The city has a diverse and tolerant population, with a strong gay and lesbian community and more than 100 distinct neighborhoods. In 2010, Foreign Policy magazine ranked San Francisco as the world's 12th most important city.San Francisco also ranked ninth on the 2011 list of America's Most Literate Cities.San Francisco State University has an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
The smaller places range from 17th-century villages (Plymouth) to some of the oldest suburbs in America (Brookline and Braintree).
Many area towns were built in the 18th century and most feature central squares surrounded by small businesses and residential neighborhoods.
Boston's coastal location means it does get severe storms, including nor'easters, blizzards and the occasional hurricane.
That's when it's time to curl up on the couch with that special someone and watch the weather roll in.
The region is also an extremely healthy place to live.