Right outside of Boston, MA is Brookline, a smaller town close to the big city. This city was established in 1638 and was the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy. This little town offers plenty of historic sites to visit as well as exotic cuisine from around the world. With a population of over 58,000, Brookline is a great place to stay if you’re visiting the city of Boston but want a suburban feel. The city of Brookline is home to large Jewish and Greek Orthodox communities.
1.John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site
© NPS Photo
For those interested in stepping into the birth home of President John F. Kennedy, his mother, Rose, has lovingly restored that home to its former state. Guests to the home will be ushered into the basement, where they will find a gift shop. Afterward, the guests can take a self-guided or ranger-guided tour through the home. Though the top floor has not been renovated and is used as attic space, the remainder of the home, including servants’ quarters, has been restored to about the exact time of JFK’s birth (which was at home). Guests can see actual artifacts that belonged to the family, as well as family photos throughout the home.
83 Beals Street, Brookline, MA 02446, Phone: 617-566-7937
2.Larz Anderson Park
Massachusettes summers are fairly short, so when you have good weather, consider getting to one of the local parks to enjoy some outdoor fun. Larz Anderson Park is the largest park in Brookline, and because of its size, it offers great views of Boston at the top of the hill. Visitors can enjoy picnics and hikes on the grounds. Along with a baseball field, there is a community garden, a playground, and a dog park. If you’re visiting in the colder months, you can still enjoy the park. There is an outdoor skating rink on site every winter.
Goddard Avenue & Newton Street, Brookline, MA 02445, Phone: 617-879-5650
3.Coolidge Corner Theatre
Built in 1906 as a church, Coolidge Corner Theatre became a privately-owned cinema in 1933. Since it’s designation, it has split the one screen into four different screens. Today’s patrons can enjoy several movie selections, as they rotate. Coolidge Corner shows documentaries, indie films, animation, and new releases. If you’re interested in going, check out the large listing of shows on their website. Often, they label movies by group, for instance: new releases, cinema jukebox, off the couch, box office babies, and after midnite. These are just a few of the programs offered, so you’ll always want to check back.
290 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446, Phone: 617-734-2501
4.Larz Anderson Auto Museum
© Larz Anderson Auto Museum
As part of the Larz Anderson Park, you’ll find the Larz Anderson Auto Museum at the Anderson Carriage House. Visitors can experience the largest auto collection in America only ten minutes away from Boston. Special programs are held throughout the month, so no matter when you visit, you’re bound to have a great time. Consider checking out a themed car day, like the British Car Day or the American Car & Truck Day. Visit the lawn shows on the weekends, or take part in cars & coffee Sunday mornings, where car-enthusiasts meet to admire and talk cars while sipping fresh coffee.
15 Newton Street, Brookline, MA 02445, Phone: 617-522-6547
5.Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
© NPS Photo
Frederick Law Olmstead was the world’s first full-size professional landscape architect. He purchased this home and redesigned it to better suit his family’s needs. When the park was acquired by the National Park Service, it was restored to appear as it did in 1930. Tours for visitors are open from May to September, though the gardens are open year-round. You can talk a self- or ranger-guided tour, but the Design Office is only available on a guided tour. If you’d like to visit during one of the lectures or talks, be sure to check with the Historic Site website to plan for special events.
99 Warren Street, Brookline, MA 02445, Phone: 617-566-1689
© Allandale Farm
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Allendale Farm is the place to find your spring and summer garden needs. If you’re a visitor, remember that some plants will not do well in foreign climates and soils, so purchase wisely. For all other gardening needs, Allendale has you covered. Though farming is their primary mission, visitors can check out some of the programs and events sponsored and held on the farm. For instance, Story Time on the Hill is held every Wednesday during the summer, or edible plant and knife sharpening talks and demonstrations. Visiting specialists, like fishermen, bring their specialties to sell while fresh.
259 Allandale Road, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, Phone: 617-524-1531
7.Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co.
© Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co.
Who doesn’t love pizza? When you’re ready for some wood-fired pizza, Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co. is the place to go. Plenty of fresh ingredients pull together to make the Stoked pizzas. Working with Lilliput Farms, freshly grown ingredients are delivered daily to prepare only the freshest pizzas and recipes available. If you choose to eat at this gourmet pizza place, consider checking out some of the other delights beyond the wood-fired oven, such as waffle fries with chipotle aioli, crunchy cauliflower bites, and wings. Be sure to order one of the many specialty milkshakes with your pizza. Stoked also offers gluten-free and vegan options.
1632 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446, Phone: 617-879-0707
8.Ganko Ittetsu Ramen
For a taste of Japan, head over to Ganko Ittetsu Ramen. In 2016, they were listed as one the Boston Magazine’s top new restaurants. Serving the Sapporo region’s style of ramen, guests will enjoy the wok-made recipes. Enjoy ramen noodle bowls that combine broth/sauce, ramen, and delicious ingredients. Most dishes include multiple types of meat and a 5-minute egg for added protein and creaminess. Using the Sapporo method allows the chef to heat the wok to a much higher temperature, ensuring the deepening of flavors. The tastes will be so grand that you’ll be tipping the bowl for the last drops of broth as they do in Japan.
318 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446, Phone: 617-730-8100
9.Kolbo Fine Judaica Gallery
© Kolbo Fine Judaica Gallery
As a staple in the community, Kolbo Fine Judaica Gallery has been the place to go when looking for Jewish art, also called Judaica. The wonderful thing about Kolbo is that they offer unique items for a specific set of individuals as a culture for years. Not only will you find Jewish-themed jewelry and art, but shoppers will also come across art, gifts, and decorations for specific occasions, such as Passover, Ketubot, Chanukah, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and even conversion. There are items for children, rituals, and even a wedding registry. Kolbo also has machine-made and handmade clothing for rituals and services.
437 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446, Phone: 800-238-8743
Boston Magazine voted La Morra as one of the best restaurants in Boston in 2015. Since being named the best, the people at La Morra continue to provide exceptional food and service as you might expect. When you’re hungry for some authentic Italian food, La Morra’s menu will provide Italian meals from across the region, including Nocellara olives, pesce arrostito (halibut with sundried tomato and caper sauce), ravioli di asparagi (asparagus ravioli with shrimp), or tagliatelle al ragu. When you’re ready for dessert, the rhubarb crumble or chocolate hazelnut torta are delicious options.
48 Boylston Street, Brookline, MA 02445, Phone: 617-739-0007
10 Best Things to Do in Brookline, MA
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, Photo: NPS Photo
- Larz Anderson Park, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Coolidge Corner Theatre, Photo: whyframeshot/stock.adobe.com
- Larz Anderson Auto Museum, Photo: Larz Anderson Auto Museum
- Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Photo: NPS Photo
- Allandale Farm, Photo: Allandale Farm
- Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co., Photo: Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co.
- Ganko Ittetsu Ramen, Photo: somegirl/stock.adobe.com
- Kolbo Fine Judaica Gallery, Photo: Kolbo Fine Judaica Gallery
- La Morra, Photo: andraphoto58/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: jiawangkun/stock.adobe.com