6.8 out of 10

Boston

Ranked 1st best city in Massachusetts
42.3118314290781 -71.1108858515996
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
  • Eating Out
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Mar 24, 2016

"Established, powerful, and wealthy city"

Boston is the heart of New England, both geographically and culturally. It’s an old (by American standards), wealthy city with an established personality. Even though it’s full of green spaces, it manages to be one of the most densely populated cities in the country. Downtown Boston is gorgeous and walkable, though neighborhoods are also pleasant, with each having a unique community.

ECONOMY
Boston has a powerful economy. It is the 6th largest economy in the country, even though it’s only the 24th largest in terms of population. This tells you a lot. It’s a port city, which means by default a lot of money goes through here. But some of the wealth also flows from the “old money” which still flourishes in the city. You’ll find some of these families in a few select suburbs and neighborhoods, like in the classic brick homes of Back Bay. According to the Boston Globe, the city had almost 1700 resident millionaires in 2012. Much of the money is invested in healthcare and education, which are two of the biggest employment sectors in Boston, alongside finance and insurance.

EDUCATION
One effect of being one of America’s oldest and wealthiest cities is that there are a plethora of higher education institutions. Harvard, Boston University, Bradeis, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are some of the most highly ranked. But there are dozens of other higher education institutions in the city (and in neighboring Cambridge).

MEDICAL
It’s worth mentioning that Boston is also a medical hub of the region, in part due to all the universities. In fact, the #1 biggest employer of the city, with about 15,000 employees is Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

HISTORY
I can’t write a review about Boston without mentioning that it has historically been a very important city, particularly in the American Revolution. That’s all I’ll say here, but there is plenty to explore for history buffs and tourists.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
The public transit system in Boston is pretty good, with plenty of trains to get around the city and the suburbs. A high percentage of locals use both the trains and the buses. One downside is that the T line (unless it’s changed since I was there) only runs until 12:30am, while bars are open until 2. Not cool.
Also, everyone walks everywhere downtown. Officially, it’s the 3rd most walkable city in the U.S. This is partly because the city is small and dense enough to cover a good distance on foot, and also because the city is relatively flat, due to the hills literally being cut down, and the marshes and ponds filled in over the past couple of centuries. Most recently, the ‘Big Dig’ was (finally!) completed in 2007. This was an epic, decades-long project to put Interstate 93 underground, making downtown even more walkable. However, be warned that if you DO drive, the streets are pretty crazy here. If you’ve been to an old European city you know what I mean. There are very few parts of the city that have a nice grid design. Usually, they twist and turn all over the place, sometimes confusing even the locals.

WEATHER
When a winter storm comes through Boston, people don’t wonder *if* it will snow, they wonder ‘how much?’ Last year, Boston along with most of the East Coast had record-breaking snowfalls. This year has been milder, but still very wintry. Summers get pretty hot, generally in 80s or so. Thunderstorms are not uncommon.

DIVERSITY
The Massachusett American Indians, who are still not a federally recognized tribe, originally inhabited the Boston area. When European settlers arrived in the early 17th century, Irish and Italians were the biggest ethnic groups that settled in Boston, though of course they were not alone. The city was very white until the past 50 years, when it has diversified considerably. Now you’ll find Bostonians of many different backgrounds throughout the city. Like many American cities, Boston is definitely not there yet with racial equality, even though it’s politically liberal.

HOUSING
Housing is not cheap if you want to live close to downtown. But once you get past the South End, it’s much more affordable. And honestly, if you can manage to get a place not far from one of the trains, you’ll do great. A lot of the neighborhoods have their own downtowns too, with a group of shops and restaurants (like River Street in Hyde park). People are fiercely loyal to their neighborhoods. The good thing about housing is that there is a lot of availability. So unlike Manhattan, San Francisco, or Seattle, you will probably have more than 20 minutes after viewing an apartment to decide if you want to rent it.

POLITICS
Like with higher education and wealth, Boston is also a powerful place for politics. It’s a strongly democratic city, with such lawmakers as John Kerry, and my personal favorite, Elizabeth Warren, calling it their home.

SPORTS
I guess I have to mention that sports are huge here. If you’re not a sports fan it can be annoying (don’t throw your dunkin donuts coffee at me for saying that!), but if you like getting riled up watching people throw balls around, you’ll love the super enthusiastic sports community here.
Pros
  • Strong communities
  • Great public transportation
  • Beautiful downtown
Cons
  • High rent in downtown
  • Parts of Boston are too exclusive and classist
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"My favorite city"

Boston is great. It has great sports teams all around so lots of stuff to pay attention to. It is very green with lots of parks and is not polluted. It can get a little trafficey but the tunnels under the whole city reduce that greatly.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Boston made everything bigger and more expensive to live and eat."

