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Waltham has many things to do for all types of visitors. From walking along the banks of the Charles River or strolling along Moody Street, to visiting one of the many museums in and around Waltham. Waltham is full of beautiful and historic sites, from the magnificant views from the top of Prospect Hill to the architecture and history of " Stonehurst" the estate of Robert Treat Paine.
There are many Museums in and around Waltham. The "Charles River Museam of Industry" displays many of the inventions of the Industrial Revolution. Allowing visitors to get close to many of the life-sized machines. The New England Region National Archives and Record Administration building is located in Waltham. It contains the history and events of much of the New England area including census, military service records, and bounty land applications. The American Jewish Historical Society contains collections of books, photos, and objects relating to the experience of the Jewish people in America. Other museams are located just outside of Waltham such as the DeCordova Museum and sculpture park and the Golden Ball Tavern Museum.
If shopping is more of your thing to do, Waltham has a street that contains a large array of shops and botiques. On a nice day, you can walk up and down Moody Street window shopping or browsing the stores that range from Maxima (a gift shop of quant items) to Eastern Coast Costume (offering thousands of costumes).
If shopping is not your "thing", you can stroll along and decide on which of the many restaurants would be good for lunch or dinner. Waltham has one of the largest and diverse selections of restaurants outside of Boston and most are with walking distance from each other. From Bison County (featuring Buffalo burgers) to Bombay Mahal (Indian cuisine), and from Franco's Pizza and Pub to Iguana Cantina for Mexican. Waltham has plenty of choices for both the "quick bite crew" to those possessing a more delicate palatte. Lastly, when your walk up and down Moody is almost done, it is always fun to grab an IceCream cone at Lizzy's and stroll to the bridge overlooking the Charles.
For those with Kids, there are many parks around Waltham where the parents can rest for a few minutes while the kids wear themselves out. There are small parks in most neighborhoods, but a thorough listing can be found here. In the summer time, some of the parks have a water-spray area to help cool off on a hot summer day. There is also a Plaster Fun Timem on Moody Street for kids 5-18 .
If you are not in the mood for eating or shopping, there are many historic sites to visit and stroll along the grounds. Prospect Hill contains 250 acres of area for walking, hiking, and relaxing. Including one of the highest altitudes inside greater Boston, Prospect Hill has two areas for expansive views of Boston and the surrounding area.
Some of the historic areas of Waltham are "Stonehurst", "Gore Place" and the "Lyman Estate." Stonehurst was designed by Henry Richardson and Frederick Law Olmstead (designer of NewYork's Central Park and Bostons Emerald Necklace). Visitors may stroll the grounds or hike through the 109 acres of conservation land. Gore Place was the summer home and retreat for Massachusetts Governor Christopher Gore. The first floor of the mansion can be toured weekdays between mid April through mid November at 1pm (for a fee), and the grounds can be rented for various functions. The 45 acre grounds can be walked at your leisure and contains a small farm located in one corner of the estate having many different animal breeds. The Lyman Estate, " The Vale," is another historic area of Waltham. Formally the home of Boston merchange Theodore Lyman, the grounds contain the mansion, greenhouses, and gardens. The greenhouse is open to the public year round from 9:30 - 4:00 where visitors can see grapevines planted in the 1870s along with various exotic plants. Visitors may purchase plants propalgated from the collection.