows in Concord (not to be confused with a bunch of other Great Meadows in the area, Concord is the cream of the crop). The suburbs outside 95 actually offer a ridiculous amount of surprisingly good hiking, often without the crowds. Let me know if you need any more ideas. Type "hiking area" into Google Maps and it will show you a lot. If you plan loop routes to and from these areas you will cover a lot of ground and see a lot of cool stuff on the way. But really, start by hopping on 117!
 
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Czervik.Construction

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While on 117 (I think) in Weston, stop off at Dairy Joy. Amazing soft serve ie cream and tasty burgers.
 

DZH22

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While on 117 (I think) in Weston, stop off at Dairy Joy. Amazing soft serve ie cream and tasty burgers.
Most expensive ice cream place in the state! I would recommend... pretty much anywhere else, especially for somebody currently unemployed. The bill if you get ice cream, sandwiches, and a soda is absolutely shocking. They get away with it because it's in Weston, but if you don't have a Weston salary you will find it obscene.

Edit: Here are the reviews for Dairy Joy. Just like this exchange between me and Czervik, most people either love it or hate it, and price is a sticking point. https://www.yelp.com/biz/dairy-joy-weston
 
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kz1000ps

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Well damn, thanks for all the recommendations DZH! I'm all ears for ideas, and I'm a bona fide car enthusiast who loves to drive so I'm down for some good route suggestions. I actually picked up a part time job at a car dealership up here last year (a connection of the gf's) so while my urban elitist credentials are fully in check I also really love getting behind the wheel, cranking the volume waaay up and putting down the miles. Plus I'm always looking for an excuse to head on over towards Vermont.

And looking it over, I ended up on 117 for a couple brief moments as I was meandering through Lincoln. It was definitely beautiful down there, so I shall explore some more. Hudson is on my list as well.. some great old mill buildings out that way.
 

George_Apley

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Check out the Gropius House in Lincoln. It's closed for covid right now, but you can see it from the street!
 

kz1000ps

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^ I'll get to it shortly!

Check out the Gropius House in Lincoln. It's closed for covid right now, but you can see it from the street!
Dang, I drove some ways down that road but turned around before then. Guess I gotta explore that pocket amongst the ponds next.
 

WormtownNative

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I would also add Maynard of the list of towns to visit. Great pizza shops and while you can tell the town grew up around the massive mill, the downtown and some of the housing is very nice. Acton's villages are awesome as well.
 

George_Apley

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I would also add Maynard of the list of towns to visit. Great pizza shops and while you can tell the town grew up around the massive mill, the downtown and some of the housing is very nice. Acton's villages are awesome as well.
Can vouch for Maynard and Acton (grew up there). Hudson is good too.
 

Czervik.Construction

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Most expensive ice cream place in the state! I would recommend... pretty much anywhere else, especially for somebody currently unemployed. The bill if you get ice cream, sandwiches, and a soda is absolutely shocking. They get away with it because it's in Weston, but if you don't have a Weston salary you will find it obscene.

Edit: Here are the reviews for Dairy Joy. Just like this exchange between me and Czervik, most people either love it or hate it, and price is a sticking point. https://www.yelp.com/biz/dairy-joy-weston
DZ! That cuts DEEEEP. My childhood consisted of sunny summer Saturdays of Dairy Joy + A) Drumlin Farm or B) Walden Pond. Who the heck goes there for fish & chips? lol. Oh well, looks like they've gone downhill.
 

DZH22

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My childhood consisted of sunny summer Saturdays of Dairy Joy......
It sounds like it did go downhill. But also, you weren't the one paying for it when you were a child. It's in the "perfectly good enough" category before price is factored in. :)
 

George_Apley

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Kimballs was always our go-to ice cream shoppe. Usually the Carlisle one instead of the busy and massive Westford one.
 

BeeLine

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I enjoy the Kimballs in Lancaster on route 70. Hot dogs are fantastic.
 

WormtownNative

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I enjoy the Kimballs in Lancaster on route 70. Hot dogs are fantastic.
Lancaster isn't bad, but as a whole I think Kimball's has definitely gotten more expensive over the years. I will admit though, they do have good clam strips.
 

kz1000ps

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Well I made it out to Maynard today. Meant to get further out to Sudbury and Hudson but I ended up spending a decent amount of time at the Old North Bridge park instead.









I want this house



Moving west







And into Maynard















Gotta love unattended parking garages









 

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