Setting: Cohasset lies on Massachusetts Bay, just south of the entrance to Boston Harbor and 20 miles southeast of Boston. Average high temperatures reach the low 30s in winter, high 70s to low 80s in summer.
Attractions: Dramatic ocean views coupled with a small-town feel. The population stays stable at 7,500. Cohasset maintains the old New England tradition of government with annual open town meetings. The schools and library draw high ratings.
Drawbacks: Driving to Boston on Route 3A can be a crawl at peak hours.
Housing Options: The most desirable areas sit along oceanfront Atlantic Avenue and Jerusalem Road, and on roads abutting Little Harbor. There, modern architectural statements mix with variations on traditional styles. North and South Main streets and adjoining thoroughfares feature big Colonial and Victorian homes. Inland, newer Capes and ranch-style houses nestle in more forested surroundings.
What It Costs: A few smaller homes on quiet lanes near the village center start around $500,000. Farther inland, prices range from $500,000 to $900,000, perhaps twice that for a large shingle-style in a secluded new development. Large older homes along main streets or adjacent to largely landlocked Little Harbor might go for $1 million to $1.8 million. Grand oceanfront properties easily top $3 million.
Your Next-door Neighbors: Bankers and stockbrokers commute to Boston, as do doctors and administrators affiliated with the city's hospitals. More than a few entrepreneurs live here.
How You'd Spend Your Free Time: Several beaches and a public boat launch get lots of traffic. Sea kayakers enjoy placid Little Harbor, and a sailing club provides kids' summer lessons. The town includes a golf course (private) and tennis courts (public). Residents enjoy more than 12 miles of trails for walking or cross-country skiing in 824-acre Whitney and Thayer Woods. Amateur and professional artists teach, study, and exhibit at Cohasset's South Shore Art Center. The South Shore Music Circus presents concerts and comedy acts.
(published July 2005)