Boston is the capital and biggest city of the United States’ Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston was also the county seat of Suffolk County until 1999, when Massachusetts abolished county government. The city proper is 48 square miles (124 km2) in size and has an estimated population of 667,137 in 2015, making it New England’s biggest city and the 23rd largest in the United States. The city serves as the economic and cultural core for a much larger metropolitan region known as Greater Boston, which is home to 4.7 million people and is the country’s tenth-largest metropolitan statistical area. Greater Boston as a commuter region is home to 8.1 million people, making it the country’s sixth-largest combined statistical area.
Boston, one of the country’s oldest cities, was established on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by English Puritan immigrants.
It was the site of numerous significant American Revolutionary War events, including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. After the United States gained independence from Great Britain, the city retained its prominence as a port and industrial center, as well as a center for education and culture. Boston has extended beyond the original peninsula via land reclamation and municipal annexation. Its illustrious past draws a large number of tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone attracting over 20 million people annually. Among Boston’s several firsts include the first public school in the United States, Boston Latin School (1635), the first subway system (1897), and the first public park (1634).
The area’s many schools and institutions contribute to Boston’s worldwide reputation as a hub of higher education in fields including as law, medicine, engineering, and business, and the city is often regarded as a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. Additionally, banking, professional and commercial services, biotechnology, information technology, and government operations all contribute to Boston’s economic basis.
The city’s households have the highest average rate of giving in the nation; companies and institutions consistently rank among the best in the country for environmental sustainability and investment. The city has one of the highest cost of living in the country, yet maintaining a high place in global livability rankings.
Boston – Info Card
|POPULATION :||• State capital 667,137|
• Urban 4,180,000 (US: 10th)
• Metro 4,628,910 (US: 10th)
• CSA 8,041,303 (US: 6th)
|FOUNDED :||Settled (town) September 7, 1630|
Incorporated (city) March 4, 1822
|TIME ZONE :||Time zone EST (UTC-5)|
Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
|AREA :||• State capital 89.63 sq mi (232.14 km2)|
• Land 48.42 sq mi (125.41 km2)
• Water 41.21 sq mi (106.73 km2)
• Urban 1,770 sq mi (4,600 km2)
• Metro 4,500 sq mi (11,700 km2)
• CSA 10,600 sq mi (27,600 km2)
|ELEVATION :||141 ft (43 m)|
|COORDINATES :||42°21′29″N 71°03′49″W|
|SEX RATIO :|
|ETHNIC :||White (includes White Hispanics) 52.9%|
Native American 0.4%
Two or more races 4.5%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 18.8%
|AREA CODE :||617 and 857|
|POSTAL CODE :||02108–02137, 02163, 02196, 02199, 02201, 02203, 02204, 02205, 02206, 02210, 02211, 02212, 02215, 02217, 02222, 02228, 02241, 02266, 02283, 02284, 02293, 02295, 02297, 02298, 02467 (also includes parts of Newton and Brookline)|
|DIALING CODE :||+1 617|
Tourism in Boston
Boston, Massachusetts’ capital and de facto capital of New England, is most renowned for three things: academics, athletics, and history. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country due to its abundance of museums, historical sites, live entertainment, and a vibrant eating and retail scene.
Boston is one of the few ancient American cities that has managed to maintain a significant portion of its past, with pre-republican structures strewn across the city. However, Boston is not a city that dwells in the past; each autumn, its culture is revitalized by an inflow of freshmen to the city’s many institutions and colleges. Harvard University (the country’s first institution of higher learning) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are located just over the Charles River from downtown Boston.
“Beantown” is particularly well-known for its sports tradition, with five main teams—the Patriots, the Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins, and the Revolution—all of which have devoted fan bases and have won several titles. Baseball lovers should make a point of purchasing a ticket and taking in the ambiance at Fenway Park, baseball’s monument.
Visiting reveals a unique synthesis of puritanical ideas and liberal politics—while medicinal marijuana is now allowed, purchasing alcohol before noon on Sunday is not. While touring the city, feel free to stop and ask a stranger a question. Contrary to popular belief, the people of Boston are really much nicer than you may anticipate!
Several visitor pass schemes, like the GoBoston Card and the Boston CityPASS, allow reduced or free entrance to a number of the attractions. Depending on the duration of your trip and the attractions you choose to see, each package might save you a significant amount of money.
Two tourist centers are operated by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau:
- Boston Common Visitor Information Center, 148 Tremont St (at Winter; T: Park Street), +1 617 536-4100, toll-free: +1-888-733-2678, e-mail:[email protected] M-Sa 8:30AM-5PM, Su 10AM-6PM.
- Shops at Prudential Visitor Information Center, 800 Boylston St (Center Court; T: Prudential or Back Bay), +1 617 536-4100, toll-free: +1-888-733-2678, e-mail: [email protected] 9AM-5PM daily.
Additionally, the National Park Service operates two visitor centers, since a number of Boston’s historic sites are included in the Boston National Historical Park:
- Downtown Visitor Center, 15 State St (behind the Old State House between Devonshire and Washington; T: State Street), +1 617 242-5642. 9AM-5PM daily.
- Charlestown Navy Yard Visitor Center, Navy Yard Pier 1 (next to the USS Constitution),+1 617 242-5601. 9AM-5PM daily.
