Boston Harbor is a modest part of the city, ideal for a seaside sojourn and pleasures largely unknown to visitors. The HarborWalk, a waterfront promenade, stretches from Charlestown all the way down through the Fort Point Channel and South Boston—and is punctuated with public art installations, telescopes, and remnants of Boston’s maritime history, like the USS Constitution and authentically restored Tea Party tall ships. Staying in this part of town means waking up to beautiful vistas of the wave-washed waterfront and watching sailboats weave around the Boston Harbor Islands. Spectacle Island’s sandy beaches are a good place to spend a day swimming and enjoying the views of the far off city skyline; if you’re feeling brave, you can even camp out overnight on the islands. Keep in mind, though, that most of the islands don’t have showers, electricity, stores, telephones, or even fresh water—so you’ll need to bring your own supplies.
Visit T+L's Boston Hotel Guide for more Boston Harbor hotel inspiration.
Boston Harbor Hotel
Elegantly situated at Rowes Wharf, this hotel has guest rooms and suites that all offer panoramic views over the harbor or city skyline (or sometimes both, depending on which balcony you’re looking from). The Boston Wine Festival is held here each winter, and is one of the longest-running wine and food pairing festivals in the country.
This hotel’s modern and glossy facade fits in well with the artsy, up-and-coming feel of the Fort Point Channel district. Contemporary art exhibitions are regularly held in the lobby—most recently, it hosted “POP! Goes Boston,” which displayed 15 works by iconic artists Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami and Philippe Bertho.
Fairmont Battery Wharf
This boutique property has its own Maritime Museum, as well as a 24-hour observation deck for getting fresh sea air (at 3:00 a.m., if you so choose). Every summer, the hotel hosts the Flash Forward Festival, a four-day photography showcase for emerging artists. Beautiful outdoor photographic exhibits are installed on the hotel exterior and bordering HarborWalk all season long.
Seaport Boston Hotel
Smack-dab in the Seaport District, this hotel is mere seconds away from the Institute of Contemporary Art, historic Boston Fish Pier, and adjacent World Trade Center, where major trade shows and events like Boston Comic Con and the Boston Globe Travel Show are held. A trademark amenity, a floor of hypoallergenic “PURE” rooms are specially cleaned and freshly tailored to minimize contaminants and odors.
Boston Marriott Long Wharf
This harbor hotel stands out for its prime waterfront location along Long Wharf pier. Next-door neighbors include Boston Harbor Cruises, New England Aquarium and Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park; across the street are the perpetually popular Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. The indoor pool is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows with ocean views.