Boston is the largest city within Massachusetts at a population of 4.4 million. Boston is also the state's capital. The city sits at the innermost point of the large and beautiful Massachusetts Bay, which opens into the Atlantic Ocean.
As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston is unofficially considered the "Capital of New England." It has affected enormous cultural and economic impact on the surrounding areas and serves as the anchor for the substantially sized metropolitan area known as Greater Boston.
Boston hosts a wide variety of cultural organizations, stemming largely from the strong sense of cultural identity felt by Bostonians. The city includes a number of lavish theaters and opera houses and boasts renowned performing-arts organizations like the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Ballet. Springtime flowers bloom in the beautiful public gardens.
The city is a center for contemporary classical music and features noted annual music and arts festivals including the annual First Night concert, held on New Year's Eve, and the Boston Arts festival.
Boston is also home to multiple national parks and historic sites, not to mention an impressive load of prominent museums. In addition, Boston is home to the well-known Massachusetts Horticultural Society, which offers a place for children and adults alike to learn about plants native to the Boston area.
Any nature lover who passes through Boston is sure to want to explore Boston Common, which is the oldest park in the entire United States. Boston Common also serves as the anchor for an entire string of parks sprinkled throughout Boston neighborhoods, known cleverly as the "Emerald Necklace."