Build Your Family in Boston's Surrounding Suburbs.
If you or your family are beginning to outgrow living in the city, the “greener pastures” of the MetroWest suburbs may be calling your name. The proximate towns west of Boston are some of the most lovely and accessible, major-city suburbs in the country. From Brookline and Newton to Wellesley and Weston, these towns offer a range of lifestyle options while universally affording residents the best public (and private) education options while still providing the convenience of living within less than a half hour of one of the 20 largest metropolitan centers in the US.
Brookline is virtually an annexation of the city of Boston. If you look on the map, it is surrounded by Boston on three sides. That said, it formed its own municipal independence in 1705 and existed as a predominantly agricultural community for the better part of 200 years. Today, the town of nearly 60,000 is dominated by residential and commercial centers. It has a distinctly more urban feel than the other towns highlighted herein but also offers arguably the most luxurious living enclaves in all of greater Boston with 1+ acre estates littering its southwestern bounds. The Green Line of the MBTA connects Brookline with core Boston via the C and D line. There are also MBTA bus lines that work the town.
Newton, which shares a border with Boston, is one of the closest suburbs to the city and enjoys especially rapid access into the downtown via the Mass Pike (I-90) not to mention MBTA Commuter Rail Service. With some areas of the city (Newton’s population is close to 90,000) only a 10-12 minute drive into Boston, Newton is known for its beautiful homes, greenery, and another excellent public school district. The spirit of the community is strong here, with many small family-run businesses, and it has a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, museums, libraries, and more. The city does have a relatively considerable industrial base in addition to its predominantly residential feel.
Located a short 14 miles to the west of Boston, Wellesley is well served by both public transit options (MBTA Commuter Rail) as well as ideal access to the Mass Pike (I-90) for a straight shot into the big city. This elegant community is outside the I-95 belt which surrounds Boston and thereby begins to offer larger parcels for homesites and a slightly more suburban feel than Newton and Brookline, mentioned above. Wellesley’s town center is an enviable collection of shops and businesses that is centrally located and cultivates a strong community among its 29,000 residents. Another town that is known for its well to do schools (and residents!), Wellesley is as quintessentially suburban as one might find in America. The reputable Wellesley College is an important part of the equation in a town that has a limited industrial base. Neighboring Weston is often lumped together with Wellesley in housing discussions despite their unique characteristics.
Immediately north of Wellesley and also a very quick 15 minutes west of Boston, Weston is an idyllic and quiet town filled with charm and a more pastoral feel than its neighbor to the south. In Weston you will find some of the largest lots and homes in Greater Boston. Of course, the price tags are impressive, too! A larger collection of modern or contemporary homes has emerged in Weston over the years and caters to a slightly different audience than surrounding towns. Again, public schools in Weston are among the best. The small town feel is real here with only 11,000 residents and a petite but historic downtown section. There is limited to zero industrial activity in town although there are some larger commercial office occupants near the Mass Pike.
Immediately to the north of Natick, and to the west of Weston, is the peaceful town of Wayland. Wayland, with a population of roughly 14,000, provides a tight community for its residents. Formerly a part of neighboring town to the north, Sudbury, Wayland gained its independence in the late 1700’s. With several waterways located within the town, including Dudley Pond, Wayland is a beautiful, scenic town. Similarly to other MetroWest communities, Wayland ranks highly for its public educational system. About 20 miles directly west of Boston, residents will find a slightly longer commute into the city than neighboring Wellesley and Weston, but still quite manageable for daily commuters.
To the south of Wellesley, the town of Needham offers a more dense suburban feel, attracting many people from the city who have decided they need slightly more space upon raising a family. Needham offers its residents a tight-knit community with a bustling downtown filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, and much more. Only a few short miles to Mass Pike, and with I-95 located within the Town, Needham provides an ease of access to those commuting to Boston, or residents who head to Cape Cod in the summer. Like its neighbors in MetroWest, Needham is ranked highly for its public schooling. Within its borders are several private schools as well, notably St. Sebastian’s all boys school. Needham is also home to the Franklin W. Olin School of Engineering.
With a slightly larger population than Needham, Natick is located to the west of Wellesley and Weston, and to the east of Framingham. With several distinct pockets within the town, Natick offers a rural picturesque feel in its southern corner, and a bustling commercial area to the east. It is famous for the Natick Mall, the largest shopping complex in New England, and is home to many large companies. With lots of outdoor space, walking and bicycle paths, a nine-hole executive golf course, and a wildlife sanctuary, this suburb meets many different lifestyles. Public schools are also notably well ranked. With MBTA commuter rail stops, Natick also provides an ease of access into Boston.
In the Northwest portion of MetroWest, located within Middlesex County is the town of Sudbury. With a population of close to 20,000, Sudbury offers a rural feel, with many colonial and cape style homes scattered throughout the town. Sudbury borders several towns, including Concord, Wayland, and Lincoln. It even shares its public high school with neighboring town, Lincoln. Consistent with all of MetroWest, the aforementioned Lincoln-Sudbury High School is ranked highly within the state for both graduation rate and testing. Sudbury is located 24 miles Northwest of Boston, making it a slightly further commute than some of its neighboring towns, but still quite manageable for Boston commuters.
Nestled on the south shores of the Charles River is the town of Dover. Still only 15 miles from Boston, Dover provides a more rural feel relative to its MetroWest neighbor Needham and Wellesley. With a population of only about 6,000, Dover is a quiet, tranquil community. Homeowners can find larger lots with an acre plus of land, even several farms! Like many of its neighbors in MetroWest, Dover public schools rank highly in the state. Dover offers three public schools, and one private school – The Charles River School. Similar to Sudbury, Dover also shares its public high school with neighboring town Sherborn.