Neighbor Spotlight: Newton

Watertown’s location and its proximity to other vibrant communities is just another reason our city is so desirable. With its rich historic background, distinctive neighborhoods, and variety of shops and restaurants, nearby Newton is one of those neighboring cities that we Watertown loyalists love to visit!

Newton was settled in 1630 and became its own town, separate from what is now Cambridge, in 1688. In 1835 the Boston and Worcester railroad reached Newton, making it one of America’s earliest commuter suburbs. Today, at 18 square miles and with a population of about 80,000, Newton boasts such historical sites as the Jackson Homestead, which served as part of the Underground Railroad, the East Parish burial ground, and the Durant-Kenrick House.

Newton is broken up into thirteen different and distinct villages, described briefly here. Auburndale has more than twenty buildings on the National Registry of Historic Places list. Chestnut Hill his home to Boston College as well as several areas that have been designated as historic districts. Newton Lower Falls and Newton Upper Falls both lie on the Charles River, each with its own distinct vibe. Newton Centre, considered downtown Newton, is home to Newton City Hall, the town Green, and lots of shopping and eating destinations. Newton Corner has a slightly urban feel, bordering Brighton and Watertown, while Newton Highlands is mostly suburban, and Newtonville primarily residential. A large Italian population resides in Nonantum, which you can tell quickly just by glancing through the restaurant offerings. Oak Hill is situated just as it sounds (on a hill, and virtually all residential), while nearby Waban is known as the one-time residence of Ralph Waldo Emerson. West Newton is home to the historic West Newton Cinema, and Thompsonville is nestled between Newton Highlands and Chestnut Hill.

The shopping enthusiast has many options in both Newton Centre and Chestnut Hill. Newton Centre’s Piccadilly Square is a charming and bustling outdoor shopping destination with over fifty stores and restaurants. The Shops at Chestnut Hill offers two levels of indoor upscale shopping and houses New England’s only Bloomingdales as well as many mainstream realtors and restaurants.

Did we miss your favorite Newton spot? Tell us in the comments!