The Boston area draws families with its world-class educational offerings and cultural attractions. New England’s diverse landscape and rich history are an added bonus. Within a half hour of Boston proper are many communities well-suited to family living. These cities and towns are a sampling of what Greater Boston has to offer.
Seamlessly connected to Boston via the MBTA’s Green Line, Brookline combines the convenience of urban living with the close-knit neighborhood feel of suburban life. Ranked No. 31 in 2012 by CNNMoney as one of the best small places to live in the U.S., Brookline boasts a strong public school system and a wealth of beautiful public parks. Brookline families enjoy a variety of city-sponsored activities such as Brookline Day and the Summer Concert Series at Emerson Garden.
Newton is a city of villages, each with an elementary school, small business shopping and dining within walking distance of close-knit residential neighborhoods. Serviced by both the MBTA Green Line and MBTA Commuter Rail, and located close to Interstates 90 and 95, Newton is well-situated for young families with one or more commuting parent. Newton’s two high schools were ranked seventh and 11th in 2012 in Boston Magazine’s top 50 ranking of high schools in Boston and Boston suburbs.
With both Staples and Bose’s corporate headquarters contributing to job growth, more than 3,000 restaurants within a 15-mile radius and New England’s second largest retail corridor located along busy Route 9, Framingham is an attractive choice for young families. Callahan State Park, a picturesque town common and several working farms give Framingham a rural flavor. The Danforth Museum and Garden in the Woods botanical gardens offer a break from hectic daily life.
Located on the Atlantic coast 15 miles north of Boston, Swampscott is a tranquil seaside town with roots in the fishing and hospitality industries. The MBTA Commuter rail and Route 1-A connect this coastal community to downtown Boston. Swampscott’s six beaches offer swimming, boating and fishing, and its proximity to the museums, shopping and dining in the nearby, more expensive communities of Salem and Marblehead make it an inviting option for young families.
Named on Boston Magazine’s 2009 “Teflon Ten” list, which gives a nod to communities with real estate that held its value, Milton was one of the original Boston suburbs to have trolley service. That service continues today on the MBTA Red Line. Milton is located adjacent to Boston, with easy access to I-93 and I-95. Its blend of 1920s Dutch Colonial architecture, Brattle Street charm and modern housing means a home for every taste and size. Milton is home to a portion of the Blue Hills Reservation, a 7,000-square-foot protected green space, and prestigious educational institutions such as Milton Academy and Curry College.
- CNNMoney: Best Places to Live 2012
- Boston.com: 2011 MCAS Results
- Boston Magazine: Boston's Best Schools 2012
- Town of Brookline: Summer Concert Series
- Town of Brookline: Brookline Day
- CNNMoney: Best Places to Live; Newton, MA
- Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation: Callahan State Park
- New England Wildflower Society: Garden in the Woods
- Danforth Art Museum: School
- Town of Swampscott, Massachusetts
- Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images