BOSTON SUBURBS

Since Boston was one of our nation’s earliest population centers, it grew rapidly from its early American agricultural roots into a highly commercialized and bustling center. It was after World War II that the mass migration from the Boston into Middlesex and Norfolk counties. Professionals, retirees, and families began to look for residential havens in the many housing developments that sprung up outside the city limits. Services and amenities followed the suburban sprawl, eventually creating entire cities and towns with shopping areas, parks, recreational facilities, hospitals, and a close-knit community spirit.

Today, many of these suburbs represent some of Massachusetts most desirable living environments, harmonizing remnants of picturesque farmland and sprawling open spaces with truly elegant estates and charming neighborhoods. The rustic ambiance often blends seamlessly with metropolitan sophistication in these communities. Nestled among the regions’ fruit-laden orchards and beautiful woodlands are historic monuments and landmarks dating back to the American Revolution.

In recent decades, a flood of companies has joined relocating residents to this desirable area. By the late 1960s, many commercial and industrial enterprises had awakened to the vast amenities available within Boston’s suburbs: Outstanding institutions of higher education, a highly skilled and well-educated work force, efficient transportation, and close proximity to Boston’s amenities. Sleepy villages were transformed almost overnight into thriving population centers through the mass migration of high-tech firms. The proliferation of these companies has been so profound along the Route 128 Corridor that many refer to it as Silicon Valley East or the “High Tech Mecca.” Although many companies have moved their headquarters or opened branch offices in the panoramic, open suburbs, commuters to Boston still dominate the scene. Commuting has also been simplified by the introduction of extensive bus and rail transit service.

Services
The quality and quality of public education in the Boston suburbs is so highly acclaimed that this factor alone entices a significant number of newcomers. Modern, well-equipped facilities with state-of-the-art technology provide advanced curricula and specialized programs for students in all grade levels—including the gifted or challenged. Of course, suburban youth remain just a short commute from the world-class colleges and universities scattered throughout Greater Boston. Within these renowned institutions of higher education, students of all ages can mix with over 250,000 of the brightest minds from across the nation and around the world.

Healthcare throughout Greater Boston includes cutting-edge research and development in globally acclaimed hospitals and medical centers. The entire area benefits from the brightest and most respected professionals who staff healthcare facilities and provide every imaginable specialty. Several of these institutions are teaching affiliates for the Harvard Medical School, innovators of the world’s most advanced diagnostics and treatments. From the latest in cancer care to leading-edge centers where patients benefit from easy access to a growing number of minimally invasive surgical alternatives, the list of “firsts” is exhaustive. Boston’s reputation for scientific and medical research complements one of the finest healthcare communities in the world. Several of the suburban communities are also home to outstanding hospitals.

Lifestyle
Considering the vast cultural, employment, and recreational amenities available in nearby Boston, the suburbs represent the perfect compromise between sophistication and relaxation. However, most residents can meet their needs for shopping, services, and recreation close to home. Growing commercial and industrial sectors are now encompassed in this idyllic environment of rolling countryside, lush woodlands, sunlit ponds, rich farmland, and rural charm. Fine dining establishments and health clubs combine with luxurious and fashionable new shopping malls that have all followed the migration of city-dwellers into the suburbs. Strict zoning laws, careful planning and a cooperative spirit between residents and local government have worked together to protect the area’s natural beauty in the midst of considerable growth and expansion.

Along with the influx of corporations and their employees in recent decades has come an expansion in available housing. Some newcomers prefer established neighborhoods and the older, vintage homes that showcase elegant Victorian and colonial architectural styling. Others are drawn to the modern amenities associated with the wide array of new construction. Most towns now offer an abundance of maintenance-free, multi-family living options that include apartments, condominiums, and townhomes. Regardless of where you settle in Boston’s attractive suburbs, you can look forward to an exceptional quality of life on the periphery of one of the nation’s most dynamic metropolitan centers.

Arlington
Municipal Offices
781-316-3000
www.town.arlington.ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
781-643-4600
http://arlcc.org

Just north of the educational mecca of Cambridge and seven miles from downtown Boston is the beautiful suburb of Arlington. This well-established and highly developed bedroom community is known for its strong spirit, cultural appreciation, and active involvement in civic and social organizations. Excellent public and private schools add to the attraction for newcomers. Recreational facilities are expansive and organized programs abound for all interests and age groups. Amenities include tennis courts, parks, playgrounds, swimming pool, and the Arlington Sports Center. Nature lovers will delight in Spy Pond and Mystic Lake, both areas offering the adventurous a variety of outdoor activities. An abundance of well-kept, single-family older homes along tree-shaded streets is the rule, although some newer construction is also available. A few areas of the town offer multi-family living options.

