1. Where to Stay
Fairmont Battery Wharf on the Waterfront (from $219) opened its 150 rooms only last December — ask for one with a water view. The patio opens in June.
Cook in your one-bedroom-apartment-style room at the Inn at St. Botolph (from $189). A sister property to XV Beacon, the inn opened in November 2008 as a low-key alternative on the border of South End and Back Bay.
Immerse yourself in the waterfront by booking a suite aboard the Green Turtle (from $245), a floating bed and breakfast. The tugboats churn the harbor by day, but the current is gentle at night.
2. Where to Eat
Get lunch at Sensing for two thirds of the cost of dinner. The restaurant opened in January at the Fairmont Battery Wharf with a menu designed by three-star Michelin chef Guy Martin. His dishes are executed by his former protégé, French-born Gerard Barbin.
Chef Barbara Lynch opened her high-end Italian lunch counter Sportello last November, and it’s been on food editors’ lists ever since. Saveur deemed it a “restaurant that matters” and Travel + Leisure last month called it one of the country’s 50 best new restaurants. Reserve a stool in advance in order to try the truffled gnocchi with peas and mushrooms.
There’s not a bad bite in the fifteen-course, three-hour eating event that is the omakase menu at O Ya. Get a seat at the counter and your $150 will get you a glimpse of Top Chef finalist Tiffani Faison, as well as pieces of foie gras balsamic chocolate kabayaki with raison cocoa pulp.
3. What to Do
Time your trip to coincide with the five-day Sail Boston Festival/Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge (July 8-13;) festival with parades, harbor tours, and New England cuisine. If you miss it, there’s still fifteen acres to ramble on on the The Rose Kennedy Greenway. The public space welcomed spring with 10,000 daffodils, but there’s also modern sculpture, light installations, and flourishing parks and gardens.
Stroll through four centuries of Boston history on the Walk to the Sea. Start at the State House and end a mile later at the Long Wharf, a segue to the newly completed HarborWalk. Each waterfront property maintains its own portion of the interconnected pathway, lined with small parks, viewing areas, and benches. Get a view from above on the fourteenth floor of the Independence Wharf Building (470 Atlantic Avenue); just sign in at the front desk and take the elevator to the public patio.
You had the poster, now see Shepard Fairey’s retrospective (through mid-August) at the Institute of Contemporary Art building, which opened in 2007 and practically hangs over the water.
Buy local at Achilles Project in Fort Point Channel, which includes a fashion boutique that carries exclusive designers; a restaurant, Persephone, run by a five-time James Beard-nominated chef; and a local art gallery and event space.
4. Insider’s Tip
To get to Boston Harbor from Logan Airport, skip the taxi line and take the free 66 Bus to the dock, where a water taxi or shuttle delivers you Venice-style straight to your waterfront destination. Though not quite as cheap as the Staten Island Ferry, the
5. Oddball Day
Pack a swimsuit and towel and rent a bike on the Greenway from Urban AdvenTours for $35 and pedal five minutes to North Station. Board the Fitchburg Line (bikes are allowed on weekends) for the 40-minute trip west to the Lincoln station. Cycle 2.3 miles to the 1938 Gropius House, home to Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius. Less than a mile away is the 35-acre DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, New England’s only ongoing exhibition of contemporary outdoor sculpture. The museum’s café has picnic kits that include food, a basket, and a blanket to unfurl next to your favorite piece of art. If you’re there between June 5 and September 7, go into the museum to see “The Old, Weird America: Folk Themes in Contemporary Art” with works by eighteen artists including Kara Walker and Matthew Day Jackson. Head back to Boston via the Concord Road and stop off for some transcendentalism and a swim at Walden Pond. Ride Concord Road for another two miles and take the Boston-bound train from Concord Station.
Check in to the Globe’s weekly events chats on Thursday to hear get suggestions on entertainment and events in the city that weekend.
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