The South Boston Waterfront has garnered considerable acclaim as the most captivating district in the city. This bustling neighborhood offers a plethora of attractions, including renowned museums, art galleries, vibrant entertainment venues, top-notch hotels, an array of restaurants, and the lively waterfront that envelops the majority of the area.
The Seaport, which faces the picturesque Boston Harbor, is home to upscale waterfront establishments, exquisite restaurants, and trendy bars. During the summer, the Leader Bank Pavilion hosts nightly concerts, providing a delightful musical experience. Additionally, you can visit the Harpoon Brewery, indulge in the artistic wonders of the Institute of Contemporary Art, or embark on a scenic harbor cruise from one of the departure points in the vicinity.
For those seeking a leisurely stroll along Boston’s waterfront, the Harborwalk presents an effortless pathway. Enjoy captivating views, admire the surrounding sights, and dine at the various restaurants that offer picturesque vistas of the water.
Situated at the easternmost tip of this neighborhood, Boston’s CruisePort warmly welcomes cruise ship passengers from April to November, providing a gateway to the city.
To the south of Atlantic Ave lies the vibrant and artistic Fort Point, nestled between the channel that separates it from Boston’s Downtown Financial District to the west and the Massachusetts Convention and Exposition Center to the east. Fort Point is adorned with art galleries, offering a lively and engaging atmosphere. Visitors can immerse themselves in the captivating exhibits of the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum or explore the ever-popular Boston Children’s Museum. Along Congress Street and the adjacent streets, you’ll find innovative restaurants owned by talented chefs, offering a culinary adventure. Moreover, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline across the channel.
Tucked away behind the Convention Center lies Lawn on D, an enchanting park and entertainment space, where visitors can revel in a delightful blend of leisure and amusement.
1. Tea Party Ships & Museum
Experience the captivating journey through history at the Tea Party Ships & Museum, the city’s newest and most impressive cultural institution. Immerse yourself completely in the events leading up to the American Revolution as you embark on a guided tour that transports you back to the pivotal night of December 1773 when the Sons of Liberty ignited the flames of revolution with their iconic tea party in Boston Harbor. Prepare to be enthralled by costumed actors, interactive exhibits, and cutting-edge technology that brings the past to life with unparalleled authenticity.
Not only will you be entertained, but you will also actively participate, explore, and expand your knowledge. This extraordinary museum offers an unrivaled experience in Boston, captivating adults, children, and teenagers alike. Undoubtedly, it stands as one of the premier attractions for visitors to the city.
2. Leader Bank Pavilion
Discover the enchanting Leader Bank Pavilion, an extraordinary venue overlooking the picturesque Boston Harbor and hosting the hottest summer concerts in the city. From Memorial Day until late September or early October, this is the place to be for unforgettable musical performances.
Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing atmosphere enhanced by a superb sound system. Feel the refreshing breeze from Boston Harbor gently wafting through the open-air pavilion, while your eyes feast upon the magnificent sight of city lights dancing across the water, adding a touch of magic to the occasion.
The lineup of performers ranges from contemporary headliners to beloved groups from bygone eras, ensuring a diverse and captivating selection of shows. It comes as no surprise that tickets for these events sell out quickly, as they offer an extraordinary experience for all music enthusiasts.
Concert Schedule & Tickets:
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3. Boston’s CruisePort – Flynn Cruise Terminal
Situated at the eastern edge of the South Boston Waterfront, the Flynn Cruise Terminal, also known as CruisePort, warmly welcomes cruise passengers to the vibrant city of Boston.
Whether you are embarking on a brief 1-Day Port of Call visit or departing on a memorable cruise adventure, you will appreciate the terminal’s convenient location. Take the opportunity to explore the surrounding neighborhood on foot, or if you prefer, catch the nearby Silver Line bus for a quick and effortless 10-minute journey downtown. Alternatively, you can opt for one of the shore excursion tours, which will take you on a captivating journey around Boston, highlighting iconic landmarks and famous Revolutionary War sites. Enjoy the flexibility of exploring at your own pace by hopping on and off the trolleys or delve deeper into history with specialized tours.
