Foodies with a deep love of seafood, you would be hard-pressed to find a better city to settle down in than Boston. Restaurants like Atlantic Fish Company, Neptune Oyster, and The Daily Catch pack seafood lovers in every night. And don't even get us started on the Italian culinary delight that is Boston's North End! We dare you to take a trip north and leave without with a box of cannoli from Mike's Pastry. Boston also scored an honorable mention for its late-night life. This may be partly because Boston has so many top-notch colleges that cater to the late hours that students (and coders!) often keep. Translation: if you get a late-night craving, rest easy – Boston Pizza delivers until 3:30 a.m.
While it may be on the opposite side of the country from Silicon Valley, tech is booming in Boston. For one thing, it recently earned the top spot for "preparedness for the digital economy" in a report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and startup incubator 1776. It was also ranked as the world's fifth best tech hub by Expert Market. Just glance at The Hitchhiker's Guide to Boston Tech, and you'll get a feel for the city's massive tech ecosystem.
"Boston has a very vibrant tech / IT community," says Kate Skavish, head of marketing at Animatron, an online animated video-making tool. "And just think about the great institutions that nurture the spirit of innovation there – Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Boston College, and Boston University, just to name a few."
It's easy to stay connected in Beantown, with several publications covering the tech beat, including BostInno and Xconomy. Want to get out and meet folks in person? There are plenty of networking events, Meetups and conferences to choose from, including Girls Develop It, HUBweek, and Boston TechJam.
The rise of tech in Boston has even drawn industry giants to town, which can sometimes pose a challenge for smaller IT companies.
"We have Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon competing for young talent, which can make it harder for startups to acquire IT professionals," says Skavish. "Small companies have to be inventive and compensate with flexible schedules and challenging, captivating projects to promote professional growth." While that can be a challenge for tech entrepreneurs, she notes, it means there is plenty of work to go around for the freelance community.
"Boston has it all," says Skavish. "It's a small city, but it’s filled with an unbelievable amount of successful and very well-educated, talented people. It is a privilege to live and work here and be part of this unique ecosystem. I love my city!"