Moving to Lawrence

Perched on the banks of the mighty Merrimack River, brimming with vibrant cultural heritage, lies the hidden gem known as Lawrence, MA. As a city that perfectly combines an intense industrial spirit with a warm, welcoming residential charm, it could be your next home! Whether you're attracted by the rich history, diverse communities, or the affordable cost of living, Lawrence, MA holds an unexpected allure. Delve into this comprehensive guide and get ready to unravel the myriad of reasons why moving to Lawrence, MA might just be the best decision you've ever made.

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What to Know Before Moving to Lawrence

1. Eclectic Community Scene

One big thing to know about Lawrence is the diverse and vibrant community. The city is a melting pot of cultures, which is evident in the wide array of cuisines available, from traditional New England fare to Dominican dishes. Latin influence runs strong throughout Lawrence, making the city a rich tapestry of diverse cultures. Be prepared to expand your culinary horizons and enjoy some of the best homegrown foods you've ever tasted.

2. An Outdoorsy Paradise

Did you know that Lawrence is home to some of the most stunning natural beauty in all of Massachusetts? Avid hikers, fishermen, and nature lovers will enjoy spending time at the Great Stone Dam, Den Rock Park, or the Common. Immersing yourself in nature is an integral part of the Lawrence experience. So, lace up those hiking boots and don't forget your bug spray!

3. Mill History Extraordinaire

If you're a history buff, then you'll find Lawrence to be a treasure trove. It's home to an intriguing mill history, which traces back to America's Industrial Revolution. The central part of this old mill town is the striking clock tower at Ayer Mill, which is the world's largest and a representative icon of the city. Tour the mills and museums, like the Lawrence Heritage State Park, to get a real sense of the city and its storied past.

4. A Cultural and Artsy Hub

Lawrence has a thriving arts scene that caters to everyone's tastes. From the Essex Art Center, which hosts rotating visual art exhibits, to the various art festivals happening throughout the year, there's always something creative going on. So, if you're an art enthusiast or simply enjoy a hearty dose of culture now and then, you'll get ample doses of both here.

5. Unique Firefighting History

Ready for some lesser-known facts about Lawrence? Here's one: This city holds a special place in the firefighting history of America. Specifically, it's home to the Lawrence Firefighting Museum, which features a collection of historic fire vehicles and firefighter memorabilia dating back to the 19th century. The beautifully maintained museum is a testimony to the bravery and dedication of all firefighters and offers an immersive and, not to mention, educational experience.

6. The Mystery of the Hidden Tunnel

For the final fact, we saved the best: a mystery. A secret, forget-me-not - the so-called "hidden tunnel." This tunnel, unmarked and somewhat tricky to locate, runs under the entire city, a relic from the city's mill past. Reportedly used to transport goods and people safely across town, this hidden tunnel presents an attractive lure for urban explorers and history connoisseurs alike. But remember, always prioritize safety and respect the local rules and regulations if you plan to go exploring.

In conclusion, moving to Lawrence, MA, offers an enriching experience that is a blend of eclectic cultural vibes, a rich historical backdrop, and magnificent natural escapes. Be prepared to discover mysteries, dine on diverse cuisines, and immerse in an active arts scene. Whether you're looking for a great place to raise a family or a city packed with adventure, Lawrence has it covered!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Lawrence

Pros of Living in Lawrence

Rich Cultural and Historical Presence

The city boasts a vibrant cultural scene and rich history, fostering a deep sense of community heritage. It's known particularly for its large and preserved mills which now host museums, restaurants, and art spaces, encouraging residents and visitors to engage with its industrial past.

Accessible Transportation

Lawrence is conveniently located near major highways and public transportation lines, which is particularly useful for anyone who needs to commute to neighboring areas. In addition, the city is serviced by an efficient bus and train system, making in-city travel easy as well.

Outdoor Recreational Opportunities

The city has numerous parks and outdoor spaces that offer plenty of recreational opportunities. Of particular interest is the Great Stone Dam and the surrounding park areas where residents can enjoy riverside walks, picnics, and bike rides.

