I know that there's been plenty of heated debate on this board about great places to live in the USA. There are arguments for New York City's hustle and bustle, California's beauty, and so on. But, by and large, the best place in the country really is Greater Boston. The attributes:
1. It's a bastion of liberalism and open-mindedness. Gay marriage is legal.
2. Education is a priority. It's home to some of the world's finest universities, including Harvard and MIT.
3. Health care is exceptional. It's home to some of the top hospitals in the world, including Dana Farber and Children's Hospital.
4. It's gorgeous: Splendid architecture, located right on the Atlantic ocean, only miles from lovely beaches in the summer and beautiful mountains for skiing.
5. The suburban areas have warmth and character. Beyond the cities of Cambridge and Boston are lovely towns with old-fashioned squares, family-owned shops, and rich history: Concord, Lexington, and so forth.
6. It's a tech leader: Kendall Square is home to more innovative businesses and start-ups than anywhere besides the Silicon Valley.
7. Culture and the arts are priorities: Boston is home to the Ballet, the Symphony, the Opera, and countless large and small theaters. There is a thriving arts scene. No, it is not as large as New York's by any stretch, but it's of equal quality.
8. Exceptional museums, including the Museum of Fine Art and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum -- a truly unique gem.
9. The food scene is diverse. Boston is home to renowned chefs including Ming Tsai and Barbara Lynch, but it's also hospitable to outsiders. There is a thriving Chinatown, a close-knit Italian community, and numerous other ethnic enclaves with small, family-run restaurants. It's possible to eat very well here. Plus, the seafood!
10. It's just two hours away from marvelous retreats like the Berkshires, which offers Tanglewood, Williamstown theater, and Jacob's Pillow; the luscious beaches of Cape Cod and Maine; and breathtaking skiing venues in the Northern Kingdom.
Yes, there are drawbacks: People can be aloof, though it's really just Yankee reserve. It isn't NY or LA -- it is smaller, this is true. The fashion scene could use major work. And the cost of living is exorbitant (though there's a reason the cost is so high ... it's worth it). Overall, though, I'm hard-pressed to think of another place in the country that's as open-minded, educated, culturally rich, and beautiful as Greater Boston and New England.