Allston and Brighton are two of the most popular areas for college students. The Allston area has a diverse makeup with many middle class families living in single and dual family homes. What makes this area so attractive to many students is its proximity to both BU’s Charles River Campus and the Boston College campus. Many sections are also close to Harvard Square. Allston-Brighton offers easy access to numerous stores, restaurants, bars, and downtown Boston. The B section of the Green Line is accessible from many parts of the area. Brighton tends to be less crowded and quieter than Allston, and has more residential areas. Free parking on the street is tight, but available. A residential sticker is required in some areas.
The Back Bay, characterized by its old-fashioned brownstone houses, Parisian-style boulevards, tree-lined sidewalks, trendy shops, and tourist attractions make it a beautiful place to live. Back Bay features Copley Square, The Boston Common and Gardens, and the Charles River. Newbury Street is also located in the Back Bay, which boasts some of Boston’s best shopping. Newbury Street, Boylston Street and Commonwealth Avenue are lined with unique shops, trendy restaurants and vintage homes, making the Back Bay an extremely fashionable destination for Boston residents and visitors. In fact, it's not uncommon to spot celebrities strolling up and down these picturesque streets. This bustling neighborhood also houses the two tallest members of Boston's skyline, the Prudential Center and the John Hancock Tower, in addition to architectural treasures such as Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library.
One of the smallest neighborhoods in the City of Boston, Bay Village more than makes up for its lack of size with its inviting and friendly atmosphere. Created by a landfill in the 1820's by developer Ephraim Marsh, Bay Village has been known as the Church Street District, South Cove and Kerry Village. Many of the homes look like smaller versions of Beacon Hill townhouses because the craftspeople who built the Beacon Hill residences settled in this area and built local residences for their own use. The neighborhood is also centrally located to several restaurants, the Theater District and many other cultural attractions. It’s very close to the South End neighborhood.
Located in the heart of Boston, Beacon Hill is a short walk from the Financial District and Government Center. One of Boston's oldest communities, Beacon Hill gets its name from a beacon that once stood atop its hill to warn locals about foreign invasion. Approximately one square mile in size, Beacon Hill is bound by Beacon Street, Bowdoin Street, Cambridge Street and Storrow Drive. Its architecture and lay- out is reflective of old colonial Boston, consisting of brick row houses with beautiful doors, decorative iron work, brick sidewalks, narrow streets, and gas lamps. The area features 19th and 20th century brownstones, cobblestone streets, old-fashioned narrow alleyways and occasional park-like areas with big trees. Because of its central location and Charles Street “T” stop on the Red Line, Beacon Hill also allows easy access to all of Boston’s activities.Beacon Hill is also home to the Massachusetts State House and America's first African Meeting House. Charles Street, the neighborhood's main thoroughfare, is lined with antique shops and restaurants. Beacon Hill has been home to many notable Americans, including Louisa May Alcott, Oliver Wendell Homes, Daniel Webster, Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, and Senator John Kerry.
Multi-family homes and condominiums lines the streets of this welcoming neighborhood, which is located in the northwest corner of Boston, on the shores of the Charles River. Many of Brighton's small businesses are located along Washington Street, which runs straight through Brighton Center to Oak Square. The Brighton Center Main Streets Program has been actively attracting new businesses to the neighborhood, as well as offering grants for storefront renovations. St. Elizabeth's Hospital and the Franciscan Children's Hospital also call Brighton home. Families, young professionals and graduates students are all lured to Brighton for its tranquil yet dynamic atmosphere.
