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Boston Area Living Guide

the boston skyline at night

Since its founding in 1630, Boston has been an important city in the American story. It was an early center of trade and commerce, and it was the site of some significant events during the American Revolution – most notably, the Boston Tea Party. During that time, Paul Revere made his famous ride from Boston to Lexington to warn of approaching British soldiers. After the Revolution, Boston continued to be a hub for industry and education – Harvard University was founded here in 1636. Additionally, the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 occurred in the North End neighborhood when a large molasses tank burst and caused massive destruction throughout the area. These are just a few examples of how Boston’s history has shaped our nation’s culture over hundreds of years.

Boston Living

Moving to Boston is an exciting experience – the city offers plenty of opportunities, beautiful landmarks, and a rich history. While it can be somewhat expensive to live there, Boston is an affordable option compared to some other large cities in the U.S. It is especially attractive for those seeking post-secondary education as the city is home to a number of prestigious universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Tufts. Employment prospects are plentiful in the Greater Boston area with its diverse economy that includes finance, technology, and healthcare. The cost of living in Boston will vary depending on where you choose to live – downtown may be more costly than in suburban locations. Finally, given its location on the east coast, it’s easy for residents to take day trips to nearby states or travel further abroad from one of Boston's three airports.

Towns Nearby

There are also numerous diverse cities and towns with interesting neighborhoods nearby that are great places to live. Some of the most attractive Greater Boston towns are:

  1. Brookline: Located just outside of Boston, this picturesque town has stunning old homes and a variety of cultural attractions for residents to enjoy. It’s also home to numerous public parks, allowing its citizens plenty of opportunities for relaxation and recreation.
  2. Newton: Seven miles west of Downtown Boston, this leafy suburb is known for its upscale residences and proximity to the Charles River, where you can find plenty of activities like kayaking, fishing, and biking. Plus, it is well-known for having some of the most excellent private education in the area.

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Boston is full of unique and vibrant neighborhoods each offering a distinct atmosphere. Here are some of the most notable ones and why they may be attractive to live in:

  1. Back Bay: This chic and vibrant neighborhood is home to plenty of boutiques, restaurants, trendy bars, and cafes, as well as the beautiful Public Garden. It’s the ideal spot for anyone looking to be close to all the action.
  2. Beacon Hill: With cobblestone sidewalks and gas lamps lining its streets, this stately neighborhood could easily be described as old-world Boston at its finest. This neighborhood also has several parks where you can relax or take in a spectacular view of the city skyline.
  3. South End: One of Boston’s most historic neighborhoods, the South End offers beautiful brownstones with tree-lined streets, giving it a charming atmosphere. It’s also home to numerous galleries and performance centers making it an exciting place year-round.
  4. North End: This picturesque area features lots of Italian eateries and architectural landmarks such as Paul Revere House and Copp's Hill Burying Ground—making it an ideal destination for history buffs.
  5. Jamaica Plain: With its close proximity to downtown Boston and plentiful Victorian homes, Jamaica Plain is an attractive place for both families looking to settle down or young professionals seeking an exciting lifestyle in the big city.
  6. Chestnut Hill: Nestled among wooded hillsides in the western corner of Boston, this quaint village offers plenty of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions— making it perfect for anyone who loves taking part in unique experiences.
  7. West Roxbury: This quiet residential neighborhood has something for everyone—quiet streets great for long walks or bike rides, top-notch schools, vibrant parks like the urban 100-acre Millennium Park with tons of green space, as well as some of the best restaurants in town!
  8. Roslindale: Located on the outskirts of Boston proper, Roslindale provides a mix of suburban life mixed with urban amenities such as convenient access to public transportation affording easy trips downtown whenever desired.
  9. Allston/Brighton: Popular amongst students because of its universities nearby but boasting plenty of coffee shops & bars—plus all kinds of convenience stores—means that any resident here will certainly never feel bored in their new surroundings.
  10. Fenway / Kenmore: Located just west of downtown Boston, Fenway / Kenmore is home to the historic Fenway Park baseball stadium and the renowned Museum of Fine Arts. The area has a thriving nightlife scene with popular restaurants and bars, shopping opportunities from big box stores to unique shops and boutiques, and numerous parks for outdoor recreation. Plus, its proximity to downtown means easy access to some of the best attractions in Boston.

