If you're a resident of Western Massachusetts you already know this is a great place to live. However, if you’re thinking about moving here or just need a reminder of all the amazing things Western MA has to offer, this list is for you. Here are the top reasons why you and your family should move here as soon as possible.
1) Living in Western Mass is more affordable than the Boston area
It should come to the surprise of no one that the cost of living in Boston is one of the highest in the nation. However, things in Western Massachusetts are easier to bear. While the median home price in Boston is over $1 million, the Pioneer Valley has much lower home costs. Greenfield’s median home price is $175,000, Holyoke’s is $187,200, and Springfield’s is $150,000.
2) The economy is thriving
According to experts, Western MA is in its best economic shape in over a decade. A recent survey showed over $5 billion in economic development project investments in the region. In addition to the already growing economy, the MGM Springfield will be opening in the fall, bringing 3,000 permanent jobs and a boost to the local tourism industry.
3) Students have access to all of New England’s top schools
We take education very seriously. Many of the nation’s top high schools and universities call Western Massachusetts home: Deerfield Academy, The MacDuffie School (Granby), Stoneleigh-Burnham School (Greenfield), Williston Northampton School (Easthampton), Eaglebrook (Deerfield), UMass Amherst, Smith College (Northampton), Williams College (Williamstown), Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley), Bard College (Great Barrington), Hampshire College (Amherst), and Springfield College, among many others.
The New England region is home to several other top-notch schools within a two-hour drive from Western MA, such as Harvard, MIT, Yale, Dartmouth, and Brown.
4) Western Massachusetts is a low-key top beer destination
We have a surprisingly high concentration of breweries in the area, many of which make some of the country’s best craft beers. Thrillist even ranked Western Massachusetts as one of the best places for a beer-focused vacation. Some of our favorite breweries are Charlton’s Tree House Brewing Co., Easthampton's Fort Hill Brewery, and Ludlow’s Iron Duke Brewing.
5) We’re also on our way to becoming a top food destination
Locally grown and farmed food is important to residents of Western Mass and a big reason is because we have some of the most fertile soil in the Northeast. With tons of fresh fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses, and farm-to-table restaurants, it’s no surprise most people here are locavores.
6) There are thousands of things to do in Western Mass
The Berkshires and Pioneer Valley are full of charming college towns, picturesque hiking trails, and top-tier museums and performance venues. You can be a lifelong resident and still discover new things to do every day. Some of the area’s more famous attractions include the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, Six Flags in Agawam, and Tanglewood in Lenox.
7) We get all four seasons
New England is one of the few regions in the country that offers a taste of all four seasons. While many people will be quick to tell you how much they hate winter, the region’s opportunities to ice skate, snowboard, ski, or sled are endless. Spring is always a welcome sight after a cold, snowy winter. The days get longer and warmer as nature comes back to life. When the long, hot days of summer come, you can find Western MA residents at one of our many lakes or one of New England’s several beaches only a short drive away. And as any “leaf peeper” will tell you, nothing beats fall in New England.
8) Western MA is a historical haven
There’s history everywhere you look in Western Massachusetts. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a historic landmark or colonial home. Western MA was home to Emily Dickinson, Susan B Anthony, Edith Wharton, Robert Frost, Norman Rockwell, Herman Melville, Dr. Suess, and Calvin Coolidge.
9) Western Massachusetts is a great place to raise a family
According to a study by WalletHub, Massachusetts is the best state to raise a family. We have some of the best public schools, a high median household income, and endless activities for children and families.
If you’re wondering where to live in Western MA, here are some of the better places to raise a family:
- Longmeadow- An affluent town on the Connecticut border known for their permanent green space and conservation areas. Longmeadow is home to Bay Path University.
- East Longmeadow- Bordered by Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Hampden, Springfield, Enfield, CT, and Somers, CT. East Longmeadow is home to the most insane rotary we have ever seen, which was featured in Ripley's Believe It Or Not!.
- South Hadley- Quiet, peaceful town in Hampshire County. South Hadley is home to Mount Holyoke College, the oldest continuously operating higher education institution for women.
- Whately- A small town bordered by Conway, Deerfield, Sunderland, Hatfield, and Williamsburg. With only 1,573 residents as of the 2010 census, Whately ranked 305th of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts in population.
- Wilbraham- A quiet, relaxing town bordering Springfield, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Monson, Palmer, and Ludlow. Friendly’s Ice Cream hails from Wilbraham.
10) Moving to Western Massachusetts is a breeze with the right resources
If you’re debating on whether to move to Western MA, debate no further. This region is overflowing with historic landmarks, rolling hills, beautiful homes, and some of the friendliest neighbors in the world.