What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of living in Boston, Massachusetts? Cream pies, Fenway, Park, Boston Pops? Or maybe you’re thinking of notable historical sights or Boston’s many exclusive colleges.
Whatever comes to mind, we are here to tell you that living in Boston is a treat. There’s so much more to this diverse and eclectic metro area than most folks realize.
If you’re considering moving to Boston, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of some of the pros and cons of living in Boston to help make your decision easier.
Read on for an honest breakdown of daily life in Boston
With a population exceeding 685,000, Boston offers many of the conveniences and amenities of big city life while retaining a small-town feel in a plethora of neighborhoods.
This is largely thanks to tight knit communities and walkability, but look at me already getting ahead of myself.
Let’s cover everything you need to know.
1. Location, location, location
Moving to Boston means living in a great central location for travel throughout the Northeastern United States. You’ll have easy access to several beaches, coveted vacation destinations (New England fall color) and will be in close proximity to nearby metropolises, such as New York City and Philadelphia.
Boston is a great starting spot for day trips to destinations such as Salem, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Plymouth Plantation and much more. New York City, while not quite a day trip, is accessible in a four hour drive.
In short, you’ll never have a reason to be bored when living in Boston. Plus, the icing on the cake is that Boston’s Logan Airport provides easy access to domestic and international flights.
2. Cultural opportunities and experiences
If you’re a history lover, a music fan, or an arts fanatic, you’ll be astounded by the cultural opportunities available while living in Boston.
Boston’s architecture documents the history of one of the United States’ first major cities.
For a city of its size, it has an astounding number of museums – 58 – and that doesn’t even include the many galleries and freestanding historical buildings around the city.
And you better believe that while living in Boston, you’ll have access to numerous historical buildings, sights and cities – including Salem, Massachusetts, known for the witch trials of the 1690s.
3. Extensive public transportation system
Boston is home to America’s first subway system, which was built in 1897. As the city grew up around the subway, routes were continually expanded to include new neighborhoods.
Public transportation in Boston is excellent, and it is entirely possible to live in the city without owning a car. Considering the high cost of living in Boston, this can be a great money-saver, particularly for students.
The subway system is generally safe and runs on a regular schedule.
4. Boston is safe
US News recently rated Boston as the 13th safest place to live in America, based upon crime statistics and residents’ own reports.
Essentially, living in Boston is safer thank most cities of its size or larger. US News further reports that, in 2020, Boston’s violent crime rate was lower than the national average (which includes not just large cities, but smaller towns and rural areas as well.)
So if you’re moving to Boston with a family in tow, consider it a good move!
1. Cost of living
Moving to Boston on a budget? It will be tough.
Living in Boston has always been expensive and the cost of living continues to increase yearly. Whether buying or renting, it’s a challenge to find an affordable living situation in many of Boston’s popular neighborhoods.
Boston’s housing costs are 48% higher than the US average, with the average rent in 2020 coming in at just over $3,400. Students in the city frequently start out in dorms or with multiple roommates to ease the financial pressure of daily life in Boston.
2. Bitter winters
Living in Boston in the summer is a breeze. The real test comes when winter hits!
The average winter temperatures hover around freezing, with occasional bouts of below-freezing dips. It’s not unusual to have snow and ice that lasts into March, or even April. Mercy!
Boston’s average snowfall in January (based on the past thirty years) is just under thirteen inches. Of course, the number of inches in any given year can fluctuate greatly from that average number.
The short of it is, you can expect lots of snow and bitter winds for several months of the year when living in Boston.
3. Lackluster nightlife
If you’re moving to Boston for nightlife, you might be disappointed. Clubs and bars close at 2 AM or earlier. Because of the overall high cost of living, you’ll also find that drinking gets very expensive very quickly.
4. Expensive flights
Logan Airport may be easy to get to, but it’s also a smaller airport which does not serve as a hub for any of the major airlines.
This equates to more expensive flights, which can really add up if you’re a regular traveler. While flights run regularly, on average, tickets are more expensive than from neighboring airports.
Of course, in the end, only you can be the one to decide which city best matches up with your own personal needs, budget and personality.
What one person considers a pro, another might think of as a con. Boston is just one of many great cities throughout the U.S. Best of luck to you in finding the perfect place to hang your hat!