Tucked away on the ground floor of 50 Liberty Drive in Seaport is the newly opened Boston outpost of Porter Square Books. The entrance is conveniently located right on the Harborwalk overlooking the water facing the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Porter Square Books has a shared space with the creative writing non-profit GrubStreet (located on the second floor). The writing center offers in-person and virtual classes for all community members. More information about GrubStreet can be found on their website. Books written by GrubStreet’s students and faculty are featured along with Boston-themed books, cards, and art. What better way to enjoy an afternoon than browsing for books right along Boston Harbor?
Battery Wharf Museum and Waterfront, North End
Located on Battery Wharf adjacent to the U.S. Coast Guard Station, this small museum will take visitors back in time nearly 300 years ago. Even the wooden floors of the museum were taken from the original Battery Wharf. The exhibits provide guests with unique insight into the history of the North End, with a particular focus on the changes around Battery Wharf over time. The museum also has a second floor observation deck accessible by elevator, with chairs and wrap-around views of the wharf and harbor. Outside, the peaceful walk along the waterfront also provides users with interpretive signs with more interesting facts about the wharf.
Ever wonder what life was like as the thirty-first president of the United States? The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum answers all of your questions and ones you didn’t know to ask. There is information about Kennedy’s childhood, his inauguration, the US Space Program, and more. The John F. Kennedy Library is a piece of art and political history of the memory, life, and presidency of JFK. This library also holds archives that researchers, students, and the public can access through the library’s website.
Come check out the ICA Watershed in East Boston at 256 Marginal Street. This building, associated with the Institute of Contemporary Art across the harbor, holds a seasonal exhibit each summer. The best part is that the Watershed is free, although reserving tickets is recommended. A water shuttle connects visitors to the main ICA building in the Seaport to the Watershed. Since it first opened in 2018, the Watershed has hosted exhibits ranging from Diana Thater’s immersive light and moving-image exhibit to Fierelie Báez’s sculpture in 2021. It also offers visitors an opportunity to dive into East Boston history through exploration of the shipyard and includes areas for workshopping and programming. During the height of the pandemic, the Watershed was used as a food distribution site for the families of East Boston.
There are two viewing spots outside of the New England Aquarium where visitors can say hi to the fur seals and harbor seals without having to pay admission. The Northern fur seals are located at the back of the aquarium along the Harborwalk and the Atlantic harbor seals are located directly to the left of the aquarium entrance. If visitors are lucky, depending on the time of day, they may get to watch the seals being fed by Aquarium staff. To read more about each species check out the aquarium’s website. And to say hi to all the other wonderful animals, visitors can purchase tickets online or at the ticket booth outside the main entrance.