Belmont
Municipal Offices
617-993-2600
www.belmont-ma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
617-926-1017
www.wbcc.org

Belmont is strategically located in close proximity to downtown Boston, Harvard Square, Cambridge, and Route 128. Newcomers will discover an appealing cross-section of neighborhoods, home styles, and real estate price ranges to meet every taste and budget. Rich in culture and conveniences, Belmont harmonizes the advantages of social and retail amenities with the quiet charm of a suburban lifestyle. Commuters to Boston enjoy efficient transportation facilities and a network of major highway connections. Belmont offers an excellent educational program with special focus on the classics, music, computer science and foreign languages. The community’s sports facilities are outstanding. Belmont has its own hockey rink, baseball, football and soccer fields as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, parkland, and ice-skating rink.

Brookline
Municipal Offices
617-730-2000
www.brooklinema.gov

Chamber of Commerce
617-739-1330
www.brooklinechamber.com

Home to a number of premier historic properties and the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy, Brookline was originally a haven for Boston’s elite. Although the population has diversified, many doctors, professors, and businessmen make their home in this cosmopolitan town which is politically and artistically active and enjoys a high quality of public services. Abundant cultural amenities, historic sites, a cosmopolitan ambiance, a fine park system, and recreational facilities contribute to the desirability of this area. The latter includes outdoor skating, swimming pools, public and private golf courses, indoor tennis courts, handball and squash courts, parks, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Brookline’s educational system, with its superb college prep courses, is regarded as one of the nation’s finest. The area is further enhanced by a number of private schools, vocational and technical training programs, and extensive adult education opportunities. The public transportation to Boston is equally outstanding; efficient MVTA service on the Green Line offers a short commute to Boston. Single family homes and condominiums are available in a wide variety of prices, settings, and amenities, including a number of historic properties.

Cambridge
Municipal Offices
617-349-4300
www.cambridgema.gov

Chamber of Commerce
617-876-4100
www.cambridgechamber.org

Synonymous with education and culture, Cambridge the celebrated home of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A diverse city of tightly knit neighborhoods just three miles from Boston, the focal point of the city is Harvard Square, an ideal place for shopping and dining. Brick sidewalks, Victorian clapboard houses, and a serene location along the Charles River add to the charm of community life. Although Cambridge is a fascinating town that stretches far to accommodate and please its strong population of students and faculty, it is also a community of neighborhoods that boast a diversity of residents—including some famous families like the Rockefellers. Excellent subway and bus service make it unnecessary to own a car. Industry and high-tech enterprises have grown considerably, taking full advantage of the intellectual prowess that pervades the area. The Charles River offers recreational opportunities from boating and sailing to jogging and biking trails along its banks. Other amenities include tennis courts, playing fields, playgrounds, a golf course, swimming pools, and multipurpose trails.

Malden
Municipal Offices
781-397-7000
www.cityofmalden.org

Chamber of Commerce
781-322-4500
www.maldenchamber.org

Recognized as an “All-American City,” Malden has attracted over 900 businesses and supports a considerable residential population within its modest area. The bustling city is known for its excellence in planning and development, and offers a balanced mix of residential, commercial. and business areas. Lush local parks, highly developed recreational amenities, good schools, and a strong civic spirit highlight the community. Malden has been consistently recognized as a progressive and vigorous community. Situated just five miles from Boston, the community is ideal for commuters as well as for those who desire to live within walking distance of their place of employment. A pleasing mix of single-family homes in a variety of styles and price ranges combines with apartments, condominiums, and townhomes for a full spectrum of housing options.

Medford
Municipal Offices
781-396-5500
www.medford.org

Chamber of Commerce
781-396-1277
www.medfordchamberma.com

Once known for its clipper ships and Medford Rum, the modern town of Medford has evolved from its genesis as a manufacturing and shipbuilding center into an attractive and vital suburb that excels in quality of life. Minutes from the urban amenities of metropolitan Boston, Medford offers highly developed services that complement the pleasing mix of available housing options, ensuring just the right lifestyle for every taste and budget. Single-family homes and two-family duplexes in well-established neighborhoods along tree-shaded streets characterize this stable community. Twelve parks combine with two beaches to offer first-class opportunities for leisure fun. Tennis courts, ballfields, swimming polls, bike trails, horse stables, and an ice-skating rink are also available.

