The 2021 Annual Session schedule change to June 25-27 is making it possible to offer the in-person meeting option as well as the virtual option. Boston’s wealth of unique outdoor activities, and the possible reopening of indoor attractions by June, ensure that in-person attendees will have a variety of enjoyable options for relaxation and entertainment.
The city’s Seaport District (also called the Boston Waterfront) is accessible just outside our meeting site, the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Re-developed in recent years, the Seaport District has attracted companies such as General Electric and Reebok, which have located their corporate headquarters there.
When it’s time for an exercise break, the Boston Harborwalk is a short walk from the Convention Center. The Harborwalk extends for more than 40 miles around Boston Harbor, from South Boston through East Boston, downtown and north of the Charles River. Public art and historical displays add entertainment and educational value while enhancing the beauty of the walkway.
Many Seaport District restaurants reopened last summer after the COVID-19 lockdown ended, offering carry-out and (weather permitting) outdoor dining options including cafe tables on Fan Pier and along the Harborwalk. Indoor dining resumed in Boston in December with strict adherence to pandemic guidelines currently required.
Boston Harbor Islands: A Unique Getaway for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Annual Session attendees seeking to de-stress for a day before or after the meeting may want to take a short ferry trip across Boston Harbor from the city, to Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park. The park is a nature oasis with 34 islands and peninsulas. With daily maximum temperatures in Boston during June averaging between 73 and 79 degrees F. (23 to 26 degrees C.), the weather should be perfect for outdoor activity.
The Boston Harbor public ferry service operated last year until mid-October with pandemic protocols in place. The service will likely reopen with the start of the spring season.
Visit the park to enjoy scenic harbor views, picnicking, hiking and bird watching. Trails and beaches may be accessed during daylight hours seven days a week. Because all beaches within Boston Harbor Islands are made of gravel and are unguarded, the park is not considered a destination for swimming.
Park highlights include Boston Light on Little Brewster Island. Dating to 1716, Boston Light is the first lighthouse built in the United States. Weather and pandemic conditions permitting, a two-hour cruise sails past Boston Light and the park’s two other lighthouses, Long Island Light and Graves Light.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Outdoor Freedom Trail Sites, Zoo are Open
Rated 4th in “America’s 25 Most Visited Tourist Sites” listing by Forbes Traveler in 2008, the historically significant Faneuil Hall is located downtown on the Boston Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) path encompassing 16 sites with significance in U.S. history.
While Faneuil Hall is currently closed, the adjacent commercial market, Faneuil Hall Marketplace (Quincy Market), is currently open and expected to remain so, with carry-out options available from restaurants on the site. In addition to shopping and dining, the marketplace is renowned for the quality of its street performers who normally entertain visitors on a daily basis. Street performances may resume by June.
Indoor facilities along the Freedom Trail may reopen by June, with outdoor portions of the sites continuing to be accessible during closures. Among other sites on the trail, consider visiting:
● The Bunker Hill Monument. The monument commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill, fought early in the American Revolution;
● Boston Common. At 350 years old, the Common is the oldest U.S. park. A site of political expression from the pre-revolutionary era to modern times, the Common is synonymous with the rights of free speech and free assembly;
● The Charlestown Navy Yard. Used for construction and maintenance of U.S. Navy warships from 1800 to 1974, the yard is preserved as a historic site. A highlight of the Navy Yard and now a museum, the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat in the world. The three-masted, wooden-hulled ship was in active service from her launch in 1797 until 1881.
The Franklin Park Zoo has remained open with pandemic protocols in place and is expected to continue welcoming visitors during the spring and summer.
Know Before You Go
Many Boston attraction websites offer details on how current COVID-19 protocols are being applied to keep visitors safe and will be updated with changes to local guidelines as the situation develops. Attractions that are currently closed may soon provide estimated reopening dates.
Pandemic protocols including strict occupancy limits may still be in place in June, so (where required) purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. Click on the links above to get the latest updates and learn more about the destinations that interest you.