town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States

Reading is a town of 26,000 people (2020) in Greater Boston. Reading played an active role in the American Revolutionary War. It was prominently involved in the engagements pursuing the retreating British Army after the battles of Lexington and Concord, and has a few sites associated with the Revolutionary Era.

Get in Edit

Map of Reading (Massachusetts)

By car Edit

Interstate 93 and 95 runs along the border of Reading, you can take the exits off onto Route 129 or Route 28 to travel into town. Traffic on the highway does get quite heavy during rush hour.

By public transit Edit

The MBTA Commuter Rail (Haverhill/Reading Line) goes through here with a station in the town center. The station is also the terminus of the MBTA's 136/137 bus route.

Get around Edit

Downtown Reading
Parker Tavern

The town is very neatly condensed around its main street, so once you're in town, you're pretty close to everything. The streets are in good condition in some places, while other roads are riddled with potholes and other relatively minor problems. The local phone book (not the Yellow Pages) has a map of the town on its back cover. Ask about the phone book at the town hall by the Old South Church in the town square.

Bikers be warned: there isn't much room for cyclists who want to ride on the road, the terrain is hilly, and drivers generally aren't very considerate of cyclists on major roads such as Main Street.

See Edit

  • 1 Parker Tavern, 103 Washington Street, +1 781 944-2957. A house dating back to colonial times. It is a frequent field trip destination for the town's elementary schoolers, and it provides short tours during the more temperate times of year (Fall, Spring, and Summer).    
  • 2 St. Athanasius Parish Church, 300 Haverhill St. Mass Su 10AM, Tu, Th 9AM, Sa 4PM. The roof of this catholic church was designed by Louis A. Scibelli and Daniel F. Tulley in 1959, and is one of the largest hyperbolic paraboloids in the Western Hemisphere. The pouring of the concrete roof was done in one day.
  • 3 Stephen Hall House, 64 Minot St. Historic house 1-1/2 story wood frame house was built in the 1850s, and is one of Reading's best examples of Gothic Victorian residential architecture    
  • 4 Capt. Nathaniel Parker Red House, 77–83 Ash St. Built sometime before 1755 and originally a town tavern, the house was a meeting place for notable American Revolutionaries.    
  • 5 Burbank Ice Arena, 51 Symonds Way, +1 781-942-2271. M Th 11AM-1PM, Tu W F noon-2PM, Su 4-5:15PM. Indoor skating rink open to the public. Pro shop, snack bar, restrooms. $8, children and seniors $6. Skate rentals $7.

Do Edit

By all accounts, there is little to do in Reading but go elsewhere.

Joking aside, there is the plaza on Walkers Brook Drive; the Jordan's furniture store there has an IMAX theater.

Buy Edit

  • 1 Comically Speaking, 575 Main St, +1 781-944-9636. M-Sa 10AM-6PM Su noon-5PM. A good comic shop for the buyer interested in superhero comics and the like.

Eat Edit

  • 1 Bagel World, 323 Main St, +1 781-942-2442. 6AM-3PM daily. By far the most popular bagel shop in town (and there are several!). Expect a lot of high school students on weekdays and expect a huge crowd on Sunday mornings. The prices are reasonable and the service is prompt.
  • 2 Cafe Capri (Reading Plaza), 355 Main St, +1 781-944-9898. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-8:45PM. It makes good ravioli, steak, and pizza, and delivers all three to locations throughout Reading. When dining in, service is good, and there is rarely a massive crowd.
  • 3 Mandarin Reading, 296 Salem St, +1 781-942-8200. noon-9:30PM daily. It offers the best in Chinese and Japanese food in an elegant restaurant setting, certainly fit for business lunches. During the week, they offer a lunch buffet which includes many Chinese dishes, sushi, and deserts. Mandarin also has two great bars: one for sushi, one for drinks. The staff is friendly and the wait times are usually quite reasonable. On Fridays, the wait for lunch is typically long and parking is hard to find.

Drink Edit

  • 1 Venetian Moon, 680 Main St, +1 781-944-3633. M Tu 4:30-9PM, W Th 4:30-10PM, F Sa 4:30-11PM. The martini bar is a popular place to get a drink in Reading.

Sleep Edit

No lodging services have been listed. However, neighboring Wakefield and Woburn have a number of hotels.

Go next Edit

Routes through Reading
PeabodyWakefield  N    S  WoburnWeston
LawrenceNorth Reading  N   S  StonehamBoston
ChelmsfordWilmington  W   E  WakefieldLynn
HaverhillWilmington  N   S  WakefieldBoston

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