“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
Star attractions steal the Atlantic's thunder along Boston's southern waterfront. The New England Aquarium lets visitors explore four stories of giant sea turtles and deadly sharks without even getting wet. During April-October whale-watching season, Aquarium cruises head to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to spot migrating humpbacks. Kids with energy and ingenuity to spare will feel right at home in the Boston Children's Museum's Bubble Room, Recycle Shop and Science Playground. Art prodigies and shy daters prefer the Institute of Contemporary Art for its conversation-starting shows and cantilevered wall of windows hovering over the Boston Harbor. Fishermen haul their catch directly to Seaport Piers, where hungry Boston Convention & Exhibition Center visitors await at Legal Seafood Test Kitchen, No Name, and Barking Crab. For an honest beer among actual Bostonians, head inland to South Boston, better known locally as Southie. This working class neighborhood deserved its own Oscar for its breakout role in Good Will Hunting, with scenes shot at divey L Street Tavern by then-unknown Boston screenwriters Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. But for undeniable star power, no Southie landmark outshines I.M. Pei's classic black-and-white JFK Library and Museum.