Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Wellesley, MA

  • Published 2023/03/13

A trip to the humble town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, takes you to tranquil lands with historic buildings, natural landscapes, and quintessential local shops.

Wellesley once belonged to the Western part of Needham until its residents voted for separation in 1880.

You can credit Horatio Hollis Hunnewell for the town’s name.

He was a well-known horticulturist and local benefactor whose influence remains in the town’s charming gardens.

Wellesley is the go-to place for a classic suburban lifestyle with leisure attractions, away from the city’s noise.

Unwind, relax, and stroll around the offerings of this cozy town in Massachusetts.

Here are the best things to do in Wellesley, MA:

Shop at Wellesley Square

The street clock of Wellesley Square

quiggyt4 /

Wellesley Square, in the heart of town, is a prime shopping destination with over 100 establishments for your enjoyment.

From up-scale restaurants and dessert stores to various shops and service providers, there are plenty of places to explore in Wellesley Square.

Outdoor dining table of sweetgreen restaurant at Wellesley Square

Yingna Cai /

It even has its own train station, built in 1850, so it’s easy to reach, no matter where you’re coming from.

Strolling around Wellesley Square is a fun leisure experience that brings you to unique local shops and businesses.

You can also watch out for special events in the square, such as live music.

A clothing store at Wellesley Square

quiggyt4 /

Create Your Masterpiece in the Painting Place

Let your creativity blossom in the Painting Place.

Located along Washington Street, the Painting Place is a colorful art studio that provides you with all the fixings to craft a unique art piece of your own design.

Paint canvases include potteries, plasters, and plain paper; they also have materials for candle-making, slimes, mosaics, and even gem-mining.

It’s open to people of all ages, kids, teenagers, and adults.

The only limit is your imagination.

Swim in Morses Pond Beach

Playground near the waters of Morses Pond Beach

Yingna Cai /

Beat the heat with Morses Pond Beach, a simple 100-acre location with sandy shores, refreshing waters, and a lovely front view of the forest.

It’s conveniently located along Turner Road and poses an easy way to cool off while enjoying some water recreation.

Swimming, boating, and fishing are activities allowed in the area.

Two kids playing at Morses Pond Beach

Yingna Cai /

Find picnic areas, BBQ pavilion rentals, and nearby trails to explore.

The beach side of Morses Pond also has a short bright blue water slide for a bit of added fun, especially for children.

It’s one of the top destinations in Wellesley during the summer season, so check it out and cool off for some fun under the sun.

Exterior of Morses Pond Beach's office

Yingna Cai /

Enjoy a Feast at Papa Razzi Wellesley

Papa Razzi is one of the top-rated restaurants in town.

Their executive chef, Guillherme Andrade, is a food veteran who has worked in the culinary industry for over 20 years.

He played an essential role in developing the restaurant’s menu.

Papa Razzi is most known for Italian cuisine; their unique wood-fired pizzas are a local favorite.

There are also pasta, bruschetta, tiramisu, and other staple Italian dishes.

Try Papa Razzi if you’re looking into popular restaurants in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Admire Word-Class Art from Davis Museum

Exterior of Davis Museum

Davis Museum Staff, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Davis Museum is in Wellesley College, along Central Street.

The museum began in 1889 as an art building that housed only a few collections until successful campaigns to gather more artworks.

Today, it’s a venue for diverse artworks from different parts of the world with various mediums like paintings, sculptures, photographs, etc.

Join guided tours under trained students who will show you around the exhibits, discuss exclusive details, and engage with guests.

Davis Museum houses several permanent exhibits but also presents changing exhibits to keep the venue fresh, especially for frequent visitors.

Drop by and see what they have to offer!

Visit J Todd Galleries

Find an upscale location, premium fine arts, and custom framings in the esteemed J Todd Galleries.

Built in 1980, this gallery has signed over 100 professional artists and has housed more than 1000 artworks.

Its vast selection can rival even a modern thriving city’s gallery.

Browse diverse paintings of different styles and mediums, from contemporary fine arts and transitional arts to woodblock prints and artisan accessories.

J Todd Galleries is a valuable art destination, catering to anyone who enjoys masterpieces.

Roam the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens

You can find diverse and vibrant plant species in Wellesley College Botanic Gardens.

Established in 1852, it began as the H.H. Hunnewell Arboretum.

Then, it underwent renovations to become the pleasant, far-reaching area it is today.

