Why should you visit Hudson, Massachusetts? Why shouldn't you visit? With a population of approximately 20,000 people, Hudson still feels like a small New England town. The multi-story brick buildings at Wood Square encircle the rotary and plaza in the center of town, capturing a moment in time, one hundred years ago, when all of the buildings were re-built after a Fourth of July fire in 1894. From the ivy-covered library to the plant-filled rotary in the plaza center, Hudson's nucleus hasn't changed much since that fire. Just two blocks away, the Hudson Historical Society's museum is located on Broad Street, in a renovated shoe mill built beside the winding Assabet River. Stopping by the museum will teach you a lot about the town. For example, did you know that Hudson was originally an American Indian settlement? Or that an astronaut and the heroine of the novel Hawaii were born here? Whether you read the book or not, you'll enjoy the Goodale House. Built in the late 1600's, it is the oldest home in town and is still owned by the Goodales, who used it as a safe house on the Underground Railroad. Once a large prosperous farm, it is worth a drive-by to see what a traditional New England farmhouse is like. In startling contradiction to the spartan Goodale home, the Jefts and Apsley Mansions reflect the wealth and opulence of Hudson's booming industrial past. Standing in the same block, they represent two contrasting, yet uniquely elegant architectural styles. The Jefts Mansion is an imposing brick Victorian on Felton Street, while the Apsley Mansion is an airy 1800's Georgian Revival on Lake Street.
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Hudson also has a wide variety of food that will satisfy every palette. Victor's '50's Diner in the main plaza is a family restaurant with an Elvis and Marilyn Monroe decor and traditional American fare. For quick and easy Italian, try the Hudson House of Pizza on Main Street. It has the best homemade pizza in town! For a more formal atmosphere, stop by Sofia's Ristorante on Main Street for authentic Italian or Chloe's for excellent French dishes. They are a little expensive, so a family of four should be wary!
After lunch, if you are looking for fun in the sun, your next stop should be Centennial Beach on Fort Meadow Reservoir. The lake, with its blue-green water, white sand, and majestic trees is a relaxing place to cool off, read a book, or do some fishing. Roller Kingdom on Coolidge St. will please the kids with its rollerskating, karaoke, and energetic atmosphere.
Hudson's added bonus is its location. A centrally-located suburb of Boston, this charming town is within easy access of any part of the state. Just an hour east of Hudson are the many attractions of Boston, including the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, the Esplanade, and the Museum of Fine Arts. If you drive an hour west, you'll find yourself in the rolling hills of the Berkshires, a favorite among nature lovers. Enjoy skiing, hiking, biking, boating, or camping along the Appalachian Trail. Just twenty minutes west of Hudson in the city of Worcester, the Higgins Armory holds the nation's largest medieval armor collection, while the Worcester Art Museum displays the largest Roman mosaic in the U.S. and Paul Revere's silverwork. There is one problem with Hudson; you might not want to leave!
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