The town was settled by European colonists in 1635 as a village within the boundaries of Cambridge, Massachusetts, named Menotomy, an Algonquian word meaning "swift running water". A somewhat larger area, including surrounding land, was incorporated on February 27, 1807 as West Cambridge. In 1867, the name "Arlington" was chosen in honor of those buried in Arlington National Cemetery; the name change took effect that April 30. Mill Brook, which historically figured largely into Arlington's economy, flows through the town. In 1637 Captain George Cooke built the first mill on the brook. Subsequently, seven mills were built along the stream, including the Old Schwamb Mill, which survives to this day.
Paul Revere's famous midnight ride to alert colonists took him through Menotomy. Later on that first day of the American Revolution, more blood was shed in Menotomy than in the battles of Lexington and Concord combined. Minutemen from surrounding towns converged on Menotomy to ambush the British on their retreat from Concord and Lexington. All in all, 25 colonials were killed in Menotomy (half of all Americans killed in the day's battles), as well as 40 British troops (more than half their fatalities). The colonial soldiers are buried in Arlington's Old Burying Ground/
The Jason Russell House, a yellow colonial, is today a museum which remembers those twelve Americans, including Russell himself, who were killed in and around the house on April 19, 1775. Bullet holes are visible in the interior walls to this day.
In its early years, Arlington was a thriving farming community and had its own lettuce that was quite popular. Arlington had a large ice industry on Spy Pond from the mid-19th century until the advent of refrigeration. The farms were subdivided in the mid-to-late twentieth century. In 1979, the first spreadsheet software program, VisiCalc, was developed by Bob Frankston and Dan Bricklin in the attic of the Arlington apartment rented by Frankston. Today Arlington is largely residential, with many residents employed in Cambridge, Boston and surrounding towns.
Car. Arlington is bounded on the south by Route 2, a major transportation route allowing access to Boston and the western part of Massachusetts. Arlington is also a short distance from Interstate 93 and 95. Other major routes that go through the town are Routes 2A and 3.
Mass Bay Transportation Authority - MBTA or "the T", :
- Subway: The Red Line stops at Alewife station on the Arlington border.  From there, you can take the 67 bus which runs to Arlington Center. 
- Bus: The 77 Bus runs though Arlington on Massachusetts Avenue. 
- Commuter rail: The Fitchburg line has a stop in Porter Square.  From there you can take the 77 bus which runs through Arlington on Massachusetts Avenue. 
The Minuteman Bikeway is a well-used bicycle and pedestrian path built on a former railroad right-of-way. It connects Bedford and Lexington to the west, runs through Arlington Heights, crosses Massachusetts Avenue at Arlington Center, and leads to Alewife Station on the MBTA, making it very popular with commuters.
- Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum, 611 Massachusetts Avenue, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. W-Su, 12:00 noon – 4PM. Features the work of American sculptor, Cyrus E. Dallin (1861-1944) who lived and worked in Arlington for over 40 years. His works include the Paul Revere statue in Boston's North End and Appeal to the Great Spirit in front of Boston's Museum of Fine arts. Free. Donations welcome..
- Jason Russell House, 7 Jason Street, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sa and Su 1PM - 4PM, mid April to mid October. The Jason Russell House, built in 1740, still bears bullet holes as the site of bloody fighting on the first day of the American Revolution. British soldiers, in retreat from Lexington and Concord, shot and bayoneted Jason Russell on his own doorstep. Eleven other area Minute Men, who had gathered in Arlington, due to its strategic location, also lost their lives here in the April 19, 1775 skirmish. The Jason Russell House is attached to the Smith Museum. Admission covers both. Adults: $5.00, Children: $2.00.
- Old Schwamb Mill, 17 Mill Lane, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu & Sa 11AM - 3PM.. The Old Schwamb Mill is a continuously operating site where immigrant Puritan, Yankee, and German entrepreneurs used water power from the adjacent brook to run machines and develop a series of family-owned businesses. Today the mill continues to produce museum quality hand turned wooden oval and circular frames. Visitors can tour the facility and see how these frames are made.
- Prince Hall Mystic Cemetery, also known as the Prince Hall Cemetery, is a historic cemetery located on Gardner Street It is said to be the only remaining African American Masonic cemetery in the United States.
