Boston Neighborhoods

July Food Holidays and Where to Celebrate Them in Boston, MA

There are great food holidays to celebrate year-round—it just so happens that July has some of the best ones on the calendar!

If you're a New Englander, then you know what it means to make the most out of the summer season. It's time to relax, unwind and even escape your own backyard for a quick weekend getaway.

If you're a foodie living in the Boston area, it's time to get out and explore new restaurants with outdoor dining!

Here are some food holidays to celebrate in July that will give you an excuse to try something different from your normal spots:

July 1: National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day

  • Where to Go: Gracie's Ice Cream—22 Union Square, Somerville, MA
  • Why?: Change up your classic ice cream preferences from any one of Gracie's ever-changing selection of homemade flavors
  • More suggestions: The Coolest New Boston Ice Cream Shops (Eater)

July 3: National Fried Clam Day

July 4: National Spare Ribs Day

July 6: National Fried Chicken Day

July 10: National Pina Colada Day

July 14: National Mac and Cheese Day

July 24: National Tequila Day

July 25: National Wine & Cheese Day

July 30: National Cheesecake Day

Where are your favorite restaurants and bars to explore in Boston?

Boston-based Lifestyle Bloggers to Follow

Find inspiration for Boston living through lifestyle blogs

What is a lifestyle blog, anyway?

A lifestyle blog offers a more personal perspective of an individual—think of it as a more sophisticated diary, inside travel guide, home and décor magazine all in one place. Each lifestyle blogger shares their experiences in their own backyard or abroad with their own authentic voice.

Follow these Boston-based lifestyle bloggers for ideas on how to enjoy Beantown and beyond:

It's Kristin

Sub-Categories: Style/Beauty/Wellness/Travel

About: Kristin Bassett has been living in Boston since 2006. According to her bio, Bassett works in tech marketing during the day and works on her personal lifestyle blog in her spare time. She enjoys sharing her travels and connecting with other Boston bloggers through quick Q&A interviews. 

Brunch on Sunday

Sub-categories: Style/Beauty/Travel

About: Originally from coastal Maine, Mackenzie Murphy launched Brunch on Sunday as a creative outlet alongside her full-time job as a special education teacher. Murphy imbues her blog posts with her playful and authentic spirit. 

Elisabeth McKnight

Sub-Categories: Style/Motherhood/Cooking/Travel

About: Elisabeth McKnight is a happy young mother, lifestyle blogger and part-time social media consultant based in the Boston area. Although motherhood is a prevalent topic in McKnight's posts, she also shares great recipes to try at home for entertaining or staying in. McKnight attended Brigham Young University and earned her degree in Political Science and Economics. 

Paris, Meet Boston

Sub-categories: Travel/Fashion/Culture

About: Boston-based writer Lindsay Shores describes herself as an " avid Francophile, fluent French speaker, and lover of Parisian style and living." Shores, who spent time living in Paris, frequently travels back to the City of Light with her husband Dan and has a passion for bridging French culture with her Boston lifestyle.

Boston Chic Party

Sub-Categories: Style/Motherhood/Entertaining/Travel

About: Run by blogger and mother Jenna DiMaggio, Boston Chic Party is a great reference for young moms living in Boston. DiMaggio enjoys sharing her tips on entertaining and how to be a clever hostess, as well as what to do in Boston and personal style tips. 

Courtesy of Court

Sub-Categories: Travel/Foodie/Style/Fitness

About: Courtesy of Court is Courtney Osgood's creative outlet that brings her passions together.  Boston blogger Osgood describes herself as a "TV journalist turned lifestyle publicist + blogger" who "finds beauty in the 'little things', and brings them to life through her writing." In 2017, Osgood launched her own PR firm, CKO PR, to help clients gain exposure to top editors and publications.

 

Summertime Festivals in Boston, MA

As much as we love going to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard during the summer, there's also plenty of fun to be had in downtown Boston!

