Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Somerville, MA

  • Published 2023/02/17

Somerville is one of the smaller cities in Massachusetts found northwest of Boston.

Despite its size, Somerville is one of the most vibrant communities and a wide range of tourist attractions for you to visit.

This city is home to several iconic landmarks and structures with historical and cultural significance.

You can take many great pictures with the whole family with these establishments as your backdrop, go on the available food tours around the city, and enjoy some of their family-friendly facilities.

There are several hidden gems and treasures across the city to maximize your vacation and fulfill that desire for adventure.

Use this list of the best things to do in Somerville as your trip guide.

Go on a Food Trip to Davis Square

Night scene at Davis Square

Heidi Besen /

What better way to explore the city than eating and tasting their cuisine?

Davis Square offers tourists and visitors the chance to go on a food trip, taste all the best dishes, and visit the best local restaurants and hidden gems that Somerville offers.

From traditional and classic meals to some of the most innovative and creative dishes, this 3-hour food tour keeps you and your stomach happy.

Round concrete marker of Davis Square

Heidi Besen /

This unique food tour will also tell you all about the rich and colorful history of Somerville and its entrepreneurs and businesses.

Your local guide will let you sample the most delicious food, including an award-winning marshmallow dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Reserve a spot on this food tour for some of the best experiences on your visit.

Picnic tables at Davis Square

Steven Isaacson from Somerville, MA, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Somerville Museum

Start your vacation to Somerville with a trip to Somerville Museum, where you can learn all about this city’s history, culture, and art!

Since its opening in 1988, this museum has served as the community’s cultural institution with a growing collection of meaningful artifacts.

Inside, you can find several exhibits meant to be visually appealing to educate tourists on the historical and local significance of the city.

This non-profit organization preserves various arts, from paintings to poems and all kinds of mediums that showcase the community’s uniqueness.

Conveniently located at the heart of Somerville, you can quickly drop by on your visit!

Learn How Chocolate Is Made at Somerville Chocolate

Opened in the spring of 2012, Somerville Chocolate shows all who visit how their delicious chocolate is made.

Found a mile within the city center, this chocolatier shows their periodic harvest process to create chocolate bars.

Once they’ve processed and packed their chocolate bars, you can purchase a bar and see the different flavors and variations!

They also sell vegan options for those with dietary restrictions and preferences.

Don’t worry, because it tastes just as delicious.

This community-supported agricultural process used by Somerville Chocolate ensures the freshest, richest, and most decadent chocolate bars this city offers!

Be sure to grab a bar (or two) before your trip ends!

Bring the Whole Family to Legoland Discovery Center Boston

Name sign of Legoland Discovery Center Boston

Jaclyn Vernace /

If you’re traveling with young children, bring them to Legoland Discovery Center Boston, the top attraction in Somerville for kids!

This establishment houses millions of Lego bricks, allowing everyone to play and build their own set.

Welcome sign of Legoland Discovery Center Boston

Jaclyn Vernace /

They also have different attractions to explore, including Miniland, a replica of the city of Boston made entirely of Legos.

You can also check out the Giant Speed Ramp where you can race your Lego cars!

With a wide range of events and themes, you won’t run out of things to do and enjoy in this one-of-a-kind attraction.

Buy a ticket to ensure admission to Legoland Discovery Center Boston!

Legoman-shaped entryway of Legoland Discovery Center Boston

Jaclyn Vernace /

Shop at Somerville’s Best Market at Bow Market

Bow Market is a major hotspot in Somerville, not just for tourists but also for the locals!

Located in Union Square, you can find several vendors and small businesses and live entertainment at Bow Market, where you can spend the entire afternoon.

Open to the public since 2016, this hub is an award-winning destination with many shopping and food options.

There’s something for everyone at this community-favorite market, from your favorite retail shops to eateries with varying cuisines.

Shop ‘til you drop or browse the wide range of products at Bow Market for fun, fulfilling experience in this city!

Eat and Enjoy Music at The Burren

The Burren is best known for being in the Top 21 Best Irish Pubs in America, and it’s located right here within the heart of Somerville!

One of the state’s unique eateries, The Burren, is a sought-after tourist destination where you enjoy live entertainment while indulging in a delicious meal.

Open to the public since 1996, this pub has earned a reputation for giving its guests an authentic Irish experience.

You can choose a meal from their fantastic menu, complemented with a refreshing drink, whether a classic glass of wine or craft beer.

Various local and international entertainers like musicians and comedians will thoroughly entertain you.

Drop by this Irish pub while visiting Somerville for a great time!

