Visiting Boston’s Seaport District In November//New England Fall
Every time I visit Boston, I enjoy it more and more. As a creature of habit, I do tend to visit a lot of the same places because I love them, but always add something new to my trip each time.
Lin and I have family there so this is our third trip to New England and we look forward to it every year. If you are looking for a guide to Boston’s most “Instagrammable” places, you can find it here. It’s still one of my most read travel guides to date. We decided to travel Maine’s coast prior to our Boston trip and I highly recommend everyone seeing this part of the world! Read my 7 day Maine itinerary before you plan! Cape Liz and Kennebunkport are must sees!
There are so many areas in Boston but we really wanted to explore The Seaport District this go around and of course I wanted to spend some time in The lovely North End too. I just have so many favorites there so it’s hard to not just spend all of my time there. I will do a mini diary featuring those places soon but for now I just want to dedicate this post to the bustling Seaport District!!!!
Here are my fave places in the Seaport District!
WHERE TO STAY IN BOSTON’S SEAPORT DISTRICT
I have two locations for you to chose from and they are right across the street from one another so you can even do what we did and try both?!
Aloft Boston Seaport District: If you have followed me for a while, you know I am a huge fan of Aloft properties. (there is one in Tulsa where I live) The Boston location is such a hip hotel right in the middle of the vibrant Seaport District. They offer easy-breezy access to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and Back Bay and the Financial District are super close! You can meet & mingle with friends at their W XYZ Bar, grab a sweet, savory, or healthy snack from Re:Fuel by Aloft, their 24/7 pantry, or play in their Re:Mix Lounge. Plus, you can always stay connected with free hotel-wide wired and wireless high-speed internet access which is a huge plus for me! I was able to really get some work done!!! I adore the ultra-comfortable signature beds too and our room had the best views!!!! It’s just really the perfect resting spot and it won’t break the budget either!
Highly recommend the restaurant inside Aloft too named Social Register. The Social Register brings the elite and fashionable of Boston society to the seaport neighborhood inside the Aloft Hotel. The theme of high society and timeless allure will be found in everything from the décor to the menu and cocktails in a comfortable setting.
The Social Register hopes to provide everyone a night out as a privileged guest, no matter where they are coming from. Join them after an outing with family at the Lawn on D, a long day on the convention floor, or for a fun night out with friends. The space is perfect for a special occasion or an after work social in a semi-private area. High tops in the main bar are a great spot to catch up with an old friend or enjoy an array of small plates on the patio with a group of co-workers. Several different options will provide a great setting for whatever you are looking for. The Social Register will cater to all while treating you like a Boston Brahmin or social elite.
I love that there is a hip hair salon too!!! I totally treated myself to one while traveling. It’s one of my favorite things to experience in new cities actually and Love And Mercy Salon is exceptional. Founder and master colorist Patty Martin has more than a decade of experience in the hair and beauty industry and is a member of the North America Davines Artistic Team. Located in Aloft Boston Seaport, Love And Mercy Salon is home to Boston’s premiere colorists and award-winning stylists, specialized in precision hair shaping, dimensional color, extensions, and bridal services. The salon is also a member of Green Circle Salons, the beauty industry’s leading movement for positive green change! Swoon! Can I just move in already?!!!
Element Boston Seaport District: Being right across the street from Aloft, this property too is right in the middle of the thriving Seaport District! The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center are right across the street and you are so close to The Back Bay and the Financial District. Logan International Airport (BOS) is also just 3 miles away. This hotel had all the amenities I love when I travel including a state-of-the-art fitness center, refreshing pool and healthy food options! Love the bright and open multi-purpose public spaces! And we loved our open-flow guest room with a fully-equipped kitchen! Sometimes you just need some down time when you are traveling! I just love all their green details, the complimentary bicycles, annnd the wine that you can enjoy in their lovely outdoor common space! This gem will not break the bank either!
A LITTLE SEAPORT DISTRICT HISTORY
In 1925, the area revolved around the piers. Called the Harbor Wharves at this time, the Seaport District was primarily used by boats to unload fish. The two piers were named Fish Pier and Commonwealth Pier. In the ‘60s, Fish Pier was still a hub of shipping activity. Fishermen would unload their catches to the mainland for storage and distribution. The local economy revolved around the Wharves, with shops and restaurants opposite the docks. Pictured are Fish Pier (left) and Commonwealth Pier (right), today they are the home to seafood restaurants and Boston’s World Trade Center, respectively. Boats dock along Fish Pier, unloading their hauls. In the late ‘60s, developers had big plans for the piers—plans that would never become a reality.Fast forward to 1998. The Moakley Courthouse dominated the otherwise barren wasteland of the area now known as the Seaport District. Apartment complexes began taking shape in the early 21st century, as developers realized the untapped potential of the area. he Harborwalk and Fan Pier, just around the corner from the Moakley Courthouse, started getting a makeover in 2012. Dubbed the “Innovation District’’ by Mayor Tom Menino in 2010, the area continues its rapid development today. Boats still dock along the former Harbor Wharves, but today they hold cruises rather than sailors. Construction continued in 2014 along the Innovation District’s main artery, Seaport Boulevard. State Street Corp and a host of other businesses now call flashy new offices in the Innovation District! And now it is just exploding!!!
EAT & DRINK & PLAY & SHOP IN THE SEAPORT DISTRICT
Lawn On D: The Lawn On D is an event space designed for both public and private events and to encourage community engagement, foster creativity and integrate the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) into the urban fabric with arts, music, games, food & beverage, and other original programming.
ROW 34: Raw-bar menu is a local fave! Standouts here also include the tuna Crudo, the fish and chips, and the best lobster roll in the city!
LEGAL HARBORSIDE: Pan-seared scallops with white bean ragout..yes please. Lin loves these!
SPORTELLO: I have actually talked about this gem in my other guides and it’s truly one of my fave places in the whole world. No chef is more closely associated with South Boston than Barbara Lynch, who grew up in a local housing project and got her first job cooking at a rectory here while still a teenager. She went on to become one of the best chefs not just in Boston — where she has based her restaurant empire, starting with No. 9 Park in 1998 — but also in the entire country. In the Seaport, she runs the craft-cocktail bar Drink and the fine-dining restaurant Menton, which are both worth checking out, but definitely don’t miss her diner-influenced Italian joint in Fort Point, Sportello: wonderfully fresh pasta, flavor-packed soups and salads, and hearty seafood and meat entrées. The lobster gnocchi is heavenly!
LOLITA COCINA & TEQUILA BAR: I have also mentioned this gem too in my previous guide! The atmosphere comes on strong at this Mexican restaurant and lounge in Fort Point, with its stained glass, sleek leather banquettes, and red chandeliers. But the food more than holds its own: chili-lime grilled street corn and plantain empanadas; tacos featuring house-made tortillas filled with blackened mahi mahi, juicy spit-roasted pork, and more; and entrées that range from turkey taquitos to a spice-rubbed dry-aged New York strip. Fans of the original Lolita, still operating in the Back Bay, will appreciate the elbow room here (210 seats) and the expanded menu. It’s sooooo good!!!
Flour Bakery + Café: Opened in 2007 as the second location of Joanne Chang’s beloved South End bakery (she’s now up to seven total), this is a Fort Point go-to for expertly made coffee drinks, hearty sandwiches, and all manner of sweet treats.
Warby Parker : If you’re in the market for some cool specs or shades that don’t clean out your checking account, head to the uber trendy Warby Parker. This popular eyewear spot provides on-site eye exams, fittings, and a vast array of frames to choose from. Bonus: for every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker gives a pair to someone who needs them.
What a fun trip!! Where are your favorite places in The Seaport District?! Please tell me in the comments for my trip next year!
So much special thanks to the two hotels for hosting me—some days comped-some days with a special media rate!!!!!! Cannot wait to visit again.