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Baltimore doesn't make a lot of top 10 lists, overshadowed as it is by the powerhouses of the Northeast Corridor.
But once you experience the easy pace, historic neighborhoods and waterfront establishments, you'll get Baltimore's nickname: Charm City.
The city has a diverse and tolerant population, with a strong gay and lesbian community and more than 100 distinct neighborhoods. In 2010, Foreign Policy magazine ranked San Francisco as the world's 12th most important city.
San Francisco also ranked ninth on the 2011 list of America's Most Literate Cities.
Although traffic congestion and commute times are bad in San Francisco, driving is often optional.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) anchors one of the most efficient regional transit systems in the United States, and the system continues to grow.
In 2011, Boston was ranked the fifth most literate big city in the United States, and a high share of area residents have a college degree.
The city's parks are big and exceptionally good, with several designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
We plied the country to find 10 great cities in which to retire for older singles, focusing primarily on places with convivial locals, a solid percentage of AARP-age residents and, of course, a lot of things to do — either solo or with a date.
Boston's coastal location means it does get severe storms, including nor'easters, blizzards and the occasional hurricane.
That's when it's time to curl up on the couch with that special someone and watch the weather roll in.
The smaller places range from 17th-century villages (Plymouth) to some of the oldest suburbs in America (Brookline and Braintree).
Many area towns were built in the 18th century and most feature central squares surrounded by small businesses and residential neighborhoods.
Rates of smoking and obesity are low, so the metro area has low mortality from heart disease and low rates of hypertension.