Moving to Boston Suburbs: Town Guide - Quincy, MA
Quincy and that is pronounced QUIN ‘ZEE’ is a city south of Boston with over 101,000 residents. The City of Presidents is located in Norfolk County and is the seventh largest city in the state. In this post we are going to unpack all of Quincy from talking about Quincy history to what it is like today. We are going to go over Quincy neighborhoods, Quincy schools and things to do in Quincy for recreation which include beaches and parks.
It is called the City of Presidents because it is the birthplace of two U.S Presidents – John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams. John Hancock who was the President of the Continental Congress and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence was also from Quincy.
Quincy was part of Dorchester then a precinct of Braintree and then finally became its own town in 1792 and would graduate to being a city in 1888. Quincy was home to a thriving granite industry and was the site of the Granite Railway that was the first commercial railroad in the U.S. Fun fact, the granite used at the Bunker Hill Monument was granite from Quincy! Quincy was also known for their Shipbuilding and more recently contributed to our current world with the founding of Howard Johnson’s and most importantly for all the Coffee Drinkers… Dunkin Donuts. Yes… That is right, Quincy was the first city to run on Dunkin. (More about Quincy Below the homes for sale)
Quincy shares borders with Boston to the North and is separated by the Neponset River. Milton is to the west of Quincy with Randolph and Braintree to the South. Weymouth which is separated by the Fore River is to the East. If you were to look over the Quincy and Hingham Bay, then you would be looking at Hull.
We have a lot on deck including Schools, beaches, parks and commuting access in Quincy… But first, let’s talk about the different neighborhoods throughout the city.
When it comes to Quincy and the neighborhoods that make up the city… They have something for everyone. We have Adams Shore, Germantown, Houghs Neck, Marina Bay, Merrymount, Montclair, North Quincy, Quincy Center, Quincy Point, South Quincy, Squantum and Wollaston.
With there being so many neighborhoods and me not wanting you to fall asleep on me… I figured I would focus on some of the larger and more prominent neighborhoods in Quincy.
Adams Shore was originally developed as a summer resort location and is now a year-round residential area. The neighborhood is situated on land formally belonging to the Adams Family and has evolved into a traditional neighborhood of family homes. It is located on the shore of Quincy Bay and goes to the entrance of Hough’s Neck peninsula. A lot of the homes get amazing views of the water and Boston as they were built to face the Bay. The neighborhood is close to elementary, middle and high schools with Sea Street being its main throughfare. It’s mostly Residential with a smaller collection of shops and restaurants mixed in. Adams Shore is also home to Heron Beach.
Houghs Neck is a small waterfront neighborhood nestled on a Peninsula. Houghs Neck is surrounded by Quincy Bay, Hingham Bay and Rock Island Cove. If you are looking for a “water type” lifestyle, then Houghs Neck may be worth a look. I would be remised to mention Houghs Neck and not talk about Nut Island which is on the tip of the Penninsula and offers some stunning views. I am going to talk more about parks in Quincy momentarily, but this is defiantly one of Quincy’s greats! It’s a tight-knit community where many of its residents are long timers. Single Family homes is going to be the majority of housing stock on Houghs Neck.
Marina Bay is a luxury residential/commercial waterfront area that was developed in the 1980s on the old Naval Air Station. Today the old 400-acre Navy Base now consists of five housing developments which include high-rise and low-rise condominiums plus townhomes, restaurants and New England’s largest marina. It’s an awesome community that has shops, food and the water. I would say that here you mostly either find the young adults or empty nesters that have looked to downsize for an easier care free lifestyle.
North Quincy is a residential and commercial neighborhood along Hancock Street and Quincy Shore Drive. One of the city’s high schools is located in North Quincy. This is about as close to Boston as you can get. If you are commuting to Boston, then this is an awesome area to live as it would be the shortest commute out of all the neighborhoods. It’s also an easy to walk area with restaurants and other entertainment options… Which includes Wollaston Beach!