One of the many positive things about living in Boston, Massachusetts is having access to fun and interesting cultural events year-round. Here's a quick round-up of popular summer festivals to explore in downtown Boston and the greater Boston area:

 

Boston Calling (Memorial Day weekend)

Since 2013, Boston's music festival features major live musical acts. Past headliners include fun., Young the Giant, Vampire Weekend, Beck, Mumford & Sons, and, more recently, Eminem, The Killers and Jack White:

Boston Calling Music Festival is a three-day, multi-stage festival featuring the biggest and best acts in live music, comedy, and visual arts. The event will provide easy access to all performance areas, incredible concessions, indoor performances and many surprises to be announced. All ages are welcome and children under 10 are free. 

Tall Ships in Boston with Sail Boston (mid-June)

Want to experience New England history on the water? Come aboard the beautiful historic tall ships in the Boston Harbor:

Sail Boston brings 52 magnificent tall ships from all over the world to Boston Harbor in June for a 5-day festival. 

You can watch the Tall Ships Parade through the Harbor, join on-board tours, see them up close on special cruises, and enjoy the festival's celebrations and other special events. 

Boston Harbor Festival (late June-Fourth of July)

The five-day festival in downtown Boston is dedicated to celebrating Beantown's history. The festival always closes with the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular:

With hundreds of activities over Independence Day weekend at Boston’s best landmarks, this family-friendly event is the country’s largest Fourth of July festival. Activities include the annual opening ceremony at Faneuil Hall, historical reenactments, Freedom Trail walks, boat tours, live entertainment and much more!

Green River Festival (mid-July)

The Green River Festival is the result of two separate events held in Greenfield, Massachussetts—the Upcountry Balloon Fair on one weekend, followed by the anniversary of the local radio stations WRSI. Over time, the local events merged into today's unique folk-boho-hot air balloon festival in the Boston-area.


Over the years, the festival has hosted dozens of music giants including established legends like Emmylou Harris, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams, Mavis Staples, Arlo Guthrie, Steve Earle, and more recent stars like The Avett Brothers, Neko Case, Calexico, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, CAKE, Fountains Of Wayne, Old Crow Medicine Show, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and many others.  

Now in its 32nd year, the Green River Festival continues to combine hot air ballooning with world-class musical performers. 

 

Stunning Waterfront Condos for Sale in Boston

Imagine enjoying an obscured view of Boston harbor every day from the comfort of your own home

Living on the Boston waterfront provides homeowners the opportunity to see the city in a completely different perspective than most residents. With these listings, it's possible to enjoy the conveniences of city living while having an urban oasis with plenty of natural light and calming views of the water. 

Your worst problem? All of your friends and family who will want to invite themselves over every Fourth of July and New Year's Eve to get a clear view of the fireworks. 

Here are a few of the Boston condominiums available for sale (as of May 23, 2018):

Boston Waterfront Condo 100 Lovejoy Place

100 Lovejoy Place, Unit 11B, waterfront

Boston, MA 02114

MLS Number 72288321

Cheerful natural light greets you as you enter this sophisticated and stylish corner home overlooking the beginning of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Lovejoy Wharf has everything you've been looking for from front door valet parking to over 2,000 sf of health and wellness space, Related signature management services, Lovejoy Attache personalized lifestyle concierge services, rooftop sun terrace, fireside library lounge, billiards room, children playroom, event space with catering kitchen, conference room, and more, you'll find true luxury in this new community designed by Robert A.M. Stern. Captivating design features and a thoughtful layout create a warm and inviting space filled with style and sophistication. An incredible home, spectacular building, dynamic location on the waterfront and in the heart of the city. 1 parking space included.

