U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 06-17-2009, 10:58 AM
4 posts, read 11,498 times
Reputation: 15


My husband was offered a job in Manchester NH, and since we're currently living in NYC we'd like to not move to a rural/suburban area. Are there suburbs north or NW of Boston that are a good mix of culture/city living, easy to get into Boston itself and still could be doable for someone to commute to NH? Any advice would be much appreciated
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 06-17-2009, 09:33 PM
5,763 posts, read 13,328,951 times
Reputation: 4523
It would help narrow things down if you provided some info on how urban, or not, you would want your immediate neighborhood to be, whether you'd want a detached house, housing budget, whether schools are an issue, and desire or not for public transit. Generally, the suburbs north of Boston are more densely populated than those to the northwest. One exception is Lowell, which is a small city in its own right, generally kind of blue-collar, maybe with some up-and-coming neighborhoods, on commuter rail, but not in very close to Boston, though it would offer a fairly short commute to Manchester.

North of Boston, a couple of places close in toward the city you might want to check out if you want a nice urban setting right on your doorstep would be Cambridge and Somerville.

Two small cities that have long had reputations as rough areas are Lynn and Chelsea. Both of these seem to be hinting at maybe seeing some gentrification, but it's really iffy whether this is really going to happen to a great degree. They do both have an urban feel, though. And, maybe those hints at gentrification will amount to something. You might really have to keep your fingers crossed on that one though, and move to either of these cities with a sense of adventure.

Nicer, but more expensive, towns with more of a dense suburban feel, are Beverly, Winchester, and Melrose. Arlington is a nice town fairly close in toward Boston to the northwest, right in the transitional zone between urban and suburban in character. If a more suburban character, with a decent downtown and a sense of community, would work for you, and if your housing budget is fairly high, you might check out Lexington. In case public transit is important, keep in mind, though, that the bus is the only transit in Lexington and Arlington, although the east side of Arlington puts you fairly close to subway service in Cambridge.

One point to consider is that if you live in MA, you won't benefit from New Hampshire's lack of income or general sales taxes. If you don't feel the need to be really close to Boston, but occasional day trips there would suit your needs, you might think about living in Manchester itself, as Manchester is kind of a small city rather than a rural small town. Also in NH, Exeter is a kind of a small town, but somewhat of a full-service small town, kind of a commercial and service center for its local area, with more of the basic businesses than some towns its size might have. Portsmouth is a nice clean larger town with a hint of an urban character and some quirky, old-colonial-architecture charm. It would be a bit of a commute to Manchester from either Exeter or Portsmouth, but probably no longer than the commute from very close to Boston. Exeter, and Durham, NH, which is very close to Portsmouth, also have Amtrak connections to Boston. Those towns are at least worth considering if the tradeoff of New Hampshire's tax advantages would make it worth it for you not to live really close to the city.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top