Located at the intersection of Washington St., Webster Ave, and Somerville Ave, at the southern end of Somerville, Union Square is just a short hop to Harvard, Davis and Inman Squares. As Somerville’s first commercial district Union Square has evolved into hipster central with an eclectic mix of longtime residents and young professional, along with retail stores, taverns and restaurants. Union Square Donuts is an old-time community favorite or take a tour of Taza Chocolates. That’s right, living in Union Square means a never-ending supply of chocolate.
Somerville ranks among the youngest communities in the country with an exceedingly high percentage of 25-34 year-olds taking up residence. Nowhere is this more evident than in Davis Square. There something for the old and the young on every corner, including cuisine from around the world, retail shops and a focus on the arts. In the summer, there is ArtBeat and in HONK! in the fall. Hungry? Don’t miss Dave’s Fresh Pasta or Redbones Bar B Q.
East Somerville runs along Broadway from Route 28 to Sullivan Square, bordering Boston and Charlestown. It is among Somerville’s oldest neighborhoods, proudly included in Paul Revere’s infamous Midnight Ride. In East Somerville, residents will find Mudflats, a longstanding pottery studio that recently moved to a renovated 1915 theater, and easy access to the Assembly Square neighborhood, fast becoming a hub of retail, restaurants and contemporary condominiums.
Located in the northern part of Somerville and bordered by the Mystic River and McGrath Highway, Ten Hills is the only part of Somerville separated by Route 93. Originally named for Ten Hills Farm, a farm owned and operated by the very first Massachusetts governor, John Winthrop, Ten Hills is now a residential neighborhood, home to The Blessings of the Bay Boathouse where recreational rowing on the Mystic River is a common activity.
The Winter Hill neighborhood in Somerville is famous for its 120-foot hill but is infamous for its association with the once notorious Winter Hill Gang and gangster Whitey Bulger. Those days are long gone and now, Winter Hill is experiencing a period of revitalization much like the rest of Somerville with an eclectic blend of family neighborhoods, ethnic restaurants, theaters and parks, including its own microbrewery, Winter Hill Brewing Company.
At the intersection of Broadway and Medford Streets, Magoun Square is located between Ball Square and Winter Hill. Magoun Square is part of the renaissance taking place throughout Somerville brought on by a robust housing market, extended green space including bike paths, the T’s planned Green Line expansion and recent commercial development in the area.
West Somerville is located between Davis Square and Tufts with residents ranging from multigenerational families with longstanding community roots to energetic and bright young students. According to city-data.com, West Somerville has the distinction of having more same sex couples living together than 97.9% of neighborhoods in the U.S.
Spring Hill is the residential neighborhood bordered by Highland Ave., Somerville Ave., Elm St. and Willow Ave. This neighborhood’s historic claim to fame is the Round House, built in the mid 1850’s by a hardware manufacturer, and just as the name implies, it is cylindrical, round on all side. The Spring Hill neighborhood is teeming with parks and playgrounds, restaurants and cafes. Don’t miss Highland Kitchen, a Somerville favorite.
Marked by a landmark rotary, Powder House Square (or Powder House Circle) is located at the southern end of Tufts University. The neighborhood got its name from a windmill that later converted to a gunpowder magazine in 1747; the building still exists today. Legend has it that on windy nights there is a ghost that haunts the old powder house. If you prefer an apparition-free evening out in the neighborhood, try Tu Y Yo, Mint Indian Eatery, or Noor Mediterranean.
Claimed by both Somerville and Medford, Ball Square is located adjacent to Tufts University with the variety of retail and restaurants that often accompany an academic population. The neighborhood is, for the most part, residential, mixing longtime residents with the student population. Look for Ball Square favorites like Lyndell’s Bakery and Kelly’s Diner along with Pescatore’s for a night out.
A half a mile from Davis Square sitting atop of Clarendon Hill is Teele Square. The square is walking distance to Tufts University and borders Cambridge, Arlington and Medford. Just a 10 minute walk to the Davis Square T stop, Teele Square with its many multi-unit apartment buildings that have been converted to condominiums, has become a commuter’s favorite.