Boston Waterfront Condo 120 Fulton

120 Fulton, Unit DE, Waterfront

Boston, MA 02109

MLS Number 72290049

Rarely available condominium in the historic McLauthlin Building on tree-lined Fulton Street. This unique brick and beam loft includes over 1000 square feet of living space. Open concept living room with office alcove. Oversized eat-in kitchen with stainless appliances. Two separate sleeping areas, one bathroom, in-unit Bosch washer/dryer and central AC. The McLauthlin is a professionally managed building in a great North End location just one block from Boston's Waterfront and steps from Faneuil Hall and the Financial District. Easy access to all major highways. A must see!

Boston Waterfront Condo 10 Constellation Wharf

10 Constellation Wharf, Unit 10, Waterfront

Boston, MA 02129

MLS Number 72238708

3-bedroom townhouse with stunning Harbor and City views. Ideally located at the end of the Wharf, this townhome features direct entry, attached garage and 2 terraces overlooking Boston’s Harbor. The open living and dining rooms have a wood-burning fireplace, custom built-ins and a wall-of-windows capturing sunsets and Boston’s Skyline. The eat-in kitchen has custom cabinets, stainless appliances and 2 pantries. The master suite has a luxurious en-suite bathroom with soaking tub, custom closets and private deck with glorious views. Guest bedroom with renovated full bathroom. The 3rd bedroom is privately located and can be used as a study/office and has a wood-burning fireplace, custom built-in desk and private deck. Features include herringbone floors in the dining room, audio, wet bar, and second covered parking space. This property is a private Harbor-side community with guest parking and a concierge.

 

Boston Waterfront Condo 85 E India Row

85 E India Row, Unit 29E, Waterfront

Boston, MA 02110

MLS Number 72319439

Enjoy spectacular views of the Boston Harbor, the Seaport District and beyond from this rarely available upper-level, one-bedroom home in sought after Tower 1. Gracious entry foyer leads you to the spacious living room with a wall of windows, custom built-in bookcase and great sunlight from the Southern exposure. Wake in the morning to Harbor views from the large bedroom with great closet space. Galley kitchen with full appliances and ample storage. All tile bath with updated vanity and glass enclosed tub/shower. Private association pool and sun-deck area with picnic area and grills. Full service building with 24-hour doorman, concierge services and on-site professional management. Move in just in time to enjoy summer on the Boston Waterfront.

Want to see more waterfront condos in Boston? Contact Longwood Residential today!

Top 10 High Schools in Massachusetts Announced for 2018

U.S. News & World Report announced the national rankings for high schools across the country

Among several other factors, U.S. News determined the high school rankings based upon four main concepts:

  • Whether students exceeded expectations in their state
  • Whether underserved students performed better than the state average
  • Whether student graduation rates met a threshold
  • Whether students were prepared for college-level work 

For Massachusetts, 20 high schools were awarded gold medals, 71 earned silver medals and 22 received bronze medals.

Here's who made the list for the 2018 Top 10 High Schools in Massachusetts:

  1. Boston Latin School *ranked #48 nationally
  2. Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School (Marlborough)
  3. Mystic Valley Regional Charter School (Malden)
  4. Lenox Memorial High
  5. Hopkinton High School
  6. Boston Latin Academy
  7. Medfield Senior High 
  8. Dover-Sherborn Regional High 
  9. Arlington High
  10. John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science (Roxbury)

Read the full U.S. News Best High School Rankings to see how other states ranked and to learn the full methodology of the study. 

The Boston Globe Names the 2018 Top Spots to Live in Greater Boston

In April 2018, The Boston Globe shared the list of towns outside of Boston with a high percentage of appreciation since 2012

With data pulled by the Warren Group, a real estate tracking firm based, The Boston Globe pulled together the list of best towns to live in outside of Boston for single-family homes based on four different price-points. The article also included information on mentioned listing of each town's median condo price, as well as expert information about each area that may help incoming residents decide where to move within in the Boston area.

Here are the top spots for the first two price-point tiers for single-family homes in Greater Boston:

First Price-point Tier: $1M+

  • Cambridge: $1,310,000; +59% change since 2012
  • Winchester $1,085,000; +55% 
  • Brookline $1,850,000; +54%

Second Price-point Tier: $750K-$1M

  • Jamaica Plain: $850,000; +80% change since 2012
  • South Boston: $790,000; +78%
  • Needham: $962,500; +43%

Visit The Boston Globe for the full article. 

