By Dave O’Donnell, Director of Strategic Communications with the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
October in Boston is a beautiful time to enjoy the city’s autumnal activities and seasonal flavors. Crisp sunny days will give way to slightly chilly fall evenings, so pack a few sweaters and get ready to explore New England’s gateway city during a special time of year when the leaves have turned, apple donuts are aplenty, and Oktoberfest celebrations take over the streets.
The Seaport District offers an array of fun and unique activities, so if you don’t want to stray too far from the convention center you have plenty of options nearby. If arts and eclectic crafts are of interest, spend day one exploring the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and the Society of Arts & Crafts. For the ICA, this fall brings a monumental presentation by the museum as they unveil the immersive infinity room “Love is Calling”, by renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Like history too? Head over the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and take part in revolutionary town meetings. Prefer retail therapy and entertainment? One Seaport offers both, with dozens of shops, cafes and restaurants, a state-of-the-art movie theater experience, bowling lanes, and fun nightlife. From One Seaport, wander down Seaport Boulevard—past delicious steakhouses, seafood spots and Mexican restaurants—and eventually you’ll arrive at Harpoon Brewery. Go try Harpoon’s tasty October offerings while snacking on delicious pretzels.
The Kick-Off Party for AFP 2019 is at Jillian’s Lucky Strike and Loretta’s Last Call so you will get acquainted with Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. The area is home to phenomenal dining options like Eastern Standard, Sweet Cheeks and Tiger Mama, not to mention the recently opened Time Out Market, which features many of Boston’s most celebrated contemporary chefs. While you may not have much time to explore the neighborhood on day one, don’t hesitate to make a return trip on day two or three. Take a tour of the Fenway Park, go roam the famous galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and take advantage of the fabulous cuisine at your fingertips.
Closer to the convention center, you may also choose to spend your limited leisure time in the downtown and waterfront sections of Boston, walking the Freedom Trail or souvenir shopping in Faneuil Hall. The Freedom Trail covers 16 sites related to the American Revolution and will show you everything from where Sam Adams and John Hancock are buried, to the site of the Boston Massacre and the signature steeple of the Old North Church where lanterns were hung to alert Paul Revere that the British were indeed coming. Closer to the waterfront, enjoy the lush parkways of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, always teeming with public art, food trucks, beer gardens, artisan markets and bustling activity. Don’t hesitate to get out on the water yourself; hop on a ferry from Long Wharf near the New England Aquarium out to the Boston Harbor Islands or go further a-sea on a whale watch. Like we said, October in New England is still a beautiful time to be outdoors.
These options are all relatively close to the BCEC, so you’ll have ample opportunity to attend your sessions while planning time in between and afterwards to see what Boston has to offer. And we’d never want you to leave without taking a deeper dive into Boston’s diverse neighborhoods, so if time permits, visit the artsy squares of Cambridge and Somerville, the emerging culinary scene in South Boston, and the vibrant neighborhood of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury, where Caribbean culture and a plethora of small businesses create communities that afford visitors a real chance to live like a local. This is Boston and you have only three days—make them count!
Come to AFP 2019 and see all Boston has to offer. Register for the conference here.