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The 20 Best Places to Live in New England

As an area of the United States that is perhaps best known for its colonial history, there are many discussions to be had about the region. For example, there are a number of conversations when it comes to the best places to live in New England and which states rank at the top of that list. This region of the country is made up of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to zero in on the best New England towns to live in. Whenever such a vast area is being discussed, there are a plethora of different factors that have to be considered. Whether you are in search of a bigger city or a smaller town, we have got you covered.

While the process of narrowing down the best places to live in New England can be challenging, this guide is here to help remove all of the guesswork. We know how stressful and anxiety-inducing it can be to zero in on a new place to live. That’s why we do everything in our power to consider all of the different points of view that go into these decisions.

The overall lifestyle that a resident can enjoy is the most important aspect of all but safety, schools and diversity are all very important. That’s what makes New England such a vibrant region. There is no shortage of options that are sure to suit everyone. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the 20 best New England towns to live in.

Our Methodology

We pride ourselves on placing ourselves in the shoes of the reader when it comes to a list like this one. This is one of the most crucial decisions that you are ever going to make. As such, we place a great deal of emphasis on getting things exactly right. Our methodology is as follows:

Carefully Considered Sources

We consulted with the good folks at Extra Space, so that we could learn everything that we need to know. While we had already compiled our information, we strongly believe in carefully considering all of our sources.

Accuracy Is Crucial

Accuracy is always crucial and never is it more important than when you are in the process of deciding on a new place to live. All information is double-checked before it is provided to the reader.

No Randomness

We do not believe in collecting random information for our audience. Anything that you read on our lists is the result of a great deal of thought and consideration.

Thorough Research

Last but certainly not least, our research process is as thorough as possible. This is how we ensure that our updates are as timely as they are informative.

The 20 Best Places To Live In New England

20. 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.

19. 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, making this one of the best New England towns to live in. Some of the nicest parts of North Bennington to live in are beside the woodlands or along the hill.

18. Cranston, RI

There is a mixed vibe in Cranston, depending on where exactly you live. Some parts of Cranston feel 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.

17. 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.

16. 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.

15. 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.

14. 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.

13. 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.

12. 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 many 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.

11. 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.

10. 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 its 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.

9. 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.

8. 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.

7. 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.

6. Franklin, MA

One of the best places to live in New England when it comes to raising a family is Franklin, as this city has some of the top schools in the region. 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.

5. 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.

4. 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, making this one of the best places to live in New England.

3. Burlington, VT

Situated on Lake Champlain’s eastern shore, Burlington is a great place to live for students and the working class alike. The University of Vermont first came to prominence as a public Ivy and almost half of Vermont’s tech opportunities are located here, according to Extra Space.

Those who are of retirement age also choose Burlington, as its low crime rate and reasonable cost of living make it an attractive option. Extra Space currently ranks Burlington as being safer than 41% of American cities, making Burlington one of the best New England towns to live.

2. Warwick, RI

Located 20 miles south of Providence, Warwick is a perfect location for a wide range of residents. It is a growing business hub with a low cost of living, according to Extra Space. This city is also a great location for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors, with nearly 40 miles of coastline and over 850 acres of recreational land.

Residents who find themselves in search of higher education can head to the Community College of Rhode Island and New England Institute of Technology. Crime rates are low, as is the overall unemployment rate.

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 New England 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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