Educational Opportunities

Lawrence is home to several good schools and colleges, making it an attractive place for families. The Essex Art Center and Lawrence Public Library also offer various educational programs.

Active Community and Neighborhood Events

The city is known for hosting several yearly events that bring the community together. These include feasts, carnivals, parades, farmers markets, and so on, which caters to all ages and interest groups.

Cons of Living in Lawrence

High Cost of Living

Lawrence, like many other cities in Massachusetts, faces a high cost of living. This includes housing, food, and other basic necessities, which can be a potential concern for individuals or families.

Crime Rates

The city has higher crime rates compared to the national average. This includes both property and violent crimes, which may make some residents feel unsafe.

Traffic and Parking

Like any urban area, Lawrence experiences time periods of heavy traffic, especially during rush hours. Additionally, finding parking can be challenging in certain parts of the city.


For those not used to New England weather, Lawrence's cold winters might be a downside. The city experiences typical New England weather--cold, snowy winters and warm, humid summers.

Economic Disparity

While there are affluent neighborhoods in Lawrence, the city also faces issues of poverty and economic disparity. That could influence the quality of public services and infrastructures in certain areas.

Modern day picture of Lawrence, MA highlighting pros and cons of living in Lawrence, MA

Is Lawrence a Good Place to Live?

Lawrence, MA is a great place to live because it is steeped in history, featuring various iconic landmarks like the Great Stone Dam and also boasts of several great schools! Moreover, its vibrant multicultural community offers an array of diverse cuisine and numerous community events, adding charm to the city's residential allure. While its parks and open spaces provide a natural retreat right within the city, the easy access to public transportation and Boston's opportunities make it a convenient and attractive place to call home.

What Is Lawrence Famous For?

Birthplace of Robert Frost

Everyone remembers "The Road Not Taken," and many of us owe those English class memories to Lawrence-born poet Robert Frost. His legendary poems inspired generations and continue to charm literature enthusiasts all over the world!

Home to Historic Mills

History buffs pay heed! Lawrence was major center of the textile industry during the Industrial Revolution and is still home to some impressive historic mills. Spinning yarn and spinning tales, these mills speak volumes about Lawrence's illustrious past.

Great Stone Dam

Built in the mid-1800s, the Great Stone Dam played a pivotal role in powering the city's mills and drove its industrial growth. Today, it's a powerful symbol of Lawrence's industrial heritage and a sight to behold for tourists and locals alike.

Immigrant City

Touted as the "Immigrant City," Lawrence has a rich history of attracting individuals from various cultures, infusing the city with a unique blend of traditions. This cultural melting pot has created a vibrant and diverse cuisine scene that food lovers can't resist!

Capital building of Lawrence, MA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Lawrence, MA as of 2023, the residential property tax rate is $14.58 per $1000 of assessed property value. This is higher when compared to the national median property tax rate of $11.78 per $1000 of property value.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Lawrence, MA as of 2023 is 6.25%. This is less than the US average sales tax rate which is approximately 7.12% as of 2023.

Income Tax

Residents of Lawrence, MA are subject to a flat income tax rate of 5% as of 2023. This is lower compared to the US average state income tax rate, which is approximately 6.3% for the same year.

Housing Market

The housing market in Lawrence, MA presents unique elements compared to other parts of the US. Homes have a median value of $277,000, which is less than the national median. Nevertheless, given Lawrence's higher cost of living and slightly higher than average rental rates, it is still a considerable investment for many. Furthermore, demand outstrips supply, leading to a competitive market favoring sellers. For renters, the median monthly rent is about $1,200, significantly higher than the national average. It's crucial for both buyers and renters to navigate this market with the assistance of experienced local real estate professionals.