Take a Scenic Ride at Minuteman Commuter Bikeway

A person riding a bike along Minuteman Commuter Bikeway

ArnoldReinhold, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to spend the day outdoors, take a lovely scenic ride at Minuteman Commuter Bikeway!

This bike path is one of the most successful and popular trails in the entire country.

It also carries historical significance because it passes through where the American Revolution began.

Surrounded by trees on either side of the path, this bike ride will also refresh you as you indulge in the fresh and open air.

You can pass by several surrounding communities as you explore this bike path, so wear the right gear and bring some water.

Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience!

Enjoy Indoor Rock Climbing at Boston Bouldering Project

Since its founding in 2011, Boston Bouldering Project has focused on giving guests an enjoyable indoor rock climbing experience!

Whether you’re a seasoned climber or trying it out for the first time, this establishment has experienced guides who will teach you the basics of rock climbing to ensure your safety.

They also provide all the gear and equipment you’ll need and other programs and projects that promote physical health and fitness.

This organization caters to all ages, including youth programs to engage younger audiences.

Boston Bouldering Project prioritizes creating a safe, inclusive space for everyone on their fitness journey by providing various physical programs that suit each preference!

Have a Delicious Breakfast at Ball Square Cafe

Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day, so head on to Ball Square Cafe for a delicious and hearty meal.

Serving up classics such as pancakes, eggs benedict, or a cheeseburger, this breakfast cafe is sure to have something you’ll enjoy!

They pride themselves on using only the finest, highest quality ingredients to ensure deliciousness with generous portions, topped with a warm, rustic, and friendly atmosphere that’ll make you feel right at home.

You can also help yourselves to their coffee at a self-serve station for the caffeine boost you need for your vacation.

Since its establishment in 2007, this cafe has become a local favorite, serving breakfast options all day long!

Come early to get a table since this cafe fills up quickly!

Grab a Refreshing Beer at Aeronaut Brewing Company

Aeronaut Brewing Company is an excellent place for beer lovers and enthusiasts.

Specializing in craft beers, this brewery in the city center has a full selection of alcoholic drinks and beverages made with high-quality ingredients, brewed just the way you like.

This taproom also hosts live music and entertainment to relax as you choose a drink made by creative minds to curate only the best recipes.

You can also grab a quick snack from their vendors that sell various traditional meals to complement your drink.

Aeronaut Brewing Company has a scheduled list of events, ranging from trivia nights to bonsai classes which you are more than welcome to join.

Share the excitement and fun this brewhouse has to offer by dropping by.

Visit Massachusetts’ Landmark at Prospect Hill Tower

Exterior of Prospect Hill Tower

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Prospect Hill Tower is the iconic location where George Washington hoisted the Grand Union Flag back in 1776!

In addition to being the perfect tourist destination for picture taking, this tower is rich with historical significance, remembering American soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Closer view of Prospect Hill Tower

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Prospect Hill Tower stands at 34 feet; guests can climb up and see breathtaking, panoramic views of the surrounding cities and communities.

This tower became a Local Historic District in 1985 because of its cultural significance.

It has also become a popular tourist attraction.

Despite undergoing several reconstruction efforts to maintain and preserve this beautiful, historic structure, this tower stands strong and is open to the public.

The top part of Prospect Hill Tower

Micha Weber /

Admire Art at Museum of Modern Renaissance

Staying true to its name, this museum allows visitors to enter a completely different world of modern Renaissance.

The intricate artworks on the building’s structure can transform reality.

At the heart of Somerville, the Museum of Modern Renaissance takes you on a mystical journey of the arts, showcasing various themes and genres painted on the interior of this previous Masonic hall.

This museum was established in 2002.

Two artists with a shared love for the arts, Ekaterina Sorokina and Nicholas Shaplyko, provide the opportunity to explore a uniquely designed structure that appeals to your senses.

Admire the eclectic art you can only find at the Museum of Modern Renaissance, a one-of-a-kind establishment that you wouldn’t want to miss!

This museum doesn’t take walk-ins, so book an appointment before visiting to schedule a tour!

Drop by a Historic Site at Charles William Jr. House

This once residential home is the location of the first telephone line; hence, its telephone number is only one digit: 1.

Charles William Jr.’s original telephone still sits inside the eponymous house.

This phone connects to his nearby office, only 3 miles away, where word got out that his innovation was successful, jump-starting his telegraph business.

This man installed several telephone lines, and his shop became the first and only manufacturer of telephone instruments.

Besides being a historic site, this house’s design and structure give guests a feel of the 1800s.

There’s so much to learn at this iconic home, so check out the Charles William Jr. House.

Watch a Comedy Show at the Comedy Studio

There’s no better feeling than laughing your heart out to the point where you’re clutching your stomach and feeling your cheeks ache.

