The birthplace of American independence has always been an important stop on the US tourist trail - but Boston has far more to offer than its Puritan past and Revolutionary relics. This recently regenerated, multicultural metropolis is a major gastronomic destination offering an incredibly diverse range of restaurants and cuisines, while the city's somewhat conservative image has been shaken up with stylish new shopping hotspots. Traditionally regarded as the centre of America's intellectual and cultural elite, Boston not only houses venerated museums and performance venues, but also a thriving alternative arts scene. Using local experts and journalists, Time Out takes you on an in-depth tour of the essential sights - the landmarks of the Revolution, the elegant English-inspired architecture of affluent Beacon Hill and Back Bay, the colleges and hip hangouts of neighboring Cambridge - as well as the local curiosities most tourists miss. For those who want to explore further, the guide covers highlights of New England's history-rich Colonial countryside, pretty coastal villages and glorious sandy beaches - all an easy drive out of town. 'Time Out has the best written city guides.'