More Culture:

May 28, 2024

Experience Boston’s oceanside allure

There is no shortage of things to experience in New England's capital of culture

Travel Meet Boston

Content sponsored by MeetBoston-Native-052024-Ocean

Limited - Meet Boston - Main Image Provided Courtesy/Meet Boston

Rich history, a bustling downtown, and acclaimed regional culinary delights are just some of the reasons travelers flock to Boston. But there’s another reason people love this city that is often overlooked: its waterside allure. With 47-miles of picturesque coastline, a world-famous harbor, and rivers that flow through the city’s center, there is no shortage of things to experience in New England's capital of culture.

Must-Visit Beaches and Attractions

There are of plenty beaches in Boston and just outside the city limits with endless attractions nearby.

Revere Beach, which is the oldest public beach in the United States, is just five miles north of downtown Boston. It offers two miles of shoreline with soft sandy beaches and gentle waves.

Idyllic Walden Pond, which inspired Henry David Thoreau's classic novel "Walden" is in nearby Concord. Swimming, hiking, and communing with nature are what it's about in Walden.

Constitution Beach is a gem located right in the middle of one of Boston's busiest neighborhoods. The beach, which is across the inlet to Logan Airport, is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and fishing.

Limited - Meet Boston - HarborProvided Courtesy/Meet Boston

A beach in Boston

The Museum of Science Boston and the New England Aquarium are a stone's throw away from Constitution Beach. The Museum of Science Boston is a nature and science museum and indoor zoological establishment in Science Park. Get ready to have fun learning as there are an array of activities, design challenges, and science and technology exhibits that appeal to all ages.

The New England Aquarium focuses on the area’s bays and the wildlife swimming through them. Visitors can get tactile with sharks and rays at the Touch Tank. However, there are some attractions beyond New England, such as giant Pacific octopuses, African and southern rockhopper penguins, and California sea lions.

Pleasure Bay is another pleasant Boston beach with white sand and scenic walking trails. It’s also close to some renowned restaurants, as well as the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum and the Franklin Park Zoo.

Limited - Meet Boston - JFK LibraryProvided Courtesy/Meet Boston

John F. Kennedy Library

A trip to Boston would be incomplete without a visit to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in the vibrant section of Dorchester. Boston's favorite son's fascinating life as president is chronicled courtesy of extensive archival material. The Campaign Trail and The Space Race are among the permanent exhibits. Visitors can learn about the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy's wife, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

The Franklin Park Zoo, which spans 72 acres, is a fun family outing. Some of the highlights are an African Tropical Forest, which features gorillas, anteaters, and pygmy hippos; Kalahari Kingdom, which is the home of two African lion brothers; and Butterfly Landing, where you can observe more than 1,000 butterflies in free flight.

Limited - Meet Boston - ZooProvided Courtesy/Meet Boston

A lion at Franklin Park Zoo.

At the other end of the Massachusetts beach spectrum is stunning Provincetown, which is a 90-minute ferry ride from downtown. The charming onetime Portuguese fishing village, which is located at the very tip of Cape Cod, is a popular destination for LGBTQ+ travelers. It hosts LGBTQ+ events throughout the year. From July 27 through August 3, Provincetown will host Family Week, the world’s largest gathering of LGBTQ+ families.

Fun Along the Charles River

The Charles River flows through the city and it can either be a sea of tranquility or a terrific avenue for athletic endeavors.

There's no better way to experience the Charles River than on the water. Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddle board from Paddle Boston and navigate the calm waters for a serene view of one of the most stunning cities in the country.

Limited - Meet Boston - skylineProvided Courtesy/Meet Boston

A kayaker takes in the city skyline.

Another way to enjoy the Charles for those who would rather not expend considerable energy is to embark on a Duck Tour. The former WWII era amphibious vehicles travel through the city's historic streets prior to slipping into the Charles River for a stunning view of the Boston and Cambridge skyline. And if a sunset cruise with a cocktail in hand is more your speed, you’ll love the experiential cruises offered by the Charles Riverboat Company.

The Charles River Esplanade, which stretches three miles on the Boston side of the river, offers some of the most stunning views of Boston and Cambridge. At the epicenter of the Esplanade is the Hatch Shell, which is a destination for music aficionados. The iconic landmark, which is known for its unique half-dome design, overlooks the Charles River and has hosted some of the world's finest composers. Each summer, the Hatch Shell hosts an array of concerts under the stars, free movies, and events for the entire family. The legendary Boston Pops Orchestra's annual performance is slated for July 4, which will be followed by a stunning half-hour fireworks display.

And just steps away from the Charles River is Harvard Square, a historic destination that is home to Harvard University, acclaimed restaurants, and unique shops. Check out the Harvard bookstore, experience a Harvard Square Food Tour, or just hang out and people watch.

Experience Boston Harbor

If you’d like to amp up your experience on the water, head to Boston Harbor for a whale watching tour, courtesy of Boston Harbor Cruises. Summer is the perfect time to watch the massive mammals leap out of the Atlantic. Boston Harbor Cruises also offers daily sightseeing, luncheon, lighthouse, and sunset cruises.

Limited - Meet Boston - IslandProvided Courtesy/Meet Boston

Boston Harbor

For those who enjoy a visceral thrill, there's Codzilla, a 70-foot vessel that zooms through the water at 40 MPH thanks to its two turbo charged-engines. Prepare for sharp turns, 360-degree spins, and a 100 percent chance of getting wet.

On land, enjoy gorgeous views of the harbor while taking a leisurely stroll along Boston’s Harborwalk. This public walkway stretches for miles along the waterfront and features art installations, historic sites, and access to beautiful parks.

When you get hungry, head over to Faneuil Hall Marketplace and grab a bite to eat at Quincy Market, the country’s largest and oldest food hall. After lunch, treat yourself to a ride on the Greenway Carousel at The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove. The carousel features hand-carved characters inspired by the air, sea, and land animals of Boston Harbor.

Limited - Meet Boston - Faneuil Hall MarketplaceProvided Courtesy/Meet Boston

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Luxurious Waterfront Accommodations

After an action-packed day visiting attractions that date back more than 250 years, some downtime is necessary. Indulge in one of Boston's 14 5-star hotels, each of which are less than a quarter mile from the water.

The Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf is nestled on stunning harbor waters. The iconic 60-foot archway greets guests, who are at the hub of Boston. The luxurious rooms offer spectacular views of the ocean. Relax for afternoon tea in the elegant Rowes Wharf Sea Grille or treat yourself to an old fashioned in Rowes Wharf Bar as you relax in plush leather seats with the scent of smoked roses in the air. You’ll quickly understand why Forbes dubbed Rowes Wharf Bar as one of the 55 best hotel bars in the world.

The Omni Seaport also offers luxe rooms and an ideal location. Soak up the sun at the rooftop pool with terrific views of the city skyline and South Boston — and treat yourself to hand-crafted cocktails and an appetizing menu. For a true pampering experience, visit the hotel's Breve Spa for head-to-toe body treatments, facials, and nail services.

From its historic downtown charm to endless options for fun on the water, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Boston. Don't miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in this charming city’s maritime marvels – book your waterfront getaway today and experience the allure of Boston for yourself.