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Summer in the City Sizzles

Lowell Abounds With Adventure, Fun, Culture

Concert at Lowell's Boarding House Park


Lowell offers a bounty of summer activities, from kayaking to fishing to music festivals to culinary adventures. The Lowell Summer Music Series, for example, brings more than two dozen shows to Boarding House Park each summer for downtown concerts under the stars. Below are some of the summertime activities not to be missed in the Mill City.
2017 Lowell Folk Fest logo

A City of Festivals

Lowell is proud to play host to several unique festivals that bring the community together and draw visitors from across the country. Each August, the Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival, which attracts up to 50,000 people each year, is an opportunity to experience Southeast Asian culture, foods, crafts and dragon boat races. For music and food lovers, the Lowell Folk Festival is a three-day spectacular in late July filled with performers from around the world and a bounty of food offerings.
Mill No. 5 hallway

Mill No. 5

A magnet for hipsters of all stripes, Mill No. 5 is a refurbished redbrick – you guessed it – mill in downtown Lowell that features a cluster of independent shops, artisanal food vendors, a yoga studio, an art movie theatre and performance space. You’ll find weekly events including a farmers market, live music and themed flea markets and art shows.
UMass Lowell boathouse from river

UMass Lowell Boathouse

UMass Lowell's Bellegarde Boathouse is home to the Kayak Center where you can rent kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards to venture out on your own or participate in guided paddles at sunset or during the evenings to catch stunning sunsets on the Merrimack.
Markos food truck

Foodie’s Delight

As a city with a proud history of immigrants from all over the world, Lowell is home to numerous ethnic eateries. Diners can feed on Cambodian, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, French fare and more. Dying for spicy wings? Head to Simply Khmer on Lincoln Street. Got a hankering for Chinese food? Visit the Eggroll Café by North Campus. Hungering for falafel? Find Marko’s Mediterranean Grill on Thorndike Street. From food trucks to white-linen dining, Lowell’s restaurant scene has got you covered.
Lowell Summer Music Series logo

Music to Your Ears

The Lowell Summer Music Series, presented by the Lowell National Park and the Lowell Festival Foundation, brings dozens of blues, rock, folk, Celtic and reggae concerts to Boarding House Park each summer. From June through September the likes of Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy, Stephen Stills, Melissa Etheridge, Vince Gill, Trombone Shorty and Amos Lee have performed under the city stars. Grab your lawn chair and blanket and check it out.
Sign at Lowell National Park Visitor Center

Living History

Not many cities can lay claim to a National Historical Park within their borders, but Lowell is one of them. Lowell National Historical Park has preserved the city’s legacy as the hub of the Industrial Revolution and showcases its central role as a technology innovator as the country’s first planned city. Visit the Boott Mills to experience the roar of looms turning out cotton or take a canal tour for a front-row view into the city’s past. Want to be outside? Check out the Lowell Walks series for its Saturday sessions throughout the summer.

Jack Kerouac

Kerouac Park

Literature lovers flock to Lowell to visit the hometown of Beat writer Jack Kerouac. Lowell honors this famous native son with a park on Bridge Street that stands near the mills and the banks of the Merrimack River, two enduring images in Kerouac’s Lowell-based novels. The memorial consists of granite stones inscribed with excerpts from Kerouac’s writing, and stone benches that offer a tranquil oasis for picnics, relaxing and artistic inspiration. To quote Ti Jean himself, “Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.”
LeLacheur Park in Lowell

Play Ball!

Lowell is home to the Boston Red Sox single A minor league affiliate team the Lowell Spinners, who play at LeLacheur Park, right in the middle of East Campus. The ballpark, which is also the home field for the UMass Lowell River Hawks baseball team, is a great place to see future stars in action for $10 or less. In fact, more than 100 former Spinners have moved up the big leagues, including Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Hanley Ramirez. Every game features a different theme and giveaways and the fans are part of the action.
Fish on line

Fishy Business

Grab your rod and tackle box and get a freshwater fishing license -- free for those under 18 or over 70 -- via MassFishHunt or check out where to get one in person. The Merrimack River and Lowell's canal system offer great fishing for carp, Northern pike and large and small mouth bass, among others species.
Bikers in Lowell

Bruce Freeman Rail Trail

The city has plenty of green space to explore. The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is a great place to get outside, either by bike, skates or on foot. The trail starts in Lowell and travels through Chelmsford, Westford and other neighboring towns, eventually leading all the way to Framingham. In the past years, the city has added bike lanes to many of its downtown and neighborhood streets, making urban biking easier and safer.
Pawtucket Gatehouse on Merrimack River in Lowell

The Mighty Merrimack

The most distinctive geographical feature of Lowell is the mighty Merrimack River, which offers abundant opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming and relaxation. Take a run along the paths that line the river and grab a frozen treat from Orchard Hill Ice Cream or Heritage Farm Ice Cream & Restaurant -- two spots along the river -- and watch the sunset.
Closeup of feet in sneakers

Run, Lowell, Run

Feeling fleet of foot? If running is your thing, Lowell road races are for you. Check out all the 5K road races in the city this summer The Splash and Dash Race on Aug. 6 includes a road race and Merrimack River swim. Looking for a greater challenge? Consider the Mill City Triathlon on Aug. 13, complete with both Olympic and Sprint races of swimming, running and biking.