Town Spotlight: Living in Brookline, MA

Sep 4, 2023

When you’re living in Brookline there’s always something to do. With its approximately 63,000 residents, this town boasts numerous historical homes maintaining its classic New England charm. It’s not only the birthplace of John F. Kennedy but also houses the office where Frederick Law Olmsted designed iconic landscapes like Boston’s Emerald Necklace and New York’s Central Park. The appeal of living in Brookline spans all stages of life, thanks to its walkability, safety, renowned dining scene, and strong sense of community. Additionally, it’s an ideal spot for family life, offering exceptional public schools, a variety of summer camps, and numerous family-oriented activities.

Downtown Brookline

A+ for Academics

Living in Brookline brings a delightful sense of community, especially when it comes to education. The town is proud of its eight neighborhood K-8th grade schools, beloved by the community.

One unique feature is how K-8th nurtures a warm, mentoring environment – older students often take younger ones under their wings, creating a strong sense of community. Plus, with school ending at 2:50pm (and even earlier on Wednesdays at 12:20pm), kids have plenty of time to dive into fun after-school activities.

Speaking of fun, sports are big in Brookline. Brookline Recreation offers a smorgasbord of sports, and it’s a real treat to see our kids in their vibrant soccer jerseys, buzzing around town with excitement on Saturdays. And for those creatively inclined kids, there’s no shortage of opportunities. They can light up the stage with drama at ArtBarn or discover their musical talents at Brookline Music School.

When it comes to high school, Brookline High is not just a school but a community highlight, ranked #5 in the state according to Niche as of 2024. It’s a place where students don’t just learn – they thrive, developing academically and growing as thoughtful, purpose-driven young adults. The school district puts its heart into ensuring every student is poised for a fulfilling future.

And for those considering private education, Brookline is home to some of the most respected schools in Massachusetts, like Dexter Southfield and The Park School. Dexter Southfield even hosts these amazing free public telescope nights – they’re a blast and a fantastic way for everyone to learn about the stars.

Summertime in Brookline is just as exciting, with some of the best camps around, like Beaver Summer Camp, Nobles Day Camp, Brimmer and May Camp, and Brookline Tennis Academy. These places are not just about keeping kids busy; they’re about continuing the adventure of learning, making new friends, and just having a great time. For families living in Brookline, it is a place where education and community joyfully come together.

What’s for Dinner?

Harvard Street in Brookline, Massachusetts

Whether you want to grab a quick bite after soccer practice or do something swanky for date night, residents living in Brookline have it all. The multiple sub-pockets within the town all have something delicious to offer. In Coolidge Corner, Zaftigs is a popular Jewish delicatessen with an epic brunch menu and good coffee. While in Brookline Village, check out Pomodoro for Italian, and be sure to stop by the ATM, as they only accept cash. In this neighborhood, you can also find pizza joints, a very comfortable scene at Orinoco for Latin food, and the best sandwich ever (the Turkey 1000) at Cutty’s. In Washington Square, you won’t want to pass up the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar at Barcelona, and the newest hot spot in town is the Burro Bar. With delicious Mexican eats and a lively crowd, it’s perfect for a girls’ night. If you’d prefer to cook fresh food at home, grab a CSA share at Allandale Farm during the season or hit up the local Farmer’s Market on Thursdays in Coolidge Corner from June to Thanksgiving.

Bikes, Taxis, Buses, and More

One of the biggest benefits to people living in Brookline is how easy it is to get around. The public train in Boston, the T, runs through the town at multiple stops. The bus is another great option, especially since you can look up when it’s coming on a very user-friendly app. The 66-bus line runs along Harvard Avenue, a bustling street with shops and amenities such as Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, and local boutiques. Brookline works to keep its cyclists safe – an extensive list of guidelines for cars and bikers is listed on their town website. This site is thorough and features information like paying a parking ticket, finding taxi services, or reporting concerns.

Living in Brookline and Beyond

People living in Brookline have easy access to Larz Anderson Park. This 61-acre oasis is a treasure trove of greenery, featuring picturesque walkways, a tranquil pond, and a shaded playground. It also boasts an outdoor ice skating rink and houses a vintage automobile museum in what used to be a carriage house. Throughout the year, the park transforms with the seasons, offering unique experiences for people living in Brookline. In spring and fall, it becomes a bustling hub for town sports. Summer brings the perfect spot on the hill to enjoy a stunning view of downtown Boston and the fireworks. The same hill becomes a popular sledding destination when winter rolls in. Every season brings its charm, making the park a year-round highlight for Brookline residents.

You can even play golf in this urban city. The Putterham Golf Course built a driving range a few years ago, and kids and adults can take lessons from the pros here!

Being so close to Boston attractions adds to the town’s a peak and makes living in Brookline truly special. The Red Sox play at historic Fenway Park, just minutes away. Local universities hold events, such as reasonably priced theater at Wheelock College and sporting events at Boston University. Take in the culture of a nearby museum, like the Isabella Stewart Gardner or the Museum of Fine Arts. Be sure to check out the MFA on the first Friday evening of each month with friends for the added excitement of music, tapas, and cocktails.

There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You simply don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.

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