5 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in Boston

What to do on rainy days in Boston, Massachusetts

Although it can be nice staying inside on a rainy New England afternoon, the wet weather hardly spoils Boston's lively activities. The city and the Greater Boston area have a variety of local treasures worth exploring for everyone!

We've made a list of rainy day activities and suggested places to visit in Boston:

Get lost in an independent bookstore. There's nothing like finding a good book to curl up with and read on a rainy afternoon. The first step? Finding a new book or two. Grab a coffee-to-go and head to the local bookstore in your neighborhood. Trident Booksellers & Café in Back Bay has become a well-known Boston institute for book lovers. If you're looking for a large selection, the Brattle Book Shop is one of the oldest used booksellers in the country. 

Find a new cozy brunch spot. Rainy days in Boston present great opportunities to check out brunch places that you haven't been able to try because of the long lines that typically appear on sunnier days. The Paris Creperie's food truck makes its rounds through Boston, but their café in Brookline is well worth visiting with friends for fresh crepes and Nutella chocolate drinks. If you're looking for a healthier brunch option, head to Za, a restaurant that makes pizza and salad using seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients from local farms. Want more suggestions for brunch in Boston? Thrillist has you covered with the best brunches to try in Boston right now.

Hit the shops. Between Copley Place and The Prudential Center, you have plenty of stores to choose from to update your wardrobe. You'll find that there's a wide selection of luxury and contemporary brands available in Boston! If you're not in the mood to shop for clothes, you can always simply window shop or make your way to Barnes & Noble at the Prudential Center. 

Treat yourself to a spa day. If you know that your weekend plans may be rained out in advance, book a facial or massage in Boston! Take the opportunity to do some self-care and escape from stress for an hour or a half-day. We recommend Balans, the only all-organic spa in Boston, and Corbu at The Charles Hotel in the heart of Harvard Square. 

Check out the latest museum exhibits and explore Boston's smaller museums. Take advantage of living in Boston by exploring the incredible museums in the city! The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Museum of Science and the Harvard Museum of Natural History are some of the larger museums that are more likely to have active, rotating exhibits, but it's also worth visiting the smaller historical treasures Boston has to offer. Trinity Church, the Nichols House Museum, and the Paul Revere House are centrally located in Boston and are only a short walk away from downtown shops and restaurants.

U.S. News Ranks Massachusetts as #1 for Education

The U.S. News & World Report released their 2018 Best States report based on a total of 77 metrics

Using McKinsey & Company's Leading States Index, each state was assessed under eight major categories with the following weighted values:

 

Massachusetts earned the eighth spot in the overall state ranking. New Hampshire (#5) and Vermont #9 were the other states from New England who ranked in the Top 10. Here's how Massachusetts lined up in the 2018 Best States report:

  • Overall Rank: #8
  • Education: #1
  • Crime & Corrections: #5
  • Healthcare: #5
  • Economy: #9
  • Quality of Life: #25
  • Fiscal Stability: #40
  • Infrastructure: #45

Learn more about the full methodology and the other state rankings on the U.S. News & World Report website

Another study published earlier this year recognized Massachusetts as the "Best State to Raise a Family."

Parks and Green Spaces in Boston

With spring coming around the corner, Bostonians are getting ready to smell blooming flowers, see green grass and take in the warmer weather!

Residents and tourists are familiar with Boston Common and Public Garden, but there are more green spaces throughout the city. Smaller neighborhoods have corners of green gardens peppered on every other street, whereas other neighborhoods are in close proximity to large parks like Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park or the Wharf District Park.  

