There are more than 30 cities and towns that make up the North Shore of Massachusetts. Buying a house on the North Shore is highly in demand, thanks to the marinas, coastlines, beaches, and natural beauty making up this part of the state that’s in the northeastern corner.
If you’re thinking about a move to the North Shore or maybe even just a visit, the following are some of the things to know.
1. What Does the North Shore Refer To?
The North Shore of Boston is another term you’ll hear used to reference this part of Massachusetts. Some people feel like it only includes a few of the towns that are just to the north of Boston, but other people define it as being a much larger part of the state. Essentially, it can include any area north of Boston in the broader definition.
For people who work in Boston, much of the North Shore is just a short distance away. The MBTA commuter rail that goes from the North Station in Boston also provides accessibility to a lot of the communities.
The two commuter rail lines running from the North Station are the Newburyport line and the Rockport line.
There’s also MBTA bus service from downtown Boston to some towns, including Salem, Marblehead, Swampscott, Lynn, and Revere.
2. The Schools
The public schools that are located in the North Shore area are always among the top-performing in the state. There are also private schools in the area, including Phillips Andover Academy and The Governor’s Academy.
3. The Towns
The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway runs for around 90 miles and boasts beautiful scenery and the chance to check out the dozens of towns in the area.
Salem is one of the most famous towns in not only the North Shore area but all of New England. It gets a lot of visitors, especially around Halloween, thanks to the spooky history.
Newburyport is near the border with New Hampshire, and it’s where the U.S. Coastguard began.
The area is popular in the summer because of the many cultural events.
Rockport is a fishing town that’s on the tip of Cape Ann. It’s a popular retreat for travelers and artists, as well as residents lucky enough to call it home.
Gloucester is the oldest American seaport, and Essex is an inland town with a lot of stunning colonial architecture.
4. Beaches and Boating
A lot of the lifestyle that residents love the most about the North Shore involves the coast and boating.
There is the rocky coastline that the northeast is best known for, but there are also some more pristine beaches that are popular in the summer, like Crane Beach, which is located in Ipswich. Crane Beach has white sand that goes on for miles. Plum Island is another popular beach in the area, which is also home to sandy beaches and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.
Fishing is incredibly popular along the North Shore, as is boating.
If you’re looking to buy a house on the North Shore, there’s a huge range as far as pricing and styles. There is something for everyone.
You can find single-family homes that start at as low as $100,000 and then some that are more than $22 million. The majority of the multi-family homes in the area cost anywhere from $300,000 to upwards of $3 million. If you want to buy vacant land, price ranges are typically from $40,000 to more than $8 million.
A lot of the properties are waterfront, and if you don’t want a single-family home, there are also condos and townhomes.
Generally, the North Shore is more affordable than Boston, and your money is probably going to go quite a bit farther, so this is one of the prime reasons people move to the area.
6. The North Shore is Family-Friendly
Most people who live on the North Shore agree that it’s an idyllic place for families. There are many parks and playgrounds, in addition to the beaches, and the great public schools, which were discussed above. Some of the most popular public schools are in Bedford, Hamilton, Manchester, and Wenham.
There are a lot of recreational areas for families, and in the winter, when you can’t go swimming or boating, you can do other things like skiing nearby.
Most people who call the North Shore home will agree there’s not a lot you can dislike about the area.