Brookline

Semi-urban town directly adjacent to southeast Boston

Welcome to Brookline

Brookline is an expansive semi-urban Norfolk County town that borders the neighborhoods of southeast Boston. The town has an excellent education system, with highly-rated public schools alongside an outstanding selection of private schools. Brookline is the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy and the long-time home of Frederick Law Olmsted, a famed landscape artist whose works include New York’s Central Park. Olmsted’s home is surrounded by a seven-acre park, and both this and JFK’s childhood home are popular tourist attractions. The first European settlers arrived in Brookline in 1638, and the town features many other attractive historic residences. Brookline also boasts a variety of bustling shopping districts and large public spaces, such as the 65-acre Larz Anderson Park, which is home to the United States’ oldest automobile museum.

What to Love

  • Walkable commercial districts

  • Charming historic homes

  • Parks and landmark attractions

  • Excellent public and private schools

People & Lifestyle

Brookline is a diverse community with distinctive historic neighborhoods. Brookline Village is the center of shopping and dining and home to the Brookline Town Hall. Chestnut Hill has an idyllic village vibe, while Cottage Farm is characterized by charming architecture dating back to the 1850s. Brookline has long been a hub of Jewish and Greek American culture, with lots of kosher butchers, delis, Greek restaurants, synagogues, and Greek Orthodox churches. The community is immediately adjacent to Boston but offers an atmosphere completely of its own. Brookline is popular with young families, as it boasts some of the best public and private schools in the Boston area.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

This walkable community offers several commercial areas with unique independent businesses. Brooklyn Village is Brookline’s oldest commercial center. Here, you’ll find antique shops and stores such as Henry Bear’s Park selling gifts and toys for kids. Enjoy a refined Italian meal at Pomodoro or head to Italian deli Bottega di Capri for imported meats, freshly-baked bread, espresso, and gourmet prepared meals. Martin’s Coffee Shop is a great choice for breakfast or lunch. Coolidge Corner is a short stroll away from Brookline Village on Harvard Street. This historic shopping area features kosher butchers and delis, coffee shops, and the family-run bookstore Brookline Booksmith

More shopping and dining can be found at Washington Square, which features some of Brookline’s best restaurants. Popular businesses here include the elegant gastropub Washington Square Tavern and Mexican eatery and tequila spot Burro Bar. The wine list at Barcelona Wine Bar spans 400 varietals.

Things to Do

John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s childhood home is a popular tourist attraction that offers a fascinating insight into the life of the United States’ 35th president. Olmsted Park is a beautiful greenspace with woods, a meadow, and picturesque ponds. 

65-acre Larz Anderson Park is the largest of Brookline’s public greenspaces. The park was built on the former estate of diplomat and socialite Larz Anderson and features Anderson’s historic home and a Colonial schoolhouse built in 1768. The carriage house containing Larz Anderson Auto Museum was built in 1888 to house Anderson’s private collection of automobiles. Anderson and his wife Isabelle purchased a new automobile every year from 1899 onward, and many of their original vehicles are part of the museum’s collection. The museum also hosts exhibits of other classic cars for special themed events such as British Car Day, Cadillac Day, and Tutto Italiano.

Schools

Brookline operates its own public school district. Highlights include:

  • Pierce School, Public, K-8

  • Michael Driscoll School, Public, PK-8

  • Lawrence School, Public, K-8

  • John D. Runkle School, Public, PK-8

  • Brookline High School, Public, 9-12 (Ranked one of the best high schools in Massachusetts; winner of Gold Medal from U.S. News & World Report)