Boston, Massachusetts, the state capital, the seat of Suffolk County, and the largest city in New England. Boston lies on the Atlantic seaboard, north of Cape Cod, and fronts on Boston Harbor, an arm of Massachusetts Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Founded more than 350 years ago, Boston is the oldest large city in the nation and possesses a special charm and flavor. Its uniqueness stems partly from old buildings and streets and partly from tradition, prominent cultural and educational institutions, and a civic pride in the city's history and many distinguished citizens. Among the most celebrated Bostonians are the Puritan founders, patriots of the American Revolution, merchants and traders of the clipper ship era, literary giants of the 19th century, and many outstanding political leaders.
Boston is often associated with baked beans, cod, and early American history. It is also known for its ethnic groups, especially the Irish and Italians, and the socially prominent "proper" Bostonians, or Boston Brahmins. Boston is the site of a major sporting event—the Boston Marathon, held annually since 1897.