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The 20 Best Places to Live in Boston


As the state capital of Massachusetts, Boston is a large and diverse city. This means that the neighborhoods in the city and the surrounding area vary significantly. While some areas offer an amazing lifestyle to its residents, others are not so popular. There are various factors that make areas an appealing area to live, including crime rates, schools, outdoor spaces, work, transport links, amenities, leisure activities, housing, and living costs, and the overall lifestyle experience. Depending on personal circumstances, people will rank these factors in different orders of priority. Considering all factors, the following are the 20 best places to live in Boston.

20. West Cambridge

According to Area Vibes, high-quality public schools are a major attraction to families that want to live in a good school district. Young professionals are also drawn to this area because of the varied employment opportunities. The many amenities in this area are another positive element of living in West Cambridge. This is generally considered a very safe neighborhood in which to live.

19. Belmont

Belmont is a suburb of Boston with a population of around 26 thousand. The area has a dense suburban feel, and it is a location that attracts families. The public schools in this suburb are highly rated, so many parents want to live in this zip code to get access to a good education for their children. There are also lots of activities for families in this area. There is a diverse community and the area is considered safe as the crime rates are low compared to other areas of Boston. Other good aspects of life in Belmont are the good transport links, the health and fitness facilities, the outdoor spaces, the nightlife, and the employment prospects. Overall, this suburb can offer an excellent lifestyle.

18. Central Boston

The amenities are probably the main reason to choose to live in this area, as there are multiple shops, restaurants, bars, and community facilities. This means that everything is located nearby, which adds an element of convenience to the lives of residents in this area. It is popular with young professionals because there are lots of job opportunities in a diverse range of industries. The safety in the area is on a par with the average for Boston, so safety is not a big concern. Affordability is the biggest issue with living in this area as both property prices and the cost of living are high.

17. Fort Point

Fort Point, Seaport, and Innovation District have come together to form one community. The area has improved greatly in recent years and is still up and coming. It is currently considered one of the most happening places, and it attracts lots of people. It attracts everyone from empty nesters to young professionals as there is something for everyone. All the amenities are close to hand, so most people get around by bike. However, there are solid public transport links that give you easy access to other parts of the city. There is an outstanding dining scene and plenty of bars for socializing. On the downside, renting properties is expensive in this area and you can expect to pay more than $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.

16. West Roxbury

Like many areas of Boston, the downside of living in West Roxbury is the cost of living and the high property prices. However, Home Snacks says that this area still has plenty to offer that make the cost worthwhile. One of the most important points to make is that this is one of the safest neighborhoods in Boston as the crime rates are exceptionally low. The fact that there are plenty of amenities is another appealing feature. A further reason to consider this area is that unemployment is low and there are employment prospects in West Roxbury and the surrounding area.

15. Jamaica Plain

According to a post on LinkedIn, Jamaica Plain has a diverse community that has a vibrant atmosphere. The housing is cheaper than in Fenway or Back Bay, with options varying from condos to family homes. It has a slower pace than many other Boston neighborhoods, and there is natural beauty thanks to the Emerald Necklace parks that make this one of the greenest areas in the city. Jamaica Plain is also home to some of the best attractions in Boston.

14. Fenway-Kenmore

Those who love an urban buzz will adore living in the Fenway-Kenmore area as it is a bustling area with lots of amenities, restaurants, bars, and shops. Sports fans love living here because it is home to the city’s ballpark, and the area attracts visiting baseball fans during the season. Some residents have likened the lifestyle to that of living in Back Bay but say that it is a more affordable option.

13. Dorchester

An interesting fact about Dorchester is that it is the eighth-most diverse zip code in the United States. This is because it attracts people from almost every demographic, although its redevelopment has led to an increase in the hipster crowd. Residents say that it has a true neighborhood feel, the dining options are excellent, and the public transportation is excellent. The area is also generally considered a safe place to live.

12. East Boston

You will find a diverse community in East Boston as this neighborhood had the largest population of foreign-born residents in Boston. Other than the diversity, one of the most appealing features of living in East Boston is the pretty outdoor spaces. There are multiple parks in the area, and it is close enough to downtown for residents to benefit from both areas. It is a relatively affordable area in which to live compared to many other Boston neighborhoods. The excellent transport links are another benefit of living in this area.

