So You Want to Live in Beacon Hill?

Gas-lamp-lit lanes, historical architecture, and charming shops—no wonder this Boston neighborhood is such a coveted place to live.

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1. Pick Your Price Point

With the median sale price hovering around $2 million, Beacon Hill runs neck and neck with the Back Bay as the most expensive neighborhood in the city. While there are a few new full-service buildings—take note of the ultra-luxe Archer—the housing stock is mainly made up of single-families with historical origins. Such residences will often sell for more than $5 million, and some fetch much more.

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2. Plot Your Commute

Charm aside, one of the best attributes of Beacon Hill is its walkability. It’s about a mile from the Financial District, and the Back Bay is a short stroll through the Public Garden. For those working beyond city limits, there’s easy access to the MBTA (Charles/MGH) and commuter trains (North Station). If you have a car, bear in mind that parking here is often an issue. There are limited spots on residential streets, and you have to carefully observe signage to avoid getting towed.

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3. Take in the Vibe

Nestled behind the golden dome of the State House—the highest point in central Boston when construction was completed in 1798—Beacon Hill’s gas-lamp-lit streets are lined with Federal row houses, stately brownstones, and grand Greek Revivals. About one square mile, the neighborhood has a village feel to it that young families find appealing. Charles Street, with its upscale boutiques, is Beacon Hill’s center of commerce; Whole Foods is just around the corner.

4. Check out the Culture

During the 1800s, the north slope of Beacon Hill was the epicenter of Boston’s fight against slavery. The African Meeting House—considered the oldest extant Black church building in America—is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public through the Museum of African American History. Just a short walk from the neighborhood, the Boston Athenaeum, one of the oldest independent libraries in the country, also has an impressive pedigree.

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5. Scope out the Schools

Another reason families flock to Beacon Hill is its two private elementary schools: The Advent School and the Park Street School. Advent offers a progressive model that appeals to families from a range of backgrounds. The Christian-based Park Street, meanwhile, strives for high academic standards in a nurturing environment.

First published in the print edition of the February 2024 issue with the headline, “So You Want to Live in…Beacon Hill.”