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18 Things You Should Know About Living in Boston

From cobblestone streets to soaring skyscrapers, Boston has embraced its rich history while remaining at the forefront of innovation. If you’re considering a move to this hip and historic New England city, you’ll find there’s no better place than Boston for experiencing the best of America’s past and present. Here are just a few things about living in Boston that you should know before you make the move.

1. Don’t Say You’re a Yankees Fan

baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

Photo Source: Brianne Miers

There’s no question that Boston is a sports city. Regardless of whether the Red Sox are winning the World Series, the Bruins are raising the Stanley Cup or the Celtics are clinching the NBA Finals, locals are fiercely loyal to their hometown teams. Stadiums and bars are packed at game time, and fans don their favorite players’ hats and jerseys year-round. Even if sports isn’t your thing, everyone should experience a game at Fenway Park, the nation’s oldest operating ballpark.

2. Locals Love a Good Pint

two Sam Adams beers

Photo Source: Flickr

The name Sam Adams has been synonymous with Boston’s beer scene for more than 30 years. Today, you can tour the company’s Boston Brewery in Jamaica Plain, which serves as its test kitchen for new ingredients and flavors. Harpoon Brewery is another regional favorite: At its Seaport District location, you can hang out in the spacious beer hall while sampling brews and snacking on giant pretzels. In recent years, a strong craft beer scene has sprung up in greater Boston, with local favorites such as Trillium Brewing Company and Dorchester Brewing.

3. You Can Find Quality Cocktails

coktail being poured by a bartender at Drink in Boston

Photo Source: Flickr

If you’re not a beer drinker, don’t worry—there are many establishments throughout Boston where mixologists will craft you a good cocktail. Drink is a unique underground spot in Fort Point. You won’t find any menus there; instead, the drinks are tailor made to suit your tastes. Eastern Standard is a long-standing brasserie in Kenmore Square that features the longest marble bar in Boston. Carrie Nation Restaurant and Cocktail Club is a newer spot on Beacon Hill that captures the vibe of a 1920s speakeasy with its dark, elegant decor.

4. The Seafood Is Serious

Maine lobster roll with fries and coleslaw

Photo Source: Flickr

Given that Boston sits on the Atlantic Ocean, you can expect to find plenty of good seafood. If you’re in the mood for a lobster roll, James Hook on the Waterfront or Yankee Lobster in the Seaport have the best in town. For oysters, Neptune Oyster in the North End and Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore Square can’t be beat. And, of course, there’s New England clam chowder, which you’ll find served in a hearty bread bowl at Atlantic Fish Company in the Back Bay.

5. Its Italian Food Is No Joke

Regina Pizzeria in Boston

Photo Source: Flickr

The North End is Boston’s Little Italy, where generations of Italians have been perfecting their homeland’s specialties in dozens of restaurants that overflow with patrons on weekend nights. The neighborhood offers a wide variety from old-school pizza joints like Regina Pizzeria to comfortable classics like Giacamo’s and trendier establishments like Prezza. For dessert, make sure to try the cannoli from rival bakeries Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry, and decide for yourself which one comes out on top.

6. Bostonians Are “Wicked Smaht”

student at Harvard University on laptop

Photo Source: Flickr

As a hub for biotech companies, financial services firms and tech startups, it’s no surprise that Forbes ranks Boston one of the most highly educated cities in the U.S. Contributing to its talent base are more than 35 colleges and universities, which together draw hundreds of thousands of students to the area each year. Boston University is one of the largest independent nonprofit universities in the country. And right across the river in Cambridge, you’ll find two of the most revered universities in the world, Harvard and MIT.

7. Southie’s Status Is Skyrocketing

cars lining a street in South Boston, Massachusetts

Photo Source: Flickr

South Boston — or Southie, as it’s known by locals — has come a long way since the days when Whitey Bulger and his Winter Hill Gang ran the Irish enclave. Today, it’s one of the city’s most desired zip codes. Young professionals have flocked here in recent years, attracted by its close proximity to downtown, the Seaport District and the beaches that line Old Harbor. High-end condos have been replacing traditional triple-decker homes, and hip new restaurants and bars now line West Broadway and East Broadway, the neighborhood’s two main thoroughfares. It should come as no surprise that Southie ranked No. 3 on Niche’s most recent list of best Boston neighborhoods for millennials.

8. The “T” Gets You Where You Need to Go

MBTA redline train on bridge in Boston

Photo Source: Flickr

Boston’s “T”—short for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority—is one of the oldest public transportation systems in the U.S. On an average weekday, more than 1 million trips are taken on its extensive network of commuter trains, subways and buses. You can even catch a ferry from the Waterfront to several points north and south of the city, as well as to the airport.