The venue consists of 3 main parts: outdoor gardens, greenhouses, and a science hill.

Its outdoor garden, named Alexandra Botanic Garden, is often open to the public and features a plethora of different trees and shrubs positioned in a lush, panoramic landscape.

Walking along the path of this garden is a calming experience you can enjoy by yourself, with other people, or with your pets.

It’s a great way to enjoy and experience the outdoors in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Those interested can find this location in Wellesley College at Central Street.

Take a Leisure Walk at Fuller Brook Park

Nature trail at Fuller Brook Park

Summerofbrad, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many influences, like John Charles Olmstead, shaped the style and design of the current Fuller Brook Park, built in 1899.

It’s the town’s favorite park and is also sometimes called the Brook Path.

Fuller Brook Park consists of 23 acres and covers about three miles of the town’s central area, offering leisure paths with charming landscapes.

It also has a few areas listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Trail markers and signs are scattered around the premises to make walking easier and more convenient.

There are also park benches to relax in, settle down, and bask in the feel of nature and the smell of fresh air.

You’ll find diverse types of environments in Fuller Brook Park, from woodlands and open grass to a beautiful pond along a cemented path.

Have a pleasant walk at Fuller Brook Park!

Taste Gourmet Cheese in Wasik Cheese Shop

Cheese is a staple ingredient that adds flavor to various meals.

Founded in 1964, this shop flourished through the owners’ relationships and friendships with people in the specialty food and wine industry.

They worked together to craft delectable cheese plates that would keep customers coming back for more.

From crackers and sausages to diverse spreads and nuts, the packages in Wasik Cheese Shop accentuate their gourmet cheese.

They also hold classes to give you special information and details on cheese, wine, and the flavors that pair well with them.

Ease Your Mind in the Gardens at Elm Bank

Greek goddess statues at the Gardens at Elm Bank

andysartworks /

The gardens of Elm Bank are a sight to behold, containing a plethora of vibrant plants, trees, and flowers of all kinds.

You’ll find more than ten themed gardens around the premises, inspired by a mix of traditional and contemporary styles and structures.

Initially, these gardens belonged to a private residence in the 17th century.

It only changed when Colonel Jones bought the land.

Wild poppies at the Gardens at Elm Bank

andysartworks /

The colonel planted elms along the bank and named it.

Walk along the trails and feast on the views of colorful flowers and lush plantations, each having its own unique charm that adds to the allure of the gardens.

You can also spot a few distinct sculptures of Greek goddesses and pristine water fountains.

You can find the entrance to these picturesque sights along Washington Street.

Treat your eyes to the stunning gardens at Elm Bank!

Vibrant flowers at the Gardens at Elm Bank

Daderot at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Try the Pastries in Quebrada Baking Company

Quebrada Baking Company is a local favorite in the peaceful town of Wellesley, Massachusetts.

The bakery uses fresh locally sourced ingredients to bake goods by hand every morning.

It’s no surprise that this family-owned bakery has won the hearts of locals.

They have many items to choose from, including cakes, cookies, bread, muffins, savory pastries, and many more.

They also give back to the community by donating monthly to local charities.

If you have a sweet tooth, try the goods in Quebrada Baking Company.

Get a Massage in Bella Sante

This day spa has won several awards in Greater Boston, marking it as one of the premium luxury day spas in the county.

In 1996l Bella Sante began as a humble skin care clinic with a handful of treatment rooms.

Through perseverance, they’ve managed to thrive and expand to greater heights.

Their services include body massages, therapy treatments, make-up, and salon, among many others.

Bella Sante offers its guests a way to treat themselves to a day of relaxation under the care of friendly and well-trained staff.

Reward yourself with a booking to Bella Sante’s premium services.

Admire the Historic Wellesley Town Hall

Exterior of Wellesley Town Hall

Wangkun Jia /

Constructed in 1886, the Wellesley Town Hall is a historic building, listed on the National Register for Historic Places.

It’s a masterful piece of architecture, inspired by stony Romanesque features with hints of French Chateau.

Tower of Wellesley Town Hall

Wangkun Jia /

The building is within Hunnewell Park, so you can easily glimpse the town hall while taking a stroll along the lovely park.

There’s also a nearby pond where you’re free to feed the cute ducks.