Situated on the banks of Boston Harbor and the Mystic River on the north side of the city, Charlestown has translated its historical roots into a thriving 21st Century neighborhood. Boston’s oldest and most historic neighborhood has been the focus of construction and renovation, bringing the original charm back. Charlestown is accessible by the Orange Line at Sullivan Square and Bunker Hill. It is a short walk across the bridge to Boston’s North End and Waterfront District. Housing consists mainly of quaint little row houses, most of which feature old-fashioned wide-plank floors, and offers both single and multi-family units. As the home to such significant landmarks as the U.S.S. Constitution, the Bunker Hill Monument and the Navy Yard, Charlestown's allure has enticed a new generation of immigrants and young professionals to join its traditionally Irish-American population. Residents, new and old, frequent the local restaurants and establishments along Main Street and in City Square
Boston's Chinatown is the third largest Chinese neighborhood in the country. Located between the city's Financial District and Theater District, Chinatown is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Boston. Locals and tourists alike are drawn to the area’s large selection of Asian restaurants and bakeries, where they can sample everything from dim sum to almond cookies. During the popular August Moon Festival, children carry brightly colored lanterns and revelers eat sweet cakes known as Moon Cakes, each containing a secret message. The Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, which opened in 2005, is a tremendous resource for the community, providing residents with English-language classes, childcare, and social and recreational opportunities.
Located between Chinatown, Downtown and South Station, in recent years the Leather District has emerged as a distinct Boston neighborhood. Made up of old leather factories transformed into residential and commercial uses, the Leather District boasts a historic appeal while offering 21-century amenities. Residents cherish the loft living options that characterize this community. Locals do not have to travel far to sample some great restaurants, café’s and shopping destinations. The Leather District will also experience the splendor of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway as this innovative project nears completion.
Dorchester is Boston’s largest neighborhood and also its oldest, founded a few months before the city itself. The neighborhood’s historical diversity is exhibited in its architecture, from the old Victorian homes of wealthy Bostonians to the multi-family dwellings of later groups of immigrants. Today, Dorchester retains its diversity. Its main thoroughfare, Dorchester Avenue, connects many close-knit neighborhoods and thriving commercial districts of all kinds. Dorchester is also home to the University of Massachusetts at Boston and the John F. Kennedy Library. Due to it’s size, Dorchester has several smaller communities within it. Regal Victorians, triple-deckers, and waterfront spots in Savin Hill and Columbia Point offer an array of housing choices. Dorchester Avenue anchors the neighborhood business district with a unique mix of ethnic restaurants, beauty salons, electronics stores, and pharmacies. Transportation is the Red Line. Neighborhood pride is strong in Dorchester, as former residents have been known to wear T-shirts proclaiming "OFD" - "Originally From Dorchester." Bordered by the Neponset River and Boston Harbor, Dorchester residents enjoy the riverfront amenities of Pope John Paul II Park as well as harbor beaches and boating opportunities.
Boston's center of business and government combine with the Boston Common and the Public Garden to form a dynamic downtown. Downtown also serves as a sanctuary for shoppers, offering everything from large department stores to cozy boutiques. Home to many of Boston's most historic sites such as Faneuil Hall, downtown Boston will soon benefit from two innovative plans designed to enhance and enliven this area, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and the Crossroads Initiative. The Greenway will beautify this area by weaving twenty-seven acres of green space into the fabric of the city. Crossroads will introduce a new set of 21st century street standards through downtown and reunite the surrounding neighborhoods to Boston Harbor and each other, with the Greenway as the centerpiece.
Originally a center of shipbuilding, East Boston is one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city. The nation's first branch library was built in East Boston in 1870. The housing is a mixture of old and new, including many restored triple-deckers. Logan Airport, is located here, making East Boston a gateway to people from around the world. Located across Boston Harbor, East Boston residents enjoy fantastic waterfront views of the city skyline. It is also where Logan Airport is located, and is accessible by the “T” Blue Line.
Best known as the home of Fenway Park. Kenmore is also home to colleges (such as Simmons, Wheelock, WIT, and Northeastern), museums (The Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and the Christian Science Museum) and the hospitals of the Longwood Medical Area. It is a popular rental spot for students and medical personnel. . Many of these undergraduate students, as well as young people throughout the city, are drawn to the lively bars and clubs along Lansdowne Street. Boston’s “Emerald Necklace,” which consists of park and recreational space begins in the Fenway.
As Boston's southernmost neighborhood, Hyde Park offers the intangibles of city life as well as the open space more commonly associated with the suburbs. The historic Neponset River runs through this neighborhood that was annexed to the City of Boston in 1912. Hyde Park's unmatched community spirit is on display in the many small shops and restaurants along Hyde Park Avenue, River Street and Fairmount Avenue that make up the Cleary and Logan Square business districts. In the spring and summer, many city residents flock to Hyde Park to golf at the George Wright Golf Course, one of the city's two municipal golf courses. Hyde Park's charm has also captured the heart of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, a lifelong resident.
