When most people think of cool places to visit or live in Massachusetts, one of the first cities that comes to mind is Boston.
Boston, home of Fenway Park, the birthplace of greats like Edward Norton, Matt Damon, and the artist formerly known as Marky Mark, and the location of the first college founded in North America. Surely Boston must be the most exciting place in Massachusetts… Right?
Actually, it’s not—but it’s certainly better than some of the seriously boring places we researched here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog. Which place in Massachusetts was the absolute least thrilling, most boring, and all around dull? That honor went to Leominster.
Here are the 10 Most Boring Places in Massachusetts:
1. City of Leominster
2. City of Attleboro
3. City of Brockton
4. Town of Braintree
5. Town of Franklin
6. Town of Methuen
7. Town of Chicopee
8. Town of Agawam
9. City of Taunton
10. City of Lawrence
Yep, sorry Leominster. But at least you’re No. 1 in something, right?
To find out how we came up with this list of Dullsvilles, MA, keep on reading. We’ll go over why each of these places is so very snore-worthy in the next section. We may sell houses, but we’re not afraid to tell you when you might be looking in a dead zone of fun.
How We Created This Ranking
Like any of our other Big Deal Lists, we created this boring list of 10 in a rather numerical manner.
We started by going to the U.S. Census (2010) and listing the 50 most populous places in the state. Then, we used the Census and business listings to find information about each place in the following categories:
- Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)
- Live music venues per capita
- Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)
- Arts and Entertainment per capita (movie theaters, festivals, galleries, theaters, etc.)
- Fast Food restaurants per capita (the more the more boring)
- Percentage of restaurants that are not fast food (the lower the more boring)
- Percentage of young residents ages 18 to 34 (the lower the more boring)
- Population density (the lower the better)
From there, we ranked each place with a score from one to 50, according to the eight criteria above; the higher the number, the more boring the place.
We averaged these rankings into an overall Big Deal Score, where again, the highest score was the least happening place, which in this case was none other than Leominster.
Like we said, finding this data was about as thrilling as the places you’re about to read about. If you haven’t dozed off yet, you can check out a table of all 50 places we looked at at the end of the article, ordered from the most to least boring.
Otherwise, we’ll take a closer look at what makes each of our top 10 so dull, starting with our winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it), Leominster.
Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr
Leominster may be the second largest city in Worcester County, but it’s the first most boring in the state, if not in the Northeast.
Not only is this place so spread out that you really must drive everywhere (it ranked 42nd out of 50 in population density, where the higher the number, the more spread out the people are), but it also had some of the most fast food in the state, some of the least non-fast food options, and to top it off, not too many active life options in case you wanted to burn off those calories from McDonald’s.
That’s not all though. What really made Leominster boring is its lack of arts and entertainment. Ranking 42nd in this category, Leominster had some of the fewest art stores, theaters, galleries, museums, etc. per capita. But hey, we hear the Michael’s on Water Tower Place is… fun.
Source: Flickr user Sean
You know what the most exciting thing about Attleboro is? It was once known as the “Jewelry Capital of the World.” Yep. If you’re done being amazed by this fact, we’ll tell you why that is the most amazing fact about this place.
First of all, when it comes to dining, there’s Papagallo and there’s the Colonel Blackinton Restaurant… and then there’s Papagallo… and there’s the Colonel Blackinton… so there’s not a lot. In fact, it ranked 47th out of 50 in this category.
It also ranked pretty high on the active life scale—as in, it had a high score for its severe lack of active life options. This, plus a very spread out population (just 1,626 people per square mile) means that Attleboro residents are probably driving. A lot. So if that’s your idea of fun, maybe this place is a real diamond in the rough.
Source: Flickr user Carter Brown
The one thing Brockton seems to have going for it is a slightly more dense population than some of the others in our top 10; it only ranked No. 22 out of 50 in this category, with 4,398 people per square mile.
But what good is having your friends close if there’s nothing to do? This place had a serious lack of restaurants, ranking 49th in this category, a serious surplus of fast food restaurants, ranking 40th here, plus, it seemed to be almost completely missing arts and active life options, ranking 46th in both of these categories.
