Downtown area of Brookline, a Boston suburb with high-value real estate and an excellent school system, just outside of Boston proper

Top 10 Boston Suburbs to Start Your Apartment Search

In the shadow of its storied streets and historic bricks, Boston’s suburbs unfold with a richness all their own.

The best Boston suburbs are not merely satellite towns; they’re unique environments of culture, community and culinary delights waiting to be explored. Like chapters in an unwritten book, each suburb tells a story, an intriguing tale of what lies beyond Beantown’s bustling heart.

Listed below are 10 of the top Boston suburbs to call home as well as the top apartment complexes in each town. Today’s the day to find your favorite Boston suburb and settle down in the apartment community that’s right for you.


Historical residence in downtown Cambridge, one of Boston's best neighborhoods and home of Harvard University.

  • Population: 117,090
  • Average age: 30.6
  • Median household income: $112,565
  • Average commute time: 26.5 minutes
  • Walk score: 90
  • Studio average rent: $2,914
  • One-bedroom average rent: $3,851
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $4,605

In the world of Boston suburbs, Cambridge holds its own as a standout. Sheltered from the hustle and bustle of downtown Boston, this town has its own unique energy and buzz, striking a balance between the academic prowess of its world-renowned institutions and the bohemian vibes of its more eclectic neighborhoods. As a haven for academia and innovation, Cambridge hosts the prestigious Harvard University and MIT, offering top-notch educational resources and career opportunities in a wide range of fields, from technology and biotech to the arts and social sciences and more.

Three great apartment complexes in Cambridge

The quality of life in Cambridge is unparalleled among Boston suburbs. The different areas are dotted with quaint streets, cozy cafes and bustling markets. The diversity of the town is palpable in the varied cuisine, with eateries offering up international delights from Ethiopian to Nepalese to Italian. The nearby Charles River provides a serene backdrop for leisurely strolls or morning runs, while numerous parks and open spaces give residents a chance to catch their breath within the urban sprawl.


Aerial view of Somerville, MA, on a clear and sunny day, one of the most beloved boston suburbs and a historic town in its own right

  • Population: 79,815
  • Average age: 31.5
  • Median household income: $108,896
  • Average commute time: 32.3 minutes
  • Walk score: 89
  • Studio average rent: $2,846
  • One-bedroom average rent: $3,212
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $3,600

When exploring the best Boston suburbs, it would be a major mistake to overlook the unique charm of Somerville. This dynamic suburb has come into its own, transitioning from an industrial past into a hub for creativity and innovation. The local arts scene is impressive, with streets lined with murals and galleries and the annual ArtBeat festival is a testament to the community’s dedication to fostering creativity. Somerville has a distinct flair for attracting both budding artists and established tech companies, offering a mix of grassroots ingenuity and corporate opportunity.

Three great apartment complexes in Somerville

Beyond its diverse employment prospects, Somerville also scores high on the quality of life scale. Its neighborhoods boast a mix of architectural styles, from classic Victorian homes to modern loft conversions, creating a distinct visual landscape. The town has managed to maintain a strong sense of community, with residents coming together to support local businesses and community events. Nature lovers can easily escape to the various parks and open spaces throughout the area, and those who prefer the hustle and bustle of city life will appreciate Somerville’s proximity to Boston proper.


Tree-lined streets of Brookline on a beautiful day in a stunning Boston suburb a stone

  • Population: 59,223
  • Average age: 34.8
  • Median household income: $122,356
  • Average commute time: 29.1 minutes
  • Walk score: 81
  • Studio average rent: $2,484
  • One-bedroom average rent: $2,780
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $3,650

Brookline’s tree-lined avenues, stately brownstones and meticulously maintained parks are hallmarks of this suburb. Brookline’s commitment to preservation is evident in the architectural beauty that characterizes its neighborhoods, from the historic Coolidge Corner to the picturesque Chestnut Hill area. The presence of quality schools and a strong sense of community only enhance the appeal of this singular suburb.

