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Boston’s Coolest Neighborhood: The South Boston Waterfront

By Bojura Angelova

Today on the blog, we are launching a new series about Boston’s distinct neighborhoods. From the South Boston Waterfront, to the North End, Beacon Hill, and Back Bay, we will touch on the diverse culture, history, and traditions of each neighborhood, while providing helpful tips and suggestions of what to see and do before, during, and after your event. Our first installment centers around the South Boston Waterfront, also known as the Seaport District, Boston’s hottest neighborhood and home of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC).

History

The Seaport District was built in the late 1800s by filling Boston Harbor, and for many years it was used as a rail yard and shipping center delivering raw materials to the emerging factories in the area. Between the mid-1900s and the early 2000s, this section of the city was mainly home to low-cost surface parking lots and abandoned warehouses. Fast-forward to today: the Seaport District is the fastest-growing neighborhood in Boston with new hotels, office buildings, condominiums, retail stores, entertainment venues, and restaurants popping up nearly every month. All these amenities combined with its prime downtown location and access to public transportation have made the Seaport one of the most desirable locations for developers, businesses, and residents alike (for a more in-depth look into the Boston Seaport, we recommend reading The Creation of a Neighborhood: Boston’s Seaport by Urban Land Magazine).

Getting Here

Boston’s Seaport District has easy access to Boston Logan International Airport (the BCEC is an 8-minute taxi ride from Logan), has access to major highways like I-93 and the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), and has plenty of convenient public transportation options, including access to the T, Boston’s subway system, with several stops in the neighborhood on the Silver Line. South Station, a major transportation hub, is a 15-minute walk from the BCEC and provides local services via bus, subway (Red Line), and the regional Commuter Rail, plus service across the country through Amtrak and bus. You can even access the Seaport District by water taxi!

Visit the Getting Around section of our website to learn more about Boston’s transportation system, including maps, driving directions, public transportation information, and more.

Stay

The Boston Seaport has many hotel options within walking distance of the BCEC with new convention hotels scheduled to open in the near future like the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport which is under construction across from the BCEC (expected opening in 2021) and a new Hyatt Place Hotel (expected opening in 2020). The BCEC is connected to the Westin Boston Waterfront via skybridge.

Our Hotel Finder can show you the full list of hotels located near our convention centers along with photos and specifications, and helps you identify which hotels are best suited for your groups.

Eat

In addition to all of the great dining options offered at the BCEC, the Seaport District has a range of fast casual and fine dining establishments, perfect for those attendees who want to explore the neighborhood and experience the variety of local flavors. Consider sampling some of the celebrity chef-owned restaurants located in the Seaport District like Menton by Barbara Lynch, Blue Dragon by Ming Tsai, Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca by Joe Bastianich, and more.

Take a look at our South Boston Waterfront Dining guide for more great food options around the Seaport.

See & Do

The contemporary vibe, the hustle and bustle, and its never-ending list of arts, culture, shopping, and entertainment, put Boston’s Seaport among the most exciting places in the city. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the must-visit attractions this neighborhood has to offer:

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Live actors, high-tech, interactive exhibits, authentically restored tea ships and the stirring, multi-sensory documentary “Let it Begin Here,” are just a taste of what you’ll see, hear and feel at this unique museum about the Boston Tea Party and that fateful night of December 16, 1773.

ICA
Founded in 1936 in the Back Bay neighborhood as a sister institution to New York’s MoMA, Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art moved to the waterfront in 2006, bringing dynamic exhibitions and performances to a stunning waterfront setting.

Boston Children’s Museum
Designed for children and families, the exhibits at the Children’s Museum focus on science, culture, environmental awareness, health & fitness, and the arts.

The Lawn On D
The Lawn On D is a unique outdoor event space adjacent to the BCEC, which is designed for both public and private events and to encourage community engagement, foster creativity and integrate the BCEC into the urban fabric with arts, music, games, food & beverage, and other original programming.

Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall (21+)
The Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall, located in Boston’s Seaport District, offers a full selection of Harpoon beers straight from the source along with delicious pretzels to pair with your pint. If you want to learn all about Harpoon and get an up close and personal view of the brewing process, consider taking the hour-long guided tour of the Brewery.

Harbor Walk
Boston’s iconic Harborwalk boasts nearly 40 miles of pedestrian- and bike-friendly paths following the piers, beaches, wharves, and shoreline around Boston Harbor. You will experience breathtaking skyline views and discover popular landmarks, public art, unique shops, and more. Learn more here.

Looking for more things to do in Boston? Check out our guide of What To Do for shopping, dining, arts & music, historic landmark, and sports & entertainment suggestions. To give you a better idea of Boston’s make-up, also explore our guide to all the neighborhoods of Boston.
Our Interactive Map will help you find the hotels, restaurants, and private event venues that are best suited for your group.