Quiet roads, historic farms and polo fields: Toto, are we really only 27 miles from Boston?

TOWN: Hamilton
WHAT:A pleasant, rural and well-preserved community
WHY:Unhurried hikes, walks and bike rides leave visitors relaxed and ready to explore more

I call Hamilton the sleeper of Boston's North Shore. While it doesn't have a specific claim to fame — or a go-to destination for that matter — the more time you spend in this bucolic community, the more you see. 

Rolling pastures, farmland, woods trails and lovely large old homes delight at every turn. Part of the reason for this is the extraordinary amount of acreage that is preserved in conservation trusts, Trustees of Reservations tracts and a substantial State Park. It's a testament to the generosity of Hamilton's individuals and families, and provides beautiful settings for walks, hikes, bike rides and nordic skiing.

Hamilton's center is compact and offers several notable dining options and not one, but two excellent bakeries. 

Nearby Patton Park — named for Hamilton's most famous resident, General George Patton — is a nice place to pull over and take a break. It features plenty of picnicking space, tennis courts, playing fields and yes, a Patton tank. Towards the back of the park, you'll find the entrance to the Discover Hamilton Trail, which connects with an extensive trail network. For the more adventurous, you can follow the signs and complete an 10.4-mile loop through woods and fields. And check out the 2023 Concert Series at Patton Park from late June to early August at 5PM on Sundays. Grab a pizza or sub at Hamilton House of Pizza on Railroad Street, find a seat in the grass by the bandstand and let the weekend traffic die down on 128 while you enjoy great local talent.

You may find yourself pleasantly surprised that you've enjoyed time exploring Hamilton. It has the affect on a lot of visitors!