I worked in Waltham, MA for 2 years and have lived within a 5 minute car ride for the last decade. From the outside looking in Waltham is a different type of city. It is a nearby suburb of Boston and at first glance it can seem it simply sits in the "big city's" shadow.
I liked being so close to Boston and due to its proximity Waltham gets a very diverse speckling of cultures within its city borders. The restaurants and shops that line Moody Street offered myself and residents a wide range of options when looking to eat or buy.
Not known to many is the large educational presence in Waltham. Brandeis University and Bentely University are planted in the heart of the city and the college night life offers many options, to include taking the transit system into Boston. Also, Regis and Harvard College hug Waltham's borders.
Waltham sits smack dab in the middle of Boston and the Lexington/Concord/Bedford area of Massachusetts. I was able to enter some of this country's most historical districts inside of a 5 minute car ride. The Battlefield of Lexington Green, The Paul Revere capture spot and of course, Boston's Freedom Trail!
I am an avid history buff and Waltham, Massachusetts fed my desire for more information. I visited the "Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution", as it is known, in May of 2010. I spent 5 days there and could have spent 5 more.
There are many historical buildings to visit. My favorite was Gore Place. It is the historic county courthouse. The mansion, set on 45-acres, was built in 1806. They give guided tours, which I absolutely loved. Waltham is perfect for the person who just likes to walk everywhere. I also visited the Charles Riverwalk, which was very crowded on a Wednesday night, by people fishing, jogging, and just walking. My only complaint is that the shopping venues and restaurants were expensive.