The Best Neighborhood In Boston

Boston is a community with immense history and a vibrant cultural presence. From its foundation in 1630 as the Massachusetts Bay Colony (via Boston USA) to the modern-day city and sprawling metro area that is home to almost 5 million people, Boston has continued to be a center of activity and excitement for those lucky enough to live at "The Hub of the Universe" (deemed as such by Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1858, according to Celebrate Boston).

Bostonians are equally proud of local sporting legends, overcoming modern tragedy following the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, and colonial-era protest and eventual victory over British forces. All of these triumphs and trials have come together to form a unique community that oozes with small-town feel while remaining one of the most active metropolitan cities in the United States.

Past and present come together in Boston, and the town is brimming with iconic neighborhoods as a result — from Back Bay and Beacon Hill to Cambridge (just across the Charles River and not really a part of the city itself, we know!). But none of these fantastic local areas compare to what has to be the best neighborhood to call home in Boston and the larger I-95 ring that encloses it.

Brookline can be found directly west of Back Bay and offers residents the absolute best in Boston living in every way that matters!

The T, a straight shot into the heart of Boston

Boston Discovery Guide reports that the Boston subway system, known locally as "the T," is the oldest in America, with its foundation coming in 1897. The T can be slow and cumbersome in certain areas of the city, but for Brookline residents, the trains run directly along Beacon Street and swoop down through the neighborhoods of southern Brookline, providing easy access from virtually anywhere in the local community. Similarly, Brookline sits in a unique position: It's just far enough away from the hustle and bustle that you may not be shoved into a carriage for the duration of your daily commute but close enough that this trip isn't a major slog. According to Google Maps, a typical journey from central Brookline on Beacon Street directly into Faneuil Hall at the center of urban Boston will only take 25 minutes on the T.

All in all, Brookline is fabulously positioned for a commuter who goes into the city on a regular basis and for those who will stay closer to home and want to be near central Boston while still enjoying all the highlights of suburban living.

Fenway Park and the Sox: A Boston institution

One feature of Brookline that simply cannot be overstated is the unparalleled access to Fenway Park. Just a short sprint up Beacon Street, you'll find the Green Monster, Jersey Street (formerly Yawkey Way, according to NPR), and Pesky's Pole, all attached to the oldest major league stadium in the country (opened in 1912 via NBC Sports).

Fenway is a Boston institution, to be sure, and you're likely to find yourself enmeshed in the Red Sox fandom, even if baseball doesn't speak much to you as a sport, personally. The Sox are simply a part of Boston culture, and the team has become an integral part of what it means to call Boston home. Whether you're glued to broadcasts and Baseball Savant, or you simply adopt the undying hatred of all things Yankees, the presence of Bostonian sports as a looming iconoclastic figure will quickly become a part of your daily routine.

For those who love baseball, Brookline provides another incredible benefit with its location. Fenway Park is just up the road (on the way into town), and catching games (and hopefully homerun balls!) at this historic ballpark can really enrich your experience in Beantown in ways that other activities simply can't match.

Washington Square and Coolidge Corner

A tour of Brookline isn't complete without considering two of the most happening central shopping and gathering areas of the neighborhood: Washington Square and Coolidge Corner. Boston University Today notes that Coolidge Corner has been a Brookline mainstay among locals for more than 150 years! The area is just down the road from Boston University and is home to a plethora of restaurants, bars, bakeries, and much more.

Washington Square is a little farther west and sits at the junction of Beacon Street and Washington Street (having been transformed over the years from a cow path in the mid-1600s into a fully formed roadway, according to Brookline Historical Society). In the same way that Coolidge Corner has developed into a hub for locals looking to eat, drink, and meet people, Washington Square provides the same kind of community vibe and active commercial center.

Each of these central hubs makes Brookline a formidable neighborhood that can compete against any in the country for both convenience and comfort.

The resurgent Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is a community spectacle. The marathon has been run since 1897 and was traditionally run on Patriots' Day (a holiday in Massachusetts and Maine that commemorates the opening salvos of the Revolutionary War), according to the Boston Athletic Association, the body that organizes the Boston Marathon. Today, the marathon is run on the third Monday of April (outside of scheduling issues stemming from the Coronavirus Pandemic that saw it temporarily moved to the virtual sphere and then pushed back to October).

The Boston Athletic Association notes that the marathon proceeds east from Hopkinton through Ashland, Framingham, and Natick as the runners head on to the finish line in Boston. Fortunately for Brookline residents, the final miles take the racers directly up Beacon Street and through the center of Brookline from roughly the 23rd to the 25th mile (when the race passes Fenway Park). From there, it's a sprint to the finish line just up the road from Brookline, allowing running enthusiasts to get intimately involved in the action as it reaches its most competitive mark.

Local outlet WBUR reports that for Bostonians, the marathon has taken on a new characteristic of resiliency and community spirit in recent years. Since the bombing in 2013 that killed three and injured hundreds, the Boston Marathon has been run as a commemorative and deeply spiritual community event, making participation as a Brookline resident all the more meaningful.

Ample green space for relaxed living

The Town of Brookline reports that the community is deeply committed to maintaining a vast array of green spaces and public parks for residents. Indeed, Brookline is dotted with public parks that make for an immensely relaxing community atmosphere. Yelp notes that Coolidge Park, Chestnut Hill Reservoir, Brookline Reservoir, Griggs Park, and Corey Hill Outlook all offer fantastic outdoor living for Brookline locals who call all corners of the neighborhood home.

This is an important community focus that is often overlooked in many parts of the country. City Parks Alliance notes that public parks in urban spaces improve the lifestyles of those who call the area home while improving the outlook for local businesses and general home value alike.

Coupled with all the other fantastic benefits that life in Brookline has to offer, it's no wonder why this neighborhood in Boston is the best place to call home if you're moving to Beantown (or from one home to another in the city).