Massachusetts, an 8.6-square-mile area, sits about 5 miles northwest of Boston. In addition to being a residence for the famous Amelia Earhart, it also serves as home to Tufts University, the Isaac Royall House, and many other museums and historic buildings.
Expect to find the area of Medford always bustling with activity, and enjoy a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, parks and retail stores. It was once called "Meadford" because of its many meadows on the north side of the city that surround several bodies of water, such as Bellevue Pond, Fellsmere Pond and Wrights Pond. The city acts as home to Mystic River and the Mystic River Reservation, which provides a wonderful path for biking and walking.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Because of Medford's Italian culture, locals find many Italian restaurants and bistros throughout the area. One favorite restaurant, Bistro 5, sits on the west side of the city and "serves food from the heart of a Tuscan son." The upscale eatery's chef, Vittorio Ettore, offers an ever-changing menu of fresh ingredients inspired by his Italian roots. On the Chef's Tasting menu, find dishes such as sesame seared encrusted hamachi with seaweed crackers and Asian vinaigrette along with duck raviolo with fried quail egg, foie gras and kumquats.
Another go-to Italian spot, Pastalina's, occupies the east side of Medford. This restaurant's popularity stems from its classic entrées inspired by the northern region of Italy. Diners find everything from pasta dishes, including gnocchi, fusilli and tortellini, to chicken and veal prepared seven different ways. Don't forget to order a side of true bruschetta or homemade meatballs.
When locals aren't enjoying Italian eats, you can often find them at Asian-inspired restaurants. One favorite Japanese restaurant, Blue Fuji, sits just a few steps away from Medford's city hall. Blue Fuji serves as a sushi-lovers paradise, with a wide variety of sushi, sashimi, and maki. The eatery also provides a Chinese menu with favorites such as chow mein and Mongolian beef.
When it comes to the nightlife, there exist plenty of spots that locals can go to for a cold drink and some quality finger food. Near the center of Medford, find Raso's Bar & Grille, a homey spot known for its variety of pizzas and creative martinis; try the espresso, pink lemonade and melonberry flavors. Down the road, visit Carroll's, where you can stop in for a raw seafood bar and some specialty drinks, including Isaac Royall, Carroll's twist on a traditional Cosmo, and homemade sangrias. If you prefer beer, head to the outskirts of the city and stop in at Olde Magoun's Saloon or On the Hill Tavern for a wide selection of craft and domestic drafts and bottles.
Locals can also hop on one of the many MBTA bus lines or commuter rail lines to check out the lively nightlife in Boston.
History & Culture
Medford remains the fourth oldest English settlement in the United States and one of the oldest cities in Massachusetts. It was settled in 1630 and was originally named "Meadford" because of its many meadows. Once the very first bridge across the Mystic River was built, the city's land was divided and owned by several different families. As the years went on, ownerships shifted, the city acquired more land, and the population boomed. In fact, from 1700 to 1900, Medford's population increased by over 95 percent, and the city became a primary industry for brick, tile and rum.
Because Medford lies right outside of Boston, it proves very easy for residents to travel via public transportation. You can get to and from the city via MBTA's Lowell and Haverhill commuter rail lines as well as an abundance of bus lines.
Many of Medford's major establishments come equipped with parking lots. While there are no bicycle lanes, you can find plenty of sidewalks throughout the area, which make bicycle and foot transportation easy and safe. If you own a car, you can drive several four-lane roads that run throughout the city, along with Interstate 93, which divides the east and west. All of these routes prove easily accessible and can lead you to other areas of the state.
When it comes to taxis, not many roam the streets, so hailing one might be difficult. However, you can contact The Good Taxi or the Yellow Cab Association to schedule a ride. Residents can also take advantage of Uber, a car service available throughout Boston; the Uber area extends as far as Gloucester, Andover, Framingham and Avon.
When it comes to the entire Boston area, the cost of living often proves higher than the national average, and Medford sits around 44 percent higher than the national average.
If you plan to rent an apartment in Medford, expect to pay an average monthly price of $2,075 for a studio or around $2,495 for a three-bedroom.
A beer or a cocktail costs around $5. Locals enjoy gas prices around 5 percent below the national average. You can hop on one of the city's many bus lines to Boston for a one-way fare of $2.10.
In the Medford area, shopping options can always be found nearby. Many locals head to the Meadow Glen Mall right next to the Mystic River Reservation. Here, you find a wide variety of chain and department stores that sell apparel, electronics, health and beauty, jewelry and food items.
In the center of Medford, find High Street, filled with shops, cafes and markets from City Hall to Governors Avenue. Stop in at Modern Pastry, a family-owned Italian bakery with recipes that date back more than 150 years. Check out Grapevine Travelers for the best selection of craft beer, wine and spirits in the area.
Another small shopping plaza is the Wellington Circle Plaza next to the Meadow Glen Mall. Across the river, just off of the Assembly stop of the "T", sits Assembly Square Marketplace, one of the largest shopping centers in the region. Whether you live on the east side of the Mystic River or on the west side, expect to find a grocery store or food market within 1 mile. Look for Stop & Shop, Aldi, Costco and Whole Foods Market.
In addition to the large meadow lands in the northern part of the city, you can find several parks scattered throughout the Medford area. These include Gillis Baseball Field and McNally Playground, both close to Interstate 93. There also exists an abundance of parks along the Mystic River, including Clippership Park, the Mystic River Reservation, Dugger Park and Veterans Memorial Park, all great for bike riding, walking, jogging and hiking.