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Sure, Boston’s Logan International Airport is a fine place to kill some time between flights. But if if you’re stopping through Boston on your way to Provincetown or Europe via Iceland, perhaps, and find yourself with more than a couple of hours on your hands, it’s not a bad idea to get out explore the city for a bit.

One reason why it’s worth it is because the airport is so close to many of the city’s top attractions. You’re not going to be spending a lot of time in transit here—all the more reason to escape the airport! In fact, the Silver Line SL1 bus (which is part of the city’s mass transit system) offers free rides to the Seaport District, which is currently experiencing a bit of a renaissance. However, the 15-minute return trip to the airport will set you back (gasp!) a whole $2.50.

If the weather’s nice, and you want to post an “I’m on a boat” selfie on Instagram, opt for a water taxi. The Rowes Wharf Water Transport will pick you up at Logan, then whisk you away on a short, scenic ride to South Boston. Bonus: The $20 round trip ticket includes luggage storage so you won’t have to lug your rolling suitcase all around Beantown.

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Boston Fish Pier | Flickr photo: Arden

Since the Seaport area has been experiencing a boom in recent years (and the bus and water taxi can easily take you here), it’s a good place to spend the majority of your Boston stopover. If you roll into town early—we’re talking six or seven a.m. here—wander through the Boston Fish Pier. The majority of this area has been modernized with hip restaurants and other attractions, but the fish pier is a relic of South Boston’s past, as evidenced by its recent designation on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, you’ll see workers unloading barrels of freshly caught fish, many of which will then be prepared and served at nearby restaurants. It’s a cool thing to watch and, uh, smell if you don’t mind the fishy aroma wafting in the air.

Speaking of those nearby restaurants, Legal Sea Food is a Boston mainstay known for its fresh—you guessed it—seafood. The regional chain’s Legal Harborside offers three floors of majestic views of Boston Harbor. The top floor, consistently featured on “best rooftop bar” lists in the city, is a great spot for cocktails and sushi. The retractable roof means you can enjoy the space during summer and winter. The family-friendly main floor restaurant offers an extensive seafood menu with a huge variety of oysters and a whole lobster feast—bib included.

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The Envoy Hotel

Another notable restaurant option in the area is Outlook Kitchen and Bar. Located in the hip Envoy Hotel, it features an inventive, globally inspired menu by chef Tatiana Pairot Rosana. Lunch items like the Mexican street corn hush puppies and a Cubana sandwich will make you wish you were spending more time in Boston, just so you can come back for dinner. The hotel’s rooftop bar, The Lookout, is a happening spot where young Boston professionals line up to gain access to happy hour cocktails. In the colder months, igloos take over the space so you can sip winter cocktails like a cozy Eskimo.

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On the cultural side of things, the nearby Rose Kennedy Greenway is a 1.5-mile greenspace brimming with an ever-changing lineup of contemporary public art pieces. Installations like the recent “Meeting House,” a tilted yellow house by artist Mark Reigelman will surely rack up likes on your Instagram feed. Elsewhere in the space, you’ll find food trucks and a beer garden…just in case you’re still hungry.

Not far from this area is the Institute of Contemporary Art, a waterfront museum that’s all about visual artists and performances. The building looks big, but the exhibits and galleries are easy to tackle in just a couple of hours. And giant water-facing windows mean you’ll also get to enjoy some more #views.

The one thing that hasn’t fully developed in this part of the Seaport neighborhood is the shopping scene. But lots of construction and “coming soon” signs indicate that will be changing very soon. That just gives you a reason to come back.

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Tagged: Boston

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