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Moving to Haverhill MA: The Ultimate Guide

Haverhill Neighborhood Guide

Haverhill is a great community with a diverse mix of people and landscape. There’s an urban downtown vibe with a small-town countryside feel. If you’re thinking of moving to Haverhill, continue reading.

Living in Haverhill

As a resident, I can tell you personally: there are a lot of hidden gems. On the surface, there are areas of Haverhill that could use some attention. But there are safe, beautiful neighborhoods and thriving businesses that make living, working and playing in Haverhill enjoyable.


Haverhill has 4 seasons throughout the year. Summers in Haverhill are comfortable with an average temperature of 72 degrees.  Winters can be  cold with snow blizzards caused by N’oreaster storm.


The population in Haverhill is roughly 67,000 making it one of the largest cities compared to neighboring towns. 

Where is Haverhill?

Located 35 miles north of Boston and near major highways, Haverhill is just minutes away from some of the best shopping, restaurants, and attractions the North Shore has to offer. Commuting to Boston by car takes 40 minutes or 60 minutes by train/commuter rail. Haverhill has easy access to major highways (I-495 and I-93) and the city has a train station stop that takes commuters directly into Boston (North Station).

Haverhill shares a border with North Andover, Methuen, Groveland, Merrimac MA, Salem NH, Plaistow, Atkinson and Newton NH. But it’s just a stone’s throw away from well-known beaches such as Plum Island Beach and Salisbury Beach, roughly 30 minutes away.

There are 2 close airports nearby. Haverhill is a 35-minute drive from the Manchester Regional airport in New Hampshire and a 40-minute drive to Logan Airport in Boston.

Haverhill History

Haverhill earned the nickname as the “Queen Slipper City” because it used to be known for its shoe-making industry. At one point, 10% of the shoes in the United States came from Haverhill. These days, you can visit Buttonwoods Museum to see a collection of shoes and shoe-making tools that put the city on the world map for its large shoe manufacturing back in the day.

Haverhill Resident Recreation


Ski Bradford is a small ski area located in the Bradford neighborhood of Haverhill. It offers 15 trails, 3 chair lifts, ski and snowboard lessons, and a snowmaking crew.  Ski Bradford is perfect for beginners, yet still fun for the more advanced with its terrain park, which includes a mini half-pipe and rails. Enjoy the slopes without having to travel far.


The Bradford Rail Trail is a paved, 1.3 mile bike path along the Merrimack River.  It’s lined with benches and sculptures. It’s an easy walk on a flat sidewalk. Take the whole family outside for some fresh air and exercise. 


Also known as Lake Saltonstall, Plug Pond provides many Haverhill residents a beach escape from summer heat. Families can enjoy swimming or fishing. There are picnic tables and bathroom facilities. 


Cedardale is more than a gym. It does have a spacious fitness equipment area, fitness classes, and an indoor track that you might find at other gyms. However, there’s a strong sense of community which encourages socialization here. Invite friends and family to enjoy the tennis courts, basketball courts and multiple indoor and outdoor pools. Across the street is Amazement Playcenter, which is a great year-round indoor play space for kids. Cedardale Fun Center and the Aquatic Center round out the rest of the offerings here.


Bradford Swim Club is a great place for kids and adults in the summer.  This outdoor facility offers a large pool, kiddie pools, splash pad and park. Swim and dive lessons are also available. Membership is limited. Sign up when you can because there’s usually a waiting list.


Haverhill has not one but two ice skating rinks. The Veterans Memorial ice rink is located behind the Haverhill High School. Public skate admission is very affordable at $1 for kids or $3 for adults for 2 hour sessions. Skate rentals and metal crates are also available. The Haverhill Valley Ice Forum is located in the Ward Hill neighborhood. It has 2 rinks and is open year round. 

Parks in Haverhill


Winnikenni Park is Haverhill’s largest park, with over 700 acres of land and 9.5 miles of walking trails around Kenoza lake. Children can enjoy a playground near the park entrance. There are also tennis courts available. A picturesque, stone castle from the late 1800’s sits at the top of the hill. Today the castle serves as a favorite landmark for community events, such as concerts, plays, workshops and festivals. 


Enjoy views of the water at the Riverside Park, appropriately named for its location next to the Merrimack River. Dog owners can let their dog run freely in the fenced area. Children enjoy playing on the swings, slides and other play structures. There is a baseball field and basketball court as well. During 4th of July celebrations, the City of Haverhill hosts a firework show at Riverside Park. The show does not disappoint!


Kids love to cool off at the Swasey Field splash pad during the hot summer months. They can also play on slides, swings and different sized climbing structures that accommodates different age groups. For sports, Swasey Field offers a fenced basketball court and large baseball field.

Haverhill News & Events

There are several places to source Haverhill news.