Jamaica Plain, often referred to as 'JP', is perhaps the most culturally diverse section of Boston. Nearly every ethnicity, socio economic stratum, and sexual orientation is well represented in this neighborhood. Two great bonuses to living in JP are the Arnold Arboretum and Jamaica Pond. Along Centre Street, you will find ice cream parlors, natural food stores, and restaurants that encompass the diversity of the neighborhood. Housing prices vary depending on the area of Jamaica Plain. There are many different styles of accommodations available including triple-decker houses, Victorian homes and some apartment buildings. The Green “T” Line (E) runs as far as the VA Medical Center and the 39 bus runs along the same route as the Green Line but continues through the center of town. The Orange Line is also very convenient to many who live throughout JP. JP is one of the few sections of Boston that does not require a residential parking sticker.
The Native American Mattahunt Tribe once inhabited Mattapan in the early 1600's. Mattapan is the southernmost, less urban part of the city, with many single and two family houses with yards. Parking is generally not a problem. Mattapan is T-accessible via the Red Line. Mayor Menino recently established the Mattapan Economic Development Initiative, a collaboration of city agencies, residents, non-profits, and businesses to encourage investment, create jobs, and promote business development in the area.
Mission Hill, part of Roxbury, is an up and coming community that has recently received a lot of attention. With the addition of mixed-income housing, the renovation of One Brigham Circle and a strong business district along Tremont Street and Huntington Avenue, Mission Hill is alive with renewed energy while still retaining its original character. The community is conveniently located and is a culturally diverse neighborhood, much like Jamaica Plain (see description of JP). Housing includes triple-deckers and Victorian homes. Mission Hill is located near the Green Line (E), the #39 bus and some parts of Mission Hill are located near the Orange Line. Mission Hill is located just one mile from downtown Boston.
Home to American patriot Paul Revere, the North End is one of Boston's most historic neighborhoods. Traditionally a first stop for immigrants arriving in Boston, the North End is most well known as an enclave of Italian immigrants. Today the North End is populated by a mixture of Italian Americans and young professionals who are attracted to the neighborhood's fabulous Italian restaurants and shops, tight-knit feel and access to downtown. Tourists come from near and far to sample authentic Italian cuisine, enjoy a cannoli or a cappuccino, and explore its narrow streets. In recent years, a number of boutiques have opened in the North End specializing in everything from trendy clothing to jewelry. The North End also offers access to Boston's waterfront along Commercial Street. Residents and visitors can enjoy strolling and relaxing in the newly renovated Christopher Columbus Park, and during summer evenings the park is host to a performing arts series. From the North End, you can take the Orange Line from Hay. The Green Line is also nearby.
Two great bonuses to living in Roslindale are the Arnold Arboretum and Jamaica Pond nearby in Jamaica Plain. They are great escapes from studying and city living. The public transit infrastructure allows you to commute via the Orange Line or the Commuter Rail, along with bus connections. Once considered a "garden suburb" of Boston, today's residents of Roslindale are still attracted to the neighborhood's natural beauty. Locals walk and bike in the Arnold Arboretum, a 265-acre oasis that is part of Frederick Law Olmstead's Emerald Necklace. Many of the neighborhoods' large colonial homes are being converted into condos to accommodate the influx of young professionals and families. Roslindale Village is the city's original Main Street district and now one of the city's most vibrant, featuring several bistros and unique shops. The MBTA Orange Line and Commuter Rail provide commuters with easy access to downtown.
West Roxbury, located in Boston's southwest corner, was originally part of the town of Roxbury and home to a 19th century experimental, utopian community frequented by such notable writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau. Today, West Roxbury is known for its civic activism and youth programming. Its tree lined streets and mostly single-family homes give this city neighborhood a suburban feel. Centre Street anchors the neighborhood's business district, which consists of restaurants, banks, and shops. Residents flock to Millennium Park, a former landfill that has been converted into 100 acres of trails, ball fields, and picnic areas. West Roxbury is similar to Roslindale but is generally more suburban in character, with many single-family homes and two family dwellings. Commuting by car is no problem. Depending on where you live, it is accessible by Commuter Rail (Needham Line), which connects with the Orange Line. Parking is readily available in most areas.
