Braintree MA Homes & Real Estate
Originally named after the town in Essex, England, this Norfolk County town has six named sections: Braintree Highlands, South Braintree, East Braintree, North Braintree, Braintree Square, and the Landing (although this last area is shared with Weymouth). Aside from Weymouth, the town is bordered by Quincy, Randolph, and Holbrook. When it was incorporated in 1640, these three towns were part of Braintree but broke off later. Its 2019 population was 37,190 and it is considered to be part of the Greater Boston Area, being about twelve miles south of the city. It can be accessed from Route 3, Route 53, and Interstate 93, as well as the MBTA.
In 2020, Braintree was rated #26 of the top 50 places to live in the US by Money Magazine. Though it is officially a town, it is considered a city under Massachusetts state law and has been run with a mayor-council form of government since 2008. The vibe is dense and suburban, with some parks and convenient access to Boston.
The MBTA covers a lot of Braintree with frequent bus stops along Washington and Hancock Street (where many businesses are located) as well as a few T stops on the red line and two different commuter rail lines. The Capeflyer is a weekend-only train service that goes between South Station and Hyannis, stopping in Braintree on the way. The Logan Express bus also stops at Forbes Road in Braintree, alongside I-93, with service every hour to Logan Airport.
Braintree has six public elementary schools: Highlands, Flaherty, Hollis, Liberty, Archie T. Morrison, and Donald E. Ross, with over 1600 students spread between them. There is South Middle School and East Middle School, as well as Monatiquot School Kindergarten Center, two public preschools, and a number of private childcare and learning centers. Braintree High sports teams are part of the Division 1 Bay State Conference and there are many passionate sports fans. The public school system has strong and involved Parent Teacher Organizations.
In addition to the public middle and high schools, Braintree has two private college-prep day schools: Archbishop Williams, a Catholic school for grades seven through twelve, and Thayer Academy, a top-rated school with a close student-teacher ratio for grades five through twelve. Thayer was founded in 1877 and is located close to the MBTA. CATS Academy Boston is a boarding school in Braintree that attracts international students with a focus on learning how to succeed in American colleges and universities.
Cardinal Cushing Centers has a private day school called St. Colleta that serves students with special needs. Within the same center is Meeting House Montessori School which mixes students between the ages of three and eleven into appropriate learning groups rather than a traditional grade system.
Braintree is home to Christian, Catholic, Presbyterian, Unitarian Universalist, Episcopal, Seventh-day Adventist, Methodist, and Greek Orthodox churches as well as Jewish and Buddhist temples.
A popular shopping spot in Braintree is the South Shore Plaza. It is a collection of over 200 retailers and nine full-service restaurants plus a food court and other food options throughout. The Plaza is considered one of the largest regional shopping centers in the northeast. Just across the street is South Shore Place, an outdoor shopping center with more restaurants and stores, and up the hill from there is the AMC movie theatre. On the opposite side of the highway, you’ll find the F1 Boston indoor racetrack, a large go-kart center with two tracks, pool tables, a cafe, and a bar.
Marketplace at Braintree is an outdoor shopping center alongside Route 3 with large chain stores as well as a Harvard Vanguard medical center. Pearl Plaza, Tedeschi Plaza, and Granite Plaza are other collections of shops in town.
Families have many places to choose from for warm-weather activities. Braintree Municipal Golf Course offers lessons for adults and juniors on their eighteen-hole green. The Metropolitan Yacht Club has a clubhouse, pool, and 115 slips to keep your boat on the Weymouth Fore River. There are tons of playground structures throughout town. Watson Park is home to many town baseball and softball games, a playground, and a splash pad. Eatons Pond has three miles of trails, great for mountain biking. Pond Meadow Park has a picnic area and a wide, paved loop trail surrounding a 20-acre pond with many additional paths through the woods. They host week-long summer nature programs for kids and other seasonal events. Cranberry Pond, the Town Forest, and the Monatiquot Nature Trail are other lovely places for nature walks. Sunset Lake has a shady, quiet lakeside beach with free parking for Braintree residents, good for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. It is watched over by a lifeguard in the summer months. This is also a spot to catch the free summer concert series, held at the gazebo bandstand. The town recreation department hosts Parties in the Park at various public outdoor areas around town to celebrate the community with live music and food.
There is an annual July 4th celebration that has come to be known as Braintree Day, taking place on a weekend near the fourth, either in June or July. It includes a parade through the center of town, food trucks, activities and entertainment at the high school campus, music, all wrapped up with a stunning fireworks display over Sunset Lake.
The farmer’s market is held at the Town Hall Mall, JFK Memorial Drive. Tons of produce, artisan goods, desserts, fresh-baked bread, and more are available. Local musicians also play during the markets.
A small piece of Blue Hills Reservation is in Braintree, and the town recreation department hosts the Big Blue program for kids to travel to get ski and snowboard lessons there in January and February.
As Braintree-born General Sylvanus Thayer was very influential in military education and engineering, many things in town are named after him and his family. His birthplace is a historic site that has been relocated from its original spot to the town center. Today it is managed by the Historical Society and houses multiple exhibits, artifacts, and a research library.
The Thayer Public Library contains over 125,000 items and is part of the Old Colony Library Network. They host different book clubs, craft and game events, and storytimes and sing-alongs for kids.
Thayer Sports Center is affiliated with Thayer Academy but is open for public use. It features ice skating rinks, indoor and outdoor turf multi-sport fields, and a fitness center.
The Asa French House is one of Braintree’s oldest homes. The Town Center, or Braintree’s Historic District, formed around this building because it served as the town’s first post office in 1825. Across the street, French’s Common is a public park area with sports courts and a baseball field. The fire department is also here in the Center.
Braintree is full of historical colonial homes and single and multi-family homes, but there are plenty of condominium communities and apartment-style living options spread throughout town to choose from. Just to name a few: Devon Wood Condominium Trust, Turtle Crossing, Landing 53, Liberty Park Apartments, Lenox Farms Apartments, and Ridge at Blue Hills.
Braintree has many activities to entertain and keep everyone busy all year round. Boston is accessible, but far enough away that Braintree still feels clearly suburban and less like city living. There are tons of school options and neighborhoods for families to consider. The Highlands and North Braintree are quite residential, while South Braintree and the Square have more action. One of these areas is sure to be the right fit for your needs.