The enchanting city of Boston is a beacon of history and culture. From the Freedom Trail to the thriving Financial District, the many charms of this city attract hopeful renters from across the globe. But one look at the average rent prices in Boston may leave you searching for less expensive relocation options.
Whether you are cost-conscious or prefer to live away from the big city vibe, rest assured that there are plenty of cities near Boston where you can still enjoy the best of this world-renowned region.
Here are 10 wonderful cities near Boston with access to the metropolis and unique charms of their own.
- Distance from downtown Boston: 9.9 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: $2,641 (down 9.6 percent since last year)
- Two-bedroom average rent: $3,453 (down 11.8 percent since last year)
Newton is a quintessential New England town with 13 unique neighborhoods, charmingly called Newton’s “13 villages.” The communities offer something for every taste — from Chestnut Hill with its farmlands and chestnut trees to the prosperous business district of West Newton.
West Newton claims a convenient stop on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Commuter Rail, allowing Newton residents to bypass some truly awful Boston traffic and arrive in Back Bay in under 20 minutes.
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- Distance from downtown Boston: 20 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: $1,856 (up 5.8 percent since last year)
- Two-bedroom average rent: $2,725 (down 0.3 percent since last year)
The city of Concord is a fascinating mix of early-American history and modern natural wonders. The Concord Museum captures the uniqueness of the town since its incorporation in 1635, including Concord’s essential role in the American Revolutionary War. Historic houses in Concord display a charming style of architecture unique to New England.
The Walden Pond State Reservation offers locals and tourists a great place to hit the trails and go for a swim at lake beaches.
Outdoor adventures in Concord pair well with an inspiring visit to Thoreau House, the site of the transcendentalist poet’s home, and the legendary Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
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- Distance from downtown Boston: 21 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: $2,118 (down 5.8 percent since last year)
- Two-bedroom average rent: $2,606 (down 5.7 percent since last year)
Natick is known for its Natick Town Center, a charming downtown with historic brick buildings and a cozy atmosphere. Residents enjoy many benefits, including access to a Community Center, the Sassamon Trace Golf Course and Memorial Beach.
On the opposite side of the town exists an entirely different scene with the massive Natick Mall. This shopping center draws in both business and excitement as the largest mall in Massachusetts.
Residents have the best of both worlds, with lovely farmlands in the eastern parts of Natick and the liveliness of the commercial area to the northwest.
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- Distance from downtown Boston: 22.2 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: $2,444 (up 0.5 percent since last year)
- Two-bedroom average rent: $3,049 (up 9.5 percent since last year)
Best known for being the home of the Salem Witch Trials, Salem is rich in history.
The downtown and harbor areas comprise a wide web of streets offering countless shops, restaurants and museums. For a change of theme, visitors can explore worldwide art and culture on display at the Peabody Essex Museum and the historic House of the Seven Gables.
While the height of Salem’s excitement peaks in the month-long celebrations in October, locals enjoy year-round nightlife and a vibrant party scene.
A change of pace is easy to find with the numerous seaside beaches and the expansive nature preservatory at Salem Woods.
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- Distance from downtown Boston: 22.7 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: $1,876 (down 7.7 percent since last year)
- Two-bedroom average rent: $2,357 (down 15.2 percent since last year)
Framingham is a commercial hub that acts as a midway point between Boston in the east and mini-metropolis Worcester farther to the west. In addition to its strategic location, Framingham residents enjoy in-town attractions such as the Garden in the Woods and Jack’s Abbey brewery.
Framingham has several residential neighborhoods and is a popular town for city commuters as the MBTA Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail offers a comfortable ride to both Boston and Worcester.
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Photo source: Boxborough, MA / Facebook
- Distance from downtown Boston: 29 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: $1,806 (down 17.8 percent since last year)
- Two-bedroom average rent: $1,868 (down 21.6 percent since last year)
The cozy town of Boxborough is ideal for those wishing to partake in the joys of countryside life while keeping the conveniences of the big city within distance.
