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The 20 Best Places to Live in New England

New England is an area of the United States that is known for its Colonial past. This part of the country is made up of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

As it covers such a vast area, the options of places to live are diverse and include large cities, historic towns, coastal villages, and everything in between.

Due to this diversity, those considering moving to this area may have some difficulty deciding on the perfect location, and people will have different views on what makes a place somewhere that is great to live.

While factors such as safety, schools, house prices, and the cost of living are important factors to some people, it often comes down to the overall lifestyle that a place can offer. There are many different options in New England that will suit a variety of different lifestyles.

Taking each of the considerations into account, the following are the best places to live in New England.

20. Concord, MA

The Crazy Tourist describes Concord as being of historical significance to Massachusetts. There are almost 20 thousand residents in this town, and it is a desirable place for families to live due to the excellent schools in the area.

Amenities and leisure options are both plentiful. The downside to living in Concord is the high house prices, but this is a common problem in desirable areas. Many people who live in this area feel that it has been worth the cost to enjoy the lifestyle that living in Concord can offer.

19. North Windham, ME

North Windham has a small-town feel, which many people find preferable to city living. This village has a strong sense of community with a tight-knit and friendly feel. It is a pretty area to live with a range of outdoor activities and some beautiful nature parks.

North Windham offers a secluded lifestyle, that many couples prefer for raising their families. It offers a quiet lifestyle, which is ideal for many empty nesters and retirees. Therefore, it will suit a diverse range of people who want a relaxed pace of life in a nice environment.

18. East Merrimack, NH

East Merrimack sits along the Merrimack River and it is a prosperous neighborhood. The properties are affordable, diverse, and spacious. It is an up-and-coming area with lots of residential, commercial, and recreational development.

The residents of East Merrimack describe it as offering a high standard of living because there are plenty of amenities and leisure activities. It will suit both young professionals and families

17. North Bennington, VT

The excellent schools and colleges in North Bennington mean that this is a popular place to live for families. It will also appeal to people of all ages who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle as there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Although there are not many job opportunities in North Bennington, there is plenty of employment within commuting distance. Some of the nicest parts of North Bennington to live are beside the woodlands or along the hill.

16. Cranston, RI

There is a mixed vibe in Cranston depending on where exactly you live. Some parts of Cranston fell like a city, while other parts have a small-town feel. It offers a fantastic lifestyle as there are beaches, forests, and parks where you can enjoy a wide range of activities.

Cranston is also a fantastic place for dining out as there are many outstanding restaurants. With a population of more than 81 thousand, this is the third-largest city in Rhode Island.

15. Westport, CT

Westport is close to New York City in Fairfield County and has a spare suburban feel, says Niche. People who live in Westport enjoy a good lifestyle, thanks to the parks, restaurants, nightlife, and outdoor activities.

It will also appeal to families who want to live in an excellent school district. Both the community and the housing are diverse, and there are some good job opportunities in this area. The downside of Westport is the high cost of living.

14. Wellesley, MA

Families are drawn to Wellesley as it is considered an outstanding school district. Another reason that families enjoy living in this area is because of the wide range of activities to enjoy.

It will particularly appeal to people who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle as there are multiple parks, miles of trails, and an abundance of outdoor activities. The town has a good selection of shops and some excellent restaurants. The high house prices are the one downside of choosing this area to call home.

13. South Hookset, NH

Only a few thousand people live in South Hookset, so it has a strong community feel. It is a quaint village that appeals to people who do not want to live in the hustle and bustle of an inner-city area.

However, its location between Manchester and Concord means that residents of South Hookset still have easy access to the job opportunities and amenities of the city. It will appeal to young professionals as it is a commutable area with affordable housing. South Hookset will also appeal to families as the public schooling system is excellent and there are plenty of family-oriented recreational activities.

12. Bristol, RI

The downsides to living in Bristol, Rhode Island, are the high house prices and above average cost of living. This is a common problem in areas that are so desirable, and it is a price that many people are willing to pay to call Bristol their home.

It is a beautiful city in which to live, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. It also offers a fantastic social life for its residents, as there are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. It is a friendly community that will suit both families and young professionals alike.