Three great apartment complexes in Brookline

Beyond the surface allure, Brookline reveals a diversity that enriches the lives of its residents. Dining options run the gamut from cozy cafes to international cuisine. Employment opportunities abound in Brookline and the surrounding Boston suburbs, with the nearby Longwood Medical Area hosting world-renowned hospitals and research institutions.


Fall colors in Medford Massachusetts, one of the best places around Boston to call home. Medford boasts low crime rates, excellent schools and close knit communities, perfect for young professionals.

  • Population: 62,098
  • Average age: 35.4
  • Median household income: $107,853
  • Average commute time: 32.1 minutes
  • Walk score: 68
  • Studio average rent: $4,088
  • One-bedroom average rent: $4,605
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $2,600

Medford manages to strike a fine balance between the convenience of city living and the quietude of the suburbs. The neighborhoods in this stunning suburb are full of charming homes, from colonial-era residences to contemporary apartments, all set amidst tree-lined streets and expansive green spaces.

Three great apartment complexes in Medford

Medford stands out in the Boston suburbs for its seamless combination of natural beauty and employment opportunities. The town is nestled along the Mystic River, where residents can find scenic pathways, pet-friendly parks and picturesque views.

This natural beauty is complemented by the presence of institutions like Tufts University, which contributes to the town’s economic vitality and creative prowess. Proximity to downtown Boston further enhances the town’s appeal, making it an attractive base for professionals who crave the tranquility of suburban living without sacrificing the perks of the city.


The bustling suburb of Arlington, MA, just outside Boston, an affluent community perfect for shopping local and a walkable town center.

  • Population: 42,844
  • Average age: 39.7
  • Median household income: $125,701
  • Average commute time: 32.8
  • Walk score: 64
  • Studio average rent: $2,050
  • One-bedroom average rent: $2,187
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $2,525

Arlington holds a special place among Boston suburbs as a town that exudes an inviting atmosphere and offers a high quality of life. Settled along the Mystic River, Arlington is a perfect blend of historical charm and modern-day amenities. An active community spirit pervades the town, with residents taking pride in their local events, businesses and green spaces.

Three great apartment complexes in Arlington

Arlington’s proximity to Cambridge and downtown Boston provides residents with easy access to renowned universities, biotech companies and major hospitals. Arlington is also home to the picturesque Minuteman Bikeway, where residents can enjoy biking, jogging and walking amidst scenic surroundings.


Stunning boardwalk in Quincy, Massachusetts on a gorgeous fall day. Quincy is affordable compared to most suburbs in Boston and feels like a small city in its own right, full of rich diversity and more affordable real estate.

  • Population: 101,119
  • Average age: 38.5
  • Median household income: $85,041
  • Average commute time: 34.6 minutes
  • Walk score: 63
  • Studio average rent: $2,382
  • One-bedroom average rent: $2,750
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $3,180

Quincy’s waterfront location on Massachusetts Bay gives it a distinct appeal, with sweeping views of the ocean and the Boston skyline. Quincy’s neighborhoods are a mix of historic architecture and modern developments, featuring everything from quaint seaside cottages to contemporary high-rises. Residents can savor a variety of dining options, with an abundance of seafood restaurants showcasing the area’s maritime heritage.

Three great apartment complexes in Quincy

What sets Quincy apart among the Boston suburbs is its advantageous location, offering employment opportunities and easy access to beautiful surroundings. Proximity to Boston’s financial district, tech hubs and educational institutions make Quincy an attractive location for professionals seeking a comfortable commute.

In addition, Quincy’s location on the bay provides residents with a host of recreational options, from sailing and kayaking to beachcombing and harbor cruises. The nearby Blue Hills Reservation further adds to the town’s appeal, with hiking trails and outdoor activities that allow residents to escape the hustle and bustle at the drop of a (Red Sox) hat.


