Little Brewster Island is home to Boston Light, the oldest lighthouse in continual use. (Photo: Alamy)
The record-setting winter of 2014-2015, with 110.6 inches of snow, might have you doubting the wisdom of a long weekend getaway in Boston. But fear not. Boston is a favorite destination for all the right reasons including great neighborhoods, cool attractions and to-die-for food. If you’ve only got three days to play, zero in on the waterfront to get the most out of your getaway. Here are four ways to spend the day that aren’t part of the usual to-do list.
Ride the Waves
Since you’re going to focus on the waterfront, there’s no need to rent a car. If you opt for a Boston waterfront hotel, you can be at Boston Marriott Long Wharf in about 15 minutes thanks to a water taxi from Logan Airport ($10 one way). Long Wharf is part of HarborWalk, a wayfinding path which wends its way along the waterfront. We vote for a stop at Lewis Wharf, with its secret Adirondack chairs (follow the gravel path) and Boston Sailing Center in case you yearn to sail.
Make an Island Escape
Did you know there are 34 harbor islands open to visitors? They make up the Boston Harbor Island National Park area. Little Brewster Island is home to Boston Light, the oldest lighthouse in continual use. Georges Island is home to Fort Warren, a confederate prison in the Civil War. If your long weekend getaway in Boston is scheduled for July or August, check Berklee College of Music’s schedule of concerts on Georges Island. From early May to early October, you can catch a ferry from Long Wharf. Just remember most of the islands have limited amenities, so bring only what you need and take it with you when you leave.
Under the Sea
If a less adventurous waterfront day is on the agenda, we recommend New England Aquarium. The intriguing exhibits begin before you buy your ticket, thanks to the habitat for harbor seals (Remember the story of Andre, the harbor seal?) in front of the building. The aquarium has partnered with a whale-watching cruise line, and if you don’t see whales you’ll get a free ticket for another cruise.
Slurp and Sip
No matter how you’ve spent the day, fresh seafood and a cold drink have to be on the menu. Head to Neptune Oyster and be prepared to wait. Get there early to get on the waiting list for a seat in this tiny dining spot that arguably has the best raw bar in town. If you’re a fan of cooked food, there’s plenty of offerings, but trust us and opt for a lobster roll and any of the raw oysters for a divine entrée.