Nearest big city: Lowell
With a picturesque center that absolutely begs for residents to take a stroll, this New England town combines colonial architecture with a serene backdrop of apple orchards and ponds.
Along Main Street you’ll find the J.V. Fletcher Library. Constructed in the late 1800s, the building is still used as Westford’s Public Library, and the town is applying for grants to complete major renovations within a few years. The plan would maintain the historic facade but update other sections of the building.
Further west, in what used to be a general store, Muffins on Main offers the “French Breakfast,” a delightful-looking nutmeg muffin rolled in cinnamon sugar, among other bready treats. The Westford Historical Society and Museum is right around the corner. Housed in a former schoolhouse, it is open most Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.
Westford boasts more than 2,000 acres of conservation land and a ski area. The town economy was once reliant on farms and wool mills. Now, it’s home to outposts of software companies like Red Hat and Ribbon Communications and has seen a 12% increase in its population since the 2010 census. — Ana Lucia Murillo