Andover is a town in Massachusetts with a population of 37,000 (2020). It is situated at the crossroads of I-495 and I-93 in the heart of the Merrimack Valley.

Get in Edit

Map of Andover (Massachusetts)

By car Edit

Two interstates, I-93 and I-495 intersect in Andover.

By train Edit

Andover has two stops along the MBTA Haverhill Line. Andover station is near main street, academy, and many shops and restaurants. Ballardvale, on the other hand, is primarily a commuter stop with little of interest for visitors.

  • 1 Ballardvale, 195 Andover St (46 min to North Station). Accessible boarding for certain train cars. 120 parking spaces, 2 accessible. Bike racks. MBTA zone 4. $8.75 to Boston; parking M-F $4, Sa-Su $2.    
  • 2 Andover, 17 Railroad St (51 min to North Station). Accessible boarding for certain train cars. 149 parking spaces, 4 accessible. Covered bike racks. MBTA zone 5. $9.75 to Boston; parking M-F $4, Sa-Su $2.    

By bus Edit

  • MVRTA (Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority), +1 978-469-6878. Every 30 min, M-Sa 6AM-7PM. Runs several bus routes daily connecting with Lawrence. Service from Phillips Academy and hotel area by the highway. Free.

Get around Edit

See Edit

  • Andover Center for History and Culture, 97 Main St, +1 978-475-2236. W-Sa 10AM-4PM. The hours listed are for the History Center, Library, and the Archives. The Center also hosts various programs and events throughout the year. Pay what you like.

Phillips Academy Edit

  • 1 Addison Gallery of American Art, 3 Chapel Ave, +1 978-749-4015, . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. Established 1931 with a focus on American art. Don't let the price of admission fool you, this gallery boasts a strong collection of works from a range of periods and styles, although there are generally more modern pieces. Among the more popular names are: John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, and Frank Stella. If you've ever taken an art history class, you're likely to recognize something hanging on the walls during your visit. Free.    
  • Chapel Cemetery, 98 Chapel Ave. 24 hours daily. A small cemetery established around 1810. Famous for being the final resting place of Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Many come to pay their respects at her headstone. Free.
  • 2 Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology, 175 Main Street, +1 978-749-4490. By special appointment. Repository of Native American archaeology founded in 1901. Not a museum in the sense where things are laying around in glass cases. Contact the head of research and let them know what your interests are, and they can guide you to the artifacts you may find interesting.    

Do Edit

Andover features many walking trails, spanning approximately 1,100 acres of reservation land maintained by AVIS, one of the oldest conservation societies in the United States. Additionally, the Andover Bird Sanctuary, officially titled the Moncrieff Cochran Sanctuary, features pathways lined with several rhododendron species, mountain laurel, white pines, hemlocks, larch, oaks, and hickories.

  • J. Everett Collins Center For the Performing Arts, 100 Shawsheen Rd (Attached to Andover High School), +1 978-247-5562. An auditorium where groups of all ages sing, dance, act, and more. Local schools hold plays and performances here, as well as anyone willing to rent the space out for personal use. Past performers include Martin Johnson of Boys Like Girls, and Sesame Street Live.    
  • Andover Country Club, 60 Canterbury Street. The Andover Country Club is an 18-hole regulation length golf course. This medium-length layout features 4 sets of teeboxes for golfers of all skill levels.
  • 1 Harold Parker State Forest (Lorraine Park), 133 Jenkins Road. Late May - Early September. A campground containing 89 campsites. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and grill. No electric or water hookups are available, however the public bathrooms have hot water showers.    
  • 2 Ward Reservation, Prospect Road. 8am - dusk, year round. The Solstice Stones are on top of Holt Hill, the highest spot in Essex County. There are 10 miles of trails, including a boardwalk that leads to Pine Hole Pond and a quaking bog. Parking is $5 for non-members..
  • Penguin Park, Burnham Road (East of 133 and Rt. 28 Junction). Family walking through fields to the Shawsheen River. Trail follows the shore of the river to the woods. Picnicking and a toddlers' playground is also located here.
  • Andovers' Farmers Market, 97 Main Street. Late June to October, Saturdays 10AM–2PM. An outdoor market, where you can purchase vegetables, baked goods, and other crafted items on a weekly basis
  • Andover Skatepark, 80 Shawsheen Road (On the lot of West Middle School and Andover High School). A town run facility that is run by the Andover Youth Services. $8 per skater.
  • Pomps Pond, 147 Abbot Street (Part of the Recreation Park Complex), +1 978 749-9423. The pond area contains a sunbathing area, recreational swimming, shaded picnic grounds, children's playground area, a volleyball net, boat rentals, bathrooms, showers, and a concession stand. Red Cross certified swim lessons.