4. The Boston Institute of Contemporary Art
Interested in witnessing the cutting-edge trends in art, performances, and video? Look no further than the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston. Situated at a striking location overlooking Boston Harbor on 100 Northern Ave, this venue is the hub for all things mind-bending and contemporary.
While the admission fees are reasonable, you can also visit the ICA for free on Thursday evenings from 5pm to 9pm. Additionally, if you possess a GoBoston discount card, you can enjoy free access at any time.
5. Dining by the Seaport Waterfront
The Seaport district boasts a delightful array of restaurants and bars along its waterfront, offering a breathtaking view of the harbor. Indulge in an abundance of fresh and exquisitely prepared seafood, along with a diverse range of cuisines including Italian, Mexican, French, Asian, and American.
6. Culinary Delights in Fort Point
Nestled in the artistic enclave of Fort Point, south of Congress Street, lies a multitude of chef-owned restaurants that serve innovative cuisine, drawing food enthusiasts from all corners of the city. In these establishments, you’ll encounter fewer tourists compared to the waterfront restaurants, while relishing some of the finest dishes Boston has to offer. Whether you desire a top-notch seafood experience, French delicacies, modern Asian fusion, or more, Fort Point has it all.
7. Boston Children’s Museum
Appealing to children aged 2 to 10, the Boston Children’s Museum, located on 308 Congress Street, offers interactive and hands-on exhibits that are beloved by kids and parents alike. The museum even includes a designated area for infants.
From a sprawling climbing maze to a wide range of engaging activities, permanent and rotating exhibits, and a stunning view of the city skyline from the plaza overlooking Fort Point Channel, there are numerous spaces for play, exploration, and relaxation. Just behind the museum, you can visit Martin’s Park (64 Sleeper Street), an enchanting green oasis and children’s playground that overlooks Fort Point Channel, named in honor of the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing.
8. Galleries and Art Walks in Fort Point
Fort Point is home to over 300 artists, photographers, digital artists, performers, jewelers, designers, and writers who reside and work in the neighborhood’s former warehouses. One of the joys of being in this area is exploring the diverse galleries, visiting studios, and potentially taking part in classes.
Begin your gallery exploration at the Society of Arts and Crafts (100 Pier 4 Blvd), located in the Seaport area. Although technically not in Fort Point, it is the oldest arts and crafts non-profit organization in the country, boasting a remarkable space that showcases the creations of top contemporary artisans. Continue your artistic journey at the Fort Point Arts Community Gallery (FPAC) (249 A Street), where juried shows feature the works of established and renowned local artists specializing in painting, sculpture, printmaking, and other forms of art. Other notable stops include the Midway Gallery (15 Channel Street), open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, which showcases the art of both local and international artists.
During Open Studios/Art Walks, held twice a year, you have the opportunity to visit the studios and residences of many artists. Make sure to check the May and October calendars for exact dates. You can easily spend an entire day immersing yourself in the vibrant artistic community, engaging in conversations with the artists, and even purchasing your favorite pieces.
For those interested in learning from talented local artists, the Boston Photography Workshops (15 Channel Center Street) offer a wide range of classes catering to beginners and experts alike. If you’re looking for painting classes and other media, FPAC can provide you with recommendations.
9. Harpoon Brewery & Trillium Brewing Company
The South Boston Waterfront neighborhood proudly hosts two highly acclaimed craft beer breweries.
Harpoon Brewery and Beer Hall (306 Northern Ave), the largest specialty brewer in New England, invites visitors for tours (usually at 11 am) and tastings. Don’t miss out on their renowned Octoberfest, one of Boston’s most popular fall festivals. Check the Harpoon website for the tasting schedule and festival dates.
Trillium Brewing Company (369 Congress Street) specializes in New England farmhouse-style brews, particularly wild ales fermented with local mixed microbe culture. Swing by to fill a growler or purchase a case of their exceptional beers. From May through October, you can also enjoy Trillium brews by the glass at their Trillium Beer Garden on the Greenway.