Melrose
Municipal Offices
781-979-4500
www.cityofmelrose.org

Chamber of Commerce
781-665-3033
http://melrosechamber.org

A peaceful community located only seven miles from Boston, Melrose offers the ideal combination of a quiet suburban lifestyle and a convenient commute. Outdoor recreational facilities are numerous, with Ell Pond as a natural feature in the town center. Parks, open space, and large trees grace the attractive neighborhoods. Beyond a residential haven with exquisite Victorian homes dating from the late 1800s, Melrose is proud of its status as a self-contained community with local employment, healthcare facilities, shopping, entertainment, and recreation. Melrose-Wakefield Hospital serves as a local employer and enriches the well-being of residents with its many community outreach programs and traditional medical services. Newer homes featuring large square footage are also available in Melrose. Public and private golf courses, ice-skating on ponds and lakes, and close proximity to regional attractions add to the enjoyment and quality of life.

Milton
Municipal Offices
617-898-4800
www.townofmilton.org

Chamber of Commerce
www.miltonchamberofcommerce.com

Founded as early as 1662, historic Milton is just eight miles from downtown Boston. In addition to offering the convenience that commuters appreciate, the community draws outdoor enthusiasts to the views of the lovely Blue Hills and the Neponset River. Both form a backdrop for many of the finer homes that cover the range of vintage, pre-Revolutionary models to newer construction in contemporary styles. A strong community spirit is evident in the large number of civic organizations and social activities. A community that values education, Milton boasts an excellent public school system and a number of independent and parochial private school alternatives. Quinobin Technical Vocational School provides a full spectrum of specialized training for students of all ages, with programs that range from computer science to the culinary arts. The nearby Blue Hills Reservation provides wonderful opportunities for hiking and horseback riding on miles of trails. Residents also enjoy lighted ice-skating rinks and tennis courts.

Needham
Municipal Offices
781-455-7500
www.needhamma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
617-244-5300
www.nnchamber.com

A healthy economic base and country atmosphere have made Needham one of Boston’s most desirable suburbs. The town’s serene country atmosphere, excellent mass transit system, highly respected schools, and well-balanced community life have made this community popular with newcomers. Strong local organizations, from civic and religious to business and educational, have a positive impact and invigorating influence on this stable and deeply rooted community. Many homes were built prior to 1950, varying in style from colonials to Cape Cods and ranches. Vacant land suitable for residential development is scarce, limiting the possibility of new construction. Supplementing the single-family housing options are condominiums, duplexes, and apartments. Ridge Hill Reservation provides opportunities for hiking, cross-country skiing, and picnicking. Other amenities include a golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, and sports fields.

Newton
Municipal Offices
617-796-1000
www.newtonma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
617-244-5300
www.nnchamber.com

Designated as one of ten All American Cities, Newton is considered to be one of the best managed communities in the state. While claiming a larger population than many of Boston’s suburbs, Newton is also designated as the “Garden City” for its lush and attractive cityscape. Fourteen villages comprise this highly desirable city, each one offering excellent schools and wonderful outdoor recreation. Amenities include Crystal Lake, three golf courses, a myriad of parks, ballfields, playgrounds, and a sports complex with pool, gym, and indoor track. Housing ranges from elegant mansions and vintage Tudors and colonials to two-family homes, condominiums, and apartments. Commuters can look to BMTA Green Line and commuter service for easy access to Boston. In addition to pace-setting public schools, the area is home to a selection of private schools.

Somerville
Municipal Offices
617-666-3311
www.somervillema.gov

Chamber of Commerce
617-776-4100
www.somervillechamber.org

Just three miles from Boston, Somerville is a long-established community that has evolved into a renaissance town with a revitalized infrastructure. This melting pot of diversity has attracted an influx of newcomers who appreciate its sense of history and progressive attitude. The sizable population represents a colorful mix of ethnic groups, economic levels, cultures, and traditions within the dynamic context of flourishing commerce and industry. Single-family homes predominate, nestled in well-established neighborhoods shaded by large old trees. A variety of architectural styles reflect a kaleidoscope of periods. Civic organizations and the local educational system have enjoyed the positive impact of fresh new voices within this stable community. Recreational amenities close to home include tennis courts, basketball courts, track and playing fields, ballfields, playgrounds, swimming pools and an ice-skating rink.