Buy Edit

  • Andover Bookstore, 74 Main St, +1 978-475-0143. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-4PM. Established in 1809, this three-level cozy independent bookstore covers many genres of work. Sit on the couch by the fire in winter to warm yourself over your reading selection. Hosts various events throughout the year. Also sells on consignment and offers t-shirts and other merch.
  • Royal Jewelers, 58 Main St, +1 978-475-3330. 10AM-5PM, closed Su. An independent retail jewelry store offering designer jewelry and Swiss timepieces.

Eat Edit

Budget Edit

  • Ultimate Perk, 96 Main St, +1 978-470-1401. M-Sa 6AM-3PM, Su 6AM-2PM. Coffee shop, original location, free wifi. $3-15.
  • Perfecto's Caffe, 79 N Main St, +1 978-749-7022. 6AM-2PM daily. Serves coffee, muffins, bagels, salads, sandwiches, and wraps. $3-15.
  • 1 Perry's Plate, 89 Main St, +1 978-409-1814. M 6-11AM, Tu-Sa 6AM-2PM, Su 7AM-2PM; fish fry Friday 5-7:30PM. Serves breakfast all-day and lunch starting at 11AM. Opened in January 2017, taking over from the venerable Lantern Brunch. Park in the metered lot. $10-15.
  • Shawsheen Luncheonette, 3 Lowell St, +1 978-475-9750. W-Su 6AM-1PM. Employs countless high school students and serves classic diner style breakfasts and lunches. $10-20.
  • Spinners Pizza Parlor, 195 Andover St (Ballardvale), +1 978-474-4400. 11AM-9PM, closed Su. A family-friendly restaurant offering the best in homemade, mouthwatering pizza and sub sandwiches. Adjacent to the train station. $10-20.

Mid-range Edit

  • Thai Sweet Basil, 209 N Main St, +1 978-470-8098. Noon-9PM, closed Tu. Andover's oldest Thai restaurant. $15-25.
  • Casa Blanca, 10 Main St, +1 978-289-4165. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM. An authentic small chain Mexican restaurant in the heart of downtown Andover. Upstairs location allows customers to view Main Street from their table. $15-30.
  • 2 Andover Town Market, 429 S Main St, +1 978-409-2328. M-F 7AM-7PM, Sa 8AM-7PM, Su 8AM-6PM. Offers fresh sandwiches, salads, ice cream and desserts plus prepared food to take home for dinner. It also has a market for fine foods, local items, and a selection of wines, beers, and ciders. $15-30.

Drink Edit

  • Palmers Restaurant & Tavern, 18 Elm St. Tu-Th 4-11PM, F Sa 4PM-midnight. Make reservations for dinner, otherwise just show up and see who's playing in the tavern downstairs. Dinner $20-40.

Sleep Edit

Andover's hotels are clustered immediately off I-93, just south of the Merrimack River. They've all got identical pricing and amenities, so there's no need to be choosy. They're also largely inconvenient to exploring Andover. Main Street is a few miles away, so you'll need a car to see much of anything. The Andover Inn is the exception; built on campus, it's a 15 minute walk to the downtown area.

Mid-range Edit

Splurge Edit

  • 1 Andover Inn, 4 Chapel Ave, +1 978-775-4900. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Located downtown on the Phillips Andover Academy campus. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in Samuel's restaurant onsite. $240.

Connect Edit

  • Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main St, +1 978-623-8400. M-Th 9AM-9PM, F Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. Lots of activities for children, books, and free internet access. Free.

Go next Edit

Andover is bordered by Dracut, Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, North Reading, Tewksbury, and Wilmington.

Routes through Andover
ManchesterMethuen  N   S  WilmingtonBoston
LawrenceNorth Andover  N   S  TewksburyLowell
ManchesterLawrence  N   S  North ReadingBoston
HaverhillNorth Andover  N   S  WilmingtonEND
LowellTewksbury  W   E  North AndoverGeorgetown
HaverhillLawrence  N   S  WilmingtonBoston

This city travel guide to Andover is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.