  • The Eagle Tribune, a monthly printed newspaper, is considered the go-to source for all of the local news happening  in the community.
  • The Haverhill Gazette is newspaper that provides the local news on a weekly basis.
  • HC Media provides video and television news. 
  • The City of Haverhill website provides useful info for residents

Haverhill Schools

Public Schools

  • Hillview Montessori Elementary/Middle School
  • Hunking Elementary/Middle School
  • Silver Hill Elementary
  • Pentucket Lake Elementary
  • Bradford Elementary
  • Golden Hill Elementary
  • Tilton Elementary
  • Walnut Square Elementary
  • Consentino Middle School
  • Nettle Middle School
  • Tilton Upper Middle School
  • JG Whitter Middle School
  • Haverhill High School
  • Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School

Private Schools

  • Sacred Hearts Elementary/Middle School
  • Bradford Christian Academy Elementary


  • Northern Essex Community College
  • Northpoint Bible College

Companies Headquartered in Haverhill

  • Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods
  • Southwick
  • Magellan Aerospace


What is the Best Neighborhood in Haverhill?

Ward Hill
Ayer Village
Bradley Brook
West Parish


Haverhill neighborhoods - Moving to Haverhill MA - Wicked Northshore

Is Haverhill a Good Place to Live?

Moving to Haverhill or any new city requires consideration towards safety. Diversity is one of Haverhill’s greatest asset. There are many ethnic cultures represented in this quiet, but somewhat densely populated city. With diversity comes people of all economic, financial and educational backgrounds. Homelessness is present in areas of the city. A helpful resource for researching safety in Haverhill is the crime mapping tool provided on the Haverhill Police Department website.  

What I Love about Haverhill

  • Restaurant scene: The downtown area in Haverhill is full of local restaurants, cozy cafes and boisterous pubs. Texan, Italian, Sushi, Mexican, Asian or American– Haverhill has it. Talk about diversity. There’s also a fun young adult night life. Eat and drink unique flavors on restaurant decks with views of the river and town.

  • Ski Bradford: I mentioned Ski Bradford above in the recreational section, but I can’t emphasize how much I love having a place to snowboard close to home- almost in my backyard. This is a perk of moving to Haverhill that I didn’t know I would enjoy as much as I do. It’s a convenient place for my kids to learn the sport after school.

  • Fitness studios and gyms: As a fitness enthusiast, I love the different places for working out in Haverhill and nearby towns. I compiled a large list of Haverhill gyms and studios here. The City has hosted free summer outdoor workout classes on the river boardwalk. Workout with a view!

  • Halloween: Before moving to Haverhill, I did not know Haverhill celebrates Halloween on the last Saturday of the month… so we missed it our first year! This city-wide decision is great because the streets are safer without rush hour traffic. It also helps out parents who don’t have to rush their kids from school, hurry to feed them, and change them into costumes.  Our extended relatives from out-of-state come down Saturday morning to enjoy the day with us. This does result in children from nearby towns double dipping and vice versa, but no kid ever complained about that.

  • Farmer’s Market: Haverhill is home to many small, family farms that provide fresh, local produce in the warmer months at the farmer’s market.  There’s a variety of arts & craft vendors, such as this local Alpaca-loving couple. You can finish your morning trip by grabbing a bite to eat from one of the diverse food vendors. My personal favorite are the plant-based Asian spring rolls from Chef Victor Andrade – a visually colorful delight! 
Haverhill Farmer's Market - Chef Victor
Plant-based spring rolls from the Haverhill Farmer Market by Chef Victor

What I Don't Love about Haverhill

  • Abandoned buildings & run down areas: The factory building on Stevens St has been an eyesore. At least now, the former broken glass windows are finally boarded up. This isn’t the first time the City kept an unused building around. The old Woolworth shopping store was abandoned for 43 years before it was torn down and replaced with beautiful Harbor Place building which houses the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub, HC Media and a restaurant.
Harbor Place Haverhill - Moving to Haverhill

Haverhill Homes For Sale

Final Thoughts on Moving to Haverhill

Whether you’re definitely moving to Haverhill or just considering it, you can see now why Haverhill is the great place to be live, work and play in. It’s an awesome city for everyone: young people, families and older folks. There is a sense of community among residents. 

If you’re seriously thinking about moving to Haverhill, or just have a few more questions about the area, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Call, email, shoot me a text: Jeni Lu 781.864.7372. I can provide you information on anything, or at least point you in the right direction.

Have an awesome day!

Jeni Lu

Jeni Lu

I'm Jeni Lu, a neighborhood guide and Realtor® at Bentley's The RE/MAX Collection. I've spent years finding the best restaurants, shopping, outdoor spots and events so you can enjoy the neighborhood. I look forward to showing you around the Boston North shore and Southern New Hampshire area. If you live in the area or you're thinking of moving here, you've come to the right place!


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