The famous old mill buildings of Lowell now add charm to the city's revitalized downtown and to the neighborhoods throughout the city. Lowell is worth a trip for its thriving arts scene and its rich cultural diversity. It’s a quick 40-minute train ride from Boston, making it a great place to visit for the day or even a weekend getaway.
WHAT TO DO
Mill No. 5
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience while visiting Lowell check out Mill No. 5. The 5th floor of this old brick mill is now a streetscape with storefronts of historic buildings from throughout New England. There is a movie theater that shows indie films and old movies. There are shops, a cafe, a yoga studio, an apothecary, a farmers market, a record store and more!
Lowell National Historic Park
If you’re interested in Lowell’s water-powered textile mills visit Lowell National Historic Park. Nearly two hundred years ago they launched the nation into a new industrial era. They played a role in the immigrant migration to Lowell and early female factory workers. Experience the Boott Cotton Mills where you can see the looms that were used to make fabric, you can catch the Park Trolleys and take Canal Boat Tours down the Merrimack River.
Western Avenue is another cool place to visit in Lowell. It’s home to more than 300 working artists. They host Open Studios the first Saturday of every month from 12:00-5:00 p.m. where Western Avenue artists open their studios and lofts for you to experience their art. And what makes this experience even better is that you can wander over to Navigation brewery. It’s attached to Western Avenue and there is usually a food truck outside on the days the brewery is open.
I always like to venture into local shops when visiting new places and Humanity Boutique is a must. If you’re looking for a cute new piece to add to your wardrobe they are definitely the place to go. Also, the owner Ani Vong is awesome and super helpful.
WHERE TO EAT
Life Alive is like a little urban oasis. They are an organic cafe and offer omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, raw and gluten-free options. On Thursdays, they have live music from 6-8 p.m.
Sizzling Kitchen is an Asian Fusion restaurant located at 478 Merrimack St. in Lowell. They offer a variety of options from spring rolls to chicken parmesan, they even have macaroons! They are known for their Bibimbap dish. It’s definitely #JUGSapproved.
Lowell doesn't have very many chain coffee shops so you have to venture around to find a coffee house. If you are looking for a good pour over stop into Brewd Awakening.
They use Equal Exchange Coffee and organic coffee, espresso, and chocolate. My favorite is their nitro cold brew.
#Lowell there’s a lot to like!
Colleen Gordon is a content contributor for JUGs. You can also follow Colleen on Twitter @here_she_stands.