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Arlington MA

Living in Arlington

Arlington, a town 6 miles northwest of Boston, is full of history. It’s the birthplace of Uncle Sam, the location of the first public children’s library, and the site of historic battles with the British during the start of the Revolutionary War. Today it is a vibrant community popular with professionals and young families for its easy access to Boston, good schools, and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Mass Ave runs through the center of the town from the Cambridge border in the east to the west where it crosses into Lexington. Along its length are several distinct neighborhoods, each with its unique character. East Arlington would be considered the most “urban”, and its proximity to the Red Line T stop at Alewife offers commuters the chance to move to a larger property with more outdoor space but still have an easy ride into the city. Capitol Square is home to many independent shops and a movie theater and is the hub for the Feast of the East cultural festival each summer. The Fox Library is also located in East Arlington.

Tucked away off Lake Street you’ll find Kelwyn Manor, a private association with 194 single-family homes built in the 1930s. Considered a highly desirable area, this neighborhood features a park and a playground, and access to Spy Pond via a private beach. 

Spy Pond itself is a great recreation destination for the town, a 103-acre kettle pond offering boating and fishing on the water, and walking, picnicking and a play area on the land. There are also tennis courts and the Arlington Boys and Girls Club provides many sporting, educational, and entertainment programs for local children.  

Heading beyond Spy Pond is Jason Heights, an area filled with classic Victorian-style homes and plenty of open space and parks. Menotomy Rocks Park is popular for its wooded trails and fishing pond, while Robbins Farm Park boasts spectacular views of the Boston skyline and a great children’s playground. Arlington Center, where Route 3 bears off Mass Ave and heads towards Winchester, has a large concentration of stores and restaurants, including popular children’s toy store Henry Bear’s Park, the Regent Theatre, Robbins Library, and the ubiquitous Starbucks. There is also a Whole Foods Market and Stop and Shop for grocery shopping. 

Continuing along Mass Ave you’ll reach Arlington Heights, another area with mostly single-family homes and plenty of space. At this end of town, you’ll find Trader Joe’s amongst other local stores and restaurants, and Arlington Reservoir, a popular spot for bathing in the summer and walks all year round. The Ed Burns Ice Arena is another of the town's recreation spots.

Further away from Mass Ave, the neighborhood between Arlington and Winchester is known as Morningside. Homes here tend to have larger plots and be more spread out, and some will enjoy views of the Upper and Lower Mystic Lakes.

Arlington Schools

Serving these neighborhoods are 7 elementary schools, the Gibbs School (6th grade), Ottoson Middle School, and Arlington High School. The High School is currently undergoing a rebuild and the new school is scheduled to be completed in 2024.  Also, students in Arlington can enroll at Minuteman Regional High School, one of the top vocational-technical schools in Massachusetts.  Arlington also has 3 private schools - Lesley Ellis (PreK - 9), St Agnes Catholic School (PreK- 8), and Arlington Catholic High School (9-12).  

Along with the Red Line T at Alewife, Arlington has multiple bus routes including the #77 route which runs from Arlington Heights to Harvard Square, and #80 which connects to the Green Line T at Lechmere. The Minuteman Commuter Bikeway, a 10 mile paved rail-trail, offers commuters another, eco-friendly way to travel, connecting Bedford in the North to the Alewife T stop just across the Arlington line into North Cambridge.  Route 2 runs alongside Arlington, giving access to Cambridge and Boston in one direction and I-95 and Route 128 in the other.

With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why Arlington is a popular choice for those ready to move out of the city yet wanting to remain within easy reach. If that sounds like you, talk to one of our experienced agents to begin your search. 


"One of the things I enjoy about living in Arlington is all the open space to explore. Menotomy Rocks Park, Arlington Reservoir, and Spy Pond are all great for getting out and enjoying the natural environment. If you want to really stretch your legs the bike path is perfect for a safe way to get around. There are many wonderful restaurants, such as Twyrl which does amazing fresh pasta, and for a sweet treat head to Quebrada Bakery or Gail Anne's for old-fashioned donuts. I love that we still have a movie theater and a theatre right in the town, as well as all the other local stores." - Jane Byrne

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