Glass windows of Wellesley Town Hall

Wangkun Jia /

Attend the Festival of Trees at the Garden at Elm Bank

Celebrated annually in November, the Festival of Trees commences the holiday season, which features amazing and gorgeous decorated trees.

There are lots of natural trees being decorated during the festival, which are all donated and decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and many more.

Towering from one foot to nine feet tall, these trees will be voted by the visitors, which gain them raffle entries for a chance to win giveaways.

Also, the Snow Village at the Garden at Elm Bank is not to be missed!

It’s a perfect spot for traveling families who are taking a trip to Wellesley during the holidays.

Get Your Coffee Fix at Caffè Nero

Exterior of Caffè Nero

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whether you’re starting your day, or you’re simply getting your coffee routine, do it at Caffè Nero on Washington Street.

The coffee shop serves delicious hot and cold drinks, especially coffee and espresso in a casual setting with vintage furnishings, making it warmer and cozier.

You can also pair your coffee with its delicious breakfast sandwiches, filled croissants, pastries, eggs, yogurt, and oatmeal.

And what’s great about Caffè Nero is that it has something for every diet restriction, including vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, and more.

Gerry Ford established Caffè Nero in 1997 and roasts its own beans and has been making award-winning coffee blends.

Let the Kids Play at Warren Park

Give your kids time to enjoy and interact with other kids at Warren Park; a favorite go-to place for children on Washington Street.

The park features play structures for smaller kids and bigger kids with a nice fountain, a large sandbox, and athletic fields, among others.

Many parents love Warren Park because its areas are mostly shaded by beautiful oak trees.

Kids will also enjoy running around the park’s grassy areas.

There are also lots of benches to sit on while you’re keeping an eye on your children.

Read a Book at Wellesley Free Library

Exterior of Wellesley Free Library

Wangkun Jia /

Traveling bookworms can find solitude in the cozy corners of Wellesley Free Library, where a great selection of books is kept.

Many good reads are housed here in different genres for kids, teens, and adults.

There’s also a wide range of e-books, audiobooks, magazines, movies, and many other resources that you can read in a cozy atmosphere.

Teens and adults can enjoy the games and puzzles, while adults can take part in many different programs.

Wellesley Free Library is located in Central Street Wellesley Mall on Washington Street.

Facade of Wellesley Free Library

Yingna Cai /

See the Galen Stone Tower

Far view of the Galen Stone Tower

Yingna Cai /

Towering about 182 feet tall, the Galen Stone Tower peeks through the green foliage in Wellesley College.

The tower can also be observed across Lake Waban and the school campus.

It’s home to the school’s 32-bell carillon, which was installed in 1931.

The Galen Stone Tower is where the serene sound of the carillon comes from that reverberates across the buildings and treetops on the school campus.

Pedals and levels operate the 32-bell carillon, which is played in the mornings when students and teachers are busy with their daily routines.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Lookout Farm

Lookout Farm is a destination for dining, brewery, and grocery shopping within a country-style barn amid vast open plains.

Enjoy delicious meals in their designated greenhouse or outdoors with an open view of the verdant plains surrounding the area.

Try handcrafted brews with their one-of-a-kind apple cider donuts.

Their most popular feature, however, is the farmer’s market, where they give you a shopping bag, let you roam the farm, and pick fruits and vegetables you’d like to buy.

It’s a fresh experience that lets you buy your groceries straight from the source.

Check it out at Pleasant Street in Natick, Massachusetts, which is just ten minutes away from Wellesley.

Conquer Level99

Ten minutes away from Wellesley, this entertainment venue in Natick is home to various challenging puzzle rooms, competitive arenas, and exciting scavenger hunts.

Level99 offers a unique, thrilling experience for friends and families.

They have over 40 distinct rooms with physical and mental challenges.

Each room features cutting-edge equipment and quality materials in a creative, modern technological setting.

A trip here can make you feel like you’re living inside a real game.

You can team up with people you know to face challenges or compete in player vs. player matchups.

They also have a themed restaurant, perfect when you need to regain energy.

Final Thoughts

Wellesley offers an ideal suburban lifestyle with leisure attractions that foster a quiet, peaceful atmosphere.

A vibrant art scene, nifty shops, and nature-centric spots make up most of the destinations in the town.

You can also explore nearby towns if you’re feeling a need for some thrill.

Otherwise, Wellesley is a tranquil town that can provide a restful break from bustling cities.

Book your trip today!

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