Waltham
Municipal Offices
781-314-3000
www.city.waltham.ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
781-894-4700
www.walthamchamber.com

Those who desire an attractive suburban home in close proximity to their place of employment should consider Waltham. Because of its prime location along Route 128 and other major routes as well as the presence of the historic Charles River, the community has grown and evolved into an industrial mecca. Over 1,500 firms that include some leading Fortune 500 corporations have profited from their operations in Waltham. Public and private schools provide excellent educational opportunities, while the Deaconess-Waltham Hospital ensures first-rate healthcare and a wide range of medical and surgical specialties. Housing includes a wide range of attractive single-family homes and multi-family dwellings in new developments. Quality recreational amenities include facilities and programs for all ages, including Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, a pool, ice-skating rink, tennis courts, theater arts and music — even an active Council for the Aging.

Watertown
Municipal Offices
617-972-6486
www.ci.watertown.ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
617-926-1017
www.wbcc.org

Famous as the first inland settlement in Massachusetts, historic Watertown has managed to maintain its own identity and local characteristics through centuries of growth and change. Convenient to the urban amenities of Boston and served by MBTA Express Bus, Watertown provides a tranquil, highly stable suburban atmosphere with all the cultural, employment, and educational advantages of a leading metropolitan center. A variety of architectural styles in both single-family homes and two-family duplexes predominate the housing selection. Homes graced by neat landscaping are nestled along tree-shaded streets in serene, well-defined residential neighborhoods. Area youth receive a quality education in public and private schools. Facilities and activities for leisure hours include parks and playgrounds, sports fields, a country club, golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools, and an ice-skating rink.

Wellesley
Municipal Offices
781-431-1019
www.ci.wellesley.ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
781-235-2446
http://wellesleychamber.org/the-town

Ideally located along Route 9 just minutes from Boston’s City Center, Wellesley boasts a quaint downtown shopping district with the ambiance of a large, charming village. The past is not only preserved in Wellesley but highly celebrated. Architectural styles are diverse and the housing is exceptionally attractive. In fact, the community offers some of the most beautiful home choices and magnificent neighborhood settings in all of New England. Area youth enjoy the finest of education programs and facilities in both public and private schools, and three colleges enrich the town with the beauty of their campuses as well as intellectual and cultural stimulation. First-rate recreational facilities include an attractive community center, conservation land, lush golf courses, horseback riding areas, ice-skating rink, a country club, Morses Pond for swimming and sailing, and Centennial park for hiking and picnicking.

Weston
Municipal Offices
781-786-5000
www.weston.org

Chamber of Commerce
781-894-4700
www.walthamchamber.com

Although residents tend to minimize Weston’s reputation as one of the most affluent communities in Massachusetts, this residential haven is known for its magnificent homes. Many of these spacious, elegant estates are set on large, landscaped lots. The talent of famous designers like architects as McKim and Richardson is frequently showcased. The town is ideal for commuters, located just 15 minutes by car or rail transit to the city. Residents of Weston are proud of the public school system, regarded as one of the Massachusetts’s finest. Schools also provide year-round recreational and enrichment programs that benefit the entire community. Recreational amenities are superb, and Weston has carefully retained prime open space that includes over 60 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails. Golf courses, country clubs, tennis courts, playgrounds, playing fields, an indoor swimming pool, ice-skating, and cross-country skiing appeal to more active residents.

Winchester
Municipal Offices
781-721-7130
www.winchester.us

Chamber of Commerce
781-729-8870
http://winchesterchamber.com/

Located just eight miles north of Boston, Winchester was originally a group of small villages that evolved into a typical New England town. The community surrounds a delightful New England village green with a white-spired church and graceful swans in the pond across from the library. A serene country setting, three lakes, and an outstanding school system with extensive extra-curricular activities have ensured Winchester’s place as a desirable suburb. Residents can look forward to excellent healthcare services at the local Winchester Hospital. Homes are available in a pleasing range of prices and architectural styles, from handsome duplexes and colonial style single-family homes to elegant mansions in the Myopia Hill neighborhood. The presence of a country club, boating club, and tennis and swim club enhance the recreational opportunities. Lush parks offer tennis courts, playing fields, and playgrounds, while Mystic Lake is available for boating enthusiasts.

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