Locals know the Seaport neighborhood is where it’s at, with tequila cantinas, avant-garde art galleries, Japanese-inspired ice cream parlors and harborside sunsets.
Leaving the shimmering skyscrapers of Downtown Boston behind, cross Evelyn Moakley Bridge, and you enter the newly revamped neighborhood of Seaport. Slicing through the hottest district in the city is its namesake street, Seaport Boulevard, where you’ll find the best of harborside life. Colorful sculptures line the polished thoroughfare reflecting its artistic edge, rooftop bars afford sweeping views over the water, and buzzing restaurants serve up market-fresh seafood. With so much crammed in, we’ve got the lowdown on where to start.
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Opened in 1994, this popular spot was serving up seafood long before the area became the hip and happening place it is today. It has expanded through the years to occupy a prime slice of waterfront real estate right at the start of Seaport Boulevard. Its open-air dining experience is one of the liveliest you’ll find in Boston. The shellfish is the star of the show, and the lobster rolls are among the best in town.
If you want to stay right on Seaport Boulevard, you can’t do better than a room at the Envoy Hotel. Neighboring the Barking Crab, it overlooks Evelyn Moakley Bridge, with views over the water and out towards the Downtown skyline. Floor-to-ceiling windows in stylish guest rooms make the most of the fabulous views. Alternatively, head to the rooftop bar, where you can drink in those views over a carefully crafted cocktail.
You can’t visit Seaport Boulevard without a quick detour to the leading art museum in Boston. The angular glass-paneled architecture of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is a piece of art in itself, while, inside, vast light-filled spaces house the very best of the contemporary art collections in the city. Works by emerging local artists are regularly showcased, too, alongside established international names. But it doesn’t stop with the visual arts – music, dance, talks and family activities are also woven into the institute’s annual program.
As the self-proclaimed “home of unexpected, ridiculous joy”, this darts-oriented bar is all about full-on fun with friends. The bar has developed a concept of “social darts”, reinventing the game into fast and furious multiplayer matches. Interiors channel the spirit of a glammed-up British pub, while the award-winning bar serves up everything from signature cocktails to buckets of beer. If all that excitement has made you hungry, there’s an impressive menu of filling bar food, too, including kung pao cauliflower and steak skewers.
For a more varied gaming experience, head next door to Kings. It offers a veritable playground of activities, including air hockey, ten-pin bowling, shuffleboard and retro arcade games. To get you in the mood, the bar serves a long list of draft beers – in 34oz (one liter) mugs, if you’ve really got a thirst on. Line your stomach first, though, with some of the excellent tacos or shareable plates.
The Boston outpost of this Japan-via-New-York ice-cream outlet is the perfect place to swing by to cool off during a sunny stroll. While taiyaki literally translates as “fried fish”, it refers to the playfully fish-shaped cones they serve the ice cream in here. This century-old Japanese tradition is paired with some fabulously innovative flavors and combos. You can build your own or choose one of the signature taiyaki cones – the sprinkle-topped unicorn is a popular favorite.
Housed in a sleek, harborside building, this is the birthplace of Boston’s first tequila cantina. Food is upmarket Mexican, with the likes of lobster guacamole, various regional specialties and even some decent veggie options. As for advice on which tequila or mezcal to pair your meal with – there are a whopping 250 to choose from, plus the margaritas really pack a punch. The waterside setting also makes for some of the best sunsets in town.
Polished, bold and innovative, this hulking glass-fronted hotel epitomizes everything fresh and dynamic about Seaport today. A bright, airy lobby is scattered with colorful contemporary artworks and hanging sculptures. A sophisticated sports bar offers multi-screen sporting action, while you’ll find more tranquil relaxation at the full-service spa. There’s poolside bar service on the rooftop, too, together with top cityscape views. If you can tear yourself away, the hotel’s just a couple blocks from the boulevard, so a great place to end your walk.
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