Often written as North Attleboro, this town on the MA/RI line near Providence is noted for its community spirit and a vital downtown area.
People come together at North Attleborough Center for a packed calendar of events, and there’s a lot of local shopping and dining to be done along Washington St here.
Away from this downtown area, U.S. Route 1 is a key commercial corridor for North Attleborough and neighboring towns, with a series of big box stores and the Emerald Square mall.
Recreation and leisure options abound at first-run and second-run theaters, the hill-top WWI Memorial Park and not one but two local zoos.
1. WWI Memorial Park and Zoo
The town’s largest park is on the wooded slopes of Sunrise Hill (Watery Hill), the peak of which is the highest point in Bristol County, at 390 feet.
Next to the main parking area you can take in a magnificent view over much of North Attleborough and parts of neighboring towns.
The origins of the zoo go back to the late-1960s and just a pair of deer. This menagerie has grown over the years to include a variety of domestic animals like goats, llamas, pot-bellied pigs, donkeys and horses, while the peacocks are free to go where they choose.
Most of these residents can be fed by hand, with carrots and apples. Kids love the playground here with its enormous slide and sandbox, and the nine-hole disc golf course in the woods is as pretty as they get.
2. North Attleborough Center
North Attleborough’s main downtown area has a lot of life, with several blocks of shops and eateries along Washington St, ending in the south at Veterans Park.
This space is framed by the modern town hall and the grand architecture of the Bristol Lodge (1927) and the Post Office (1916).
With a dainty gazebo, the park is a natural place for people to gather, for events like the Santa Parade and the weekly summer farmers’ market (more next).
Go north on the tree-lined Washington St and you’ve got restaurants for a diversity of cuisines, from Middle Eastern to Italian, as well as shops for craft supplies, comic books, deli foods, dancewear, candy, home design and ice cream.
3. North Attleborough Farmers’ Market
Backdropped by the Town Hall, North Attleborough has a popular farmers’ market, trading on Wednesdays, 5-8 pm, from mid-June to mid-October. Shopping here you can get hold of local products and give a boost to local small businesses.
Expect seasonal fruit and vegetables from the area, flowers, herbs, honey, jams, maple syrup, preserves, pet treats, coffee, plants and a wide variety of crafts, from quilts to candles.
There are food trucks if you want to pick up something for dinner, like wood-fired pizza or loaded fries.
4. North Attleborough Town Forest
In 2022 the town unveiled a new set of trails in this 80-acre parcel of woodland off Plain St. There are five different walking trails at the North Attleborough Town Forest, ranging from a quarter mile to a mile and a half in length, and named in tribute to prominent local figures.
Looping the forest perimeter and connecting with all of the other trails is the Poirier Trail, perfect for a brisk walk or run.
At the south end is a brand new dog park, on a surface of wood chips, with separate fenced areas and agility equipment for larger and smaller dogs.
5. Falls Pond
Head south from the center along U.S. Route 1 and you’ll soon come to a pair of impoundments totalling more than 110 acres and linked by a culvert under Reservoir St.
Both of these large bodies of water have public access, and are fringed by woods, wetlands and quiet residential areas.
In the north there’s a boat ramp and residents’ only beach at the end of Barbara Street, while the southernmost impoundment has a large conservation area on its western shore.
You could visit for some fishing or simply to make the most of the scenery at sunset or with a picnic on a warm day. A few of fish species recorded here in recent surveys are bluegill, largemouth bass, white perch, yellow perch and black crappie.
6. Phantom Farms
Over in Cumberland, RI, this family-owned farm has a stand open in all seasons. You can head to the renovated barn here for seasonal produce, grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, local meat, pies and other baked goods, along with jams, milk, syrup, fudge and fresh roasted coffee.
The focus changes depending on the time of year, so in spring and summer the garden center has a large assortment of plants, flowers and gardening accessories.
Then from late summer into fall, you can head into the orchard to pick your own apples, choose a carving pumpkin and take home some lovely chrysanthemums.
7. Capron Park Zoo
One of the top family attractions in the area is a short hop away in Attleboro. Capron Park Zoo was founded in 1937, and keeps around 100 animals from more than 40 species.
On a neatly landscaped eight-acre plot you’ll be greeted by exotic animals from five continents, among them white lions, lemurs, sloth bears, red crowned cranes, Visayan warty pigs and golden lion tamarins.
Inside there’s a unique nocturnal exhibit, in which day and night are reversed, while the rainforest exhibit features a diversity of tropical birds, fruit bats and a two-toed sloth.
On hot days children will love the splash pad, and one night in late June this attraction opens later into the evening, with live music and food trucks.
8. Emerald Square
By the interchange for U.S. Route 1 and I-295 there’s an enclosed mall that opened its doors in 1989.
