Very few cities have as much history, entertainment, and things to do as Boston, Massachusetts. Tucked along the coast, this city has easy access to everything you could dream of—the city, the ocean, good food, great sights, and plenty to do. Boston has enough to keep you exploring for years.
With big-city vibes, it’s no wonder Boston has held its position as one of the top places to move to in the country.1 From passionate sports fans to freshly-caught seafood, this major city is sure to make anyone feel right at home.
This guide will help you get a glimpse at just what life in “The Hub” is like.
Overview of Boston
With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder Boston has remained a popular spot to visit and move to for so long. The tight-knit communities, big city vibes, and gorgeous scenery make this city one you won’t want to miss.
If you’re thinking of relocating to Boston and wondering how to find housing as a travel nurse, here’s a quick overview:
- Population – 689,326 in the city2
- Average Household Income – $76,2982
- Average Home Value – $581,2002
- Average Rent – $3,922 for a one-bedroom apartment3
- Cost of Living –The Boston average cost of living is 50.8% higher than the national average.6
- Who Lives Here – Because Boston has so many universities, it’s the ideal spot for young professionals as it’s easy to network. The suburbs and surrounding areas are a bit quieter and are known as great places to settle down and raise a family.
- Known for – Referred to by Boston residents as “The Hub,” some of the things this city is known for include:
- Local sports teams (mainly the Bruins, New England Patriots, Celtics, and Boston Red Sox)
- A culinary tradition including seafood and baked beans (but not together)
- Rich history and culture, particularly related to Colonial America and the nation’s founding
- Being accessible—both in terms of walkability and public transit. Although drivers can be a bit aggressive and parking might be hard to find, this small area makes it quick to get around.
Where to Live
One of the first items on your Massachusetts moving list as a med surge travel nurse or any type of travel nurse, will be choosing where in Boston to live. Here’s the rundown of where to start looking:
If city life is calling your name, then Boston is the perfect spot for you. With plenty of neighboring towns that are still a part of the city’s metropolitan area, you have a lot of options still within walking distance or reachable via public transportation. Check out:
- Back Bay
- Beacon Hill
- Seaport District
- Hyde Park
Worried about how to make friends in a new city? These towns have all the vibes of the big city without paying top dollar, and taking up residency in any of these places means you’ll get a truly local experience. “Townies,” or locals, are passionate in Massachusetts, and you’ll be embraced and welcomed as you join any of these smaller areas.
There’s no denying that one perk to living in Boston is the coastline. Who wouldn’t want to take in ocean views while commuting to work? But if you’re looking to embrace more of the seaside while still living close enough to get to work in Boston, take a look at these towns—some even have commuter boats:
Suburb Locations – If you’re looking to embrace Boston in a quieter way, make sure to check its surrounding suburbs. All within driving distance of Boston and the ocean, many towns offer an authentic New England experience. Consider these, which are dotted with historic main streets, family-owned restaurants, and quaint shopping centers:
Places to Explore
Looking for the best places to visit? If you’re moving to Boston or already living there, you’ll be surrounded by culture, great food, and so much to do. So whether you’re embracing life on the water at a Back Bay bar or blending in with the Boston residents at a Sox game, we’ve got a few big-ticket items you won’t want to miss when you’re exploring:
- Little Italy – This famous corner of Boston is quiet, quaint, cobble-stoned, and delicious. A small Boston neighborhood, the North End is only one square mile but is packed with big flavor as it’s famous for some of the best Italian dishes in the country.4
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace – Founded in 1742, Faneuil Hall was originally used as a central location to sell crops and livestock. Today, it’s home to a world-famous food hall. With a range of cuisines from Indian to American and everything in between, there’s something for everyone. Plus, the Cheers bar isn’t far, and there are tons of surrounding shopping options.5
- Newbury Street – Known for its good food and shopping, Newbury Street has an amazing collection of small, eclectic shops and high-end stores. With pop-ups, walk-ups, and many restaurants and bars, it’s easy to make a trip to Newbury Street an all-day event, so make sure to wear your walking shoes.6
- Chinatown – The center of Boston’s Chinese community, Chinatown is an amazing cultural experience with genuine cuisine, shopping, and a lively nightlife.7
Best Restaurants & Things to Do
As one of the top cities in the US, living in Boston means having access to some of the best food, drink, and entertainment in the country. Of course, the seafood is fresh and to die for, and stopping by Fenway park is a must, but Boston has a few other restaurants and things to do that might surprise you.