11. Lexington

The downsides to living in Lexington are the high house prices and the cost of living, says Area Vibes. In fact, house prices are 129 percent above the average for Massachusetts. However, it is fairly normal for a desirable place to have these two negative points. The reasons that this is a desirable place to live are the amenities, the public schools, the employment opportunities, and the low crime rates. Therefore, there are plenty of positives if you choose to make this area your home.

10. Back Bay

Living in Back Bay is pricey, so it attracts an affluent crowd and people who want an address to impress. It lies close to Boston Commons and Charles River, so it is an attractive area with varied housing options. The amenities in this area are excellent, and it has an amazing social scene. Thrillist says that there is everything from lively clubs to serene wine bars, along with a whole range of outstanding restaurants. This tends to attract young professionals to the area as they want to live somewhere close to job opportunities that can offer them the social life they crave.

9. Newton

While Newton is one of the best places to live in Boston, living here comes at a cost. The median house prices are close to one million dollars, so it is out of many people’s reach. Although this is an expensive place to live, there are many positives about this area, which is why it is so desirable and the house prices have been driven upwards. The leafy streets are a pleasant environment in which to live, and residents have good access to local amenities, such as nice shops and restaurants.

8. Cambridge

Located on the opposite side of the Charles River to Boston proper is Cambridge. The transport links are excellent, and the house prices are more affordable than in the main body of Boston. Therefore, many people who work in Boston but cannot afford the high house prices and cost of living are attracted to the area as they can easily commute and access everything the city has to offer. If you choose to live in the Cambridge area, the three best neighborhoods to choose are Harvard Square, Central Square, and Porter Square. Each of these neighborhoods has something different to offer.

7. Peabody

Peabody is described as being the epitome of a New England city with gorgeous scenery. If living in a good school district is important to you, then you should know that there are 32 schools in this area, including 11 elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools. Not only is this a fantastic place to live, but it is also a great place to work as there are many job opportunities in a variety of industries. Another reason to consider living in this area is that there is always something to do, regardless of your age or interests.

6. Charlestown

People who want to live somewhere with a true sense of community should consider living in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston. Families like living here as it feels like a small town, despite being in the city. The area has lots of historic charm and some nice outdoor spaces. It is just a bridge away from all the shops, restaurants, and other amenities. It is also close to many cultural aspects of Boston.

5. Allston-Brighton

Due to the university campuses in this area, many of those living in Allston-Brighton are students and it attracts a young crowd. Many students stay living in this eclectic area even after they have graduated. It is also a great place to live for young professionals as it has a great social scene and there is always something going on. The area is known for its lively bars, its live music venues, street art murals, the beer garden, and the many pubs. On the other hand, there is plenty to attract young families to the area, so the community is diverse.

4. South End

A few years ago, it was unlikely that you would have seen South End on any of the lists for the best places to live in Boston. However, it has now become one of the most desirable places. Both families and young professionals have started to see the appeal of the area over recent years. The housing market is varied with both historic brownstone houses and modern high-rise apartments available. The area also has a lively vibe, with great nightlife options and an amazing scene. The downside to the area is that the transport links are not so good in this neighborhood.

3. Beacon Hill

Described as the most photogenic neighborhood in Boston by Zumper, Beacon Hill has made it onto lots of lists regarding the best places to live in or around Boston in recent years. This hip and cultural area is currently attracting a lot of young professionals as there is a good social scene, including plenty of coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. The neighborhood is close to Back Bay, Boston Commons, and Charles River. It is often compared to Back Bay as the two areas have a similar sort of vibe, but Beacon Hill is considered the tamer option.

2. North End

Historically, North End was an Italian neighborhood, and this is still evident due to the number of Italian restaurants in this area and a large Italian American community. The historic feel to the place attracts the older generation, while the social scene, amenities, and transport links attract young professionals.There is plenty for people to do, and the area is known for hosting various festivals and street events throughout the year.

1. Brookline

According to Niche, the best ate to live in Boston is Brookline. This is a Boston suburb in Norfolk County that has an urban feel and a population of almost 60,000 people. The only downside of living in this area is the cost of living, which is expected in a place that ranks highly for all other factors. Families like this area because it has some of the best schools in Boston, there are excellent leisure activities for families, and there are nice outdoor spaces. However, it will appeal to a broad spectrum of people because there are low crime rates, a vibrant nightlife, plenty of job prospects, good transport links, and great fitness facilities.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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