Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by Alarm New England

About New England

New England is an area spanning several U.S states in the top right pocket of North America. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the East, Canada borders the North, while the State of New York closes around the West. It’s this unique geography that plays a role in the immense diversity found in New England.

Here you’ll find an abundance of natural landscapes and wilderness. The six states that form New England are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

cape cod lighthouse outdoor recreation

The fact that each one is rooted in their own distinct culture and history, whilst having a share of the region’s natural beauty, is what makes New England popular among both its residents and visitors.

For those wanting to move to New England, you’ll be spoiled for choice by the number of charming suburbs and vibrant districts to live in.

Great History

New England is the birthplace of the United States. It is in this region where the first, early Europeans settled and built the “New World.” The Mayflower, which set sail from England, first lowered her anchor in New England’s waters back in 1620.

Over generations, these new inhabitants began to break away from British rule to form an independent nation. More than just being home to Revolutionary War memorials and famous museums, New England also has a wealth of Native American historical sites to explore too.

slater mill historic site pawtucket ri

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“Yes, one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it. There is only one thing certain about it, you are certain there is going to be plenty of weather.” – Mark Twain.

“If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes” is a popular expression in New England, and it’s easy to see why. The region has is well-known for its distinct seasons, but also unpredictable weather changes.

The four seasons each have their own unique temperatures and tones, and thus make New England an enjoyable place to live — if only from April through November.

Best places to live in New England, by state:


Massachusetts is the birthplace of the American Revolution and the state capital, Boston, is New England’s most popular tourist destination.

As the home of Harvard University, MIT, and a myriad of other top-notch colleges, the state is a global leader in academia and higher education. No where else in New England has better scenery, more delicious seafood, and worse traffic.

1. Franklin

This historic town is named after Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the nation. Franklin is a popular town for those interested in education. More than 6000 students are currently enrolled in schools across the town, with most participating in school sports (ranging from ice hockey to yoga).

Parents have a wide variety of private and public establishments to choose from. The town is also home to the country’s first public library, where Franklin himself donated books too.

2. Newton

Newton is a suburb in Boston, Massachusetts. This area offers big city amenities, luxurious shopping outlets and charming neighborhoods. Newton also possesses a strong public school system, making it a popular choice for families to settle down here. Most Newtonites work and live in the suburb, rather than commute to downtown Boston. However, it must be noted Newton does have an above average cost of living.

3. Lexington

lexington ma home

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This affluent, sought over neighborhood makes the list too, for good reason. Lexington is a charming, downtown suburb that offers some of the best features of Massachusetts. Some of the top-ranking school systems in the country denote this is one of the best places to live in New England for families. However, a warning must be given regarding the high costs for property and living here. It’s above the national average.


Connecticut has a reputation for being mostly suburban and lacking the “quaint city” feel of Boston and Providence, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do.

Check out the Maritime Aquarium or Mystic Seaport during the day, and in the evening venture into the vibrant nightlife scene in the downtown area. Visit the rural countryside in Litchfield Hills or get lucky at one of the two major Native American casinos. Which neighborhood do we recommend moving into?

4. Stamford

Boasting a booming financial district, those wanting to get their foot into a corporate position need only knock on the doors of one of the many businesses or Fortune 500 companies in the area. Stamford, which makes up part of the Greater New York Metropolitan area, offers those moving here plenty of shopping, arts and culture, and low crime rates. A bonus location to check out in Connecticut is Guilford, one of the best places to live in New England for retirees.

stamford ct financial district

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Rhode Island

Rhode Island holds the title of being the smallest state in the country. Despite its size, the state is full of lively neighborhoods. Here are our best picks of places to live in Rhode Island:

5. Bristol

Bristol is beautiful but expensive. Thanks to plentiful outdoor activities, restaurants, and stores, you’ll be kept busy all year round. Neighbors are described as friendly and approachable. Bristol also has Roger Williams University, a private liberal arts institution.

roger williams commons bristol ri

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6. Cranston

With an appealing mix of both city and town living, Cranston is in close proximity to the beach and the forests. It’s also a close journey to the historic Pawtuxet Village, perfect for those wanting a taste of indigenous culture. The culinary scene is great for foodies, as Cranston has a large variety of seafood restaurants in the suburb. Summer can be spent on one of the many beaches, which offer water sports and outdoor recreation activities like kayaking, paddle-boarding, and surfing.


