Best Places to Live in Massachusetts: A Guide to the Top Cities and Neighborhoods

In the state of Massachusetts, 14 counties are made up of 43 cities and 308 towns. Most experts define the cities as places with more than six thousand full time residents, and that means that the five largest cities in the state (in order of size) are Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge and Lowell.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Boston has the highest population since it is the state capitol and the home to so many schools, businesses, and appealing places to work. Does this mean that living right in the heart of the actual city is the best choice? The experts at publications like Boston Magazine might argue that the city was great, but the neighborhoods and suburbs around it are even better.

Suburbs Rate Highly

Consider that they ranked Fenway, Roslindale and Marshfield as the ideal spots for potential “Bostonians” to look when thinking of renting or buying a home. Over at the CNN.com website, their list of the Best Places to Live in the United States put five Massachusetts small cities within the top 50. The city that ranked the highest in this survey was Acton, which is a city conveniently close to Boston but far enough away to have a distinctly rural feel.

The other top locations from this list included Chelmsford, Easton, Milton and Sharon. None of these smaller cities had more than 36k residents, and all of them are considered to be within the “Greater Boston area”. Naturally this leads to the question: are all the “best places” those along the eastern shoreline of the state? The answer is: not at all.

Central Locations are Good Too!

As you head towards the center of the state, you find Springfield, which is home to the Basketball Hall of Fame and a great deal of industry. Even farther west are the Berkshire Mountains, and this could easily qualify as one of the more scenic, cultural and historic regions of the state too. This is where Lenox is found, and this is a region that was once called the “Newport” of the Berkshires. What that means is that all of the Gilded Age millionaires built homes over in Newport, RI, but a large number of them also built impressive estates in this part of Massachusetts.

There are many museums, gorgeous state and local parks, and so much more in this part of the state. Living and working conditions are excellent here, but it is much more expensive than the central and eastern areas.

Lots of Options

Clearly, there are a lot of options for someone thinking of relocating to the state of Massachusetts. If you are looking for the most diverse urban location, it is going to be hard to beat the different suburbs around Boston. If you are interested in city and country life, you will definitely want to head over to the Worcester or Springfield areas to see what is available in terms of work and housing – and you are guaranteed to find a lot!

If you want a cultural and very scenic area to live, and you have the potential to earn a higher income, the western area of the state is for you!