9. You Can Go Far on Foot

Freedom Trail and marker in Boston, Massachusetts

Photo Source: Flickr

Boston is a compact city, so you can cover a lot of ground on just your two feet. If you want to do some sightseeing, you can follow the red-brick line of the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route that runs from Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown and connects 17 of the city’s main historical attractions. Another way to exercise in a scenic setting is to head to the Esplanade, a beautifully landscaped park that stretches along the Charles River and has a perfect path for walking, jogging or biking.

10. There’s a Lot to Do on the Water

sail boats on the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts

Photo Source: Brianne Miers

There are numerous day and evening boat rides that depart near the New England Aquarium and other spots along the waterfront. Options include leisurely sightseeing tours on riverboats and yachts that give you great views of the city skyline, as well as whale watching excursions that take you further out to sea. If you’re looking to explore the Charles River, you can rent kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards by the hour at Community Boating.

11. Medical Care Is Top-Notch

Boston Children's Hospital

Photo Source: Flickr

Boston has a booming health care industry, as it boasts several of the best hospitals in the U.S.: Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center all received top spots on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals list for 2017–2018. Clearly, the quality of care in the capital is a major reason why Massachusetts snagged the No. 2 spot on WalletHub’s list of best states for health care outcomes.

12. The Seaport District Is Booming

Seaport District of Boston, Massachusetts

Photo Source: Flickr

For most of the 20th century, Boston’s Seaport District was little more than run-down warehouses and parking lots. That changed in more recent years with the addition of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Today, it’s a neighborhood that’s in high demand by developers and corporations looking to make their mark on the city skyline. Some of the area’s largest and most luxurious high-rise condominiums, office towers and hotels cast shadows over the popular restaurants and bars that run along Seaport Boulevard.

13. There Are Plenty of Shopping Options

shoppers on Newbury Street in Boston

Photo Source: Flickr

The eight blocks that make up Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay are a shopper’s paradise. Bargain hunters can browse H&M and Nordstrom Rack, while fashionistas can find a dress to impress at Burberry or Dolce & Gabbana. Nearby at the Prudential Center, a mall with dozens of restaurants and shops, you can find brands like LOFT and Ann Taylor. If you’re looking for smaller boutiques, head to Charles Street at the base of Beacon Hill or into the South End.

14. It’s Far From a Concrete Jungle

swan boat on Boston Common

Photo Source: Brianne Miers

The Boston Public Garden and the Common provide a collective 74 acres of green space in the heart of the city, where you can take a nap in the shade, play frisbee with your friends or have a doggie playdate. On the Common, the oldest public park in the U.S., kids loves splashing in Frog Pond, which is turned into an ice skating rink in winter. At the Public Garden, you can take a ride on one of the beloved swan boats, which have been sailing in the pond since 1877.

15. It Comes Alive When the Weather Is Warm

outside at the Sea Grille at the Boston Harbor Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts

Photo Source: Brianne Miers

Boston’s winters can be long, but once the snow melts you’ll find free outdoor events taking place nearly every night of the week. You can have a beer after work at the Boston Calling Block Parties in Dewey Square, watch movies at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, see a performance of Shakespeare on the Common and listen to live music at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

16. Eating Local Is Easy

fruits at Boston Public Market in Boston

Photo Source: Brianne Miers

If you’re looking to sample some of the best food New England has to offer, check out Boston Public Market, where 40 vendors from throughout the region—including farmers, dairies, vineyards and other small businesses—sell their products all year long. There also are nearly 30 farmers markets spread throughout Boston’s neighborhoods, where you can shop for locally sourced fruits, vegetables, fish, meats and cheeses from spring to late fall.

17. You Don’t Have to Go Far to Find Nature

church on Peddocks Island in the Boston Harbor Islands

Photo Source: Flickr

There are a lot of options in and around Boston for getting close to nature. Both Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park offer acres of trails you can access by public transportation. Less than 30 minutes north of the city is the 2,575-acre Middlesex Fells Reservation, where you can hike, bike, fish and let your dog run free. From May to October, you can hop a ferry out to the Boston Harbor Islands, where you can camp on Peddock’s Island or relax on the beach at Spectacle Island.

18. Its Museums Have Something for Everyone

Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

Photo Source: Flickr

Young children can be occupied for hours at the Boston Children’s Museum, while older children and adults can explore the interactive exhibits on engineering, health and physics at the Museum of Science. History buffs can learn about the city’s early days at the Boston Fire Museum and the Waterworks Museum, while art lovers are likely to be impressed by both the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.


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