Area Info: Boston, Brookline & Cambridge
RE/MAX Luxury Living is the leader in Boston area real estate. Our agents have a unique understanding of the real estate opportunities Boston, Brookline and Cambridge. Below you'll find local insight into the most popular neighborhoods in our service area.
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This classic, seminal American city is one of the best in the country. Boston's diverse population is teeming with local pride - and rightfully so. Home to some of the world's best colleges and universities, legendary restaurants, and iconic professional sports franchises, Boston offers something for everyone.
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As one of America’s oldest cities, Boston was a pivotal location in the American Revolution, serving as the stage for several influential events leading to the formation of the United States, including the Battle of Bunker Hill, Boston Tea Party and Boston Massacre. This important history is well preserved in Boston as evidence of colonial living can be seen throughout the city. Built in 1742, Faneuil Hall served as a meeting hall for some of America’s earliest leaders, including Samuel Adams. Now, the restaurants, bars and shopping in Faneuil Hall and the surrounding marketplace makes this one of the most popular destinations for Boston residents and tourists. From Faneuil Hall, visitors can follow The Freedom Trail north or south, to visit fifteen additional historic sites across the city.
Boston is a world-renowned center of education with over a dozen colleges and universities in the city, including prestigious Harvard University and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in neighboring Cambridge, MA. Other highly regarded educational institutions in the area include Tufts University, Boston College, Northeastern University and Boston University. With this is mind, it’s not surprising that Forbes recently ranked Boston as “America’s Smartest City” with about 45% of Boston residents having achieved bachelor's degrees or above.
Anyone who has ever been here knows, Bostonians are teeming with local pride. This booming east coast metropolis is home to a wide-range of ethnicities and cultures, brought together by a common passion for their city. The success of the area’s beloved professional sports teams has only magnified the local pride in recent years. If you can, get to a ball game at Fenway Park, home of Boston Red Sox - it’s a can’t miss summer experience.
If you appreciate delicious food and drink, look no further. From authentic Italian dinners in the North End, to the fast-paced commotion of the restaurants in Chinatown, to the classic New England seafood available across the city, Boston has something for every palate. There are local craft breweries springing up across the city, as well as local favorites Sam Adams and Harpoon.
Nightlife and live music, check out the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street, and the bar scene outside the TD Garden in the North End. For a more formal occasion, the Boston Symphony Orchestra or “Boston Pops” performs spectacular concerts year-round, the most popular of which occurring during Christmas time.
Just down the street from Coolidge Corner, Brookline Village is where some of the town’s earliest restaurants and shops opened. Brookline Village is known for its casual, independent restaurants and cafes. You will find cuisine from around the world, from Venezuelan to barbecue. The village is also home to a cluster of shops offering antiques, children’s items and more!
Chestnut Hill is the western gateway to Brookline. A beautiful, meticulously groomed area, it is home to grand single family homes, elegant condos, the Putterham Meadows Golf Course, and the Longwood Cricket Club. The Putterham Circle shopping complex offers a collection of popular restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and gift shops.
The bustling commercial hub of Brookline, Coolidge Corner is a great place to spend a day. With a variety of small shops, boutiques, and national chains all within walking distance of each other, spend the day poking around local shops, pamper yourself at a local salon and refuel at one of the many restaurants.
ST. MARY’S STATION
Nestled among classic townhouses and impeccable apartment/condo complexes, St. Mary’s Station continues to defy the trend of major retail chains that seem to be popping up everywhere. In the morning, residents and visitors flock to the numerous breakfast spots only to return again in the evening to dine at one of several popular restaurants. St. Mary’s is also home to a regional grocery and various professional services.
Located at the crossroads of Beacon and Washington Streets, you can’t miss the 18′ Victorian restoration clock. Whether you are seeking a jeweler, specialty grocer, travel agent, pharmacy or an old fashioned hardware store, Washington Square has them all, fostering a unique small town feel.
Hugged by the Charles River to the south, this primarily residential neighborhood is a picturesque parade of triple-decker homes, children-strewn parks, and the occasional grade school or academic research building. Commerce ranges from the un-ironic industrial (vintage electronics repair), to the vaguely suburban (three major supermarkets), to the charmingly earnest (a tuxedo boutique)—with a soul food shack and a throne-festooned Irish bar thrown in for good effect. And for you snack-history buffs: In the late 1800’s the iconic cake-and-fruit Fig Newton cookie was first manufactured here at the F. A. Kennedy Steam Bakery.
