Best place to retire: Back Bay
Pros: Within walking distance to almost everything
Cons: Expensive, many buildings lack elevators.
Real estate: The median price for a condo is about $500,000. A decent-sized one-bedroom rental will set you back about $2,400 a month.The Back Bay is close to just about everything you could need: Malls, theatres, playing fields, hospitals and even Fenway Park are all within walking distance. Hop public transportation for a handful of stops, and you're at the Museum of Fine Arts.
"Everything is right there for you," says Maggie Raskin, a local real-estate agent. "The empty-nesters flock to it because they like its easy way of life."
The Back Bay may occupy the city's center, but it still offers many scenic strolls. There's the Esplanade, a park along the banks of the Charles River (with a band-shell that hosts the Boston Pops, among other musicians), and the Boston Public Garden, where the pond is the home of the pedal-powered Swan Boats, a long-standing tourist attraction.
Newbury Street houses the city's upscale boutiques, galleries and cafes.
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