Sometimes people ask me what makes Andover such a special place to live. It’s hard to come up with a short answer … where to begin? There are so many wonderful features of this town, but here are a few noteworthy reasons that I love Andover.
Because of Andover’s location at the intersection of I-93 and I-495 and its two stops on the MBTA Commuter Rail, Boston is easily accessible to commuters who live in town. And since it’s a little farther out from downtown Boston than some communities, housing is more affordable than in towns closer in to the city.
As is the case with most communities in Eastern Massachusetts, Andover is rich with history, dating back to the 1600s. The English first settled on the shores of Lake Cochichewick in 1634, and the town of Andover was founded in 1646. Andover’s Historical Society recently celebrated its 100th year and maintains the Barn Museum, archives filled with historical documents, and a research center.
The town is home to many historic buildings and homes, including a historic downtown area. Notable town residents have included John Adams, poet Anne Bradstreet, Jay Leno, and Harriet Beecher Stowe – whose grave is located in the Cemetery at Phillips Academy.
It’s widely known that Massachusetts offers great educational opportunities, both public and private. Andover’s public schools are among the best in the state, with MCAS testing scores in the high 90th percentile for both math and English/language arts. The town is also home to Phillips Academy, a renowned preparatory school boasting many famous alumni.
Beyond quality schooling, Andover offers its residents services for the elderly, youth, and veterans. The town operates parks and playgrounds galore, recreational programs, and a wonderful library. Restaurants feature everything from Indian to Italian to Chinese to contemporary American cuisine as well as a Japanese steakhouse and an authentic Mexican restaurant. Independently-owned local shopping options include books, jewelry, and clothes.
But buildings and businesses only make up part of a town. Andover is much more than its storefronts and historic sites. The town exemplifies New England charm and is simply a great place to live and raise a family. Residents come together to form a wonderful community – and the town is proof that the people really make the place.
So what’s special about Andover? This year, Boston Magazine selected Andover as one of its Top Ten Places to Live. I think that pretty much says it all.