Suspended bridge surrounded by trees in Newton, MA, an affluent community in the greater boston area known for walking trails and newton center park

  • Population: 87,453
  • Average age: 41.1
  • Median household income: $164,607
  • Average commute time: 28.4 minutes
  • Walk score: 52
  • Studio average rent: $1,850
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,950
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $2,700

Newton is a beloved Boston suburb thanks to its appealing blend of community, culture and character. The city’s diverse neighborhoods offer a range of experiences, from the bustling commercial centers of Newton Center and West Newton to the quieter, residential areas like Auburndale and Chestnut Hill. Local restaurants and cafes add to the cultural fabric, offering everything from cozy comfort food to new-age culinary inventions.

Three great apartment complexes in Newton

Newton’s prime location along the Massachusetts Turnpike puts it within easy reach of Boston’s financial district, universities and tech companies, making it an ideal base for professionals. Additionally, Newton’s numerous parks and green spaces provide residents with endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.


River winding through Waltham, Massachusetts, a stunning Boston suburb where home buyers and history buffs are flocking.

  • Population: 64,015
  • Average age: 34.3
  • Median household income: $103,498
  • Average commute time: 25.2 minutes
  • Walk score: 41
  • Studio average rent: $2,550
  • One-bedroom average rent: $3,390
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $4,027

Waltham is a Boston suburb where history, innovation and community come together in a captivating fusion. Often referred to as ‘Watch City’ due to its role in the American watchmaking industry, Waltham has an industrial past that still reverberates through its brick mill buildings and historic architecture. Community events, local shops and meticulously maintained arts venues contribute to the town’s inclusive atmosphere and land this charming place firmly on the list of best Boston suburbs.

Three great apartment complexes in Waltham

Waltham’s proximity to the Route 128 technology corridor and prestigious institutions like Brandeis University and Bentley University offers a wealth of career prospects in various fields. In addition, Waltham’s location along the Charles River provides residents with ample options for outdoor recreation. Nearby parks and green spaces like Prospect Hill and Beaver Brook Reservation further enhance the joys of everyday life in this serene suburb.


A beautiful day in Belmont, MA, just outside Boston

  • Population: 26,123
  • Average age: 41.5
  • Median household income: $151,502
  • Average commute time: 31 minutes
  • Walk score: 60
  • Studio average rent: $N/A
  • One-bedroom average rent: $N/A
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $2,600

Hidden away in the rolling hills and leafy streets of Belmont, residents enjoy the ability to easily escape urban life at a moment’s notice. The town’s colonial architecture and charming residential streets are complemented by local businesses and cool coffee shops that add a unique flair to the community.

Three great apartment complexes in Belmont

Belmont’s appeal extends beyond its charming neighborhoods and strong community spirit. The town’s location provides easy access to nearby academic and business hubs, making it an ideal base for professionals and academics alike. The nearby Fresh Pond Reservation offers residents a host of recreational opportunities on the gorgeous grounds surrounding the town.


View of Malden from the sky on a clear day in Massachusetts

  • Population: 65,074
  • Average age: 35.1
  • Median household income: $77,119
  • Average commute time: 31 minutes
  • Walk score: 73
  • Studio average rent: $1,800
  • One-bedroom average rent: $3,121
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $3,887

Malden’s many pockets showcase a variety of architectural styles, each contributing to the unique character of the community. Local events, rotating exhibits and community initiatives add to the sense of connectedness among Malden residents. This is a place where people come together to celebrate the shared spirit of their town every chance they get.

Three great apartment complexes in Malden

The town’s surroundings complement Malden’s employment opportunities, most notably Middlesex Fells Reservation, which provides a haven for outdoorsy types to explore the rugged beauty of the area.

Find the best Beantown suburb for you

Beyond the clamor of Fenway Park or the hallowed halls of Harvard University, the Boston suburbs mentioned above have sung their siren song, pulling in those who dare to venture just a tad beyond the city’s confines.

Each suburb, with its own unique heartbeat, offers more than just a place to live — it promises an experience, a taste of life that’s both comfortably familiar and refreshingly new. In the end, these suburbs are the unsung heroes, bearing the essence of the Bostonian spirit, yet dancing to their own rhythm.

Ready to settle down in one of Boston’s best suburbs? Start and end your search right here.

Rent prices are based on an average from Rent.’s available rental property inventory as of July 2023. The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.


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