The Boston neighborhood that’s come to be known as the Seaport District can be traced to the late mayor Tom Menino, who envisioned an innovation district for the long-vacant waterfront area that was notorious for housing little more than empty warehouses and parking lots.
Today, the Seaport District is Boston’s hippest neighborhood, with cutting-edge restaurants, hotels, museums and more. Here are some highlights.
Where to Play in Seaport District Boston
To orient yourself with the Seaport District, a good place to start is District Hall. The free public lounge and co-working space has plenty of seating, a coffee shop and free Wi-Fi. A casual restaurant inside, Gather, serves up modern American cuisine.
Just a few blocks away, the Institute of Contemporary Art is a must-visit, with permanent and revolving exhibits from some of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists; there’s also a hip gift shop. Speaking of art, you’ll find outdoor installations peppered around the area. The latest exhibit consists of seven kaleidoscopic sculptures by Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel. Each piece has a web address on its base if you want to learn more.
If it’s a park you seek, The Lawn on D embodies the word innovation, featuring large swings outfitted with solar-powered LED lights that change color when you reach certain speeds or heights. There’s also games, concessions and a pavilion for special events. Or you can just simply hang out on the lawn.
If it’s the height of the season (May through September) and you’re suddenly in the mood for a workout, you just might be in luck: Drop everything and get your cardio on with Seaport Sweat, Boston’s biggest free outdoor workout series.
Your kids won’t be the only ones to be amazed by the Boston Children’s Museum, with three floors of STEM-focused exhibits, situated right on Fort Point Channel. Across the way you’ll find the floating Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, where you can relive one of the most important events leading up to the American Revolution.
Looking for more ideas? Check out the Seaport’s website, which is an innovation in itself.
“If visitors are looking for things to do around their Boston visit, they can email us, and we can help design their day,” said Debra Brodsky, director of marketing for the Seaport.
Restaurants in Seaport District Boston
When it comes to restaurants in Seaport District Boston, there really is something for everyone. For seafood, Legal Harborside and LTK Bar and Kitchen are Seaport District Boston’s iterations of the popular Legal Seafoods. For steak, you can’t go wrong with the classic Morton’s The Steakhouse.
If you want to grab something quick to take with you, you can’t go wrong with crispy fried chicken from the recently opened Fuku. Or opt for a loaded lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster. Situated right on Fort Point Channel and across from The Envoy Hotel, The Barking Crab seafood restaurant has that perfect ambiance of an after-5 waterfront gathering spot.
For fine dining, try the exclusive AAA Five Diamond Rated Menton by Relais & Chateau chef Barbara Lynch, a Boston native and the only woman in the U.S. to hold the distinction of Grand Chef Relais & Chateau.
Wait, did someone say ice cream? How about an ice cream shop known for fish-shaped waffle cones and unicorn floats? Kids – and adults! – are in for a treat as Taiyaki NYC opens up in Seaport District Boston this Friday (April 26).
Seaport District Hotels
With so many upscale Seaport District hotels, you really can’t go wrong. The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection boasts what some say are the best views of the city. Envoy’s hip Outlook restaurant is popular with locals, and you’ll enjoy quintessential Boston skyline views from the Rooftop Bar, even in the winter; that’s when they roll out the heated igloos.
Enjoy sweeping views from the luxury Renaissance Boston Waterfront, strategically situated for the business traveler, close to TD Garden and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Swanky suites can be had for a night – or a few months – at the Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Downtown/Seaport, steps away from the financial district. Studio and one-bedroom suites include separate sleeping areas and fully equipped kitchens.
From the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, you can catch a cruise around Boston Harbor with a Spirit Cruises vessel. If you’re in the mood for a minimalist-yet-techy vibe, the ergonomically designed Yotel Boston offers up a lobby robot (YO2D2), self-check-in kiosks and a hip rooftop Sky Bar.