Calling this quaint and charming city the 'Athens of America' might seem a bit boastful, but the city's 19th-century glory radiates through its grand architecture, its population of literati, artists and educators, and its world-renowned academic and cultural institutions.

Disastrous 'urban renewal' projects in the 1950s provoked such a furious backlash that Boston now has some of the best-preserved historic buildings and neighborhoods in the country. Compact, walkable, historic and clean, the city blends old-world beauty and modern convenience.

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