Living in Back Bay, Boston

Living in Back Bay, Boston, MA

Moving to Back Bay, Boston

Moving to a new area for work, raising a family, or getting a change of pace is always challenging. But learning more about the area is always an excellent way to determine where you want to settle. Is Back Bay, Boston a good place to live? Rated as one of the best neighborhoods to live in the Boston area overall, Back Bay has a lot to offer. It’s also one of the best places in Boston to raise families and one of the best cities for professionals. Our real estate agents in Back Bay can help.

So, what is Back Bay like in Boston? Back Bay is a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts known for its Victorian brownstone buildings, tree-lined streets, and high-end shopping and dining. It is considered one of the most desirable and upscale neighborhoods in Boston. Back Bay is bordered by the Charles River to the west, and the Public Garden and Boston Common to the east. It is also home to many cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The area is also known for its high-end retail, including designer boutiques and flagship stores. Public transportation is also easily accessible with multiple subway lines, buses, and commuter rail stations.

If you're relocating to Back Bay, you're going to want to know various things about life here. Here is some background on the Back Bay area that can help you to see why it’s a top choice for many.

In This Guide
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    Back Bay Boston Real Estate
    Springtime in Back Bay along a stretch of brownstone homes.

    Cost of Living in Back Bay, Boston

    One of your first concerns when living in Back Bay, Boston has to do with the average cost of living in an area. Back Bay, Boston is one of the most expensive zip codes in the Boston area. The average cost of living in the area is higher than the majority of the country when it comes to housing, groceries, and other necessities in life. For example, the median rental cost to live in Back Bay is $2,356 a month, compared to the national median of $1,096. The median cost of homes in Back Bay is $1,357,509 compared to the national median of $229,800.

    Moving to Back Bay Boston
    A view of brownstones in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.

    Back Bay, Boston Real Estate Market

    The real estate market in this region is competitive, even during downturns. Homes in this area tend to stay on the market for only about 45 days. They often get multiple offers. Most of the properties in the area are rental properties at about 70%, with only about 30% of the local properties occupied by the owners.

    Housing in this area is in high demand as this area continues to grow in popularity. College students and young professionals tend to make up a large part of the demand for housing.

    Demographics of Back Bay, Boston

    The area of Back Bay, Boston is a diverse part of Boston that’s relatively affluent. The population is about 21,884. There tend to be more renters and rentals compared to homes owned and occupied by the owners. The area tends to be safer than comparable areas with more adult professionals compared to a minimal amount of families with school-aged children. A higher number of individuals with Master’s degrees call the area home compared to the national average.

    It’s a highly educated area, and many of those that live here tend to be in more professional occupations, as well as customer service and sales. Since this is a diverse location, the racial demographics breakdown to white, Hispanic, African-Americans, Asian, and mixed/other races.

    Moving to Back Bay, Boston, MA
    Moving to Back Bay is convenient because of the numerous jobs and large office buildings that dot Boston's skyline.

    Job Market in Back Bay, Boston

    While Back Bay, Boston is centrally located to be perfect for most commuters to take advantage of, it’s always good to understand the area’s job market before relocating. As Back Bay, Boston is home to the tallest skyscraper in Boston, the John Hancock Tower, designed by I. M. Pei in 1972.

    The unemployment rate in the area is lower than the national average by 24%. In addition, the income per capita in the area tends to be much higher compared to the national average of 194%.

    Some of the employers in the area of Back Bay, Boston include Atrium Staffing, Healthworks Fitness, UG2, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Hotel AKA Back Bay, Boston Park Plaza, Lichten & Liss-Riordan P.C., The Colonnade Hotel, Motion Recruitment, and the Newbury Boston. There are numerous employers in the area in addition to these listed, and there are plenty of commuting opportunities if you choose to look for employment outside of Back Bay, Boston.

    Schools in Back Bay, Boston

    Schools in an area are among the most critical factors many consider when moving to a new place. Couples thinking of having children, families with young children, and those with custody of children want to live in an area with great schools to help give them the best start for their education.

    Others without school-aged children, like seniors and those that choose not to have kids, also often pay attention to the local schools because, usually, the vitality of a local school district plays a role in the energy of the community.

    Back Bay, Boston schools are highly rated and noted for their excellence. There are options for both public and private schools in the area for Kindergarten through high school. Public school options include William McKinley School, Quincy Upper School, Snowden International High School, and Boston Adult Academy. Some private school options include Commonwealth School, Kingsley Montessori School, and the Newman School.