Once a farming community, Roxbury is home to the historic Shirley Eustis House, the only remaining country house in America built by a British Royal Colonial Governor. Hundreds of new business and housing initiatives have revitalized the neighborhood's Dudley Square, Crosstown, and Grove Hall areas. The dramatic transformation of Blue Hill Avenue from a street lined with vacant lots to a dynamic business district is one of Mayor Menino's proudest achievements. The Roxbury Center for the Arts, Culture, and Trade, which opened in 2005, celebrates the cultural richness of the community through the visual and performance arts.
Famous for the traditions of its long standing Irish population, 'Southie' is a working-class neighborhood. Residents enjoy the best of both worlds in this seaside community, with an easy commute to downtown via Broadway and Andrew Squares on the Red Line and an equally short trip to the beach. People enjoy taking a stroll around Castle Island, a Revolutionary War-era fort and 22-acre park that is connected to the mainland. "Southie Pride" is on full display in March when city residents flock to the neighborhood to enjoy the annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade. Today the breathtaking South Boston Waterfront is emerging as Boston's newest neighborhood. Already home to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, planned development for the Waterfront includes residential, office, retail, and hotel use.
Located just minutes from downtown and the Back Bay, in recent years the South End has become one of Boston's most popular neighborhoods. It has attracted a diverse blend of young professionals, families and a vibrant gay and lesbian population to this Boston Landmark District. You will be sure to notice the South End's renowned Victorian brownstone buildings and homes as you walk along Tremont Street, Columbus Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue. Small business owners also enjoy the amenities of the South End and are supported by the national award winning Washington Gateway Main Streets Program. Some of Boston’s finest restaurants, a thriving arts community and nearly 30 parks also call the South End home. Boston University Medical Campus (BUMC) is located in the South End.
A mixture of thriving urban and quaint suburban life, Brookline offers the convenience of the city for those who don’t want to live in it. The commute from Brookline makes it a desirable area for students. From most areas it takes approximately 20 minutes by car, train or bicycle. Most apartments are only a short distance away from one of Brookline’s many public parks. Brookline also has an excellent public school system. The quiet, residential atmosphere and excellent shopping are a plus here. Overnight parking is prohibited, so make sure your apartment provides parking. Otherwise, you may have to pay an additional $75-175 a month and parking spaces are very limited. A car is not necessary in Brookline since public transportation is excellent. Many people bike to class, and most of Brookline is on the B, C and D Green Line.
Cambridge is across the Charles River from Boston. Many find the steady stream of cultural and educational events and varied colorful commercial enterprises very appealing. It is fairly large and can be broken up into four general areas: Harvard Square, North Cambridge/Fresh Pond, East Cambridge, and Cambridgeport. Massachusetts Avenue goes directly through Cambridge. For public transportation, the Red Line also runs through Cambridge. Harvard Square is by far the most sought-after housing in Cambridge, and the competition from Harvard and MIT students for affordable housing is intense. There’s easy access to the Red Line and buses, lots of student life. The North Cambridge/Fresh Pond area is a bit further away from Boston. There is a large shopping area as well. The Alewife station on the Red Line is located here.
Newton is a prosperous suburb of Boston, connected to it by reasonably good public transit. It is large, spread out, and made up of over ten villages. Travel time to Boston is relatively attractive, but a car is a must in some areas. The D Green Line combined with a bus schedule is also an option. Prices in Newton vary and are affected by location; -proximity to Boston or the Mass Pike may increase prices.
Somerville is just north of Cambridge, and is serviced by excellent public transportation. This area has mostly triple-decker houses and apartment complexes. The population is primarily working-class families with many Tufts students and young couples. Davis Square, the heart of Somerville, is a growing area with many great restaurants, jazz and rock music clubs as well as a movie theater which features live African and folk music. There is easy access to Cambridge and Boston via the Davis Square station on the Red Line, and to downtown Boston and the South End via the Orange line at Sullivan Square station.