Today, I’m kicking off a new series that will be released throughout the summer, focusing on popular neighborhoods for Brandeis students living off campus. Finding the right apartment and neighborhood to call your home for the next few years can often feel like a challenge, so in this series, I’ll explore some of the best places to live near the university, highlighting the unique characteristics and attractions of each neighborhood. Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a returning student looking for a new place to live, this series will provide valuable insights to help you find the perfect home away from home. First up: Waltham!
Distance from campus: .25 – 2.5 miles away, depending on where you live
Distance to Boston: ~9 miles
Average rent: $1,750 for a studio; $2,395 for a one bedroom; $2850 for a two bedroom ($1,425 per person); $3,250 for a three bedroom ($1,083 per person); $3,800 for a four bedroom ($950 per person)
Transportation: Waltham is served by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which operates commuter rail, bus, and subway services throughout the greater Boston area. The Waltham station on the Fitchburg Line provides commuter rail service to downtown Boston, with trains running every hour during peak times. The MBTA bus system also has several routes that run through Waltham, connecting residents to neighboring towns and cities. For those who prefer to drive, Waltham is conveniently located near several major highways, including I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) and I-95/Route 128. These highways provide easy access to Boston, Cambridge, and other surrounding towns.
Restaurants: Waltham is known for its diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and bars, catering to every taste and budget. Moody Street, in particular, is known for its wide variety of dining options, including Italian, Asian, and American cuisine. Some of the most popular restaurants in Waltham include Deep Ellum, Sweet Basil, In a Pickle Restaurant, Lizzy’s Ice Cream and The Chateau.
Outdoor activities: The city is surrounded by several parks and nature reserves, including the Waltham Riverwalk, the Charles River Greenway, and the Beaver Brook Reservation. These offer miles of trails for hiking, biking, and walking. The Charles River is also a great place to kayak, paddleboard, or fish.
Entertainment: Waltham is home to several art galleries, including the Robert Treat Paine Estate’s Gallery 121, which features rotating exhibits of contemporary art, and the Waltham Mills Artist Association, which showcases the work of local artists. For music lovers, Waltham is only a short train ride away from venues like Roadrunner, Brighton Music Hall, and Paradise Rock Club, but Waltham also has venues of it’s own, including The Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, which features a variety of music events throughout the year, and the Watch City Brewing Company, which hosts weekly live music performances. Waltham is also host to several yearly festivals, including the Watch City Steampunk Festival, Spring Fest, and the Phantom Gourmet Food Festival.
In short, Waltham is an affordable and easily accessible city with a diverse range of restaurants, outdoor activities, and easy transportation options. Its proximity to Boston and other surrounding towns makes it an ideal place to live for those who want to enjoy the suburban lifestyle while still having easy access to urban amenities. Plus, you can’t beat that short travel time to Brandeis’ campus!