Recognized as One of the Best Places to Live in MA, the residents lean toward liberal and the schools are highly rated. The 151 acre cranberry bog and the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (bike path) are just two of the highlights of this charming little town that’s surrounded on all sides by state parks and forests.The most random thing about Carlisle: the town was home to Blue Jay Recording Studio (which is no longer in use)–Aerosmith, Billy Joel, and Rihanna, are just a few of the big names who recorded at this partially underground studio!
A suburb of Worcester AND an exurb of Boston! This large town has an interesting jack-of-all-trades type history: orchards and taverns sprung up in the mid-1700s, then residents began raising cattle for leather; next gunsmithing, which evolved to making cutlery, brass clocks and watchmaking; eventually sawmills opened in the town drawing in chair and cabinet makers. The 4-mile long Lake Quinsigamond–Shrewsbury’s main attraction–combined with the rich history of changing enterprise, makes this town a Pandora’s box of culture and industry waiting to be discovered.
This is the smallest town, by population, in Middlesex County with about 3000 residents. Locals take advantage of Ashby’s higher elevation: with hiking trails at (1800+ ft) Mount Watatic and Trap Falls picturesque waterfall/ recreation area for outdoor family fun. If you’re looking for nightlife in Ashby, it’s nonexistent, but a short trip over the border will bring you to an array of options in nearby Nashua, NH.
Significantly larger than the other towns on our Top 5 list, Plymouth is considered an exurb because of the new developments (Pine Hills, for example) that have popped up over the past decade. The town boasts numerous historical sites (some of the oldest in the country), plus beautiful beaches, fascinating museums, and a Downtown with shops, restaurants and nightlife (something many exurbs lack).
Although landlocked, Rochester is located mere miles from Buzzards Bay. But, the proximity to the ocean has had no bearing on this town. In fact, it feels more like the Midwest than the Northeast. Rochester retains its farming roots as one of MA’s “Right to Farm” communities; this by-law ensures that no complaints of noise, odor, etc relating to farming can be made (presumably by new residents who move in near farms). There are several ponds and rivers in Rochester, as well as the Sippican Rod & Gun Club and the Haskell Wildlife Management Area.