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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Billerica, MA

Written by Leigh Cooper

Within the vibrant landscape of Boston lies the small city of Billerica, MA, brimming with its unique history and charm.

In 1652, the first European settlers laid the foundation for Billerica, approximately 25 miles northwest of Boston. Drawing inspiration from their English roots in Billericay, Essex, they christened their new home Billerica. By 1655, with only a handful of inhabitants, Billerica officially became a city.

Since those early days, Billerica has blossomed into a thriving community, now boasting a population exceeding 42,000 and steadily growing. With an average household income of $112,000, Billerica stands out as one of the more affluent locales in the Boston metropolitan area, beckoning newcomers with its allure and promise.

Here are ten things to know before making the move to Billerica, MA.

1. Billerica is known for its ice hockey scene

While known for its athletic talent, particularly in producing notable professional athletes, Billerica has a hidden gem in its ice hockey scene. The town has served as the breeding ground for several NHL legends, including Tom Fitzgerald, Bob Miller, and Paul Miller. Surprisingly, one unexpected name from Billerica is Tom Glavine, the former star baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves.

Before earning his place in the MLB Hall of Fame in 2014, Glavine honed his skills on the ice. He proudly represented Billerica Memorial High as a hockey letterman and was even drafted into the NHL. However, he ultimately chose a career in baseball over hockey, a decision that led him to sporting greatness in a different arena.

2. Take a trip to the past at Minute Man National Historical Park 

Just a short 9-mile journey south of Billerica lies a historic site that resonates with the very essence of American independence. Minute Man National Historical Park stands as a testament to the famous phrase “the shot heard round the world.” This is the very spot where colonial militiamen bravely exchanged fire with the British, igniting the flames of the American Revolutionary War.

A visit to this park is not just a glimpse into the past; it’s a vivid reminder of the courage and sacrifice that birthed a nation. Every local and visitor should experience this iconic landmark to truly understand and appreciate the rich history of the United States.

3. Explore the Great Brook Farm State Park

In the heart of Billerica lies the expansive Great Brook Farm State Park, spanning 1000 acres and offering a haven for both locals and visitors. The park boasts a plethora of activities, including over 20 miles of scenic walking trails that wind through lush forests and tranquil meadows. For those interested in the park’s inner workings, guided tours of its active dairy farm offer a fascinating glimpse into the daily operations of this working farm.

Whether you seek a peaceful hike, a brush with history, or a firsthand look at farm life, Great Brook Farm State Park promises a diverse range of experiences sure to delight visitors of all ages.

4. Eat at Sichuan Gourmet, Mangia Mangia Italian Kitchen, or Emerald Rose 

After spending the day exploring Billerica, you’ll probably be getting hungry come dinnertime. Sichuan Gourmet is a top pick for authentic Sichuan fare like Rainbow Chicken and Double Cooked Bacon. If you want a twist on classic fish and chips, head to Emerald Rose for their Irish-inspired sandwiches, seafood plates, and drinks. 

Mangia Mangia Italian Kitchen also offers a nice range of Italian classics – you can find everything from pizza and pasta to subs and salads on their menu. Between the many restaurants, you’re sure to find a delicious dinner option that suits your taste after a long day out in Billerica.

5. A higher-than-average cost of living

As Boston may be known for its high cost of living, Billerica is not much different. With a cost of living index of 144, certain expenses, particularly groceries, utilities, and housing, exceed national averages.

In Billerica, the average cost of a home sits around $624,610, making homeownership a significant investment. Rental prices also reflect this trend, with one-bedroom apartments averaging around $2500 per month.

Despite these costs, many find the quality of life and community in Billerica well worth the investment, striking a balance between affordability and comfort in the bustling Boston metropolitan area.

6. The Billerica School District serves the city

Boston’s reputation for top-tier secondary education extends throughout the metro area, with the Billerica School District contributing to this trend with its excellent schools for primary-age students.

For elementary education, parents can choose from renowned schools such as John F. Kennedy School, Vining Elementary, and Frederick J. Dutile Elementary. Those with junior high students can opt for either Marshall Middle School or Locke Middle School. Billerica Memorial High School stands as the sole public high school option, but for those seeking a more vocational-oriented education, Shawsheen Valley Technical High School offers an alternative worth considering.

7. Work at Bruker Corporation, L-1 Identity Solutions, or Interstate Electrical Services

Billerica boasts a range of employment opportunities, with several prominent companies calling the city home. The largest employer, Bruker Corporation, is an American manufacturer with a workforce of over 6,000 employees, specializing in scientific tools and instruments for molecular research.

Another key player in the area is L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc., a contracting company for American defense, employing over 2,200 people. Additionally, Interstate Electrical Services and the Potpourri Group Inc. are notable corporations in Billerica. The latter manages well-known brands like Cuddledown, NorthStyle, and The Pyramid Collection, offering diverse opportunities for job seekers.

8. Winters are chilly and snowy

Living in Billerica or any Boston suburb means experiencing cold winters with significant snowfall. During the coldest periods of the year, temperatures can drop to the low teens, and the area receives an average of around 54 inches of snow annually. If you’re new to the area, be sure to stock up on warm jackets and snow boots to stay comfortable during the chilly season.

As winter transitions to spring, temperatures begin to rise, with April seeing temperatures reaching the 60s. By July, temperatures typically reach the mid-80s, with partly cloudy days common throughout the summer months.

9. Billerica is a safe city to live in

Billerica stands out as a haven of safety within the broader landscape of the United States. With a notably low crime rate, residents enjoy a sense of security uncommon in many areas. 

The town’s violent crime rate of 11, half the national average of 22.7, and a property crime rate of 16, significantly lower than the national average of 35.4, underscore its reputation as a safe community for both residents and businesses alike. In Billerica, tranquility and peace of mind are not just ideals—they’re everyday realities.

10. Visit the Middlesex Canal Museum and Visitors’ Center

Billerica boasts a vibrant cultural and arts scene that reflects the town’s rich history and community spirit. One of the town’s cultural highlights is the Billerica Cultural Council, which promotes and supports various forms of art, including visual arts, music, theater, and literature. The council organizes art exhibitions, concerts, and literary events throughout the year, showcasing local talent and enriching the cultural life of the community.

For those interested in history and heritage, the Middlesex Canal Museum and Visitors’ Center offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past. The museum showcases the history of the Middlesex Canal, which played a crucial role in the development of the town and the surrounding area.

 Additionally, the town’s public library often hosts cultural events, including author readings, book clubs, and art workshops, further enhancing Billerica’s cultural landscape.

To Sum it All Up

Life in Billerica, MA, offers a mix of pros and cons worth considering. On the positive side, the town boasts a rich history, a vibrant cultural scene, and strong educational institutions. Its relatively low crime rate adds to the appeal, providing residents with a sense of safety and security. Additionally, the area is home to several prominent companies, offering diverse employment opportunities. 

However, prospective residents should be prepared for a higher-than-average cost of living, particularly in terms of housing expenses. Winters in Billerica can be cold and snowy, but the town enjoys warmer temperatures during the spring and summer months.

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