The Comedy Studio features several stand-up comedians who want to share their humorous experiences with you.

This studio has cemented its position as the go-to location for those looking for a laugh!

For aspiring comedians, this establishment also offers classes where they can teach you the basics of delivering a killer joke.

Likewise, the Comedy Studio has won the “Best Comedy Club” title for three consecutive years from the Boston Magazine.

Grab a seat, then sit back and enjoy the show!

Join Competitive Axe Throwing at Urban Axes

If you want to try something adventurous and different to do while visiting Somerville, try ax throwing at Urban Axes!

Though it sounds pretty intimidating, Urban Axes provides guests a thrilling experience of throwing axes in a safe and secure environment.

This establishment is one of the community’s newest additions.

It opened in 2016 and has become a hotspot for locals and tourists.

Whether you need to de-stress, blow off steam, or want to try this exciting sport, you’ll learn how to throw an ax safely from licensed and experienced staff.

If you’re confident in your ax-throwing skills, you can even join their competitive events and win exciting awards and prizes!

Go on a Shopping Spree at Assembly Row

Buildings at Assembly Row

Jongpol Jujaroen /

Assembly Row is the biggest shopping district in Somerville, visited by thousands of locals and tourists daily.

This shopping mall is an outlet district with sprawling stores and brands for you to check out, easily occupying a whole afternoon in your itinerary.

Shops along Assembly Row

2p2play /

The general area is also beautiful, as it’s close to the Mystic River and has access to a riverfront park.

Beyond these, Assembly Mall also has awesome entertainment services, spearheaded by IMAX Theatre and LegoLand.

A cafe at Assembly Row

2p2play /

Go on a Scenic Stroll at Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park

View of docked boats at Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park

Percival Kestreltail, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park is a can’t-miss destination in Somerville, offering sweeping views of the Mystic River and the cityscape of Medford.

This is an intimate place to relax and spend time with your loved ones, as the park is generally laid-back, embodying the humble atmosphere of Somerville.

There is a beautiful boardwalk here by the riverfront which accentuates the overall beauty of the Mystic River—perfect for landscape photography.

There is also a playground, making this a great all-rounder for families with children.

Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park is located along River Road, right next to Assembly Row which makes it a great stopover.

Play Bowling at Sacco’s Bowl Haven

Sacco’s Bowl Haven is one of the most popular amusement centers in Somerville, located along Day Street.

This place has everything you want in a bowling alley, offering vibrant bowling lanes, comfy seating, and a scrumptious menu.

In fact, Sacco’s Bowl Haven is also famed for its housing the famous pizzeria, American Flatbread; many locals visit the place solely for that purpose.

Still, bowling enthusiasts will love this attraction, as it gives off a retro vibe without sacrificing modern fun.

Equipped with a bar as well, and you can easily spend a whole evening at Sacco’s Bowl Haven with friends and family.

Watch a Play at the Historic Somerville Theatre

Exterior of the Historic Somerville Theatre

Tim Pierce, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just a stone’s throw away from Sacco’s Bowl Haven lies the historic Somerville Theatre found at Davis Square.

This theater is a beloved attraction by the locals because of its heritage, one that you can appreciate both from its facade and when you watch a live performance inside.

Their stage and auditorium gives a vintage aesthetic that accentuates your viewing experience, a must for lovers of performance arts and architecture.

Main stage of the Historic Somerville Theatre

Mattsjc, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Somerville Theater also offers fantastic wine along with an art gallery in its basement—all great bonuses.

Couple these with the fact that the theater is close to so many cafes and restaurants, and Somerville Theatre is a no-brainer for even the casual goer.

Interior of the Historic Somerville Theatre

Mattsjc, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Play All Sorts of Sports at Foss Park

Foss Park is one of the funnest recreational spaces in Somerville, offering a little bit of something for everyone.

It’s primarily geared towards sports hobbyists, as the park has a swimming pool, baseball fields, tennis courts, and basketball courts.

Even if you’re not the sporty type, Foss Park has an abundance of other things to do for all family members.

You can bring your dog to walk around, or simply enjoy the jogging trails by yourself.

There’s also a kid’s play area along with huge green spaces for families and friends to relax.

Found along Fellsway West, you can’t go wrong visiting Foss Park for some recreational fun.

Final Thoughts

There are many things to see and do in this vibrant city, ensuring an excellent time for you and your loved ones visiting.

Somerville can cater to all your needs to create unforgettable memories.

You won’t run out of things to do, from trying the best local eateries to visiting the unique museums and even starting thrilling adventures.

This city has establishments for all seasons, whether indoors or outdoors, summer or winter.

Book a ticket to this fantastic city and see what else they offer!

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