As you step into Beacon Hill, you are perhaps entering the most picturesque neighborhood in all of Boston. Narrow streets (often still cobbled from hundreds of years ago) are lined with old brick houses and lavish mansions, most of which were built before the 1940s. In addition to the historic architecture and landscapes throughout this neighborhood, it holds many historical landmarks as well.
The neighborhood is very quaint and maintains an “exclusive” reputation as it is one of the most desired and famous neighborhoods in all of Boston. In addition to the brick homes and mansions, the streets are full of interesting and unique shops and restaurants as well, and the small narrow streets make it easy to walk throughout the neighborhood. Beacon Hill is also largely residential (despite being very close to downtown), so there isn’t an issue with overcrowding or too many people lining the streets at all times.
The demographics of this area are not very diverse as almost 90% of the neighborhood is white, most residents have at least a Bachelor’s degree and the medium household income in this neighborhood is about 50% higher than the Boston average.
The area where Beacon Hill sits was first settled in the early 1600s and eventually more people started colonizing the area and building here. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was considered an undesirable place to live. As construction continued in the late 18th century and early 19th century, the area became more developed and larger homes were being built for the wealthy. The area is still inhabited by wealthy individuals, with the north having a fair amount of students and young professionals as well.
As you can probably guess, this is an expensive place to live. While the overall cost of living isn’t that much different than most of Boston, the rent in the area is a different story. The median rent in this neighborhood is quite a bit higher than the rest of Boston. The historic architecture and atmosphere of this neighborhood, and the fact it is located only minutes away from the heart of Boston, likely contribute to its expensive rent.
Because of the location of this neighborhood in proximity to downtown Boston, the most popular way of getting around and commuting to work is walking. In fact, most people’s commute, even with the fact that they walk to work, takes less than 20 minutes. While you would think since people are so rich in this neighborhood, they would own a car, but that is not the case.
The narrow streets make the neighborhood incredibly annoying to drive a car. Basically, there is no need or point in having a car in Beacon Hill and walking is the easier and cheaper option. If you need to get around and don’t want to walk, there are a few different subway stations in the neighborhood that can get you anywhere you need to go in Boston in just a few minutes.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Northeastern University
- Harvard University
- Berklee College of Music
- Emerson College
- One of the most common places to visit in all of Boston and Beacon Hill alike is the Boston Common. This is the oldest park in all of the United States and is a central park in downtown Boston. There are sporting fields at the park, a number of places to go for walks and a ton of green space to hold events, have picnics and more.
- The Charles River sits at the West of this neighborhood and provides some of the best and more picturesque views in all of Boston.
- Even if you aren’t a religious person, the King’s Chapel is somewhere in Beacon Hill that you must check out. The architecture is masterfully done and this church, built back in 1754, was designed a historical landmark in 1960.
- The Massachusetts State House is the state capital building for Massachusetts and is considered an architectural masterpiece. The building offers tours throughout the offices and other contents of the building.
- The Black Heritage Trail is a walking path that winds through Beacon Hill and stops at various sites important in African American history. It is a great way to learn some history and get some fresh air at the same time.
- Even just walking along the cobblestone streets and checking out the various different shops, stores, bars and restaurants can be a good way to spend a day, especially if you are new to the neighborhood.