Quincy Center is the commercial and government center of the city. This is the city’s city if you will! The city center was once in decline, but is now a vibrant Commercial center with new residential communities as well. It is here that you will find local landmarks like City Hall, the Public Library and if you are in to History… Then the Church where John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams are buried. But you will also find many restaurants and the MBTA Red Line Station as well. Quincy Center is also home to Quincy College as well as the Stop & Shop Corporate Headquarters.
Squantum is the northernmost peninsula of Quincy. This used to be a summer town that was mainly supported by the naval air force base and has now turned into a yearlong community. A lot of the housing stock are smaller single family beach style bungalows. We have seen a decent amount of redevelopment where people are adding on second stories or even leveling the old house to build a new one. There are beaches and walking trails for its residents to enjoy. So, if you are looking to be right on the water, then there may not be a be a better neighborhood!
Wollaston is actually a neighborhood that really encompasses two smaller ones. Wollaston Heights and Wollaston Park. These two are separated by Hancock Street with Wollaston Park on the Beach Side. Wollaston beach offers residents its golden sand with lifeguard stands, conservation areas, parks and playgrounds. Wollaston Center is smaller than Quincy Center, but still offers its residents a small commercial district with restaurants all within easy walking distance.
Quincy Point is the neighborhood that encompasses everything east of Quincy Center. It is home to about 10,000 residents as well as the Fore River Shipyard. Quincy Point is a favorite among its residents with its numerous small beaches fronting the Town River. These beaches include Mound Street Beach, and Avalon Beach.
It only makes sense to talk about Quincy schools after the neighborhoods. So, let’s go!
Quincy is home to various educational institutions which include public and private. The city has one early childhood education center, one Montessori School, one Catholic School, One College-Prep School, two colleges, two public High Schools, five public Middle Schools and 11 public Elementary Schools.
The two Public High Schools are North Quincy High School and Quincy High School. According to the Boston Magazine rankings, North Quincy High is located in the North Quincy Neighborhood and ranks #91 in the state with 1,356 students and a teacher to student ratio of 15.5 to 1. The average class size is 16.9 with a 95% graduation rate and 82% of students attending college. Quincy High School is located in Quincy Center and is ranked 101 in the state with 1,499 students and a teacher to student ratio of 12 to 1. The average class size is 15.7 with a 94.2% graduation rate and 68.2% of students attending college.
Students attend schools based on neighborhood areas. They have a street directory that provides the boundary area information for specific elementary, middle and high schools. The Middle Schools are located in Wollaston, Adams Shore, South Quincy, Quincy Point and North Quincy. There is an Elementary School in each of the Quincy Neighborhoods aside from West Quincy.
Next up is Beaches, parks and other cultural additions to the city, but later in this post, we have information on Commuting, the housing market, restaurants and local events that are worth your time coming up!
Waterfront and Quincy go hand in hand. However, if you looked at a map… You would probably think there were a lot more beaches then there actually are. Quincy does have a couple smaller beaches, but I figure that I would just focus on the bigger ones. Wollaston Beach is Quincy’s biggest beach and the largest in Boston Harbor at roughly a 2.3-mile shoreline. Quincy Shore Drive runs along this beach where you will find walkers, runners, and cyclists. It’s a very wide sidewalk that is perfect for these activities. This beach offers a lot of parking making it one of the local’s favorites. There are also two private Yacht clubs along the beach.
Quincy also has Mound Street Beach which is one of the city’s largest beaches and is about 180 yards of beachfront. It also offers residents adjoining soccer fields and playgrounds. Not too far from Mound Street is Avalon Beach which is a narrow beach located on Avalon Road offering residents about 150 to 200 yards of beachfront. And then there is Edgewater Drive Beach with another 150 to 200 yards of Beachfront.
There are a lot of parks in Quincy as well 52 to be exact. We aren’t going over all 52.. So in the spirit of beaches, I will stick with the larger ones as well. Let’s start with Merrymount Park which is Quincy’s largest and most utilized park as it consists of 80 acres of parkland. This park has a LOT going on. It’s got baseball fields, a soccer field, basketball and tennis courts, a children’s playground, the city’s only outdoor amphitheater, and a boathouse,
Faxon Park is a 57 acre park that sports little league fields, a softball field, a basketball court and many walking paths. Passanageset Park at Broad Meadows Marsh is a water front park that sports 1.3 miles of trails and acres of passive meadows. Snug Harbor Playground is a 7.8 acre park with 2 basketball courts, a softball field, three soccer fields, 2 kids playgrounds which includes a newer Splash Pad. And there is also Monroe Playground & Skate Park which sports a baseball field, a basketball court, and a skateboard park. There are many more parks worth mentioning, but I am thinking you are getting the idea that Quincy offers quite a bit of greenspace for its residents.
