Exploring Boston: The Fort Point Channel
To get there: Take the Red Line to South Station and set out on foot on Summer Street. Cross over the channel, turn left and follow the path along the water to Congress Street and the Children’s Museum. Or, drive and park: Just across the Summer Street bridge, take an immediate right and follow Melcher Street to a large open parking lot, or drive across the Congress Street bridge, follow Congress Street to Farnsworth, turn left and go into a covered lot on the right.
Don’t miss these Fort Point Channel sites:
Boston Children’s Museum. Kids love the museum’s intricately designed three-story climbing structure, the space to roam no matter what the weather is doing, and all the special exhibits, including Peep’s World, based on the WGBH series Peep and the Big Wide World. 300 Congress St., 617-426-6500; bostonchildrensmuseum.org.
The Harborwalk will one day stretch for 47 miles, from Chelsea Creek to the Neponset River. The South Boston segment follows Fort Point Channel from the Gillette World Shaving Headquarters building past the Boston Children’s Museum to the Institute of Contemporary Art, with only a few streets to cross and some lovely landscaped parks for picnicking along the way. You’ll see ships in the harbor, planes landing at Logan International Airport across the bay and the hustle and bustle of a port with buildings of downtown Boston as a backdrop.
Northern Avenue Bridge connects downtown Boston with the South Boston seaport area through a pedestrian-only bridge that often hosts live musical performances. Walk over the bridge from the Harborwalk and head into James Hook & Co., 15 Northern Ave., 617-423-5501; jameshooklobster.com. Bostonians have bought their lobsters here since 1925. Stop in for a lobster roll or to show your kids the giant lobsters in the store’s water tanks.
Boston Fire Museum. See a number of vintage fire engines, including a hand-drawn, hand-operated pumper dating to 1793, and memorable photos from famous Boston fires. Open Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., or by appointment for groups. They even host birthday parties! Admission is free. 344 Congress St., 617-482-1344; bostonfiremuseum.com.
Flour Bakery. Just around the corner from the Fire Museum, this popular spot serves up a dazzling array of freshly-baked goodies: pain aux raisins, croissants, fruit tarts, coconut and chocolate chip macaroons, sticky buns, cookies and sandwiches. Anyone of any age will find a treat here. 12 Farnsworth St., 617-338-4333; flourbakery.com.
Sportello. Chef Barbara Lynch treats hungry visitors to a delightful experience here, pairing the casual charm of a lunch counter with simple yet sophisticated fare that includes hand-made pasta dishes and grilled specialties. Bring your spouse or partner here for an impromptu lunch or make reservations for dinner. 348 Congress St., 617-737-1234; sportelloboston.com.
Summer Music Concert Series, every Thursday through the end of August, Children’s Wharf Park, next to the Boston Children’s Museum. For details on these and other events in the Fort Point Channel area, visit friendsoffortpointchannel.org.
InterContinental Boston. If you’re looking for a very special, pampering experience for your family, consider this luxury hotel which rises over the Channel in blue glass and polished granite. Located across the Channel from the Children’s Museum, and across the street from the Boston Fire Department (another draw for fire engine lovers), the InterContinental offers peaceful, elegant rooms, gorgeous views of Fort Point Channel and restaurants featuring sushi and French cuisine. In fact, it’s so pampering, you might want to make it a parents-only get-away destination as well. 510 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 617-747-1000; intercontinentalboston.com.