Explore Boston Neighborhoods & Towns

Historical Landmarks

Boston is a city with a rich history, and as such there are many landmarks and monuments to explore. The Freedom Trail is an iconic 2.5-mile-long path that connects some of the most historically significant sites in the city, including the Old South Meeting House, Paul Revere's House, the Old State House, and more. Other notable sites in Boston include the USS Constitution Museum, where visitors can explore a historic warship; the Bunker Hill Monument, which marks 1775’s Battle of Bunker Hill; and Faneuil Hall, a meeting house built in 1742. Additionally, a visit to Boston wouldn't be complete without exploring Harvard University and its beautifully preserved buildings such as Memorial Church and Widener Library.

families enjoying a sunny day and beautiful park art in Boston

Things To Do

Boston is a vibrant city that offers a variety of entertainment to suit all tastes. Events such as the Boston Marathon and Head of the Charles Regatta attract numerous visitors each year. Other popular annual festivals include the Boston Calling Music Festival and Boston Pride, while seasonal events like First Night and Illuminate add to the city’s festive atmosphere. When it comes to amusement options, there are also plenty of activities to choose from in Boston. The Faneuil Hall Marketplace features shops and eateries alongside street performers who provide entertainment for guests throughout the day, while the Boston Tea Party Ships offers interactive exhibits about this historic event. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum houses both art and music performances, and local theaters such as the Opera House offer an array of live shows and musicals. Finally, foodies can explore one of many popular restaurants or tour some of the city’s unique brewpubs for a truly unique experience.

Shop Luxury-Style

When it comes to luxury shopping experiences in Boston, there are a few places that stand out. The Shops at Prudential Center is an outdoor shopping plaza located in the vibrant Back Bay district that is home to stores like Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and Saks Fifth Avenue. Copley Place is another popular destination for upscale shopping located in the city center near the iconic Prudential Tower. Here you’ll find stores such as Gucci, Neiman Marcus, and Barneys New York. Newbury Street is a must-visit spot if you’re looking for high-end retailers, with boutique shops like Hermès and boutique designer brands like Rag & Bone and Brunello Cucinelli. Lastly, Harvard Square offers a more eclectic mix of luxury boutiques such as Burberry, Tory Burch, J.Crew, and Anthropologie.

Dining Scene

Boston's culinary scene has something to offer everyone — from upscale restaurants to more casual eateries. Its diverse selection of dining options is one of the city's biggest draws, with a range of cuisines that span the globe and a rate of excellence that spans from a Michelin-starred restaurant to your local diner. From traditional Italian fare and seafood specialties to innovative international dishes and inventive fusion cuisine, there's always a spot to fit any occasion or outing.

If you wanted to try something with a flare for drama, Boston's historic Chinatown is home to Menton, a Michelin-starred restaurant that specializes in French-inspired seafood delicacies. This chic eatery offers an array of unique and flavorful seafood-centric dishes that range from lobster flan to grilled branzino served with apple tartare, smoked parsnips, and raisins. Having an oyster craving? You'd be in luck. Island Creek Oyster Bar can fulfill all your seafood needs with an array of fresh oysters and other locally-sourced offerings. You can enjoy your oysters alongside other fresh seafood like shrimp Louie salads, sea bass crudo, and more in the vibrant atmosphere of this popular waterfront spot. For more seafood in an upscale setting, Boston has several luxurious steakhouses with world-class eats. Since 1988, Grill 23 & Bar has been serving standout food and drinks from its posh space that spans two floors in Back Bay. Treat yourself by indulging in upscale steakhouse fare from shellfish platters to succulent cuts of steak served alongside traditional sides like truffle french fries or mashed potatoes.

If you're looking for a more low-key kind of night, you might want to stop by The Smith or Beehive. In the heart of downtown Boston, The Smith Restaurant & Bar serves up creative takes on classic American dishes. Popular for its craft cocktails, this restaurant is also known for its food menu that brings local ingredients to the forefront with dishes such as a red quinoa taco bowl and stuffed squash blossom ravioli. Beehive is a "buzzworthy" spot that serves eclectic eats from pizza to tater tots to bacon jam sandwiches in its vibrant, lively atmosphere. With an eclectic menu full of creative takes on classic American comfort food items such as mac n cheese and burgers, it's a perfect place to visit for lunch or dinner. Whether you’re looking for gourmet meals or just a quick bite, there’s something for every palate in Boston's thriving food scene.


Boston is home to some of the best universities in the world, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Tufts University. In addition, there are many excellent private schools such as Boston College, Northeastern University, and Boston University. For those looking for a smaller college experience, there are several liberal arts colleges located in and around the city such as Wellesley College and Brandeis University. Finally, Boston has numerous well-regarded primary and secondary schools with strong academic programs.

Public Education

Boston is home to some of the best public schools in the country. For example, Boston Latin School is one of the oldest and most prestigious high schools in the U.S. It offers a rigorous curriculum that includes advanced courses like AP classes and independent research opportunities. Other top-performing public schools include Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and John D O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science.

Private Education

For those looking for a private school education, there are numerous excellent options in and around the city. These include Harvard-Westlake (an elite college prep school), Prospect Hill Academy Charter School (a K-12 charter school), and Beaver Country Day School (which provides an individualized educational experience). Furthermore, many private schools provide specialized learning environments such as Wellesley Montessori School (which focuses on early learning development) or the Pine Street Inn Education Program (which caters to adults who want to transition back into higher education).