The area, the people, and the institutions within its political boundaries can only begin to define the essence of Boston. Its nickname “Beantown” has its origin in colonial times, when Boston, as a stop on a major trade route with the West Indies, had a steady supply of molasses from the Caribbean, thus leading to the creation of a popular dish that became known as Boston baked beans (beans baked in molasses). As a city and as a name, Boston is a symbol of much that has gone into the development of the American consciousness, and its presence reaches far beyond its immediate environs.
Boston has a rich and varied cultural life, and the love of music attracts many Bostonians throughout the year. The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), founded in 1881, is one of the foremost orchestras in the world. The BSO performs at Symphony Hall during the winter months and at the Tanglewood Music Festival, in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, in July and August. The longtime conductor Arthur Fiedler made the BSO’s Boston Pops series a local music institution, and each spring Bostonians crowd around café-style tables in Symphony Hall and listen to a mixture of classical and popular favourites.
Everyone will enjoy Boston’s lively waterfront, whale watches and sunset sails. Wind your way through Harvard Yard or the mile-long campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Boston’s distinctive shopping districts allow visitors to browse in glass- enclosed arcades, stroll open-air marketplaces – most notably Faneuil Hall Marketplace – and meander Newbury Street’s chic boutiques and eclectic Harvard Square, which is not square at all.
Boston dining is its own destination. Area chefs outdo themselves with signature specialties made from the freshest local ingredients. The local seafood is spectacular, no matter how it’s prepared. Contemporary cuisine, classic New England fare with a twist and a diverse mix of ethnic dishes make for unparalleled meals. Spicing up the culinary calendar, twice a year, in March and in August, Dine Out Boston is on the city’s menu. Chefs prepare prix fixe meals at deliciously discounted prices.
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