10. Lawn on D
Imagine Lawn on D, situated behind the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on D Street in the South Boston Waterfront, as a playground for adults. Aside from its inviting circular swings and comfortable lounge chairs, this vibrant space offers an assortment of lawn games such as giant chess, lawn checkers, beanbags, and an awe-inspiring giant version of Connect Four.
During the summer, you can revel in free lunchtime concerts, ticketed evening concerts, movie screenings, special events for children, and captivating art installations. The Pavilion offers a variety of wine, beer, non-alcoholic beverages, and delectable food options. Even when no special events are taking place, the Lawn provides an idyllic spot to relax under the summer sun.
Keep in mind that the Lawn on D may occasionally close for private or ticketed events, so it’s advisable to check their Facebook page before your visit.
Getting there via MBTA: Take the Silver Line to the World Trade Center stop.
Open: The Lawn is typically open seasonally, from late spring through late fall.
11. Fall Foliage in Seaport & Fort Point
While the South Boston Waterfront, including Seaport and Fort Point, is renowned for its modern high-rises and stunning waterfront views, it also offers a surprising display of vibrant fall foliage. From late September through November (and even into December), you can witness extensive stretches of breathtaking colors along the Harborwalk and in the neighborhood’s various small parks and green spaces, which take on a golden hue.
12. Fallen Heroes Memorial
Situated in Seaport Park on Seaport Boulevard, overlooking the harbor, the Fallen Heroes Memorial pays tribute to the Massachusetts service members who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001. The memorial features a soaring 50-foot obelisk, with its five sides symbolizing the five branches of the U.S. Military Service.
During the day, the tower reflects the ever-changing light of the waterfront, often appearing to shimmer when viewed from a distance. At night, internal lighting makes it visible from different points around Downtown Boston and the Harbor.
Unveiled in 2016, this memorial stands as Boston’s newest war monument.
13. Snowport: Winter Holiday Market in Boston’s Seaport
Each year, starting in early November and lasting until early January, Seaport hosts the highly popular Snowport Winter Holiday Market. This European-style market illuminates the holiday season with an array of shopping opportunities, engaging activities, and delectable food and beverages.
Featuring over 120 small businesses offering art, jewelry, home goods, apparel, and various gifts and crafts, the market also presents seasonal treats like hot chocolate, freshly-made waffles, craft beer, and more from its 19 food and beverage vendors. Fun-filled activities such as iceless curling, entertaininggames, a tree market, and the “Light Up Seaport” holiday tree lighting celebration in early December ensure there’s never a dull moment. Don’t miss out on this festive extravaganza—it’s an absolute blast!
Snowport Winter Holiday Market is located at 100 Seaport Boulevard in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood. The closest T station is the Silver Line SL1/Courthouse. The market operates from November 11 to December 31, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and December 26. Hours may vary, so be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information.
Where to Stay: Hotels in Seaport and Fort Point
If you’re planning a visit to the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood, specifically Seaport or Fort Point, consider staying at one of the nearby hotels that offer excellent accommodations. The Westin Waterfront Hotel is a particularly stylish option worth considering.
- Seaport Hotel
- Residence Inn Seaport
- Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel
More Activities in the South Boston Waterfront Neighborhood:
- Explore the Neighborhood: Begin your exploration by taking a leisurely walk along the Harborwalk. This public access waterway runs along Fort Point Channel and Boston Harbor, offering picturesque views and a starting point for discovering the neighborhood.
- Fallen Heroes Memorial: Pay tribute to Massachusetts service members who lost their lives while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. The Seaport Park houses a majestic 50-foot high obelisk known as the Fallen Heroes Memorial, located on Seaport Blvd.
- New England Auto Show: If you’re visiting in mid-January, make sure to check out the impressive New England Auto Show. This annual event showcases the latest car models and takes place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. For exact dates and additional information, refer to the January Calendar.
- Boston Design Center: Even if you’re not a professional designer, you can still explore the vast and fascinating Boston Design Center located near CruisePort. This treasure-packed center is filled with inspiration and unique finds.