Boston is in Suffolk County, the capital of Massachusetts and New England's largest city. It lies on Boston Bay, a part of Massachusetts Bay.
Founded in 1630, the oldest part of the city lies on a peninsula extending into the harbor. The oldest public park in America is Boston Common, covering 50 acres in the heart of the city. Beacon Hill, north of the Common, served as a beacon station for ships in the 17th and 18th centuries. The city earned the name "Cradle of Liberty" during the late 1700s when its citizens led the American struggle for independence from Great Britain. The Back Bay District was swampland until the area was filled during the 19th century. It then became a favorite residential area for wealthy Bostonians.
Today Boston is a major manufacturing center and a great seaport. It is a major center of world-class educational institutions. Boston is part of the Boston, Massachusetts-New Hampshire metro area. The nearby city of Cambridge lies directly north across the Charles River.