Lowell, Massachusetts, is named after Frances Cabot Lowell, who was a mill owner and leader in the industrial revolution. This region became the cradle of technological development in the early to mid-1800s with many textile mills and factories growing up around this Boston suburb. Many of those early mills are now on the National Register of Historic Places. Lowell is also known for being home to a culturally diverse population, and this diversity is reflected in the city's art, restaurants and community festivals. Some of the festivals include February’s Winterfest, which is a celebration of winter, and the Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival, which honors the cultural heritage and food of southeast Asia. An annual marathon and half marathon take place each year in October. Lowell also contains many beautiful parks and natural geographic features. Its location at the confluence of the Merrimack and Concord Rivers includes Pawtucket Falls and an extensive canal system.
Relocating to Lowell allows you to explore the city's rich history, arts and culture. After the movers deliver your furniture, and you've unpacked your belongings, you may wish to set out and see some of Lowell's top attractions for yourself. The following list of 10 places is a great way to get started learning about Lowell's history, culture and food scene.
Lowell National Historical Park
If you like history or want to know how Lowell got its start, explore Lowell National Historical Park. This destination features some of the early textile mills and factories, several of which have been restored to look like they would have nearly 200 years ago when they were built. Lowell National Historical Park also features many beautiful and functional outdoor spaces, including stages, where performances such as the annual banjo concert take place. People in authentic period clothing perform demonstrations of how the equipment worked and what the city's residents might have been doing at the time, such as spinning wool into yarn, dyeing and knitting it. You could also enjoy some of the trails and boardwalks that have been constructed along the waterways. Lowell National Historical Park offers self-guided tours for individuals and small groups and guided tours for groups of 20 or more. (Photo Credit: https://www.nps.gov/lowe/index.htm)
Western Avenue Studios
Western Avenue Studios is a living world of art. This facility hosts more than 50 artists that live and work in the lofts and studios. There are an additional 250 studios for artists who work in the cooperative. One Saturday per month, the studios are opened so that visitors can come in and see what the artists have created. Many of them offer demonstrations of their work or answer questions about what they do. Western Avenue Studios also features a cooperative artist-run gallery, where you could shop for a piece of art to decorate your new home. The stage in the Onyx Room provides space for concerts, comedy shows, performances by dance troupes and other events.
Boarding House Park
Boarding House Park is a centrally located green space that provides Lowell residents with grassy areas on which to picnic and play. This park also is the site of the annual Lowell Folk Festival, which takes place each summer and features folk music bands, and hosts a yearly summer concert series. Concessions are available during the concerts. Boarding House Park includes the Boott Mills complex, which was part of the original industrial revolution-era textile mill that was on the site. The boarding house of the young women who worked in the mills is located at the back of the park behind the Boott Mills complex. Occasionally, tours of the mills and boarding house are available.
If you like minor league baseball, then a visit to LeLacheur Park is in order. This ballpark is the home of the Lowell Spinners, a minor league baseball team. The park sells plenty of concessions, so you can munch on the traditional hot dog or bag of peanuts or popcorn as you enjoy the game. You can purchase tickets for one game or the entire season of home games. LeLacheur Park also hosts other events when the Lowell Spinners are not at home for a game. Concerts and other celebrations take place at the stadium from time to time. You can also pick up some baseball-related souvenirs or apparel while taking in a game.
UMass Lowell Kayak Center
If you are up for an outdoor adventure, then a trip to the UMass Lowell Kayak Center is a natural choice. This facility provides kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards for rent. You can enjoy them on the local rivers and waterways during the summer. The UMass Lowell Kayak Center puts together tours and hosts special events, which can enable you to become familiar with the local rivers and canals that permit water sports. If you are new to kayaking, the UMass Lowell Kayak Center offers instructional sessions on a quarterly basis. Registration for classes is on a first-come, first-served basis. (Photo Credit: https://www.uml.edu/CampusRecreation/Kayak-Center/default.aspx)
Back Page Lowell
When you want to go out for a night on the town, Back Page Lowell is the place to go. This nightclub features soul, blues and jazz performances as well as the occasional country and rock and roll band. You might be able to catch a comedy show or an improv performance on Friday or Saturday nights. Popular bands fill up the place quickly, so be sure to get there early to reserve your spot. A schedule of planned performances is regularly updated on their website. Back Page Lowell is also a full-fledged bar, and you can order locally made craft beers, artisan brews and seasonal ales. If beer is not your thing, there are other adult beverages and nonalcoholic drinks available. Back Page Lowell also serves light appetizers to satisfy your appetite.
Enjoy an elegant dinner for two at Cobblestones restaurant. Widely known for incredible hand cut steaks, burgers, local seafood and oysters on the 1/2 shell, 24 years’ worth of Chef created specialties, classic American cocktails and dozens of locally crafted beers. Equally suited for casual tavern fare or special private dining celebrations. “A must” in the Merrimack Valley. Kitchen Hours: Mon–Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. (Award winning Sunday Brunch @ 10:45am) Bar until midnight Fri. and Sat. Enjoy a dinner for two at Cobblestones restaurant.Reservations are recommended, especially if you are visiting on a weekend or holiday. The menu at this chic dining establishment reflects the local specialties of seafood with options such as grilled mahi-mahi and shrimp scampi. If you're more of a meat and potatoes lover, you should order the grilled Texas tips or center-cut New York sirloin, both of which are accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes. There are separate late-night and lunch menus as well. Weekend brunches are some of the restaurant's busiest times. You could enjoy a made-to-order omelet, eggs Benedict or a Belgian waffle. There is also a tap room and a full beer and wine menu.
Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Experience some of the nation's best theater performances at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. This venue hosts beloved productions such as Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" as well as off-Broadway hits and plays written by local writers. Season tickets are available for each year's performances, or you can select tickets for specific performances that you want to see. The theater also offers acting lessons and youth workshops. The goal of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable cultural performances.
Life Alive is an urban cafe that specializes in whole, sustainable and organic foods. The restaurant's menu contains healthy and nutritious food that delights the palate and satisfies the appetite. Some of their specialties include smoothies, such as the Love Alive smoothie made with blueberries, strawberries, banana, dates, chia seeds and almond milk. Freshly pressed juices, salads, vegan wraps, sandwiches and grilled wraps are also available. Sides such as fresh carrot or sesame sticks can be paired with their seasonal iced and hot teas. Life Alive also offers catering for special events. (Photo Credit: https://www.lifealive.com/)
When you are in the mood for Greek food, visit the Olympia Restaurant. Family-owned and -operated since 1952, this eatery features lemon chicken and rice soup, gyros and grilled wraps for a light lunch or dinner. You could also try their freshly baked pita bread with Kalamata olive paste, fried calamari or spinach pie with feta cheese. There is also a full wine list available. Olympia Restaurant also offers a separate take-out menu. They offer event catering and have a specialty menu for their banquet services.
Moving to a new home or apartment in Lowell, MA, could be an overwhelming experience. Once you have settled into your new place, unpacked and met the neighbors, you may feel ready to get out and explore your new surroundings. This ready-made list of places to visit can help you to experience some of the best of what Lowell has to offer. Each of these restaurants and destinations highlights something unique and fun about the area’s culture. You could bring along a friend, partner or family member and visit each destination on the list, trying out new food or activities. As you visit each place, enjoy the adventure as you get to know your new city.