But hey, at least you’ve got a Buffalo Wild Wings, right?
Source: Flickr user 350 .org
You know what the most exciting thing about Braintree is? It’s close to Boston.
If, for some reason, you happen to be stuck in this town without a car or ride to Boston, what do you do? There aren’t too many restaurants to choose from, as it ranked 46th in this category—unless, of course, you fancy some fine fast food, for which it ranked the very highest on our list.
Not only that, but Braintree had some of the fewest young people out of any of the places we looked at, with just 18.21 percent of its population being between the ages of 18 and 34. This may also explain its serious lack of nightlife—aside from Dave & Buster’s. But hey, at least the name is kinda cool.
Source: Flickr user Mark Carlucci
When your town’s own website describes it as a “suburban industrial town,” you know you’re in trouble. C’mon—the town website is your chance to boast about your most exciting features! Really sell it to people! “Suburban industrial town?”
We suppose it makes sense. We mean, it’s not like they could brag about their young and trendy population (there isn’t one), or the plethora of fine dining options (nope).
And they certainly couldn’t talk about a bustling nightlife, unless mentioning Incontro, which admittedly is awesome. So… you’ve got that going for you.
Source: Flickr user Timmy Denike
Usually when you look at a city’s Wikipedia page, the top section is simply filled with the city’s awards and accolades; what makes the place special, famous, and worth visiting.
You know what the top section of Methuen’s Wikipedia page says? “Methuen is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 47,255 at of the 2010 Census.”
That about sums it up. This town had some of the fewest non-fast food restaurants per capita, ranking 44th in this category, some of the least active life options, plus a pretty low percentage of young people—just 20.37 percent of residents are between the ages of 18 and 34.
Source: Flickr user Alex Michalik
Don’t let Chicopee’s comparatively high number of nightlife options per capita fool you, it’s still wicked boring here.
Sure, there’s Say When Cafe, Atlas Pub, and Doc’s Place (which is awesome), but when the beer wears off and the hangover is done, what is there to do?
You can’t really go out to eat—Chicopee’s 48th place ranking in the non-fast food category saw to this; you don’t have too many options for being active (it ranked 47th here) and if you feel like strolling a museum, well, you might want to head to Springfield.
Source: Flickr user RockerBOO
Okay, there is one thing in Agawam that is terribly exciting, not even being sarcastic at all, and that is the Six Flags New England amusement park.
But once you’ve ridden all the rides and eaten all the Dippin’ Dots you can handle, you might want to head back over the river to Springfield for dinner, because this place isn’t the best for restaurant options. At all.
Nor is it the best for its arts per capita (49th in this category), its young population (45th here), or even its population density (43rd).
We suppose you could just keep going back to Six Flags every day. That honestly doesn’t sound too bad.
Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr
For a couple of months of every year, Taunton is probably the most exciting place in Massachusetts, at least when it comes to Christmas festivities. That’s when Taunton Green hosts one of the largest light displays in the Northeast.
But then there’s the rest of the year.
Granted, Taunton isn’t too terribly boring for families, but if you happen to be between the ages of 18 and 34, single, looking for any kind of nightlife, interesting food options, or walkability (with a more dense population), you might do better going to any one of the larger cities nearby. Even New Bedford is more exciting than this.
Source: Flickr user Anon E. Moose
Lawrence has the honor of being included in our top 10 for a number of reasons, but mostly for its absolute lack of active life options whatsoever. Or art. Or non-fast food restaurants, for that matter.
It’s a shame, too, because Lawrence actually has potential, with a relatively high young population (27.25 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34) and a dense population (11,028 people per square mile).
Perhaps we now know why once-resident Robert Frost wrote “The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” He had to get the hell out of Lawrence.
It’s Not All Boring
Like we said in the beginning, when most people think of Massachusetts, “boring” isn’t typically one of the first words that springs to mind; of course, they probably have never lived in one of these 10 places, but the point is, it’s not all bad.
For a complete list of how each of the 50 places we looked at ranked, you can check out the table below. It’s ranked from most boring to least. So Boston, wipe that frown off your face; you may not have come in at the very bottom, but hey, at least you’re not Leominster.