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Nahant - Short Beach

Short Beach

Courtesy of Robert A. Wilson

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 Setting: A tiny peninsula off the coast of Massachusetts. The roughly 1½-square-mile town lies 14 miles north of Boston and connects to Lynn, Massachusetts, by a causeway. The monthly average high temperature reaches 82 degrees in July and 37 in January.

 Attractions: The coastline offers numerous beaches, including Long Beach, Short Beach, and Tudor Beach. Walking trails with breathtaking views make East Point popular with residents and visitors. The public library, built in 1895, has an inviting reading room with coffered ceiling, fireplace, and wood-panel walls. Boston's Logan Airport is a 20-minute drive away.

 Drawbacks: You won't find a pharmacy or a gas station in Nahant. On-street parking isn't allowed during winter storms. The public school system only accommodates children through sixth grade. Older students attend class four miles away, in Swampscott, Massachusetts.

 Housing: Recent homes on the market ranged from about $300,000 to $5 million. Median house price in 2006 was $472,500. Nahant has about 1,200 existing houses, and most stand on lots 10,000 square feet or smaller, according to real estate agent Gail Guiney. The average price for a one- or two-bedroom condo is around $250,000.

 Your next-door neighbors: Professionals who commute to Boston, airline employees, attorneys, university professors, lobstermen.

 How you'd spend your free time: Picnicking on Short Beach at twilight, racing 16-foot Town Class ("Townie") sailboats off Tudor Wharf, curled up by the fire during winter storms, or strolling the pine-covered outcroppings on Bailey's Hill to take in the Boston skyline and ocean views.

(published November 2007)

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