Cost of Living

Lawrence, MA is a moderately priced city when compared to neighboring cities. Its cost of living index is usually below the Massachusetts state average and the national average. Housing and grocery expenditures in Lawrence trend lower than both the state and national figures, while healthcare costs are slightly above the national average. Although utilities and transportation may be marginally pricier, the overall cost of living in Lawrence remains relatively affordable compared to other major cities in the state.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Lawrence, MA, boasts a humid continental climate characterized by hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The city experiences a high degree of seasonal temperature variance, with summer highs pushing into the mid-80s (Fahrenheit) and winter lows dipping into the teens. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, but winter storms can bring heavy snowfall adding up to around 51 inches annually. The weather can occasionally take a turn for the severe, with thunderstorms in the summer that can be accompanied by lightning and strong winds. Lawrence is not immune to natural disasters such as hurricanes, blizzards, floods, and nor'easters. However, the community's resilience, combined with rigorous planning and response systems, helps to mitigate these challenges. Climate in Lawrence demonstrates the essence of New England weather- ever-changing and full of character.

Typical weather in Lawrence, MA

Economy & Job Market


• Education Services

Healthcare and Social Assistance


Retail Trade

Accommodation and Food Services

Lawrence, Massachusetts has a robust and vibrant economy with a deep-rooted historical foundation. Once a world leader in textile manufacturing (earning it the nickname "Immigrant City"), Lawrence has evolved its economic profile to include diverse industries such as Education Services, Healthcare and Social Assistance, Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Accommodation and Food Services.

If you are making a bee-line for Lawrence with job-seeking on your mind, you're in for an exhilarating ride! The employment rate here is very promising and, in fact, is one notch above the national average, so you can breathe easy! A bulk of job opportunities lay in Education Services and Healthcare and Social Assistance. However, if your passion is elsewhere, fret not! Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and the thriving Food Services industry also hold plenty of exciting opportunities. Essentially, whether you're an educator, a healthcare professional, a manufacturing maven, a retail tycoon, a hospitality hotshot, or just someone with a truckload of dreams, Lawrence has a place for you! So, zip up your job-hunting boots because Lawrence, MA is ready to welcome you!


Traffic and Transportation

Ready to scoot around Lawrence, MA? Be prepared for an average commute time of nearly 28.6 minutes, a bit above the national median! But don't freak out! Why not use that time to plan your world domination or just catch up with granny over a phone call? Or, opt for a green choice and hop on the MVRTA, our reliable public transportation bus service with routes that stretch throughout the city and neighboring towns.

A metro feel with a small-town vibe - that's us! And for those flying in? The Boston Logan International Airport is just an hour down the road. So, for full-fledged jet-setters or anyone with a case of wanderlust, Lawrence is the perfect launchpad. Love trains? Don't fret, the MBTA train service is here! Head to Boston or as far north as Newburyport. Hooray for options! Plan, pack, and prance around in Lawrence, where getting there (or anywhere!) is half the fun!

What is the traffic like in Lawrence, MA?

Best Neighborhoods in Lawrence

1. South Lawrence

The allure of South Lawrence is hardly a secret. As you stroll through its quiet and picturesque residential streets, you'll easily understand why this neighborhood teems with life and family fun activities. It offers up a delightful mix of cultural influences, with a lively selection of restaurants and small shops. Known for its outstanding schools and parks, as well as the renowned Pemberton Park, South Lawrence is an ideal place for families seeking both relaxation and adventure.

2. North Lawrence

Head to North Lawrence if you're all about the energy and excitement of city living. This neighborhood is known for a dynamic community that plays an active role in city-wide events. North Lawrence boasts of its charismatic old mill structures that add a rustic feel to your everyday life. The neighborhood also features close proximity to the Merrimack River which provides a scenically satisfying environment, with opportunities for boating, swimming, and fishing.

3. Prospect Hill - Back Bay

If you're scouting for a neighborhood bustling with history and charm, move to Prospect Hill - Back Bay. This jewel of a neighborhood is located on a hill, giving it breathtaking views of the city. Not only is Prospect Hill - Back Bay brimming with beautifully preserved Victorian-era homes, but it's also embellished with green parks that have been the heart of neighborhood social life for decades. Be prepared to form a part of a close-knit community that takes immense pride in its heritage.

4. Tower Hill

Over the years, Tower Hill has become a beacon for young professionals and incoming families. It showcases a perfect blend of the old and new, creating a vibrant street scene. The bustling Tower Hill is known for its lively retail scene, where unique stores and local businesses thrive. With numerous affordable eateries, an eclectic mix of retail shops, and various community events, this area offers striking urban energy with a community-minded sensibility.