Vermont is the rural, liberal capital of New England. Living here you’ll be able to appreciate the foliage falling in the autumn. Here are our picks of the best cities to live in Vermont:

7. Montpelier

montpelier vermont main street

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The capital city is brimming with lively culture, great food, and friendly people. Those drawn to the area will be welcomed by a progressive community that appreciates art and entertainment. The neighborhoods are affordable and the crime rate is low. There is also a large government presence in the area. Montpelier is fun to explore on foot and an interesting place to live.

8. North Bennington

North Bennington offers top private colleges, outdoor activities, and is home to a tight-knit community. Most residents travel outside the town for work. There are plenty of comfortable plots along the hill or beside the woodlands.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a tiny state referred to as ‘The Granite State’ because of the extensive rock formations and quarries within the state. This denotes that winter in New Hampshire is a skier’s paradise.

Here you’ll find some of the biggest ski resorts in the country. In the summer, families can enjoy the views of idyllic lakes or weekends away at one of many ocean resorts in New Hampshire. Here are our recommendations of the best neighborhoods to live in:

9. South Hooksett

This small, quaint village sits snugly between the cities of Manchester and the state’s capital, Concord. With a population of just a few thousand, South Hooksett offers an escape from the frenzy of the inner city, whilst still being close enough to commute in regularly for work or play.

In South Hooksett, you’ll find all the necessary conveniences and offerings that a household or family would need. This is great for young professionals looking to own property or save up whilst working in the region. For those moving here with family, the public schooling system and recreational facilities are more than adequate and accessible.

10. East Merrimack

east merrimack new hampshire

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Situated along the Merrimack River, this neighborhood forms the prosperous residential area known as East Merrimack. Here you’ll find spacious property, welcoming neighbors, and an expanding collection of small businesses and recreational facilities.

One can commute to major hubs like Boston or NYC in only a few hours because of the immediate access to the highway. Residents here report high standards of living; especially because of the affordability of rental apartments, an abundance of coffee shops and restaurants, and the availability of educational and community services.

11. Concord

Neighborhoods in Concord are modern and safe. The downtown area has been recently renovated to make it more accessible to pedestrians with walkways and open spaces.

All the retail stores you could possibly want to shop in are found here. One can find all the big-brand chain stores and supermarkets here, as well as a selection of local boutiques and a Chinatown. For those wanting to raise a family in the area, Concord boasts a number of established private schools and colleges.

12. Hanover

Hanover is located along the Connecticut River in what is recognized as the “Upper Valley.” This ideal town is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and families.

Some of the biggest pull factors for moving here would be lower crime rates than the national average, a stable housing market and a strong education system. Not to mention, there is an endless amount of things to do and experience in the city, in public parks and in the wilderness areas.


Maine is the easternmost state in the United States. Along the jagged, rocky coastline are the popular Atlantic seacoast villages that serve tasty lobster and clam cuisine.

Moving inland you’ll encounter thick forests and rolling mountainsides. Maine remains a picturesque place to live. Here are our top picks for neighborhoods:

13. North Windham

For those truly seeking the small-town feel, North Windham is where to settle. The village is quiet, tightly-knitted and friendly, which denotes a strong sense of community. North Windham is a great place for family and the secluded lifestyle, with an abundance of nature parks and outdoor activities. One needs to be a resident of North Windham to appreciate just how friendly the community is.

14. Portland

portland maine best place for families to live in new england

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Consistently voted as a top place for families to live, Portland naturally makes an appearance on this list too. Portland has a progressive waterfront community with a diverse culture and bubbly atmosphere. Here, in one of New England’s best small cities, you’ll find craft breweries, local eateries and loads of outdoor hiking and biking trails too. The active and buzzing feel denotes that Portland is one of the best places to live in New England for young adults and young families.

Picking a place to live in New England

New England is a remarkable place to live and visit. For those wanting to settle down in the region, it’s best to do further research into each town or city before moving there. Consider contacting a real estate agent or reaching out on a forum to local residents first. The above list gives a taste into some of the popular neighborhoods in New England.

The best places to live in New England are, indeed, numerous, but each one is rewarding and unique in their own way. Good luck!

At Alarm New England, we’ve served homes and businesses in the New England region for over 50 years. Contact us for your home and business security needs at (857) 445-4010. Want to learn more about security? Click here to meet the team.