Locals here enjoy charming estates, lush greenery and a close-knit community. For schooling and other purposes, this town is often combined with nearby Acton as the Acton-Boxborough area.
Nature lovers enjoy the numerous Boxborough farms selling locally-grown produce. A breath of the wild is always at hand for residents who have access to in-town parks such as Flerra Meadows and the nearby Wachusett Mountain with its hiking trails and ski slopes.
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- Distance from downtown Boston: 30.1 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: $2,144 (up 0.9 percent since last year)
- Two-bedroom average rent: $3,067 (down 5.3 percent since last year)
Written officially as “Foxborough,” locals refer to this town as “Foxboro” and the “Home of the New England Patriots.” The stunning Gillette Stadium here is the base of Massachusetts’ most beloved football team. During a game, locals across Massachusetts know to give Foxboro a wide berth as the traffic is as legendary as the team playing.
Luckily, Foxboro locals don’t have to leave town to have a great time. The expansive Patriot Place shopping plaza surrounding the stadium offers thrills such as an escape room and a themed cafe.
Fans of nature aren’t left out here — the Nature Trail and Cranberry Bog, as well as the numerous bucolic farms and scenic landscape nearby, offer much to explore.
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- Distance from downtown Boston: 32.3 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: $1,878 (up 1.1 percent since last year)
- Two-bedroom average rent: $2,211 (up 1.5 percent since last year)
A college town with a youthful vibe and lively downtown, Bridgewater is home to Bridgewater State University and boasts the high energy and hip scene of an international campus.
Bridgewater and neighboring towns East Bridgewater and West Bridgewater are great midway points between Boston and Cape Cod.
Residents can take the MBTA Commuter Rail from Bridgewater Station to reach the big city in under an hour or enjoy a scenic drive over the Bourne Bridge to bask on the Cape beaches.
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- Distance from downtown Boston: 36.2 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: N/A
- Two-bedroom average rent: $1,760 (0.0 percent change since last year)
Located on Cape Ann, Gloucester is a dream come true for those who want to live by the sea. This peninsula paradise has beaches on two sides and is right next to the famous town of Rockport. Locals enjoy fresh seafood and an artsy scene — many creative souls appreciate the breathtaking scenery these towns have to offer.
Keep in mind that summer is the high season for coastal towns like Gloucester, and many of the beachy parts of Cape Ann cater to tourists and elderly snowbirds. While Gloucester is not as touristy as Rockport, year-round residents here should expect the liveliness of summer and a much quieter reprieve in winter.
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- Distance from downtown Boston: 39.8 miles
- One-bedroom average rent: $2,151 (up 2.8 percent since last year)
- Two-bedroom average rent: $2,700 (up 4.5 percent since last year)
Often referred to as “America’s hometown,” Plymouth, founded by the Pilgrims in 1620, offers rich history alongside spectacular views of the ocean. The Mayflower II is on display in the downtown memorial park, not far from the monument protecting Plymouth Rock.
Enthusiasts of early American history will enjoy exploring the world-renowned Plimouth Plantation, where Plymouth residents enjoy a steep discount.
Locals and tourists alike love strolling downtown Plymouth with its waterfront shops and a picturesque harbor. Outside of the main commercial areas, scenic cranberry bogs and numerous nature parks dot the landscape.
Business picks up around Thanksgiving time, but unlike many other coastal parts of Massachusetts that host seasonal residents, Plymouth enjoys a steady population year-round.
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Make one of these cities near Boston your home city
Between a prosperous city life and oceanside charms, it is no wonder that Boston and its surrounding area have some of the most sought-after real estate in the country. Whether you want to bask in the rich history of the region or live an idyllic life by the sea, you can find your ideal place in one of these great cities near Boston.
Properties are in high demand, and space is exclusive, so start looking for your new home today.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments in April 2021. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.