Boston is the capital and largest city of the state of Massachusetts. The Greater Boston metropolitan area is home to almost 5 million residents, and serves as one of America's major hubs for trade, manufacturing, tourism, and education.
Often referred to as the "City of Neighborhoods", Boston harbors an astoundingly diverse blend of people, architecture, and culture. From the historic brownstone homes in the Back Bay to the glass encrusted high-rises in the Financial District to the salt-air piers of the North End, each neighborhood can look and feel like its own individual world.
Boston is home to many of the Nation's most famous universities, and is known as an intellectual breeding ground. Firms specializing in biotechnology, finance, high-tech, and venture capital are amongst the top employers of college graduates in the area. Fresh graduates and young professionals crowd the apartment rental market during the summer months, but deals can often be found during other times of the year.
As a major sports town, Boston's bars and pubs frequently overflow with enthusiastic Red Sox and Patriots fans. Hearing the roar of the crowd at Fenway or TD Arena is a singular experience (especially when NYC teams are in town). For those who'd rather spend the night dancing and mingling instead, there are plenty of high-energy clubs and lounges tucked into Boston's theatre district.
Options for enjoying the outdoors are plentiful. Trails for running and biking line the city, and there are always sailboats dotting the Charles River. The annual Boston Marathon is one of the nation's most competitive, and the Head of the Charles Regatta is the world's largest 2-day rowing event.
Music and culture are in the lifeblood of Boston. The Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra are famous the world over, while the Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory ensure a steady stream of new talent. An annual Boston Pops concert accompanies fireworks on the 4th of July. Events such as First Night and the Boston Arts Festival showcase the work of local artists and musicians.
Originally founded by Puritan settlers from England, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the Nation. The city played a prominent role in the American Revolution, and was the epicenter of key events such as the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Boston Tea Party, and Paul Revere's midnight ride.
In the following years, waves of European immigrants grew the city's population and diversity. Neighborhoods became enclaves for specific ethnicities - Italians laid claim to the North End, the Irish settled in South Boston and Charlestown, and Russian Jews migrated to the West End. To this day, the markets, restaurants, and museums in each neighborhood still speak heavily to their ethnic roots.
The 20th century saw a marked shift from manufacturing and trade to more "refined" industries such as finance, healthcare, and education. Sports and Politics were also thrown into the mix, as Boston became the birthplace of the Red Rox, the Patriots, and the Kennedy family.
- Catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, the oldest sports stadium still in use in America.
- Hungry? Enjoy a lovely meal at one of the many Italian restaurants on Hanover Street in the North End.
- Shop and people watch along Newbury Street, an eight-block stretch lined with restaurants, boutiques, and cafes.
- Tour Faneuil Hall, a marketplace and meeting hall where Samuel Adams and James Otis gave speeches encouraging the nation's independence from Britain.
- Enjoy a scenic run or bike ride along the Esplanade, overlooking the Charles River and the MIT campus.
- Visit the New England Aquarium or go on a harbor cruise at Long Wharf.
- Date night? Ride the swan boats or enjoy an evening stroll through Boston Common, the nation's oldest public park.