It used to be a small city with great charm. Wow its all down for the money. Down it goes and up it comes. The cost to live in Boston is disgusting, this was to be the poor peoples city, not any more thanks to you know who. What a waste of common time that was said to the poor people of Boston and the surrounding areas. NO NO LOW PROPERTY for RENT for the LOW INCOME, OR NOT even a Pennie on Housing that was promised.
Pros
  • BIG MONEY CONDOS EVERYWHERE
  • TOWNHOUSES BIG MONEY/college Condos
  • all trashed property and non for the low income
Cons
  • where is the promised low income houses in boston
  • where are the promised low income rental
  • rich people only live own or rent in the city thanks a lot!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
5/5
2yrs+

"Great City"

Great place to visit.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
2yrs+

"One of the most beautiful cities in America"

Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Fun place to eat great food and have a great time."

Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5
2yrs+

"You need a political point of view here."

West Roxbury is an almost entirely residential area that is known for civic activism and politics. Early on it was home to a 19th Century experimental Utopian community which was large enough to attract many notables. While Brook Farm no longer exists, West Roxbury has remained nearly rural with most businesses located along Centre Street where one finds excellent restaurants and shopping. The 100 acre Millennium Park consists of miles of trails, ball fields and picnic areas, and is very popular with residents and visitors alike. With direct rail links to downtown Boston, it’s no wonder the area is popular with families.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"Everything is very upscale"

Considered one of Boston’s finest neighborhoods, Back Bay is a blend of retail, residential and office buildings. Skyscrapers on one side of the area and Victorian mansions on the other make for an interesting and upscale mix. Back Bay is home to Boston’s most affluent residents and its shops reflect its population with shopping destinations like Boylston and Newbury Street stores.
It’s also where you find the most expensive hotels, interesting and important buildings on Copley Square, and some of Boston’s finest restaurants and posh bars. And, the area has the Boston Public Gardens, a virtual oasis of beauty and calm in the middle of it all.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5
2yrs+

"Great views of the Charles on the go!"

Storrow Drive is one of the main highways in Boston. Starting in Boston it runs along the Charles River to Watertown and eventually connects to I90. It’s a 2 lane highway, so can be a little dangerous at times with cars speeding. I love to drive on Storrow and watch the runners on the footpath and the rowers on the Charles – as a passenger of course!
2/5
2yrs+

"Well Not For Kids, But..."

Indeed in the Red Light District but although it isn't for kids, I always liked going through here (maybe not at night?). You see all sorts of characters, some of the adult businesses are kind of funny looking on the outside, wouldn't know about the inside! Also as it's in/near/around Chinatown you can do a lot of side-tracking to the Chinese grocers, restaurants, bakeries (try bakery rice cakes because they are AMAZING). Also I lived right on the edge of it on Boylston Street, and it's odd for the Red Light District to be Right There, so to speak, but aside from avoiding it at night I didn't feel uncomfortable with it, and liked the shopping daytimes.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5
2yrs+

"oddy not the main"

Oddly, this is not the main street. Great for couples, near very many shopping districts. Closer to MIT than the other colleges. Home to several museums. Loads of internet wifi hot spots, as well as quite a few coffee places. Lovely.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5
2yrs+

"nice and homey"

A homey type of family street. This is also home to quite a few pizza places and museums. Not that far from the local colleges, it is also home to quite a bit of residence halls. on the blue line.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5
2yrs+

"Great For Shopping"

Home to Boston's Oldest Restaurant! Great shopping district with loads of places to eat, drink and visit. One or two museums. A must see stop on your tourist's list. Not a lot of homes here, but very close to the universities.
2/5
2yrs+

"Red Light District"

Former and current red light district, this street is home to strip clubs, bars, adult shops and a few gambing arenas. Not recommended for families, but it is a good place to check out if you're traveling. Interesting on a historical note.
Recommended for
  • Singles

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Best Neighborhoods in Boston

1

Jamaica Plain

4.5/5
"A place for every racial, social and economic class"
42.3188628225112 -71.1098050507481
"Step back in time to the 1800s"
42.3541337332474 -71.074047403349
3

East Boston

3.5/5
"Improves with every block explored"
42.3771286890593 -71.0278896633542
4

Central Boston

3.5/5
"Best Irish bars and alot of government too"
42.3609732678066 -71.0590085798466
5

Roslindale

3.5/5
"A clean and well put together neighborhood"
42.2840096662276 -71.1256055527416
6

Charlestown

3.5/5
"A Navy Yard is recycled "
42.378031125099 -71.0610553362379
7

South End

3.5/5
"It's where to find 'restaurant row'."
42.3385800331788 -71.0756398471149
8

South Boston

3.5/5
"Up and Coming is an Understatement...Young Professionals Dream Neigborhood"
42.340527382702 -71.0409514424458
"Home of the Green Monster!"
42.3430672095964 -71.098719723225
"Best of the old and new"
42.3499860479711 -71.1445349168649

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