As you deal with the challenges that life throws at you, it is essential to treat yourself to special activities (“treats”) to lift your spirits. The following are a small sample of local suggestions.

Use the button at the top left of this map to toggle between sections…


  • Minuteman Bike Path: Cambridge (at Alewife T Station), Arlington, Lexington and Bedford. Approximately 11 miles total length.
  • Arlington Great Meadows: Lexington/Arlington border off the Minuteman Bike Path.
  • Robbins Farm Park: Arlington Heights across from Brackett School. At dawn for sunrise, during the day for city view, at night for city lights or stars.
  • Menotomy Rocks Park: Off Jason Street, near Route 2. This combines a pond, open field and deep woods.
  • Arlington Reservoir: Arlington Heights off Lowell Street. Approximately one mile path around. In the summer, you can swim at the beach.
  • Alewife Reservation: Starts near the T station and ends in Belmont. Side trails through the reservation along the brook and retention ponds.
  • Alewife walkway along Alewife Brook: This starts at the intersection with the Minuteman bike path as it passes under Route 2. It meanders along the brook ending at the Mystic Valley Parkway.
  • Whipple Hill: In Lexington, off Summer Street, just past McClennan Park. This deep wood and easy to get lost. Download a map off the web site.
  • Mount Gilboa: Arlington Heights off Park Avenue toward the Pierce School. Beautiful woods with great views in the winter. Don’t go up to the house as it is occupied.
  • Mystic Lakes and River: Park at Sandy Beach in Winchester, Upper Mystic Lake Dam or Duggan Park off the Mystic Valley Parkway. Watch the wildlife on the water, the many people walking and jogging and the sailboats on the Upper Mystic. In the spring, see the Alewifes as they climb the fish latter at the Upper Mystic Dam.

Tastes for the Palate

  • Quebrada: In East Arlington. All of their baked goods are wonderful, but their carrot cake is especially sinful.
  • Mamadou’s: Arlington Center across from the library. Primarily a bread bakery, but their croissants are great.
  • MA France: On Mass. Avenue, just over the line in Lexington. Their pastries are flown directly from Paris each day and their crepes are made fresh in front of you.
  • Capitol Theater Ice Cream Parlor: In East Arlington. It is open whenever the theater is open. Single scoop is only $3.25 and worth every penny. Don’t forget to ask for jimmies not sprinkles.
  • Gail Ann’s: Arlington Center on Medford Street. Their pastries make for a great breakfast and the coffee is very good also.
  • Granola Café: In Arlington Heights on Massachusetts Avenue. Their granola/fruit bowls are a special treat along with an excellent selection of pastries and coffee.

People Watching

  • Kickstand and Café Nero: Both in Arlington Center. Great variety of people doing many different things, often for hours on end.
  • Quincy Market: Downtown Boston. Best in the summer when you can sit outside and watch the world go by. Literally, you can hear a dozen languages within an hour from all the tour groups walking by.
  • Boston Common: The variety of people walking by is amazing, differently dressed, at different speeds and with many different destinations.
  • Spy Pond Park: The best location is near the playground. Here you have the added benefit of the serenity of Spy Pond.
  • Reservoir Trail with Cross Country Race: See “Trails above”. This is used by Arlington High School cross country team for their races. The HS website should have the dates and times. What is great is watching the girls and boys, varsity and junior varsity teams as they race by. Go to the area off Lowell street at the parking lot and watch how the team members who are not racing cheer on their teammates. It doesn’t matter if you are first or last, they cheer you on with wild enthusiasm. This is great soul enhancement.
  • Minuteman Bike Path: Find a bench along the path, sit back and enjoy the people as they go by. A great spot is the Uncle Sam Park in Arlington Center.
  • Alewife Red Line Station: Get a cup of joe at Dunkin upstairs and settle on a bench on the platform at rush hour. There will be quite a crowd waiting, then a train pulls in and poof, they are all gone. Then it starts all over again. You can guess what each person is, where they are going and what they are thinking. Great fun!!

A Little Shopping

  • Belmont Books and Barnes and Noble: Both serve coffee. Get a cup and browse the store. Don’t spill it and please buy a book, they need the business.
  • Book Rack in Arlington Center has both new and used books at good prices.They don’t have coffee, but the books are worth it, as is the conversation with the friendly owners.
  • Thrift Stores: The ultimate in recycling and guilt free shopping. There is a GoodWill in Davis Square and a Salvation Army store on Broadway, both in Somerville.