(courtesy of cambridgeusa.org)
Eclectic doesn’t even begin to describe the levels—nay, stratospheres—of communities that overlap in this tiny-but-tenacious patch of the city. Ground zero for live music starts at the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Brookline St. (you can’t miss the lines every night), and the sound bleeds outward from there. Precisely brewed caffeine, Prohibition-inspired cocktails, and high-octane smoothies are always near at hand. Clusters of historic churches commingle with start up video game offices and brightly lit Indian restaurants. If you pass by at the right time, you can catch a whiff of something sweet—the area’s candy-making history lives on with a bustling Junior Mints facility.(courtesy of cambridgeusa.org)
To be perfectly honest, this neighborhood is probably the most “below the radar” for visitors, but what it lacks in glamour it more than makes up for it in total, earnest hidden-gem-ness. Cruise down its main aorta, Cambridge Street, for access to some of the best fish markets, Portuguese bakeries, and well-loved bars in town. Mall rats can get their fill between the Cambridge side Galleria and the Twin City Plaza shopping center, but one would be remiss to pass up stylish treasures at the Cambridge Antique Market. The residential makeup is richly diverse, anchored with strong Irish and Portuguese communities. Local pride runs thick. (courtesy of cambridgeusa.org)
Any trip to Cambridge isn’t complete without a proper stroll through storied Harvard Square—it’s too historic, too beautiful, too simply fun to resist. You can walk through the Yard and absorb every inch of ivy-leagued glory on your own, but a proper tour can be ever-more-rich icing on the cake. Bring a knapsack, because you’re never a tweed’s throw away from a bookseller: Grolier Poetry Bookshop, Schoenhof’s Foreign Books, Harvard Book Store (to name but a few). Lest it all seem too cerebral, there are small pleasures aplenty, from crowd-drawing contortionists, to limited runs at the arthouse-iest art house theatres, to amazing hot pizza slices to go or cozy, inviting gathering spots to sit for awhile. (courtesy of cambridgeusa.org)
If you have the patience to walk for ten minutes from the nearest subway stop, you don’t have any excuse to pass up this shoo-in winner for “most adorable place, ever.” This highly livable area houses a mix of residents—strong Brazilian and Portuguese communities, plus academics and young professionals—and a smattering of healthy small businesses. Depending on your mood, grab a properly poured Guinness, order a whitefish platter (knish optional), or clutch an aluminum platter piled high with vindaloo. Fashionable secondhand stuff reigns (not to mention good beer), and there’s an experimental gallery on hand for any given ilk. (courtesy of cambridgeusa.org)
It’s difficult to comprehend how much of the future is created in these parts. Between web behemoths like Google and Microsoft, plus a super-dense cluster of biotech companies, not to mention the festering research going on at Massachusetts Institute of Technology—this is, simply put, a brainy playground for scientific progress. Additionally, architecture fans can geek out on MIT’s iconic structures (Frank Gehry’s tangle-of-angles Stata Center, Eero Saarinen’s sinuous chapel, Fumihiko Maki’s see-through Media Lab), while culture nerds can run amok through a fantastic display of contemporary art, crit-theory text, or independent film. Stay for dinner? Kendall’s restaurant scene continues to heat up, without any hint of stopping. (courtesy of cambridgeusa.org)
As Mass. Ave. unfurls northward from Porter Square, things start to get weird—and wonderful. Strewn along the main drag are some of the funkiest small businesses and authentic ethnic restaurants around. There’s a no-nonsense restaurant supply store (fueling every last dinner-party fantasy), a boutique Italian foods retailer, and an Indian bridal showroom. Keep going for more adventures, including a bygone-era steakhouse, a legit donut hut, and a tree-lined bike path leading to Alewife Brook Parkway. If you’re willing to stop and smell the flowers, you won’t get a better sense of unfettered Cambridge bohemia than this. (courtesy of cambridgeusa.org)
Look up! It’s impossible to ignore Gift of the Wind—huge, bright red, and whirling on its own accord—the 46-foot stainless steel kinetic sculpture that anchors this bustling commercial nexus. Crawling with students (Lesley University is headquartered here; Harvard Law School isn’t terribly far) and young professionals, Porter is considerably dense with goods and services. They range from the both predictable (coffee shop, supermarket, gym) to the not-so-much: a lively “Japantown” mall and food court, a sleek vegan shoe boutique, a thronged live music venue that prides itself on no-cover shows. Moreover, Mass. Ave. is a chowhound’s playground. Can you spot the organic four-cheese pizza, Ethiopian kitfo-topped injera, or steaming pork-broth ramen?
(courtesy of cambridgeusa.org)
This sprawling neighborhood isn’t so much easily defined by a single persona as it is by its relative preponderance of green land. Between Fresh Pond Reservation (a 155-acre kettle hole lake surrounded by 162 acres of land and a nine-hole golf course), the meditative Charles River Reservation, and bird-watchers’ paradise Mount Auburn Cemetery, there’s plenty of room to roam. A primarily affluent population dwells among Huron Village (hint: Cambridge resident and chef célèbre Julia Child used to shop here), with quiet luxury lurking in the flower shop, the sandwicherie, the housewares retailer, the mid-century furniture dealer. Not to mention oodles of baby- and puppy-watching, if that’s your thing. (courtesy of cambridgeusa.org)