Jamaica Plain (map), arguably the leafiest neighborhood of Boston, began as a farming community in the 1800s. It later become one of the US's first streetcar suburbs. Jamaica Plain's housing stock is a diverse mix of classic Boston triple-deckers, Arts & Crafts homes, and Cape Cod houses along with a vast array of wooden Victorian architectural styles, including Gothic, Folk, Shingle, Queen Anne, and Italianate. There are still large single-family estates, and many have also been divided into condos.
Known to locals as “JP,” Jamaica Plain is a culturally diverse neighborhood with a free-spirited and inclusive vibe welcoming to families and professionals, as well as to bohemian, artistic, and athletic lifestyles. It is home to many independent shops and restaurants, as well as to abundant green spaces.
Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace, a string of parks running through Boston, has a large share of its parks in Jamaica Plain. Among these is Jamaica Pond, a natural area for walking, running, fishing, boating, or just relaxing. This nature setting is popular with runners, exercisers, and dog owners as well as those who simply enjoy sitting on one of the pond's many benches to take in the views. Jamaica Plain is also home to Arnold Arboretum, which is not only a public park but a botanical research site for Harvard University.
Jamaica Plain's cultural scene includes art events and an array of art galleries. Simply walking around Jamaica Plain provides much to see and enjoy, from the beautiful pondside neighborhoods to strolling along Centre Street with its many independent shops, cafes, and food stores.
Jamaica Plain is known for fun and funky indie shopping on Centre Street which includes the On Centre gift shop, Salmagundi hat shop, City Feed and Supply, and Boing! Toy Shop. Centre Street also has a Whole Foods Market. Centre Street connects to South Street for further casual shopping with Papercuts Independent Bookshop and Deep Thoughts vinyl records store.
The diverse restaurant scene in Jamaica Plain includes gastropubs Dogwood, The Haven, Brendan Behan Pub, and Canary Square, local fine dining favorite Ten Tables, and an eclectic mix of international cuisines that includes The Blue Nile, Sweet Rice, El Oriental De Cuba, Tikki Masala, and Tres Gatos.
Jamaica Plain is served by the Boston Public School System. It also has a variety of private schools such as British International School of Boston, The Croft School: Jamaica Plain, Meridian Academy, and two Montessori schools — Forest Hills Montessori and Adventures in Montessori.
Jamaica Plain is bordered on the northwest by Brookline, on the north by Mission Hill and Fenway, east by Roxbury and Dorchester, and on south by Roslindale and West Roxbury. It is serviced by the MBTA's Orange Line with stops in Jackson Square, Stony Brook, Green Street, and Forest Hills, as well as by numerous bus lines.