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Six area towns make list of ‘best places to live’ in Mass.

Six Franklin County towns have made the Boston Globe’s “Top 25 Places to Live in Massachusetts” list.

Shelburne, Leverett, Rowe, Greenfield, Northfield and Gill all made the list, which can be found on

The Globe did an online survey of its readers, saying it wanted to match their needs with different towns and cities in Massachusetts.

Using Dreamtown Finder, the criteria the newspaper used to choose towns and cities included schools and SAT scores, fun, including movies and restaurants, and a category called “hipster,” which included things like how many colleges were close by, whether there were any Starbucks, and how many residents owned hybrid cars.

The Globe also looked at location, including crime rates, public transportation and grocery stores, as well as housing costs.

The newspaper asked readers to prioritize their needs and then used Dreamtown Finder to match them with data it had collected.

Shelburne rated highest of the Franklin County towns at 5 out of 25, because of its “solid schools,” location, housing scores, great access to grocery stores, and low crime rate.

Leverett came in at 11 on the list because of its “great schools,” decent housing costs, and location.

The Globe also mentioned, though, that Leverett had one of the lowest scores in “fun,” because there are no restaurants, bars or movie theaters there.

Rowe made the list at 17 because of its open space, its school’s excellent teacher-student ratio, its museum, and its history of the now decommissioned first nuclear power plant in New England.

Greenfield made the list at 20 with its “popular Main Street and Historic District,” as well as its wide variety of architectural styles and 30 area restaurants.

Northfield was 21 of 25, even though the Globe said it is a “bit remote,” but also does not have an interstate highway running through it.

Finally, Gill made the list, coming in at 25 because of its affordable housing and high education rate among residents. It was also lauded for having a low crime rate. posted photographs of each of the 25 towns and cities on the list, which included a photograph of the Town Common in Greenfield, the French King Bridge, and the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls.

Other area towns chosen were Amherst (2), Northampton (13), and Hadley (15).

Cambridge was at the top of the list.

For more information, visit: or search for Dreamtown Finder: Top 25 places to live in Massachusetts.

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