Incorporated in 1711, Needham encompasses 12.6 square miles. It's located half an hour from downtown Boston and within a 2.5-mile radius of eight cities. The town has a bus line and four commuter rail stops.
Needham maintains a lot of its historic character because the town’s inventory of historic homes is subject to a six-month demolition postponement, implemented by the Historical Commission. Barbara Jones, founder of Little Pink Houses LLC, is a leading voice in regards to supporting the mission of saving these residential gems.
You’ll pay less for a home here than in the surrounding suburbs. Per Zillow, the median home value is $795,500, compared to $966,400 in Dover and $1,194,500 in Wellesley. This means that you can get a 2,000 square-foot, single-family home for $700,000 to $800,000. Median home values are expected to rise 0.2 percent in 2017. Foreclosure rates in Needham run below the national average.
The Charles River Peninsula is a tranquil oasis within Needham. This 32-acre preserved area features a one-mile long walking and hiking path, a picnicking area, and a boat launch for kayaks and canoes. In the winter, snow lovers can use the trail for snowshoeing and cross country skiing because the trail has a fairly gentle loop. Bird watchers will enjoy the numerous species that make the meadow and wood areas their home. You can also fish the Charles River with the appropriate permits.
Annual festivals to celebrate the seasons in Needham include the Street Fair, Harvest Fair, Spooky Walk and the Blue Tree Lighting.
Nearly every Needham school received at least an 8 on the rating scale. Places that offer activities for the whole family include the Kid’s Place and Arts, Glass & More. At the latter, you can learn to craft glass and take art classes. The Kid’s Place also has art classes, including pottery and paint, and you can hold parties there. For a change of pace, head out for an evening of candlepin bowling at Needham Bowlaway.
For shopping and dining, residents often head to the Needham Center. It is home to Sweet Basil, a small Italian restaurant that Yelp ranks on top. The center also has a variety of other restaurants, bistros and sandwich shops.
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