Located in Somerville, a few miles northeast of downtown Boston, the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Union Square has escaped its industrial roots and is today a thriving commercial centre, popular with young families keen to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Dotted with beautiful historic homes, the district has plenty of character and charm, while a healthy sprinkling of shops, bars and restaurants add to the buzzing atmosphere.
If you’re planning a visit to the Boston area and like the idea of staying in one of the desirable suburbs, we’ve picked out 7 great reasons why you may want to consider Union Square as your neighbourhood of choice.
1. The Tango Society
For more than two decades, The Tango Society has provided a community setting for Tango lovers to come together and share their passion for the iconic dance style, promoting Tango as a dance and its culture in the Somerville and Boston area. With members spanning dozens of countries, the non-profit society is a truly international place that welcomes all-comers, whether you’re a Tango novice or veteran, to participate in weekly Tango dances, seminars hosted by acclaimed Tango teachers, socials with live music and – perhaps the society’ flagship event – the Annual Boston Tango Festival in June each year. Classes are offered during the day, weeknights and weekends.
2. Taza Chocolate Factory Tours
Anyone with a sweet tooth will want to visit the Taza Chocolate Factory, which offers tours of its facilities as well as a chance to sample the delectable stone ground chocolate that’s produced here. Visitors can view the chocolate grinding process and explore the site’s depositing room, while a dedicated team of Chocolate Guides will be on hand to answer questions and join you in tasting some of the mouth-watering choccy.
3. Loyal Supply
If you’re a design-conscious type and on the lookout for gifts or souvenirs to take back home from your trip to Boston, this trendy store is almost guaranteed to house something that takes your fancy. Having grown into something of a Somerville institution since opening its doors in 2014, the shop continues to attract lovers of stunning craftsmanship with its assortment of unique gifts and home goods, with anything from local pennants to greeting cards hand printed on their 1911 letterpress.
4. Aeronaut Brewing Company
Founded by scientists and engineers with a passion for experimentation and innovation in the field of beer production, Aeronaut is a craft brewery that sits at the epicentre of the region’s burgeoning craft scene. The location comprises a main Brewhouse, a lively taproom, and a laboratory where intricate alchemy serves to fine-tune the brewing process. Overall, the brewery’s mission is to produce world class beer, amplify the voice of the local beer brewing community, and support local arts and cultural endeavours.
5. Hub Comics
Whether you’re new to the world of comic books or a long-time devotee, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer diversity of comics and graphic novels on display at this popular store. Unlike most comic book outlets, Hub takes a bookstore-style approach, organising its material by genre, allowing shoppers to peruse the all-ages section, pick up a recent issue of a favourite Marvel or DC title, or sample the newest “it” graphic novel from the Non-Fiction and Alternative sections. The shop also holds frequent in-store events, including art shows, author signings and movie nights.
6. The Comedy Studio
The Comedy Studio has been a mainstay of Boston’s vibrant comedy scene for decades, helping launch the career of a number of famous mirth-makers and providing both locals and visitors alike with the chance to enjoy a rib-tickling night out. A couple of years ago the venue moved from the city centre to the bustling Bow Market in Union Square, where it continues to attract the best up-and-coming comedy acts from across the Boston area and beyond.
Savour a wide range of exotic, artfully made cocktails and eclectic bar snacks at this award winning cocktail bar that’s widely regarded as one of Union Square’s most hip and happening nightspots. Combining a top notch food and drinks menu with an eye-catching décor decked out with an array of brilliant street art, the popular bar offers visitors the ultimate neighbourhood night out.
By Paul Joseph