“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
This suburban enclave is roughly seven miles, a couple tax brackets and a hundred SAT points removed from downtown Boston. Newton is an independent city comprised of 13 linked villages, including swanky Chestnut Hill and several villages that confusingly share the Newtown name (Newtown Center, -Corner, -Highlands, -Upper Falls, -Lower Falls). Not surprisingly, Newton tends to confound newcomers. One wrong turn off the Massachusetts Turnpike could send you meandering down lanes lined with 17th century stone fences, manicured lawns, boarding schools and sprawling single-family homesteads. Neighborly Newtonians might point you toward beloved local landmarks, including Bulloughs Pond for ice-skating, the aptly named Newton Commonwealth Golf Course, and the Jackson Homestead, a historic stop on the Underground Railroad. After making his reputation with Manhattan's Central Park, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead lavished his attention on Chestnut Hill Reservoir. Runners hit the Reservoir's waterfront trails, training to take on Newtown's Heartbreak Hill during the Boston Marathon. Newtonian teens get their exercise trolling The Mall at Chestnut Hill for collegiate staples from J. Crew and Brooks Brothers to Apple and Tiffany's.