Known for its importance in the American Industrial Revolution, Lowell is a city rich in turn-of-the-century history and natural beauty. As the birthplace of painter James McNeill Whistler, and author Jack Kerouac, this city boasts its fair share of famous sons as well. Here are the top 10 things to do in Lowell, MA.
Mill No. 5 makes its home in the most unassuming of locations, yet one of the most characteristically Lowellian. On the fourth floor of an abandoned textile factory near Lowell’s downtown, find a variety of trendy enterprises, offering everything from a crafts and farmers markets, to an indie movie house and even a video game company. Mill No. 5 is a great in-the-know shopping center, which attracts Bostonians and New Yorkers for its refreshing variety.
Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson St #402, Lowell MA, USA, +1 978-656-1828
Set in a 19th century, classic Greek revival-style building in Lowell’s historic downtown, The New England Quilt Museum is a realized dream of a community of quilting enthusiasts, intended to further the goals of preserving the region’s rich heritage in this rare craft. Offering an extensive collection of historical and contemporary quilts, this museum is a great stop off for the craft enthusiast, and a great starting point to learn more about this once popular, and characteristically American craft.
New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck St, Lowell MA, USA, +1 978-452-4207
Often, the best adventures are the ones had enjoying a destination’s natural surroundings. The Merrimack River in Lowell offers such an experience, and with the help of the UMass Lowell Kayak Center, located at the university boathouse, such an experience really becomes possible.
Few bars can boast the same longevity that The Worthen House can. Built in 1834, this establishment is the oldest of its kind in Lowell, and proud of it! It’s pressed tin ceiling, unique artifacts and its legendary history of serving personages like Edgar Allen Poe and Jack Kerouac give this bar an advantage over all the others in town. Come here and try the Raven Potion, a drink celebrating the legend of Poe’s classic: The Raven.
The Worthen House Café, 141 Worthen St, Lowell MA, USA, +1 978-459-0300
Love him or hate him, Jack Kerouac did in fact contribute a great deal to American literature, despite his popular perception while he lived. Born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac in Lowell in 1922, a member of the prominent French-Canadian population living in the city and working its textile mills, he is buried at Edson Cemetery, along with his wife Stella.