It’s no secret that the Cost of Living in Massachusetts is through the (proverbial) roof. But our neighbors to the North (New Hampshire) hover at a more reasonable price point–which explains why many folks are willing to make the commute from out-of-state to work in Greater Boston. Join us as We Explore the Top Towns to Live in Just Over the Border.
If you’re searching for a glamorous metropolis, you will not find it in New Hampshire–the largest city in NH has a population of just over 100,000. But, wilderness explorers, beach bums and those who love small towns will feel right at home here. Known for its beautiful (if tiny) coastline, expansive parks, outdoor recreation areas, lakes and mountains–including Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast–New Hampshire is a wonderful place to get back to nature. For families looking for more space and affordability, it makes sense to scour Southern New Hampshire looking for that dream home, rather than settle for less in Mass. And with more businesses offering remote work, New Hampshire has never been more appealing.
We’ve compiled our list of Great Places to Live Just Over the Border:
A small city with so much to offer, Portsmouth is New Hampshire’s quintessential seaport town. The quaint Downtown is loaded with pubs, shops, restaurants and historical sites that cater to tourism–including some unique must-sees like Fezziwigs Soda Fountain, Pickwick’s Mercantile and Deadwick’s Ethereal Emporium. The town boasts a full calendar of family-friendly events and will use any holiday or celebration as an excuse to march a parade through town.
You can head to the train station in town and hop an Amtrak 50 miles South to Boston or 50 miles North to Portland, ME (or further). A lovely river winds through the town, as does a picturesque Main Street full of cafes, coffee shops and bookstores. There is a ton of history, a surprisingly vibrant art scene and Exeter’s residents take great pride in education–likely because one of the world’s most prestigious Preparatory Schools, Phillips Exeter Academy is located here.
“While it might not have the fanfare of Hampton…[Rye] offers the stunning ocean views, beautiful beaches, delicious seafood, and easy access to nature that many look for when planning a peaceful seaside escape.” (Aimee Tucker, New England Travel 6/19/19 READ MORE) And when the work-week is over, aren’t we all looking for a little escape from reality? A small town with two State Parks and two State Beaches, this quiet oasis on the shores of NH boasts the largest undeveloped stretch of coastline in the state (Odiorne Point State Park). And for those not-so-beachy days, trade the surfboard for the skateboard and bring the family to Rye Airfield’s one-of-a-kind 50,000 square foot indoor skatepark.
The laid back downtown is comprised of old mills (from the booming textile industry of the 1800s) which have been converted into studios, workspaces, apartments and restaurants. In 2018, Nashua was recognized as The Best Place to Live in New Hampshire due to its affordability, proximity to Boston and thriving local economy. While many folks commute from Nashua to Greater Boston for work, a number of corporations (Oracle, HP, Lockheed Martin) are operating facilities there as well.
Large homes with larger yards come at affordable prices, attracting young professionals and families who work in the City during the week and explore all the state has to offer on the weekends. A strictly residential suburb (with no downtown area of its own), Londonderry is a true bedroom community. While most residents are commuting to Greater Boston for work, more and more are finding opportunities in nearby Manchester (New Hampshire’s largest city).
See what these experts had to say about their favorite places in New Hampshire: