Thanks to the area’s 50-some colleges, Boston has a reputation for hitting the books first, goofing off second. To be sure, venerable institutions like Symphony Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts and Faneuil Hall still anchor the city’s hold on music, art and history. But in recent years, this little big town has emerged from its brainy, introverted shell to offer a livelier mix of cultural offerings, plus an exploding food scene. The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway parkland extends from the North End to Chinatown, connecting a new frontier of glass and steel construction known as the Seaport District to downtown. Of course, this is also a sports- and craft beer-obsessed city, meaning you’re never far from a Celtics, Bruins, Patriots or Red Sox fan hoisting a pint for the home team in one of the Hub’s zillion pubs. Go Boston.