Word of Mouth: Boston Seaport

Playful outdoor art, top-tier breweries and accommodations with a view, in the waterside neighborhood

The Boston Seaport District, simply referred to as the Seaport, is often called the city’s newest neighborhood. This alludes to more than the fact that the district continues to welcome start-ups and develop residential space; it means that there’s a visible influx of energy and excitement, outdoor art and culinary exploration. In the art world, the Seaport may primarily be known as the home of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, but a stroll through the neighborhood (amidst a steady flow of locals jogging or sitting upon the ample waterfront bench-space) reveals so much more: Frank Stella’s largest public installation, a Jon Burgerman pop-up and the sculptures of Okuda included.

by David Graver

Though art may be the area’s most prolific international attraction, open-air retail and a thoughtful restaurant scene follow closely behind. In addition to new Everlane and Mejuri locations, the Seaport hosts pop-ups like the Black-owned business market that we visited during our trip (where we discovered Happy Beans Roaster). To accommodate those who seek outdoor dining during the pandemic, Massachusetts staple Tuscan Kitchen also opened their verdant and celebratory il Giardino location. Breweries with creative beers and hearty menus also pepper the neighborhood Altogether, the Seaport stands as more than a Boston afterthought; it’s a destination in its own right.

Courtesy of The Envoy Hotel

The Envoy Hotel + Lookout Rooftop & Bar

The Envoy Hotel, part of the independently owned and operated Autograph Collection within the Marriott portfolio, rises where the Fort Point Channel runs into the Boston Main Channel. In fact, two sides of the glass structure align with the water. With the 136-room Envoy as our home base, we were able to walk everywhere in the Seaport—and cross the bridge on foot into other parts of Boston. Our well-lit room offered great views of the city as did the hotel’s Lookout Rooftop & Bar, which serves up signature cocktails and comfort food all year long.

Courtesy of Trillium Brewing Company

Trillium Fort Point

Of all the breweries in Boston, the Trillium Brewing Company—and their spacious Fort Point location in the Seaport—truly offers an exemplary experience. The brand was founded as a “New England farmhouse brewery” in the neighborhood back in 2013 and their goal to utilize local ingredients whenever possible remains the same. From the tap room to the rooftop and front garden, the venue welcome guests to try their wide range of delectable beers.

by David Graver

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

From the Nina Chanel Abney mural upon entry to the temporary (and utterly astounding) multi-channel Ragnar Kjartansson video exhibition, The Visitors, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (ICA) programs important international artists. The building itself astounds and within visitors are certain to find artistic treasures. ICA welcomes guests now, though reservations must be made in advance.

Courtesy of Flight Club

Flight Club

Dedicated to darts, Boston’s Flight Club offers boards aplenty for casual gaming (and the booze to nurse one’s losses). The decor is charming, and a bit kitsch, and the cocktails demonstrate real creativity. For anyone not yet ready to enter the indoors, we hit up happy hour at the outside cocktail bar in front of the Flight Club location—and actually ordered a drink that was limited to two per person because of its magnitude.

by David Graver

Flour Bakery + Café

There are three Flour Bakery + Café locations in Boston and we’ve included the Seaport destination because of chef Joanne Chang‘s delectable, dynamic menu. Although there is seating, it’s quite easy to order and then wander over to the waterfront seating. That’s what we did, not only after a breakfast but also after swinging by Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe to pick up picnic components for lunch. Any fan of rare wines and spirits will be rather surprised to see what’s on the shelves of Cardullo’s, along with an international medley of delicacies.

Hero image by David Graver