The briny Atlantic. The juicy lobster rolls. The days that stretch into nights. Nothing beats summer in New England. We might face a long, fierce winter, but it’s all worth it when those three magic months of June, July, and August roll around.
And there’s no better place to celebrate these warm nights than at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Summer in the City, a weekly entertainment series showcasing music, movies, and al fresco dining right on the waterfront. Now in its 19th season, the series runs Tuesday through Friday nights until September 8. Grab a table with friends at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille to pair fresh oysters and craft cocktails with live blues music, a Sinatra tribute band or classic Motown sounds. Movies are, of course, synonymous with summer, so bring a blanket and catch one every Friday night outside on the big screen, from Casablanca to The Little Mermaid.
With its four-story, 200,000-gallon ocean tank, Boston’s New England Aquarium is a must for any curious, would-be Jacques Cousteau in your family. Marvel at sharks, giant sea turtles, and jelly fish — just a handful of species among the aquarium’s 8,000 aquatic creatures — or head to the always popular penguin pool. There’s also a replicated mangrove full of rays (which you can touch), and an IMAX theater that’s ideal should the occasional rainy day strike during your stay.
Speaking of the kids, any family visit to Boston wouldn’t be complete without a pop into the Boston Children’s Museum. Located on the stunning waterfront, just minutes by foot from your room at the Boston Harbor Hotel, this family-friendly destination pairs play with brain development in a fun environment sure to stir your youngster (and, maybe, tire them out a little). Let them climb a giant cargo net, figure out a maze, or let their creativity run wild in the art studio. As architecturally striking as it is historic (it's been welcoming visitors for over 100 years), the Boston Children’s Museum is a waterfront gem sure to delight both kids young and and old.
You know the story, now relive the event that would lead to the American Revolution and the birth of a nation. Rather than replicate the same staid experience you’ve seen at countless museums across the country, the Tea Party Museum puts you in the thick of the action with a truly interactive experience. Mingle with and learn from historical interpreters, immerse yourself in tactile exhibits, step aboard restored, full-scale 18th century sailing vessels, and partake in “Let It Begin Here,” a multi-sensory documentary featuring giant, holographic imagery. Considered one of New England’s finest and most innovative museums, the Tea Party Museum offers an historic and exciting learning experience right on the Boston Harbor.
Like any of the world’s great cities, Boston is perhaps best enjoyed by foot. Allow it to slowly unfurl and reveal itself along the Harborwalk, a beautiful stroll stretching from the city’s North to South End. Tackle it bit by bit and at your leisure, trace the shoreline, gaze out at the Harbor Islands, watch white sail boats navigate the stunning harbor, step aboard the magnificent U.S.S. Constitution, and stop to admire the beautiful pieces of public art by the likes of Willem de Kooning, Sol LeWitt, and Luis Jimenez that punctuate your blissful, waterfront stroll.
While we love a good walk, we also love seeing a city from a stunning vantage point. Witness the Boston skyline aboard the Northern Lights, a recreated commuter yacht harking back to the style of the roaring twenties that offers nightly sunset cruises. Departing from Rowes Wharf, directly in front of the Boston Harbor Hotel, the Northern Lights will transport you to a memorable evening (with a glass of champagne in hand, naturally). Watch as the sky melts from blue to purple to orange, casting the skyline in a dramatic, otherworldly light, as you cruise by the Charlestown Navy Yard while the boom of a cannon announces nightfall. Perfect for a group of friends or a romantic date night.
The greatest way to arrive in Boston is by boat. And thanks to the Boston Harbor Water Taxi you can do so, even if you’re first touching down in Logan Airport. Skip the traffic and glide across the water directly to the Boston Harbor Hotel, or arrange a pickup with concierge during your stay and be whisked away to lunch, drinks, or an afternoon in the historic and tasty North End.