5. Arlington

Arlington is truly a gem amongst Lawrence neighborhoods. It lures residents with its tranquil, tree-lined streets and sense of tight-knit community. It has a unique balance of suburban living within close proximity to the exciting city center. This neighborhood is ideal for individuals seeking a quiet life, but who still want to have convenient access to city comforts. With beautiful parks, outstanding schools, and an authentic local culture, Arlington offers residents a quaint, comfortable way of life.

To conclude, Lawrence, MA is a city where historic charm, urban dynamism, and peaceful suburban vibes coexist wonderfully. Whether you're a city enthusiast who craves the hustle and bustle, or someone who loves the tranquility of suburban life, Lawrence has a neighborhood to suit your lifestyle. Good luck finding your perfect new home!

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Things to Do

Lawrence, MA, located just 262 kilometers north of Boston, is a lively and vibrant city brimming with historical, cultural, and natural attractions. Whether you're moving here or planning a visit, these seven top things to do in Lawrence promise an unforgettable experience filled with exploration, discovery, and fun. Let's embark on this Lawrence-adventure!

1. Discover the Lawrence Heritage State Park

Experience a slice of this city's rich industrial history at Lawrence Heritage State Park. Besides offering striking views of the city, the park houses a fascinating museum that takes you through the city's textile manufacturing past. Explore exhibits of antique machinery, learn about the 'Bread and Roses' strike, or simply enjoy a riverside picnic.

2. Enjoy Riverfront State Park

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, the Riverfront State Park is a must-visit. It's a fantastic spot to relax by the Merrimack River, watch the locals fishing, or engage in a friendly game of basketball. Plus, the tranquil walkways are perfect for a peaceful, serene stroll away from city hustle.

3. Visit the Great Stone Dam

This magnificent dam, built in the 1840s, was pivotal for Lawrence's industrial growth. Seeing it up close is an incredible experience. It's a testament to the city's historical grandeur and still functions as a hydroelectric facility. Take a walk on the nearby paths for terrific views of the dam and surrounding nature.

4. Experience Art at Essex Art Center

A hidden gem in Lawrence, the Essex Art Center fosters local talent through exhibitions, art classes, and workshops. Exhibits change frequently, allowing you to discover a fresh palette of creativity each time you visit. It's a wonderful place to immerse yourself in the local arts scene.

5. Get a Taste of Lawrence at El Taller Cafe

Delve into the city's multicultural charm in the most delicious way - at El Taller Cafe. This artsy coffee shop serves up fantastic Colombian coffee, delectable Latin pastries, and live music. It's a lively, quirky spot beloved by locals, offering a true taste of Lawrence's diverse cultural landscape.

6. Visit the Lawrence Public Library

This isn't your average library. Beyond its fantastic book collection, Lawrence Public Library hosts book clubs, workshops, and story-time for younger visitors. Its stunning architecture and peaceful ambiance make it a great place to relax, read, or even do some people-watching.

7. Explore the Unusual at the White Fund Room

Once a home to a local college's marine biology collection, the White Fund Room is now a mesmerizing curiosity shop filled with oddities and peculiarities. Explore an eclectic mix of natural history specimens, from ethereal butterflies to mysterious bone structures. It's a bit offbeat, truly unique, and guaranteed to ignite your sense of wonder.

Lawrence, MA, is a treasure trove of historical charm, cultural fusion, and outdoor delights. And while these seven attractions are just the tip of the iceberg, they offer a captivating glimpse into the city. So, jump in, explore, and let beautiful Lawrence surprise you with its vibrant life and hidden corners. Happy exploring!

Things to do in Lawrence, MA?

Find Movers for Your Lawrence Relocation

Having explored the enlivening city of Lawrence through this comprehensive guide, it's time to take the next step toward your big move. Capitalize on the convenience, affordability and reliability offered by Great Guys Moving. A well-established service that links you with the finest, insured, and licensed movers in the industry, tailored to meet your specific moving requirements. Why not make your relocation to Lawrence smooth and stress-free? Request a free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today and start your new chapter in this thriving city with confidence and ease.

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