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Best Places to Live in Eastern Massachusetts >>> North Attleboro, MA

North Attleboro, MA: Affordability, Charm and Safety

Downtown North Attleborough, MA

by Eric H., VisitingNewEngland.com

North Attleboro, MA, feels like a real town. Tree-lined
residential streets, a relatively vibrant downtown (compared to other Boston, MA, and Providence, RI, suburbs) and community spirit (people like living in their town) help make North Attleboro a notch or two above your standard suburb when considering where to live in the southern Massachusetts and northern Rhode Island region.

Once a prominent jewelry manufacturing town, North Attleboro (also spelled North Attleborough) is now a thriving commercial and diverse industrial center that features some truly great neighborhoods, a strong sense of close-knit community pride, lots of things to do, and a patriotic feel. People here tend to walk with a purpose in typical industrious New England style, make sure to honor their military veterans through displays and events, talk constantly about their sports teams, and foster good relations with their neighbors. Of course, results may vary, but that is the general feeling when visiting this proud town.

Within every community, however, is some downside. Sure, there is the endless commercial strip on Route 1 -- with the huge Emerald Square Mall (featuring Macy's, J.C. Penney and Sears) at the apex.  Perhaps there are too many multi-family homes close to each other near the downtown that look more like city neighborhoods.  And there's a good amount of shoplifting going on along the Route 1 stretch. The reality is, however, that once off the main route and away from the pockets of densely-populated neighborhoods, North Attleboro is a safe town, offers many homes with large lots, and costs a good deal less than communities closer to Boston that think they're great. In fact, the authors at Frommer's 2006 Best Places to Raise a Family guide chose North Attleboro as a safe and affordable place to raise a family. For examples of homes for sale in North Attleboro, check out the Ed Pariseau Century 21 Web Site.

With proximity to Routes 95 and 495, 20 minutes to Providence and about 40 to Boston, a lower tax rate than surrounding communities, a highly regarded public school system and 124 homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, this town of 29,000-plus people has more going for it than the more expensive suburban Boston and Providence towns. The downtown is quaint, tree-shaded and features, to name a few, a health food store, a comedy club, chocolate shop, ice cream parlor, antique store, hobby shop, several dining options including the superb Portabello Italian restaurant, a beautiful town common with a gazebo and seasonal events, the charming Richards Memorial Library built in 1894, and a town pool, free to residents.  Off  Route 1 and Jefferson Ave., is Falls Pond, a nice place to swim for only $3.00. In the northern part of town, World War I Memorial Park features a playground, petting zoo, soccer and lacrosse fields and the adjacent North Attleboro Arboretum. The North Attleboro branch of the YMCA is highly developed and offers a lot of programs, in conjucntion with other area YMCAs -- swimming, fitness, dance, gymnastics, to name a few.

The Attleboro Falls part of town features some really great residential streets with big old homes and nice lots -- particularly around Stanley and Towne Streets. Closer to the Cumberland, RI, and Plainville, MA, corners, you'll find open land and farms that make you feel like you're in the middle of the country. South of the downtown on South Washington St. are many spectacular "village" type older homes with green lawns and front porches that look like something out of  "It's A Wonderful Life."

A downtown summer block party,  town concerts on the common, a terrific Veterans Day ceremony and a tree lighting holiday ceremony are just a few of the community events that make North Attleboro a nice place to be -- so nice, in fact, that this town is on our list of places to move (our current town is nice, but heading in a wrong direction and certainly not worth the taxes bestowed upon us).

North Attleboro has conceded Route 1 for rampant commercialism, which, at times is an eyesore and a traffic nightmare. This concession, however, has its benefits to the rest of the town.  You can shop at just about any type of store imaginable, enjoy the lower tax base that the businesses bring,  and then return within minutes to the classic, old-fashioned downtown with lots to do in its own regard, or suburban or rural sections of town. It's really the best of both worlds --  small town living with some city amenities.

North Attleboro is indeed an appealing small town that has somehow flown under the radar when looking for a new home. That won't last long, however, as other towns have priced themselves out of contention. If considering a move to the Boston/Providence area, we highly recommend you take a close look at North Attleboro.

Visit the North Attleboro Official Town Web Site for more information on this special town

Related articles:
Best Places to Raise a Family in Eastern Massachusetts

Is Franklin, MA, one of the best places to live?


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