    Back Bay, Boston is also home to higher education institutions, which makes it more popular for college students. There is also a Boston Architectural College, New England College of Optometry, Berklee College of Music, and the New England Conservatory.

    About Living in Back Bay Boston
    View of Back Bay Boston's skyline, also known as the High Spine.

    Things to Do in Back Bay, Boston

    As a historic tourist destination, Back Bay, Boston has plenty of things to keep everyone busy. When it comes to parks, the area has plenty to recommend that are perfect for getting outdoors. Some park options to visit include Copley Square Park, Commonwealth Avenue Mall, Statler Park, Frieda Garcia Park, Boston Women’s Heritage Trail, Titus Sparrow Park, and The Esplanade.

    The area has plenty of offerings to keep you busy for those who enjoy getting out and enjoying the nightlife. There’s the Club Cafe, Bukowski Tavern, Charlesmark Hotel & Lounge, City Bar, Whiskey’s Boston, Havana Club, Bar 10, and the Saltie Girl, to name a few.

    Foodies and those that enjoy going out to eat will love the scene in Back Bay, Boston, thanks to the numerous restaurants to try. Some popular options include Back Bay Social, Sonsie, Bistro du Midi, Mistral, Grill 23 & Bar, Uni, Krasi, Asta, Parish Cafe, The Capital Grill, and Ostra.

    When entertaining the entire family, there are also some great options. There’s the Museum of Science, the MIT Museum, the Sports Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Duck Tours, GoPixelYourself, The Boston Common Frog Pond, Zoar Outdoor, and Boston Party Adventures.

    There’s plenty to check out when you’re just looking to do some sightseeing, thanks to the area’s historic nature.

    Some popular places to visit include Copley Place, the Public Garden, Trinity Church, The Central Library branch of the Boston Public Library, Prudential Center, Newbury Street, and more. There are plenty of tours that you can take if you’re looking to get familiar with the area, such as the trolley tours and duck boat sightseeing.

    Back Bay, Boston’s Weather

    As with most East coast cities, Back Bay, Boston’s weather tends to be warm in the summer and full of snow and cold temperatures during the winter months. It stays partly cloudy throughout the year, with some days of full sun and full clouds sprinkled throughout. For those looking to visit, it’s often recommended to travel from the end of June to the middle of September during the warmest months. The cold season tends to hit during the beginning of December until the middle of March. If you’re looking for the coldest month in Back Bay, January is usually it, with the hottest month being July.

    Back Bay Boston in Fall at the Charles River Esplanade/Storrow Lagoon
    Back Bay Boston in Fall at the Charles River Esplanade/Storrow Lagoon

    Amenities in Back Bay, Boston

    One of the biggest things that attract people to the area is the ease of commuting. A large number of individuals that live in the area have to commute for work, and Back Bay, Boston makes it easy. There’s an Amtrak station along with the commuter rail. For those that prefer driving, there’s also easy access to the highway and the Turnpike. Back Bay also has a branch of the Boston Public Library perfect for finding your next read, bringing the kids for story time, or studying for the next big test. In addition, the area features plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, bars, boutiques, shops, and other local businesses for you to support. The area has a high walkability and is accessible for bike riders. There are also plenty of parks, such as the Back Bay Fens, which is part of the Emerald Necklace, and other places to enjoy throughout the area that make it attractive for both visitors and residents alike. Finally, for those who enjoy studying genealogy, there’s the New England Historic Genealogical Society in the area to assist with your genealogy searches and questions.


    Moving to Back Bay, Boston can be an excellent idea. For those looking to enjoy the finer things in life of being close to the center of Boston, take advantage of all of the perks of the big city while still enjoying the closeness of a smaller, tight-knit community with an urban feel. Finding the perfect home is essential when you’ve decided to move to the area, but it can feel like a daunting quest. You see a property you like, only to have someone else scoop it up before you get to it.

    Having an experienced realtor familiar with the Back Bay, Boston area can help ensure you find your dream home. The Gorfinkle Group is here to help.

    Contact our professional Back Bay real estate agents today to discuss moving to the perfect Back Bay, Boston property.

    Testimonial from Chris

    Chris Fontaine

    Dan helped me and my wife buy a new house in Boston and get it rented as we finish up some work overseas. Dan and his team made it really easy to get everything done from afar, including putting us in touch with the right people at the right time and providing helpful advice throughout the process. He was trustworthy and responsive.

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