At the time of writing, Emerald Square had a good roster of national and international chains, with a few more options in the Power Centers further south on Route 1.
As well as the anchors, Macy’s and JCPenney, there were branches of rue21, Victoria’s Secret, Hot Topic, H&M, Vans, Kay Jewelers, Hollister, Forever 21, American Eagle and Foot Locker.
The dining selection was a bit more limited, but the food court on the third floor had pitas, Thai, Japanese, pizza, and mainstays like Wetzel’s Pretzels, Auntie Anne’s and Charleys Philly Steaks.
9. North Bowl Lanes
In 2008 this 40-lane bowling alley was taken over by a couple from California, whose plan was to bring the West Coast’s entertainment-oriented bowling experience to North Attleborough.
Two remodels later, North Bowl Lanes has a state-of-the-art game room, a full bar and a brick oven baking authentic pizza.
There are specials for bowling throughout the week, and on weekend evenings you’ve got cosmic bowling until 1 am, with a glow-in-the-dark light show, music turned up, and sports and music videos playing on the projectors.
10. Showcase Cinema de Lux North Attleboro
Based in Norwood, MA, Massachusetts is the flagship state for the Showcase Cinemas brand, which has locations in four different countries.
The 12-screen multiplex in North Attleborough opened in 1996, and has made a lot of changes since that time, including opening a lobby bar, so you can now enjoy an alcoholic beverage with your movie.
All of the screens have digital projecting and cutting-edge Dolby sound, as well as ultra-comfy, power-operated leather recliners. Be sure to catch a gripping movie because a lot of people fall asleep in these seats.
11. Route One Cinema Pub
Another place to enjoy a movie in North Attleborough, this unique spot blends a second-run theater with a pub.
Since many of the releases shown at the Route One Cinema Pub have been out for a while, the tickets are always cheap.
The single screen has tables with wait staff and a full menu, so you can enjoy typical movie concessions or classic pub grub like pizza, fish & chips, burgers, chicken fingers, subs, soups and salads.
There’s a good choice of beer (bottled or draft), some of which is local to Massachusetts, as well as a wine list.
12. WWII Memorial Pool
Next to Veterans Park In North Attleborough Center there’s a public pool that was donated to the town in 1951 by WWII veterans and members of the Kiwanis Club to commemorate those who served the country in World War II.
This compact but well-maintained facility is a great local resource for all ages, and is the place where generations of North Attleborough residents have learned to swim.
In a normal season the WWII Memorial Pool is open from late June to mid or late August, for about five or six hours in the afternoon, even days a week. The entire complex was renovated in the late 00s, and as well as an ovular main pool there’s a small, rectangular “baby” pool for toddlers and young children.
13. Working Man Distillers
Whiskey connoisseurs will be pleased to know that there’s a craft distillery in North Attleborough, run by a couple who turned a love for whiskey into a profession.
Where possible, Working Man Distillers sources its ingredients from family-owned local businesses, and recently teamed up with Valley Malt, based in S. Hadley, MA.
Working Man’s spirits are poured or sold at a number of bars and stores in the area, but you can also make for the cozy tasting room/whiskey bar, open Thursday to Sunday.
The core beverages are Deadlift Rye Whiskey, finished in 30 gallon barrels from Adirondack Barrel Cooperage, Blue Collar Bourbon, a three-year Indiana Bourbon, and Firefighter’s Cinnamon, rye whiskey infused with cinnamon sticks and cane sugar.
14. Altitude Trampoline Park
In the same commercial corridor on Route 1 you’ll find an attraction providing high-energy indoor fun for children and teenagers.
Filled with bouncy surfaces, Altitude Trampoline Park offers a variety of distinct attractions, perfect for birthday parties or an hour or two of rigorous play to blow off some steam.
There’s a main court with trampolines everywhere you look, as well as performance trampolines for stunts, a designated kids’ court, a foam pit, rock wall, trapeze, dodgeball court, special lanes with hoops for slam dunks, a log roll challenge, tumble track, monkey bars and more.
15. Santa Parade
North Attleborough has several time-honored annual events, but none have been observed for quite as long as this Christmas celebration, which first took place in the 1960s.
On the last Sunday in November, the Santa Parade makes its way down North Washington St from the First Baptist Church to the Town Hall.
There’s a string of floats provided by local organizations, services and businesses, as well Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, North Attleborough High School’s marching band, cheerleaders, color guard and youth hockey team, and a lineup of vintage cars.
Santa brings up the rear, normally aboard a vintage fire truck. After the parade there’s classic holiday music at the gazebo in Veterans Park, and Santa raises the curtain on the Christmas season by lighting the tree.