Somerville is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, located just two miles north of downtown Boston. It is bordered by the cities of Cambridge, Medford, and Arlington, as well as the neighborhood of Charlestown in Boston.
Somerville was first settled in 1630 and was originally part of Charlestown. It was officially incorporated as a separate town in 1842 and became a city in 1872.
Somerville’s early history was largely agricultural, with brickmaking and dairy farming being significant industries. With the arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century, the town rapidly industrialized and attracted a diverse population of immigrants. In recent decades, Somerville has undergone significant revitalization, becoming a popular destination for dining, shopping, and the arts.
As of the 2020 U.S. Census, Somerville has a population of approximately 81,000 residents.
Davis Square: A vibrant neighborhood with a variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues, including the historic Somerville Theatre.
Assembly Row: A mixed-use development featuring shopping, dining, and a movie theater, as well as riverfront parks and walking paths.
Prospect Hill Park and Tower: A historic park offering panoramic views of Boston and the surrounding area, along with the iconic Prospect Hill Tower.
The Museum of Bad Art: A unique museum located in the basement of the Somerville Theatre, showcasing a collection of “bad” art.
Events and Festivals:
ArtBeat: An annual summer festival held in Davis Square, featuring local artists, live music, and interactive activities.
Somerville Open Studios: A yearly event where local artists open their studios to the public, showcasing their work and offering demonstrations.
A fun celebration of Marshmallow Fluff, which was invented in Somerville in 1917, featuring games, music, and Fluff-themed treats.
While Somerville itself has limited accommodation options, its proximity to Boston and Cambridge means that there are numerous hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals available in the surrounding area. Some nearby options include the Holiday Inn Boston Bunker Hill Area, La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Boston Somerville, and Porter Square Hotel in Cambridge.
Food and Dining:
Somerville has a diverse and thriving food scene, with options ranging from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. Some popular choices include Oleana (Mediterranean cuisine), Highland Kitchen (American comfort food), Sarma (Middle Eastern small plates), and Union Square Donuts (artisanal donuts).
Somerville is known for its numerous squares and commercial districts, including Davis Square, Union Square, and Assembly Square.
The city has a strong arts community, with numerous galleries, studios, and public art installations.
Somerville was once home to the famous Winter Hill Gang, an Irish-American organized crime group led by James “Whitey” Bulger.