Nestled along the Mystic River, Medford is chock-full of character, both new and old. Amelia Earhart, Fannie Farmer and Elizabeth Short all called Medford home, and the mythical “Grandmother’s House” of the immortal childhood ballad “Over The River and Through the Woods” can be found at 114 South Street.
You can find a plethora of cuisines from all over the world, but seafood and Italian are the names of the dining game. Downtown Medford recently received a revamp, and features great boutique shopping and dining. For those who like to get out into nature, the town is surrounded by many idyllic parks and ponds, and the world-renowned Cape Cod is a short day trip away. One of the highlights of East Coast living comes in the fall, when the foliage turns and you’re treated to a colorful masterpiece right outside your front door.
Many Medford residents commute to Boston, so public transit in the area is fairly well developed. Boston’s Orange Line of the T stops in Wellington, and Massachusetts Bay Area Transportation Authority has a well-established network of buses in the area. Medford is also in ongoing negotiations with MBTA to establish a Green Line station in Medford, a prospect that so far looks very promising.
The public school system is highly regarded, no doubt owing in part to its proximity to a prestigious university. There are also many private grade schools in the area (both religious and non secular). Medford has a lower crime rate than the state average, and is regarded as very family-friendly; although, like most cities and towns bordering Boston, the cost of living in Medford is certainly not cheap.
Being a typical Massachusetts town with roots going back to the colonial era, you’ll be sure to find a host of historical, quaint and beautiful housing options in Medford. But it's full of places to rent, how does one decide where they want to live? The area is typically split up into six main neighborhoods:
West Medford: Sometimes known as “the Ville,” West Medford is a historically African-American neighborhood with a rich cultural history. More recently, West Medford has seen a rapid influx of young families and new development. Demand for rental housing in the area is high. West Medford also has a train station, so is an excellent choice if you will be commuting. $$$$
Medford Hillside: Bordering Tufts University, Medford Hillside is densely populated with students. As such, it is vibrant and youthful. There are many affordable apartments in the area, however, if you’re looking for a low-key living situation, Medford Hillside may not be the best choice. $$$
Fulton Heights (North Medford): Fulton Heights borders Middlesex Fells Reservation to the Southeast, and is a great neighborhood if you like getting out into nature on the regular. Not as convenient for public transit as some of Medford’s other neighborhoods. $$$$
Wellington/Glenwood: Bordering the river on three sides, Wellington and Glenwood also provide ready access to the Boston T’s Orange Line, with connections to several bus routes. The waterfront is developing rapidly, with new luxury and premier apartments and businesses cropping up every day. Unfortunately, you’ll pay a premium price for an apartment in this area. $$$$$
South Medford: Closer to downtown Boston than some of the outskirts of Boston proper, this area is for people seeking a more urban vibe (and those who love great Italian food!). $$$$
Lawrence Estates: Lawrence Estates is known as one of the most desirable areas of Medford to live in, and for good reason. Quiet and dense with foliage, Lawrence Estates is the perfect choice for a family. The nearby Middlesex Fells Reservation offers ample opportunities to get out and commune with nature. Schools are great and rents are reasonable, but places for rent are limited. $$$