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min read

A transferee’s guide to Boston

See how today’s professionals live and work in one of America’s longest-standing cities

Hi, I’m Jed, a Relocity Relocation Consultant in Boston, a charming city in Massachusetts with lots to explore. I’m excited to help you start your new life in this beautiful and historic place.

Located on the East Coast of the United States, Boston was established as an early settlement on a small peninsula in the 1600s. Over the years, Boston expanded into the marshes and tidal flats and incorporated neighboring towns to grow into the important American city it is today. Now, Boston is the largest city in New England, which consists of the six northeastern states.

For a wonderful introduction to Boston, walk some or all of the Freedom Trail, a route that leads you through historic points of interest and tells the story of the American Revolution. Begin the tour by strolling through the city’s delightful central neighborhoods and learning why Boston’s history is deeply tied to the country’s origin.

Visit the famous Boston Common, an expansive park and traditional meeting ground, and the adjacent Massachusetts State House, in Beacon Hill, which is known for its beautiful homes on narrow alleys and as the birthplace of the abolitionist movement. Be sure to stop at the Museum of African American History if you want to learn more about this movement. As you wander the hilly streets and narrow alleys, you’ll see how easy it is to imagine old Boston.

Take a break at the cozy new Beacon Hill Books and Cafe, a bookstore/cafe combination with the feeling of your aunt’s elegant brownstone. Inspired and refreshed by your reading or tea break, walk past the homes of renowned authors Robert Frost and Louisa May Alcott.

If you’re getting hungry while walking around the Common, then cross Charles Street and meander along the soothing paths in the Public Garden. Exit at the southwest corner and head west on Boylston just half a block for a hearty lunch at Parish Cafe, where the elevated sandwiches are designed by chefs from other Bostonian restaurants. A few doors further, the warm Back Bay outpost of Tatte Bakery & Cafe is always a good choice for some coffee and a soup or salad. It’s one of my favorite spots to get some work done away from the office desk.

As you explore the city (or when you need a bite during your lunch break), stop by the Boston Public Market, across from the beautiful Rose Kennedy Greenway in the North End. The market is a food hall with around 30 local vendors selling fresh and prepared cuisines, coffee, sweets, seafood, and crafts. The communal tables and variety make the Boston Public Market great for group lunches. Just be sure to plan your stops since the market gets busy around lunchtime due to its close proximity to City Hall, the Government Center, and Financial District offices.  

Whether or not you’ve paused for food, the Freedom Trail has led you through the North End, Boston’s Little Italy. The North End is a popular spot for young professionals to live. Even though the rents are high and the apartments are small, the North End is close to lots of restaurants and bars and offers easy access to downtown Boston, the financial district, and the Boston Garden.

After roaming through the North End, stop at the Old North Church, where Paul Revere famously warned the Patriot troops that the British were planning to attack by sea, ultimately initiating the Revolutionary War. Walk the narrow side roads, stop at Polcari’s coffee for some fresh ground beans and Italian specialties, and hit Monica’s Mercato & Salumeria for sandwiches and antipasti. Find Polcari’s and Monica’s in the Relocity app by:

• Viewing the “North End Food” layer of your map (ask your Relocation Consultant for more information).
• Pressing the magnifying glass in the top left-hand corner of the app screen and typing in either name. From there, the app will guide you to the associated pin.

New England’s weather can vary greatly from day to day, but if the conditions are good, take your snacks and check out the Harborwalk at Union Wharf. The Harborwalk is a 43-mile linear park that runs along the shoreline of Boston Harbor’s neighborhoods. The lack of bustling crowds offers an excellent opportunity to find peace on a bench and take in the gorgeous view of the Harbor Islands, which you can visit by ferry from late May until early October.

When you come around the end of Long Wharf, you’ll walk toward the city with the water behind you. As you reach the water’s edge, keep straight on State Street until you reach the Old State House, which was the seat of the Colonial government and where Bostonians first heard the Declaration of Independence read aloud.

Alongside the Old State House on the State Street side is the State Street “T” Station. At this public transportation center, buy a Charlie Card (the seven-day pass for $22.50 is good to start with) and then take the Orange Line toward Forest Hills. Get off after three stops at Back Bay.

Across Dartmouth Street is Copley Place, a high-end luxury mall that’s perfect for treating yourself to some new threads. Connected by an enclosed walkway is the Prudential Center, a mall with a range of stores and restaurants. This area is called “Copley Square,” and the main branch of The Boston Public library — one of my favorite places — is here. An exceptional blend of old and new Boston, it’s a great spot to recharge, escape the weather, or get some work done. While the cafe on the main floor offers good snacks, the real treat is the little tea room tucked away off the beautiful interior courtyard. Make a reservation in-person or online for an elegant afternoon.

To finish your day, take a 15-minute stroll over to the South End, a truly charming Boston neighborhood with little parks, gorgeous townhouses, tree-lined streets, a welcoming, progressive attitude, and fun restaurants and bars.

The South End is a popular spot for young families and professionals moving up the corporate ladder due to its cozy and fun neighborhood feel, location in central Boston, and reputation for safety and good schools. Adding to the appeal is its easy typical commute of 20-35 minutes to downtown Boston and Cambridge. The home purchase and rental costs reflect the area’s popularity. Set up some showings — or let your Relocity Relocation Consultant arrange them for you — and imagine living in a classic Victorian, new build, or freshly renovated home.

Check out the Beehive, an upbeat Bohemian space with good food and live music. If you’re in the mood for Greek food, go to Kava Neo-Taverna, a lively, tightly packed restaurant with super service and amazing energy.

There are so many more neighborhoods in Boston, plus museums, theaters, music, renowned universities, and neighboring cities (like Cambridge and Somerville) to explore. Even with its small-city feel, Boston and the surrounding area are home to so much innovation, culture, and  history that there is always something new to see and learn. 

Thanks for allowing me to introduce you to this city that I love! If you’re moving to Boston, I hope this was useful and that I get the opportunity soon to help you make this amazing city your home as well.

Be sure to check out our latest articles below.

Jed Cohan

Relocation Consultant

Jed strives to take the stress out of relocation and ensure his clients enjoy — not just settle into — their new home. He’s excited to show people the best of Boston!