Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the most historical, cultural, political and financially driven hubs of the United States. It has everything that a big city could offer -- a youthful and dynamic population, an assorted ethnic makeup, major league sports teams, a rich performing arts heritage and a vibrant nightlife. As the flagship of American liberty, Boston has garnered some serious glory that this mid-sized New England city has lived up to within the last several centuries. For those who have never been, this capital city is much more than a tea-stained harbor and unmistakable accent.

The locally dubbed “Beantown” has many small-city charms that live on in several of its diverse sections and neighborhoods. From academic streets of Camridge and the North End, to the Irish pubs of Southie and the cobblestoned streets of Beacon Hill, visitors are captivated by the veritable cultural buffet and old world charm of this buoyant city. Downtown Boston is the ultimate hub of tourist activity. Catch a Red Sox game and experience the passion of the Fenway Faithful. Take a stroll through Faneuil Hall to find a variety of street performers, musicians, bars, restaurants and shops by the water. Follow the Freedom Trail through two centuries of American history, or take the kids to the Boston Children’s Museum and New England Aquarium.

A bona fide cuisine town, Boston serves up everything from cutting edge fine dining, to tried and true classics like clam chowder or baked beans. For Boston institutions, sit in John F. Kennedy’s favorite booth while enjoying fresh seafood at the landmark Union Oyster House or order a prime rib special at historic Durgin-Park. Abe & Louie’s is a Back Bay staple serving up great steaks and heaping portions. For the best cannoli in Boston, be sure to make it over to Mike’s Pastry in the North End -- it’s worth waiting out the line.

As the main gateway to Boston and the rest of New England, Logan International Airport (BOS) is served by many major domestic and international carriers. Most U.S. and European destinations have non-stop flights, yet those carriers flying to other over seas destinations will require at least a one-stop connection. From the airport, travelers can take a shuttle to the Blue Line (part of Boston’s subway system), which makes stops in Government Center and State Street and can connect you to another subway line if necessary. Navigating around Boston can be quite complicated with duplicate street names, winding one-ways and their intricate color-coded public transit system (MBTA), often called the T. Buses, trolleys and shuttles are also part of the T system, and require either cash or a CharlieCard to use. Boston’s downtown area is compact enough that it’s easily accessible by foot, but to get across town, the best bet is to take a taxi.

Boston has a continental climate, which means cold, snowy winters and hot summers. Because of the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, humidity and fog are prevalent in the area. Though Boston is a pleasure to see year-round, spring and autumn are the ideal times to visit. The Boston fall foliage is at its peak in mid-October and makes for perfect, crisp days to walk around the city. Though the late summer months can sometimes get uncomfortably humid, it’s a popular time for tourist to check out the sights of Boston. For a fun and unique way to tour the city in warmer months, take a ride on the Boston Duck Tours.