Quincy is a pretty convenient place to call home. The community is very accessible to much of Boston whether you are taking Mass Transit or driving by car. Residents of Quincy are able to utilize the Red Line of the MBTA with four stations. These stops are the North Quincy, Wollaston, Quincy Center and Quincy Adams stops. Quincy also has the Commuter Rail that goes through Quincy Center. Both, the Red Line and Commuter Line take you into South Station. If you are needing to transfer from the Red line, then you can jump over to the Orange Line at Downtown Crossing and the Green line at Park Street. Or just stay on the Red line and head right into Cambridge! There are also MBTA bus lines that run through Quincy.
Then there is Interstate 93. This road is the bane of my existence, but one of the two main throughways of Boston… I didn’t need a national study to tell me that it is one of the worst trafficked highways in the country… But I do have one if you are interested. On 93 you can go North into Boston or South where you will find the Braintree split to Route 3 which takes you down to the Cape or continue on 93 South which takes you to 95 North or South. It’s a pretty quick ride into Boston on the T and the Commuter Rail. And if you are driving by car, just take comfort in that it is one of the closest communities to Boston and that people that live further away… Are tortured, I mean waiting in traffic a lot longer than you.
Coming up are some mentions of things to do in Quincy as well as some restaurants that are worth a visit, but first I figured let’s talk about what type of house you are looking at when looking at Quincy Homes For Sale.
You can pretty much find it all here in Quincy. If you are looking for a Quincy Condo For Sale then you can find one in a small ‘triple decker’ building as well as one in a large full-service building. There are also a lot of Quincy Single Family Homes For Sale as well as Quincy Multi-Family Homes For Sale. Different neighborhoods provide a person with different value. If it is commuting with ease and using the Red Line, then a neighborhood like Squantum might now work for you. If it is a Quincy Single-Family Home that you are looking for, then Marina Bay is not the place for you. Your wants and needs will quickly help you pinpoint exactly the areas that are right for you. The Quincy Condo Average Sales Price is $509,638 Year to date (8/6/2022). The Quincy Single Family Average Sales Price is $749,815 year to date while the Quincy Multi-Family Average Sales Price is $924,095. Quincy isn’t considered one of our most affordable communities. It’s close to Boston. And generally speaking, the closer to Boston then the more expensive the area. If you have questions about the Quincy neighborhoods or updated prices, then I always invite you to please reach out.
So on to some Things to do in Quincy as well as some restaurants to eat at. If you are into History, then you can go visit the birthplaces of two of our Presidents. You can do this by visiting the Adams National Historical Park. You can also visit the Old House at Peacefield which will bring you to the Stone Library where you will find thousands of the Adams family’s priceless books and personal papers.
We have talked about the beaches and parks so that is kind of obvious, but you could also visit the United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum or try your luck with 18 holes at the Golf Course at Granite Links.
If it is restaurants that you are looking for, then first on my list is heading over to Marina Bay. Personally Reel House is one of my favorites, but you will pretty much find it all while walking the Marina Bay Boardwalk. There is Tony’s Clam Shop on Quincy Shore Drive which tends to have a good-sized following. With a name like ‘The Fat Cat’, a guy like me does well there. I have also always been a fan of the Fours and if you are looking for some more fine dining then maybe check out the Inn at Bay Pointe. A little café that I have to mention because it’s one of my favorites is Cucina Mia. And if you are a coffee fan and run-on Dunkin, then you should probably put the first Dunkin Donuts on your list of things to do as well.
Please let me know if you have any questions or have any comments about Quincy. If you are thinking about buying a house in Quincy or selling a house in Quincy and are looking for a Quincy Realtor, then I would love to chat with you and have the opportunity to work with you.