We've put together a short of list of parks and green spaces in some of our favorite Boston neighborhoods:

Back Bay-Beacon Hill

For everyone:

  • Copley Square
  • Public Garden

For playgrounds:

  • Clarendon Street Play Lot, 260 Clarendon Street
  • Myrtle Street Playground, 50 Myrtle Street
  • Phillips Street Play Area, 21 Phillips Street

Charlestown

For everyone:

  • Thompson Square, 111 Warren Street
  • Winthrop Square, 55 Winthrop Street
  • Mayor Menino Park, 1st Avenue Street Frontage

For playgrounds:

  • Caldwell Street Play Area, 9 Caldwell Street
  • Cook Street Play Area, 15 Hill Street
  • Harvard Mall, 29 Harvard Street

Downtown

For everyone:

  • Angell Memorial Square, 152-158 Congress Street
  • Bay Village Garden, 32 Melrose Street
  • Bay Village Neighborhood Park, 113 Charles Street South
  • Boston Common, 139 Tremont Street (location of tourist office)
  • Cardinal Cushing Park, 5 New Chardon Street
  • Christopher Columbus Park, 110 Atlantic Avenue
  • Copp's Hill Terrace, 520 Commercial Street
  • Faneuil Square, 1P Faneuil Hall Square
  • Lincoln Square, 2 Columbus Street
  • North Square, 1P North Square

For playgrounds:

  • Langone Park, 529-543 Commercial Street
  • Puopolo Playground, 517 Commercial Street

Fenway-Kenmore

For everyone:

  • Back Bay Fens, 100 Park Drive
  • Commonwealth Avenue Mall, 484 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Ramler Park, 130 Peterborough Street

For playgrounds:

  • Edgerly Road Playground, 6 Edgerly Road

Jamaica Plain

For everyone:

  • Arnold Arboretum, 125 The Arborway
  • Jamaica Pond Park, 507 Jamaica Way
  • Mahoney Square, 399P Centre Street
  • Nira Rock Urban Wild, 22 Nira Avenue
  • Olmsted Park, 217 Jamaicaway 

For playgrounds:

  • Forbes Street Playground, 60 Forbes Street
  • Mission Hill Playground, 60 Smith Street
  • Mozart Street Playground, 10 Mozart Street

For the complete list of parks and green spaces, visit The City of Boston's website.

Study Ranks Massachusetts as "Best State to Raise a Family"

Massachusetts ranks #1 Best State to Raise a Family according to 2018 study

Whether you're a young couple looking to build a family or a larger family seeking more opportunities, moving to the right place can be an overwhelming decision for anyone. Will there be relatives and friends nearby? How are the public schools for your children? Are there plenty of activities to engage different ages? Is the area you're interested in even affordable?

Massachusetts 2018 Best State to raise a family WalletHub published 2018’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family to address many of these concerns. 

The WalletHub study evaluated each state based on 42 indicators of family-friendliness under five main categories—Family Fun, Health & Safety, Education & Childcare, Affordability, and Socio-economics. 

The highest average score between the five categories produced the overall rank.

The Results

Massachusetts, followed by Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont are the top five ranking states. The lowest ranking states are Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, and New Mexico. Connecticut (#11) and Maine (#17) were the only other New England states to make the Top 20.

"States can make family life better—or worse—by taking steps to ensure quality childcare and education and by providing economic programs that support families," says Anne L. Alstott, Jacquin D. Bierman Professor in Taxation at Yale Law School. "Families are inevitably affected by the cost of living, by child care, and educational quality, and by policies like family leave and mandated sick leave. And facilities like public transportation, public parks, and affordable housing can all improve the quality of family life."

In addition to earning the top spot, Massachusetts ranked #3 for having the lowest infant mortality rate. However, Massachusetts was recognized as one of the least affordable childcare costs in the country at #48. 

Review the full WalletHub study to see the complete list of rankings, methodology and expert panel. 

In 2017, Boston ranked #8 on The 25 Best Places to Live in the U.S. for its strong job market opportunities, low unemployment rate, and high desirability to live in the New England city.