Jamaica Plain, or “JP” as the locals call it, sits just southwest of downtown and next to Roxbury. A classic “streetcar suburb,” Jamaica Plain spans more than 4.4 square miles and is one of Boston’s largest neighborhoods. Once a summertime destination for the wealthy, Jamaica Plain is now one of the most diverse communities in the city.
Trendy lofts, renovated three-family homes and some of Boston’s most spectacular mansions are on full display in Jamaica Plain, providing a housing option to the artists, immigrants, students and young families who call this neighborhood home. Cultures blend in Hyde Square and Jackson Square, where people speaking Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole is common. Funky restaurants and bars line Center Street, the neighborhood’s primary thoroughfare, and offer cuisine as diverse as local residents. A number of famous brands got their start in Jamaica Plain and still call the area home, including JP Licks ice cream and Sam Adams brewery.
Despite the vibrancy of its main streets, Jamaica Plain provides a welcome sanctuary for lovers of the outdoors. The neighborhood is often referred to as “the Eden of America,” for being one of the greenest communities in Boston. A large portion of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of parks that stretches through Boston, is located in Jamaica Plain. Notable greenspaces include Olmstead Park, the 68-acre Jamaica Pond and the 265-acre Arnold Arboretum, a botanical oasis designed by Frederick Law Olmsetad himself.
The strong art community is always adding to the natural beauty of the area and organizes public events like Open Studios. Easy access from the MBTA Orange Line and the Longwood Medical Center make it a no-brainer to visit this city retreat.