Nonantum, often called the New England town with its own language, is a very culture-rich neighborhood. It has kept its Italian-American identity, which residents celebrate during annual street festivals like the St. Mary of Carmen Festival in July. This neighborhood is also known for its Christmas celebration, complete with park lighting and a 20-foot Santa statue. The main commercial area lies between Adams Street and Faxon Street on Watertown Street and includes several of Katherine’s favorite places like Olivia’s Bistro, Moldova Authentic Restaurant, Nonantum Boxing Club, Greentail Table, and Pleasant Car Care.
The Newton Highlands is an eclectic neighborhood with a mix of old and new. Once described in the Newton times as “Victorian coziness and sensual hodge-podge”, you will find a main street full of unique shops, restaurants, and antiques as well as Northland, a redevelopment project located at the end of Needham Street and Oak Street in Newton Highlands. The Northland project is a mixed-use redevelopment project. The highlands are also home to Crystal Lake, a great pond open for both swimming and swimming lessons. There’s a bathhouse on site and lifeguards for safety with designated areas based on swimming abilities.
Named after an Algonquin chief, the Waban area is easily accessible via the Green line of MBTA. This makes Waban an ideal village for commuters. It is an architecturally diverse area, boasting 19th century Queen Anne and Shingle style homes as well as 20th century Colonial Revival, Tudor, and Craftsman homes. Locals enjoy Cold Spring Park farmers market in the spring and fall.
Newton Centre is Newton’s largest village and the downtown area of Newton. It features upscale shopping and is home to Newton City Hall. The Newton Centre Green, the village’s town green space, is also located here. Two museums, The Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds and The Jackson Homestead and Museum are popular attractions in Newton Centre. There are Ethnic Festivals on the Green on Sunday evenings. Boston College’s law school is located in Newton Centre.
Katherine’s top picks in Newton Centre include the Little Big Diner, JP Licks, Sycamore, Farmstead Table, Johnny’s Luncheonette, Jake’s Falafel Corner, Bill’s Pizzeria, and Rosenfeld’s Bagels. Her other favorites are MiniLuxe and Mr. Sid, a notable men’s apparel shop in the Boston area.
Newton Corner is home to the oldest European settlement in the city. It features many beautiful homes and borders Brighton and Watertown. The best-known landmark in Newton Corner is the hotel that was built over the Mass Turnpike, which is currently owned by the Crown Plaza. Newton Corner is home to Newton Country Day School, a private school for girls.
Like many of the city’s other villages, Newtonville is home to a historic district. Primarily residential, the heart of the village is home to some commercial businesses. The village center is a large commercial hub bisected by the Massachusetts Turnpike with businesses clustered on Washington and Walnut Street. Newtonville is also home to one of the city’s two high schools, Newton North High School.
Sitting on the east bank of the Charles River, Newton Upper Falls is named for its spot on the falls. This village has over 150 houses on the historic register and features many homes in the Greek Revival, Late Victorian, and Gothic Revival styles. There are plenty of walking, running, and cycling paths in Newton Upper Falls. This village is home to the Echo Bridge pedestrian walkway, is walking distance from the Needham Street corridor, and also has the Upper Falls Greenway, a safe, car-free trail for walking, jogging, bicycling, and general recreation. Hemlock Gorge, a scenic riverside area, is also nearby. Virgilio’s Echo Bridge Restaurant and the Biltmore Grill are two of Katherine’s favorite eateries in the Upper Falls village.
Newton Lower Falls gains its suburban feel from parks, the Charles River, and a public golf course. Canoe or kayak in the Charles or visit Nahanton Park, approximately 57 acres of forest, gardens, and meadows along the river. This village claims more than 150 homes on the historic register and is home to the Echo Bridge pedestrian walkway. The Falls Ball, a popular event where local bands play to support the Hamilton Community Center, is also held annually in the Newton Lower Falls.
Oak Hill, the southernmost of the Newton Villages, is the most suburban. In fact, this area remained semi-rural through the 1940s. Due in part to its late development, Oak Hill has much more open space than many of Newton’s other villages. It is home to Newton South High School, Brown Middle School, and Oak Hill Middle Schools.
Thompsonville, the smallest of the Newton villages, offers an urban-suburban mix feel. Real estate in this village consists primarily of medium to large-sized single-family homes as well as high rise apartments. Although it is home to fewer historic homes than some of the other villages, there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.