Boston, first incorporated as a town in 1630, and as a city in 1822, is one of America's oldest cities, with a rich economic and social history. What began as a homesteading community eventually evolved into a center for social and political change. Boston has since become the economic and cultural hub of New England. As the region's hub, Boston is home to over 617,000 residents, many institutions of higher education, some of the world's finest inpatient hospitals, and numerous cultural and professional sports organizations. Boston-based jobs, primarily within the finance, health care, educational, and service areas, numbered nearly 660,000 in 2002. Millions of people visit Boston to take in its historic neighborhoods, attend cultural or sporting events, and conduct business. Massachusetts state and local parks are home to a huge range of activities, as different as salt-water fishing at the Cape Cod National Seashore to the hiking to summits with vast vistas into Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York from the mountainous parks of the Berkshires region. Some tell tales of the state's history, like at Minute Man National Park in the Merrimack region, where the Revolutionary War began. Activities from boating to cross-country skiing and all manner of sports in between give pleasure to families and children and people of all ages. Take your pick of quiet, rugged and historic national and state parks to enjoy every form of outdoor recreation. Walk in, bike in or park your car and start your journey. Stroll along historic trails. Jump into a canoe or kayak for a lazy glide down scenic rivers. Stop and view the amazing array of wildlife in special management and observation areas. Or spread out your blanket for a relaxing picnic or siesta in beautiful fields near quiet ponds. Whether you travel on foot, bike, cross country skis or on horseback there's plenty to see and do like fishing, swimming, camping and interpretive programs to step into. You can even savor the delicious ice cream at a working dairy farm.