Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Pleasant Pocket of Small Towns in Norfolk County, MA

Article and photo by Eric H.

As the Boston, MA, suburbs move toward a more overcrowded, unfriendly, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality, there is a pocket of towns southwest of Boston that remain generally more laid-back, quaint and friendly.

The towns of Walpole, Norfolk, Millis, Medfield, Medway, Wrentham and Franklin comprise a series of close-knit Norfolk County communities that include pretty village greens, meandering country roads leading from the town centers, road side farm stands, loads of community events, scenic ponds and lakes, and real estate prices generally lower than some other areas around Boston. The crime rates in Norfolk County are low and the schools are amongst the best in the United States, according to Forbes Magazine.

It's especially nice to go out to breakfast or to the local supermarket, and meet people you know. After a few years of being involved in these communities, it's rare to go out and not see a familiar face.

In the western suburbs where I used to live, the feeling has become less friendly, more narcissistic and overcrowded, in my opinion. This is a general observation, not an indictment on the great people that live in the western suburbs. It just seems a bit less close-knit than in some of the towns where I resided.

Norfolk County has a perfect location, within commuting distance to Providence, RI< and Boston, MA. One of its towns, Foxborough, is becoming a destination with Patriot Place at Gillette Stadium (home of the New England Patriots). Patriot Place is an already spectacular outdoor shopping and entertainment complex with several restaurants, a movie theater and the amazing Bass Pro Shops. Tonight, The Cafe 31 Baskin Robbins celebrates its grand opening by sampling Baskin-Robbins treats with 20 percent of the proceeds from Thursday night through Saturday to be donated between Foxborough High School and Sharon High School.

Although the development of Patriot Place has resulted in Route 1 Foxborough becoming a busy major New England attraction, Norfolk County remains generally quaint, full of historic preservation and with a nice mix of pleasant suburbia and rural lands. It's really a great place to consider moving to -- these small towns will quickly welcome you to the neighborhood and where the townsfolk encourage newcomers to get involved with their beloved communities.

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