Natick offers easy access to Boston for commuters via the Pike and route 9 as well as two MBTA commuter rail stations in West Natick and Natick Center. The vibrant town center hosts a weekly farmer's market year round. In the winter it takes place in the Common Street Spiritual Center and in the summer the farmer's market as well as regular family concerts and other events are held on the common. There are several independent cafes like the Common Cafe, Buttercup, and other restaurants and shops in the town center. Along route 9 are the Natick Mall and Shoppers World, grocery shopping, and plenty of other stores, dining and entertainment. Natick also has award winning public schools, a new high school, and lots of innovative educational programs. Outdoor spaces include Memorial Beach at Dug Pond, the CRT, or Rail Trail, and many parks and playgrounds.
Needham is convenient for commuters with four MBTA commuter rail stations and easy access to route 95. The downtown area is centered around the town common and town hall with many excellent restaurants including Masala Art, Treat Cupcake Bar, Sweet Basil, the Farmhouse and others. A small bowling alley, art studio and several independent shops provide plenty to do. The town is home to the highly rated Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital with its recently built cancer center. Needham Heights, which is closer to Newton offers coffee shops, Trader Joe's and more shopping. Needham's public schools consistently have excellent ratings. With the town forest, Culter Park, and Ridge Hill, there are plenty of options for outdoor enthusiasts.
Newton is a city with several unique villages including Newton Corner, Nonantum (or "the Lake"), Newton Lower Falls, Newton Upper Falls, Newton Center, West Newton, Newtonville, Auburndale, Chestnut Hill, Newton Highlands, Waban, and Oak Hill. Each village has its own neighborhoods and identity but they all offer convenience to Boston (with Newton Corner bordering Brighton and Chestnut Hill bordering West Roxbury), a variety of shops, dining and entertainment, and great schools. Newton has many neighborhoods of beautifully maintained older homes and estates, outdoor space like Crystal Lake and Cold Spring Park, two Whole Foods, and new commercial and residential developments. Bus routes, the Green Line, and the Commuter Rail all run through town, enhancing its proximity to Boston.
Wayland offers plenty of outdoor space, excellent public schools, and convenient shopping along Boston Post Road (route 20). Russell's Garden Center offers a huge variety of plants and a great selection of indoor and outdoor decor items. For commuters, Wayland is very convenient to both route 30 and the Mass Pike. There are plenty of dining options in town including 110 Grill, Mel's Diner and more. Wayland has its own town pool and section of beach on Lake Cochituate, giving residents plenty to do during the summer months.
Ashland's downtown is home to its unique "Corner Spot", hosting a rotation of pop-up shops with seating and games, making it a vibrant community space. With plenty of conveniences like shops and restaurants available in town, Ashland also has its own commuter rail station with parking for those commuting to Boston. Compared to many other nearby towns, Ashland remains relatively affordable, offering both newer and older homes in a variety of neighborhoods. The state park in town offers a beach, hiking, biking and boating.
Holliston's public schools are highly ranked and offer unique programming, especially in elementary school where students can choose from traditional, Montessori, or French immersion programs. There are many great neighborhoods and the downtown area has several independent shops and restaurants including a toy store, cafe hosting live music events, and more. Housing options include many renovated older homes, especially near the town center, and newer developments giving buyers a range of relatively affordable options. The town's rail trail is a beautiful place for walking, biking and running and there is a beautiful town beach at Stoddard Park.
Framingham was the biggest town in the country until it recently voted to become a city. Its size means that it has a lot to offer with a diverse collection of neighborhoods, shopping and eating. Route 9's commercial area is home to a Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and lots of other shopping and dining. Saxonville offers many smaller independent stores and restaurants and downtown Framingham is home to the Commuter Rail station, city hall, and a variety of resources, restaurants and stores. The downtown area consists of many multi and single family homes and the North side of town has several neighborhoods of ranch homes, farms and newer developments. Route 9 and the Mass Pike make Framingham another great town to commute from to Boston.