Make sure to dine at some of the locals’ favorites, like:
- Union Oyster House – This historic restaurant was founded in 1826 and is known for its clam chowder and New England-style seafood.8
- Toro – You can’t go wrong with Spanish tapas, cocktails, and wine. This restaurant is well known for a good reason.9
The Capital Grille – With a spinning, 360° view of Boston, this restaurant is famous for its high-quality steakhouse menu and sophisticated atmosphere.10
- The Daily Catch – Tucked away in the North End, the Daily Catch marries Boston’s fresh seafood and Little Italy’s renowned pasta.11
- The Salty Pig – American cuisine, craft beers, and elaborate charcuterie boards—this restaurant offers comfortable vibes and good food.12
Things to Do:
Take advantage of Boston’s walkability to work off the incredible courses found at the restaurants above with jaunts to:
- Museum of Science – Sitting beside the Charles River, Boston’s Museum of Science is a great spot for fun and learning—with changing exhibits, hands-on activities, and an Omni-theater.13
- Fenway Park – A tour of the nation’s oldest MLB ballpark will not only give you a glimpse of Boston’s amazing sports history but will also help you better understand why locals are so passionate about their baseball team.14
- Boston Common – America’s oldest park was founded in 1634 and is still one of the most beautiful places to stroll and embrace nature.15
- Harbor Islands – Pop on the Boston Harbor Ferry and explore the US’ only drowned drumlin hills in the world as you check out the Boston Harbor Islands.16
- Freedom Trail – Let Beantown’s Freedom Trail guide your tour of the city. The collection of houses, buildings, and churches along this historic trail shows you Boston and tells the story of its involvement with the American Revolution.17
- Museum of Fine Arts – The MFA is one of the largest collections in America and is the 20th largest art museum in the world. With over 8,000 paintings and over 450,000 works of art, this is one spot you won’t want to pass up.18
Tips for Moving to Boston:
As you begin preparing to relocate to Boston, you might just be dreaming of warm Italian meals, sightseeing, and ocean views. But if you want to make your move to Boston a little easier, here are a few tidbits of advice for moving to a new city:
- Grab a commuter pass – This won’t only help you blend in with the locals; it’ll save you big on public transit fees.
- Invest in a good pair of walking shoes – As a very walkable city, Boston will keep you on your toes. So make sure you’ve got a comfortable pair of shoes to keep you supported.
- Embrace the sports – Even if following the game isn’t your thing, sports in Boston is a social experience with lots of food, drink, and good times. So don’t worry if you’re not super into the actual game; the atmosphere is where the fun is.
- Invest in winter gear – No matter where you’re moving from, winters in Boston are unique and can be a bit of a shock. The cold wind off the coast, salt from the ocean, and soot from the city can quickly turn snow into slush. It’s even been known to rain after a big snowfall, so make sure you’re prepared for a New England winter.
Life in Boston
Moving to Boston means embracing adventure, culture, and good food. No matter where you find residency—from the coast to the city or even the suburbs—the local community is easy to embrace and exciting to be a part of. While it might be a little bit more expensive than other areas of the country, this city’s collegiate, historical, and progressive aspects make it worth the extra expense.
Filled with history and fun, this city is an easy place to move to and even easier to call home. No two seasons are the same, and you’ll never run out of new places to explore. Soon you’ll be throwing on your Boston Red Sox cap and catching the T as you head into work beside other locals and the ocean.
Allie Lowe RN, OCN
Nursing Specialty: Medical Oncology, Telemetry/Cardiac Acute
I started my nursing career in a Medical/Surgical/Oncology unit where I was able to really connect with my patients’ long term, which I absolutely loved but always knew I wanted more of a challenging environment. During my time of being a nurse I have been able to work my way through Cardiac Acute/Telemetry, COVID ICU and Emergency Department. I am still working as a Team Lead on a Cardiac Acute Telemetry floor when I am not working at Host- this way I get the best of both worlds of advocating and coaching fellow nurses on travel assignments and still have my own direct patient care. The beauty of nursing is that there truly is an unlimited number of specialties & areas you can pursue! When I am not working, I’m most likely taking my dog out on hikes, surfing or eating tacos in sunny San Diego.
- Boston. Boston: One of the best cities in the country or wicked overhyped? Here’s what readers said. https://www.boston.com/community/readers-weigh-in/2022/05/24/readers-weigh-in-boston-great-to-live/
- Data USA. Boston, MA. https://datausa.io/profile/geo/boston-ma/
- Rent.com. The Cost of Living in Boston in 2022. https://www.rent.com/blog/cost-of-living-in-boston/
- Go City. Guide to Boston’s Little Italy. https://gocity.com/boston/en-us/blog/guide-boston-little-italy
- Faneuil Hall. Faneuil Hall. https://faneuilhallmarketplace.com
- Newbury Street. Newbury Street. https://www.newburystboston.com
- Chinatown. Chinatown Main Street. https://www.chinatownmainstreet.org
- Union Oyster House. History. http://unionoysterhouse.com/pages/history.html
- Toro. About Toro Boston. https://www.toro-restaurant.com/about
- The Capital Grille. About Us. https://www.thecapitalgrille.com/about-us
- The Daily Catch. The Daily Catch. https://thedailycatch.com/
- The Salty Pig. The Salty Pig. https://www.thesaltypig.com/about
- Museum of Science. About Us. https://www.mos.org/about-us
- Fenway Park. Fenway Park. https://thefenway.com/locations/fenway-park
- City of Boston. Boston Common. https://www.boston.gov/parks/boston-common
- Boston Harbor Islands. About the Park. https://www.bostonharborislands.org/about-the-park/
- The Freedom Trail. About. https://www.thefreedomtrail.org/about
- MFA Boston. About the MFA. https://www.mfa.org/about