A lifelong sailor and USCG Licensed Master, Captain Don helms his business, Come Sail Away Now, with the same seafaring sagacity he once employed as a commercial fisherman. His faithful ship, the Tupelo Honey, is a 31-foot replica of the 1904 sloop Dictator, one of the original ships that hunted for lobster on the coast of Maine. The captain invites passengers aboard for maritime services that range from private charters and public harbor cruises to sailing lessons. Each excursion unveils beautiful views of the city skyline only seen from the vantage point of Boston Harbor, a picturesque sweep that pairs well with wine tastings, morning brunches, BYOB cruises, and nibbling crackers to resemble the buildings of the Financial District.
Ask a born-and-bred American to describe an Australian meat pie, and you won't get much of a response. But to an Australian, it's home: a circle of shortcrust filled with a saucy, savory filling and sealed with a flaky puff-pastry top. Unsurprisingly, the treats are rare around these parts. "For Aussies," explains The Boston Phoenix, "finding this savory sealed pastry is like a lonely American stumbling on a hot-dog stand in the Gobi Desert." Which is why KO Catering and Pies has caused such a stir—its Australian-born owners have set up shop to provide Aussie ex-pats and curious natives with five varieties of the flaky pastries, including versions filled with braised lamb shank, curried vegetables, and their signature ground beef in peppered gravy. The uninitiated needn't fear, as instructions on how to devour the pie (douse in ketchup, remove from foil, and eat by hand) are clearly marked on each brown-paper bag. The nostalgia for Down Under doesn't end there. Other Aussie classics include a burger topped with beetroot and a fried egg, and—of course—shrimp on the barbie, which chefs spice up with a Moroccan chermoula sauce and serve over rice salad with feta and cherry tomatoes. For dessert, try a few coconut-infused Anzac cookies or a half-pint of ice cream spiked with Tim Tams, the country’s signature cookie. The shop also stocks a selection of Australian groceries, giving locals a change to stock up on bottles of Vegemite, fresh pieces of lamington cake, and the chocolaty powdered drink known as Milo more easily than digging a tunnel through the planet every time they have a craving.
Unlike many nightlife hotspots, The Urban Art Bar does not feature dimmed lights and loud music. Instead, the brand new studio's overhead lights provide ample light to see by and soft music fills the background to create an atmosphere catering to their patrons’ true task—painting. At the head of the room sits one of a team of resident artists, each a local professional, who leads each gathering in the step-by-step re-creation of a particular painting. The staff also provides all necessary materials, including paint, brushes, canvases, and smocks, which prevent paint from getting all over clothing when students joyously hug their finished product. To fuel this creativity fest, the Bar's brand new design provides wine, beer, cocktails, and food for patrons to sip on as they relax and explore their artistic side.
During tours with Massachusetts Bay Lines, passengers can watch the sun dip behind the city from the middle of the harbor. Lights flicker on across the skyline, poking holes in the setting darkness and pinpointing each building's location. All the while, the water laps against the side of the boat, providing a soothing soundtrack.
Massachusetts Bay Lines has specialized in stunning views such as these for nearly 50 years. The family-owned company operates out of Rowes Wharf in downtown Boston, and its fleet includes a total of five unique vessels, instead of just one boat with a different name painted on the side each week. Customers can rent these boats out as private charters, or they can climb aboard for music and group tours of the harbor, which cruise past the 200-year-old USS Constitution and many more of the city's historic sites.
At the age of 16, Matthew "Matty" Hughes became the youngest-ever licensed captain in the port of Boston. Funneling his passion into a career, he founded Boston Harbor Cruises in 1926 to lead tours up the Charles River. What began as a two-man, one-boat operation has grown tremendously throughout its more than 90-year history, now encompassing a 21-boat fleet and more than 250 employees who transport more than 2 million passengers.
The Boston Harbor Cruises's staff handles all things nautical, from whale watching and speedboat tours to wedding receptions and celebrations for special occasions. Because dolphins are hard to saddle and refuse to obey verbal commands, Boston Harbor Cruises also navigates the waters with ferries and harbor cruises that explore the historic and romantic sights of Boston.
Though the leadership has changed, Matty's grandchildren Rick and Chris Nolan still perpetuate the traditions of Boston Harbor Cruises, furthering one man's obsession with the harbor and inspiring future generations to create their own memories on its calm waters.
This small locally-owned business, with at least three locations in Boston, is a favorite with the lunch crowd that wants high-quality food served up fast. Though service is speedy, Viga, which offers mostly Italian cuisine, is no fast-food joint. Breads and pastries are baked fresh daily, and the owners promise that they use the freshest dairy, meat and vegetable products available. The menu features a variety of pizzas, pasta, salads and pastries. Calzones, perfect for a lunch on the go, are filled with mozzarella and parmesan and can be customized with ingredients like chicken and broccoli, steak, grilled vegetables and much more. Daily specials make sure frequent diners – and there are plenty – don’t get bored with the menu. The Financial District branch runs like a well-oiled machine, with customers pushing through the warm, brick-walled space to grab quick-service meals, cold case drinks and snacks, before heading out the door.