11. Stamford, CT

Those who need to live in an area that offers plentiful employment opportunities should consider Stamford in Connecticut. This city is home to several Fortune 500 companies. This city is part of the Greater New York metropolitan area, and this means that Stamford residents have access to plenty of arts, shopping, and culture. Despite this city’s many strong points, the house prices are about average for Connecticut.

10. Portsmouth, NH

Filled with historic charm, Portsmouth is a quintessential New England city. When you stroll through the streets of this city, you will find boutique shops, art galleries, nice little coffee shops, and Colonial homes.

Portsmouth has low crime rates, so it is considered a safe place to live. It also has a stable housing market with the house prices being comparable to elsewhere in New Hampshire. This port city has a rich history and man of the tourist attractions in the area relate to the history of Portsmouth and New Hampshire. The city sits on the banks of the Piscataqua River, so there are some nice walks and many water-based activities to enjoy.

9. Portland, ME

If Maine is your chosen state, then Portland is a good option. This is a picturesque coastal town that is known for its outstanding restaurants and its lively downtown scene. People who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle will love this town, especially those who enjoy water-based activities.

It is an interesting place to live with a diverse community of more than 66 thousand residents. Despite this town’s charm and appealing features, the housing is reasonably affordable.

8. Newton, MA

Also known as ‘The Garden City’, it is the beauty of Newton that makes this such an appealing place to live. The town consists of 13 villages, each of which has a distinct personality and its own merits.

Newton’s proximity to Boston is another appealing feature, and it is this that makes it a popular option for commuters. Families also like this area due to outstanding schools and open spaces. However, this lifestyle comes at a cost as both the house prices and the cost of living are higher than the average for Massachusetts.

7. Montpelier, VT

Not only is Montpelier the capital city of Vermont, but it is also one of the most progressive cities in the United States. It is known for arts, entertainment, and the farm-to-table restaurant scene.

This is one of the safest places to live in Vermont as it has incredibly low crime rates. Despite being the capital city of Vermont, it has a population of under eight thousand residents, so it has a strong community feel. One of the best features of living in this city is its house prices, which are significantly lower than the house prices elsewhere in New England.

6. Lexington, MA

Other than Boston, many people consider Lexington the top place to live in Massachusetts. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States, so it is a very safe place to live.

The area is also home to some of the top schools in New England. The house prices are fairly high in this town, which reflects the desirability of the area. However, it is not the most expensive Boston suburb. Eating out is a popular activity in this area as it has an excellent culinary scene.

5. Kingstown, RI lists Kingstown as the top place to live in Rhode Island. The historic charm of this town is one of its most appealing features, and many of the homes boast traditional 18th and 19th-century architecture.

Another important point to make about Kingston is its exceptionally low crime rates. Other advantages of this area are the stable job market, the highly-rated school system, and the excellent amenities. The population of Kingston is just over seven thousand people.

4. Franklin, MA

One of the best places to live for raising a family is Franklin as this city has some of the top schools in New England. Not only are many of these highly-rated, but they also give students the opportunity to take part in various activities outside school.

There are also plenty of leisure activities for people of all ages and job opportunities are plentiful. Therefore, young professionals are also drawn to this city. In terms of the cost of living in this city, it is comparable to most other cities in Massachusetts.

3. Kennebunkport, ME

Close to the rocky shoreline of Maine is a town called Kennebunkport. This town offers a coastal lifestyle that focuses on water-based activities and eating seafood, either at home or in one of the town’s many excellent seafood restaurants, says New England Today.

There are approximately 11 thousand people living in this town, so it is small enough to have a strong sense of community. Compared to other parts of Maine, the house prices and cost of living are reasonable.

2. Hanover, NH

Located in the Upper Valley along the Connecticut River, Hanover is a popular city for both families and for those who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. This is because the schools in the area are outstanding and there are many leisure activities to enjoy in the area.

There are also excellent amenities, and the house prices are reasonable compared to other cities in New Hampshire.

1. Boston, MA

According to Alarm New England, the best place to live in New England is Boston, which is the state capital of Massachusetts. This city embodies the diversity of New England as it brings together the history of this part of the United States along with modern living.

The diversity is reflected in both the community and in the types of housing available. Boston is one of the best places to live in relation to job opportunities and transport links. There are also lots of leisure activities and socializing options. The downsides to this city are the high house prices and the busy roads.

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Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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