Home to Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge churns out possibly the best-educated labor force in the country every spring. Many area intellects launch health care and biotechnology firms, setting up shop among local heavy-hitters such as Genzyme, Biogen, and Novartis. Boston's downtown resources are just minutes away by subway.
Facilities on and around the campuses eagerly provide support to fledgling businesses. Just steps away from MIT, the Cambridge Innovation Center incubator houses 150 technology and life-science startups. The campus's University Park also offers a home for fledgling biotech firms in a mixed-use development.
The city boasts some of Massachusetts' lowest property taxes, but rent and housing costs are steep. Then again, few cities provide residents such eclectic cultural offerings right in their own backyard - from coffee-bar poetry readings to Portuguese snacks to Brazilian dining. What's more, Cambridge is situated on the banks of the Charles River, so outdoorsy types can kayak and boat, as well as run and bike along the path by the water. -Peter McDougall