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Neighborhoods

office of residential life

Allston/Brighton

Located west of downtown Boston, this area is very popular with students, as it is home to both Boston College and Boston University. Renovations, new bars and restaurants, and major clean-up efforts on Harvard Avenue have made the area more desirable and have caused rents to rise quickly. Allston is still popular for roommate situations, with affordable rents available in multi-bedroom units.

Brighton is closer to BC and offers residential areas with many beautiful homes that have been converted into apartments, as well as ample open spaces. As in Allston, clean-up and rejuvenation efforts have raised rents in Brighton.


Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is only a short walk from the Financial District and is home to the Massachusetts State House, Cheers, and the Museum of African-American History. The cobblestone streets, lined with two-hundred-year-old homes and elegant brick façades, are centered around quaint Charles Street, whose variety of small antique shops and privately owned cafés are perfect to explore on a summer stroll. A warm community spirit is prevalent on Beacon Hill, especially during the holiday season.

Beacon Hill's prime location — just steps from the Boston Common, accessible from the Red Line via Charles/MGH Station — and quaint charm have earned the neighborhood some of Boston's higher rents. But the unique nature of the area provides a quality of living that keeps residents there to stay.


Brookline

Surrounded on three sides by Boston, Brookline is easily accessible by the MBTA's C and D Lines (Green Line), as well as by bus. 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. This town features both brick apartment buildings and beautiful wood houses, most of which have been converted to upscale condos. The Coolidge Corner Theatre, located among the eclectic shops and restaurants of Coolidge Corner, is the only Art Deco theater in the Boston area, featuring mainly independent films, short films, and frequent midnight movies. Brookline also offers many recreational parks for golf, hiking, and a variety of individual and team sports. The town does not permit overnight street parking.


Cambridge

The proud home of both MIT and Harvard University, Cambridge is a thriving example of development. Once home to a vast artistic community and filled with cheap deals for rent, Cambridge has become the focus of a very competitive real estate market. Areas such as Central Square, Inman Square, and Cambridgeport have undergone extensive renovations and condo conversions. If not yet renovated, multi-family housing can still be found cheaply in these areas.

Cambridge is very accessible by a string of stops on the Red Line, and permit parking is available. The up-and-coming nature of this eclectic area has made it a desirable place to live or visit. The shops and restaurants of Harvard Square have made it widely popular, and other areas — like Central Square — are becoming similarly chic in the wake of renovations.


Fenway/Kenmore

Perhaps best known as the home of Fenway Park, Kenmore is also home to various colleges (such as BU, Simmons, Wheelock, and Northeastern) and museums (the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, and the Christian Science Museum). It's a popular rent spot for students. Condos are also available here.

The Fenway is home to part of Boston's Emerald Necklace, a five-mile sequence of six parks and waterways covering more than 1,000 acres of park and recreational space. Boston's community gardens provide a unique backdrop for a summer walk.

Kenmore Square offers a more social, urban atmosphere. With the famous CITGO sign serving as a landmark, the bars, restaurants, and shops are popular places to hang out, as are the Lansdowne Street clubs for late-night action.

The neighborhood is served by the Kenmore stop on the Green Line, making BC and the city easily accessible. The diversity and prime location of this area, combined with still-affordable prices, make it a great place to live.


West Roxbury

As one of the most suburban of all neighborhoods surrounding Boston, West Roxbury offers primarily single-family homes. There is a vibrant shopping district on Centre Street; there is also a 100-acre park nearing completion with access to the Charles River. With quiet streets and a short distance from downtown, West Roxbury offers the best of suburbia in the city.


Newton

Six miles west of Boston and accessible by several D Line (Green Line) stops, Newton is a quiet, affluent city with a suburban feel. It has an award-winning library, museum, symphony orchestra, the Jackson Homestead and Newton History Museum, and residential theater groups. Newton Centre is filled with clothing boutiques, restaurants, and stores. Bounded by the Charles River, Newton also offers various spots for outdoor recreation such as Crystal Lake, Norumbega Park, the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, and Bullough's Pond. It is Boston's closest suburb.


Watertown

Watertown is approximately 20 minutes outside of Boston. Accessible by bus from the Alewife stop on the Red Line, the community is diverse and less expensive than other suburbs. The Arsenal and Watertown Malls offer convenient shopping, while eleven parks provide space for many recreational activities. Watertown is also home to the Armenian Library and Museum of America, the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library, and the New Repertory Theatre.


Waltham

This small former industrial city is nine miles from Boston and can be reached by highway, commuter rail, and bus. The southern section is mainly multi-family housing, while the northern section has larger-lot single-family houses. Waltham is home to Brandeis University and Bentley College, as well as eleven parks that offer many recreational activities.


Somerville

Just northwest of Boston, Somerville is another area that is up and coming due to the urban sprawl. As Somerville is fairly large, it offers many different environments from which to choose. Some are very residential; others are more exciting, with high student populations. Somerville is home to many Harvard and Tufts students. Many of its apartments are considerably larger than those in Boston. MBTA subway service (Red Line — Porter, Davis, and Alewife stops) and many bus lines make it easy to commute into downtown Boston.