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Welcoming summer in Boston on the longest day of the year

From kayaking along the Charles to chowing down on chowder, there’s more to Beantown than throwing back Boston brews and rooting for the Red Sox. On June 21, also known as the summer solstice, bask in every moment of the 15 hours, 17 minutes, and 5 seconds of daylight with our itinerary.

Early morning

Long Wharf. The Long Wharf in the Boston Inner Harbor is a prime place for spectacular views of the sunrise framed by the skyline, ferries, and passenger boats. The city scene is calm and quiet at this hour, so revel in the peacefulness as you mosey around the harbor and trek the Walk to the Sea. If you arrive by 5:07 a.m., you’ll catch the first glimpses of the solstice sun floating above the horizon.


North Street Grille. Nutella and banana-stuffed French toast at this wicked awesome brunch spot is a great way to break the nightly fast. The eatery also serves up nonconventional items from burrito pancakes to loaded mashed potato omelets. Pair your morning grub with a maple waffle martini and you’ll be feeling fine to take on the first day of summer.

Kayak the Charles River. Boston may be a great walking city, but kayaking expeditions are the latest and greatest way to explore the landscape. Take on the Charles River and relish in some of the most coveted views of Boston. From the water, you'll glide past signature spots including Esplanade Park, Beacon Hill, Back Bay and Boston University. These are unrivaled perspectives of The Hub.

Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House



Make Music Harvard Square. As a Boston spin-off of the famous French Fete de la Musique, this annual festival strikes a chord with an eclectic selection of blues, classical, folk, pop, and more. Rock out to Billy Wine at The Pit Stage in front of the Out of Town Kiosk, and the Parlour Bells on the Winthrop Park Stage. Festivities begin promptly at 2 p.m.

Cirque du Soleil Amaluna. While there won’t be any rowdy tailgating or drunken heckling at this sporting event, the mind-bending acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil's latest show will have your adrenaline pumping just the same. As the performers take leaps of faith on stage, you’ll bite your nails like it’s the nerve-wracking final seconds of overtime. Arrive by 4:30 p.m. for the production of Amaluna at the Grand Chapiteau at Marine Industrial Park.

Viewfinder Tip: Brush up on your Klingon at the Star Trek Convention on June 21-22 at the John B. Hynes Convention Center. 


The Boston Sail Loft. For the ultimate Boston vibe, add a pint of local-brewed Harpoon beer and a view of the harbor to your chowder order at this iconic eatery. Overlooking the Commercial Wharf, the restaurant and bar provides a quintessential New England experience without that touristy feel. Mingle with the locals on the deck and toast the longest day of the year.

Bee Hive. This funky and artistically refined lounge was expected to host a dinner jazz set from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the solstice. Keep the night buzzing by sipping on a signature Queen Bee cocktail: a drink that blends champagne, vodka, and grapefruit. You also can pair some Beehive Honey Brew with the brass beats.

Sunset Cruise. For a slightly more dramatic close to the first day of summer, climb aboard a Sunset Boston Harbor Cruise and set sail around the Boston Harbor. During your evening voyage, catch the historic USS Constitution setting off cannons and lowering the American flag for its daily sunset ceremony. The sun will begin to set at 8:25 p.m., creating a colorful end to a colorful day.

Where is your favorite spot in Boston?

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