Climate of Boston
Boston’s weather, like most of New England, is unpredictable. It is prone to periods of excessive humidity and some very high temperatures for the area, often reaching the 90s in the summer. Summers in Boston are hot and humid, with 60-65% of the time being sunny and average highs in the mid 70s to high 80s °F (mid to upper 20s °C). Winters are often very cold, with several days of heavy snowfall predicted each winter and temperatures sometimes dropping below 0°F (-18°C).
When the heat begins, there are many beaches inside the city and more beaches outside. Bear in mind that regardless of the temperature outside, the ocean water will remain cold, with the exception of a few beaches on neighboring Cape Cod.
The early and late summer months are often pleasant, however this changes each year. The temperature will be ideal at that time, and there will be no humidity. Between late June and early August, the city experiences unexpected heat waves with temperatures in the low 90s and significant humidity. All modes of public transportation, including taxis, buses, and the public transit system (officially and colloquially referred to as the T), are air-conditioned, with the exception of certain older cars on the heavy rail T lines such as the Orange, Blue, and Red.
In mid-October, Boston’s autumn foliage is at or near its peak splendor, which often coincides with a number of crisp bright days (outside the city itself, peak foliage timing depends on how far north or south you venture from Boston.)
If you come in the winter, you will notice that the Atlantic Ocean has a significant cooling influence on temperatures. January’s average low is 22°F (-5°C), which means there may be snow, freezing rain, or hail. However, owing to the impact of the ocean, it does not get nearly as much snow as many other cities (although the winter of 2014–15 was an exception, shattering all local snowfall records). Snowfall occurs on around ten days per year, at the most (barring extraordinarily severe winters like the one in 2014–15).
Geography of Boston
Boston has an area of 89.6 square miles (232.1 km2), consisting of 48.4 square miles (125.4 km2) of land (54.0 percent) and 41.2 square miles (106.7 km2) of water (46.0 percent). The city’s official elevation is 19 feet (5.8 meters) above sea level, as measured at Logan International Airport. At 330 feet (100 meters) above sea level, Bellevue Hill is Boston’s highest point, while the city’s lowest point is at sea level. Boston is the only state capital in the contiguous United States with an oceanic shoreline.
Boston is encompassed by the “Greater Boston” area, which includes Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Milton, and Quincy. Boston is divided by the Charles River from Watertown and the bulk of Cambridge, as well as from its own Charlestown area. To the east is Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (which includes a portion of the city’s territory, namely Calf Island, Gallops Island, Great Brewster Island, Green Island, Little Brewster Island, Little Calf Island, Long Island, Lovells Island, Middle Brewster Island, Nixes Mate, Outer Brewster Island, Rainsford Island, Shag Rocks, Spectacle Island, The Graves, and Thompson Island). The Neponset River separates Boston’s southern neighborhoods from the cities of Quincy and Milton. Charlestown is divided from Chelsea and Everett by the Mystic River, while East Boston is divided from Boston proper by Chelsea Creek and Boston Harbor.
Economy of Boston
Boston, a worldwide metropolis, is ranked among the world’s top 30 most economically powerful cities. The Greater Boston metropolitan area’s economy, worth $363 billion, is the sixth biggest in the US and the 12th largest in the world.
Boston’s colleges and universities have a substantial economic influence on the area. Boston welcomes around 350,000 international college students who contribute more than $4.8 billion to the city’s economy each year. Schools in the area are significant employers and draw industry to the city and surrounding region. The city is home to several technological businesses and a biotechnology center, with the Milken Institute ranking Boston as the country’s top life sciences cluster. Boston gets the largest yearly funding from the National Institutes of Health of any city in the United States in absolute terms.
The city is regarded as extremely inventive for a number of reasons, including the presence of university, easy access to venture capital, and the existence of several high-tech businesses. Route 128 and Greater Boston remain a prominent location for venture capital investment, and high technology continues to be a significant industry.
Tourism also contributes significantly to Boston’s economy, with 21.2 million domestic and international visitors spending $8.3 billion in 2011; excluding visitors from Canada and Mexico, more than 1.4 million international tourists visited Boston in 2014, with China and the United Kingdom topping the list. Due to Boston’s dual role as a state capital and regional headquarters for federal agencies, law and government are another significant component of the city’s economy. The city is a significant seaport on the East Coast of the United States and the Western Hemisphere’s oldest continually operating industrial and fishing port.
Financial services, particularly mutual funds and insurance, are also significant industry. Fidelity Investments, headquartered in Boston, helped popularize the mutual fund in the 1980s, elevating Boston to the top financial cities in the United States. Santander Bank’s headquarters are located in the city, and Boston is a hub for venture capital organizations. State Street Corporation is headquartered in the city. The company specializes in asset management and custody services. Boston is a printing and publishing hub; the city is home to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Bedford-St. Martin’s Press, and Beacon Press. Additionally, several hundred employees are employed in Boston by Pearson PLC publishing businesses. Three large convention centers are located in the city: the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay and the Seaport World Trade Center and Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on the South Boston waterfront. General Electric Corporation stated in January 2016 that it will relocate its worldwide headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut, to the Seaport District in Boston, citing a variety of reasons, including Boston’s preeminence in the domain of higher education.
Internet, Communication in Boston
Greater Boston utilizes a ten-digit calling system. This implies that anytime you make a call, you must mention the area code. Although the normal area code is 617, many phone numbers, particularly mobile phones, now use the new 857 overlay.