- Smith Museum, 7 Jason Street, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sa and Su 1PM - 4PM, mid April to mid October. Currently on exhibit in the Smith Museum is "Family Ties: 200 Years of Arlington Town Life". In 1807 West Cambridge (now Arlington) separated from Cambridge, and the exhibit celebrates the old Puritan-era settlers and the vibrant immigrant families of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Smith Museum is attached to the Jason Russell House. Admission covers both. Adults: $5.00, Children: $2.00.
- Uncle Sam Statue, A statue in Arlington Center commemorates Arlington as the birthplace of Samuel Wilson, better known as "Uncle Sam".
- Spy Pond Spy pond lies directly off the Minuteman Bikeway, less than half a mile from Arlington center. Spy pond park has a children's playground, benches and several grassy areas where you can relax and enjoy the view.
- Arlington International Film Festival, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. AIFF runs a yearly film festival in the Fall and sponsors other film-related events year round. Films are selected that develop, promote, and increase multicultural awareness and understanding.
- Arlington Farmers' Market (Located in Arlington Center, in the Russell Common parking lot, behind Park Terrace, just off of Rte. 60/Rte 30.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. W 2PM - 6:30PM June - October. Large selections of farm fresh produce and locally raised, meat, local cheese, eggs, fish, honey, maple syrup, and flowers. Also baked goods from local area bakeries and restaurants.
- Derby Farm Flowers & Gardens, 454 Massachusetts Avenue, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M, Tu, W, F, Sa 10AM-6PM; Th 10AM-7PM; Su Noon - 5PM. Eclectic boutique offering fresh flowers, garden statuary, tools and ornaments, home furnishings and accessories, along with a selection of soaps and lotions.
- Acitrón Cocina Mexicana, 473 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mo-Th, Su 5pm-10pm, Fr-Sa 5pm-11 pm, Su 11am-2:30pm. Contemporary Mexican. Full bar.
- Flora, 190 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Mo-Fr 5:30 pm-9:30 pm, Sa 5 pm-10 pm, Su 11 am-9 pm. American. Full bar.
- Fusion Taste, 303 Broadway, ☎ . Mo-Th: 11 AM-10 PM; Fr & Sa: 11 AM-11 PM; Su, 12 PM-10 PM. Asian. Full bar.
- Menotomy Grill & Tavern, 25 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-W 4:30pm-midnight; Th-Su noon-midnight.
- Not Your Average Joe's, 645 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ . Mo-Th: 11:30am-10pm. Fr-Sa: 11:30am-11pm, Su, 12pm-10pm. Casual, contemporary American. Full bar. Part of a small chain.
- Punjab, 485 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ . Mo-Su 11 am-11 pm. Indian. Full bar.
- Retro Burger & Ice Cream, 795 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 11:30am-9pm.
- Sabzi, 352 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 12 pm-10 pm, Su 12 pm-9 pm. Persian/Iranian
- Scutra, 92 Summer St, ☎ . Mo-Th 5:30-9 Fr 5:30-9:30 Sa 5-9:30. Contemporary American cuisine.
- Tango, 464 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ , e-mail: TangoRestaurant@gmail.com. Mo-Th 5pm-10pm, Fr-Sa 5pm-11pm; Su, 4pm-9pm. Argentinian. Full bar.
- Thai Moon, 663 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Th 11:30 am-9:30 pm, Fr 11:30 am-10 pm, Sa 12 pm-10 pm, Su 12 pm-9 pm. Thai. Beer and wine only.
- Torya, 890 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ . Tu-Sa 11:30 am-2:30 pm, Tu-Th Su 5 pm-10 pm, Fr-Sa 5 pm-11 pm. Japanese, Sushi Bar.
- Tryst, 689 Massachusetts Ave., ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dinner: Mo-Th: 5pm-10pm; Fr & Sa: 5pm-11pm; Su, 4:30pm-9pm. Brunch: Sa & Su 11am-2:30pm. Contemporary American cuisine.
- Za, 138 Massachusetts Avenue, ☎ . Su - Th 11:30AM-10PM; Fr & Sa11:30AM-11PM. Inventive pizzas made with locally sourced ingredients. Beer and wine only.
Arlington's liquor laws allow alcohol to be served only with a meal. In practice this means that all bars are part of a restaurant and that after your second drink, even sitting at the bar, you'll be asked to order some food.
- Hawthorne Suites, 1 Massachusetts Avenue, ☎ , fax: .
|Routes through Arlington|
|Lowell ← Winchester ←||N S||→ Cambridge → Boston via|
|Concord ← Lexington ←||W E||→ Cambridge → Boston|
|Waltham ← Belmont ←||W E||→ Medford → Revere|