Yes, go see the hahbah! You can even take boat tours. You can take a ferry to one of the islands. You can ride a carousel at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. It's just east of the Faneuil Hall Marketplace at Long Wharf. Also, in quick walking distance to the New England Aquarium.
You can see the harbor from many vantage points but this one is pretty good. Easily accessible. See more photos on my Boston Harbor Travelogue!
The Long Wharf of Boston was formerly the busiest part of Boston in the Colonial Times of 1710 as a connection to the Deep water part of boston bay from near fanneuil hall and Customs House and this was originally 1/3 of a mile long (about 535 meters long, don't you just hate the outdated Imperial system!) and was composed of warehouses and store and it eventually shrank when business moved away from the area and the long wharf is just about 1/4 mile long (about 400 meters) at present due to the big dig done at state street in 2006. At Present, the long wharf has hotels (Marriott Long Wharf), restaurants (like legal seafoods and Chart House), Ferries to other areas, the water taxi and the New England Aquarium
according to wikipedia:
Long Wharf (built 1710-1721) in Boston, Massachusetts "was the busiest pier in the busiest port in America during early colonial times." It extended nearly a half-mile into the harbor, beginning from State Street. Circa 2000 the much-shortened wharf (due to landfill on the city end) functions as a dock for passenger ferries and sightseeing boats.
The recent Big Dig has put the Central Artery below ground level, thus going some way toward restoring the original close relationship between Long Wharf and downtown. Since ca.1990, Long Wharf has been transformed from a failing commercial waterfront area into a recreational and cultural center.
As of ca.2006, Long Wharf is adjacent to the New England Aquarium, and is served by the Aquarium station on MBTA's Blue Line subway. MBTA boat services link the wharf to the Boston Navy Yard in Charlestown, Logan International Airport, Hull, and Quincy. Other passenger ferry services operate to the islands of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, and to the cities of Salem and Provincetown. Cruise boats operate various cruises around the harbour. The wharf itself is occupied by a hotel, several restaurants and shops. At the seaward end, there is a large plaza with extensive views of the harbor. Now much shortened by land reclamation at its landward end, today it serves as the principal terminus for cruise boats and harbor ferries operating on Boston Harbor
The younger, more beautiful, sister of The Spirit of Boston, The Odyssey offers those with means a sophisticated and spectacular way to view Boston Harbor and it's islands. They offer various cruise times and themes, which run throughout the year. Odyssey docks at Rowe's Wharf on Atlantic Ave in Boston. On your cruise you will see the Charlestown Naval Yard and the U.S.S. Constitution which rests there, the Seaport District, Castle Island, Spectacle Island, Deer Island, Lovell's Island, Peddock's Island, Gallops Island, George's Island and Boston Light on Little Brewster Island. Cruises are formal, dressy-casual for lunch, brunch and moonlight cruises, and jackets and cocktail dresses for dinner cruises. No jeans, shorts, tank tops, halter tops, gym shoes or flip flops allowed on the Odyssey. The ship offers a variety of live music options, depending on which cruise you choose. The main deck is handicap accessible and the ship has 830 Coast Guard certified life vests. There are many cruise options to choose from, all of which are more pricey that Spirit of Boston. For the truly unforgettable wedding experience, the Odyssey can host your reception on Boston Harbor.
The wharf area is now mostly commercial and smattered with condos among the wharf inlets. You can pick up some bay cruise boats here apparently for tours on the water. Union wharf is one example of when it was mostly used in mid 1800's. After that it was wold to a steamship company in 1900, which held it until 1945. They sold out and buildings were used for storage until 1977, when the top levels were taken down and the rest became housing. All wharfs are now privately owned
If you have kids with you, Museum Wharf is a must. There you will find the Children's Museum and the Computer Museum. I had a hard time dragging my nephew away from the Children's Museum! Even if you don't have the kids with you, the Museum gift shops are great for gift ideas.
In addition to the museums, the Milk Bottle, Au Bon Pain and a deli on the same block on Congress St provide options for lunch on the Wharf. There are several picnic tables outside to enjoy the city skyline while you rest & refresh yourself.
When I first moved up to Boston I used to love to come and sit by the water during lunch. That harbor water was pretty murky back then. Probably still is now. But if you go on a nice clear day and the sky's nice and blue, well who cares? It looks just lovely!
Sit down by the harbor and watch the boats go by. There are lots of people out for pleasure, but Boston is a working harbor as well.
From Long Wharf you can jump on a whalewatching cruise, take the ferry to the Harbor Islands or Provincetown on Cape Cod (only in summer). You can also catch a water taxi to the airport.
The New England Aquarium and IMAX are located at Long Wharf as well.
Boston is a great city for walking. You can explore most of the downtown area on foot. Summer is a popular season with tourists, most of whom take the Freedom trail, which is a great idea. You can do the trail in its entirety, or you can take a short detour and explore Boston Harbor.
One of the oldest in North America, Boston Harbor hasn't yet experienced the transformation/renewal seen at other harbor city (like San Francisco's Pier 39). This is a blessing, as you can catch the winds and a view of the ocean on the wharf without being pestered by a tacky souvenir shop.
The mainstay of the Harbor is the New England Aquarium. Though not the biggest or the best in the world, it's charming and has many interesting exhibits. It's even the setting for a movie ("Next Stop: Wonderland"). On Long Wharf, there are many cruise ship operators that can take you for a tour of Boston Harbor, around the Harbor islands, or to Stellwagen Banks in the Atlantic for whale-watching. Once you're done, head to the North End for a sumptuous supper and dessert.
Boston Harbor has gone through troubled times, as most of it was unaccessible for many years. The area has been slowly revitalized, and you can now walk a great deal of it. You can start in the North End, near the Bunker Hill Bridge, and watch old men playing boules, then continue around Atlantic Ave. to Christopher Columbus Park, stopping to see the view of the harbor islands, and see the planes take off and land at Logan Airport. From here, you can walk to the Aquarium, where there are several cruise lines in operation. Further along you come to Rowes Wharf, with dinner and show cruise ships, and the Boston Harbor Hotel and Towers, then cross the old Northern Bridge to the Seaport District.
A perfect walk on a beautiful day, you can end with afresh seafood dinner, overlooking the harbor.
A very nice harbour and very special since it is so close to the centre of a major city. The harbour buildings have been renovated and are now beautifull appartmentbuildings. There are parks and statues along the harbour. Whale Watch tours start from here also. A very nice place to let your feet rest after completing the freedom trail. You can enjoy the view: boats, islands and Logan Int Airport (which is located right across the harbour.)
There are a lot of activities around the New England Aquarium area. There are boat rides from Long Wharf to other destinations. The "T" boat ferry has service to Boston Logan Airport. Just walk along State Street. There are a lot of interesting sites. Subway line: You can take the Blue Line to the "Aquarium" station or the Red line to the "South Station" station.
Great photograph spot. Unfortunately the museum was closed when I was there. On their web site it says there was a fire at the museum so it will be closed for the rest of the season. Pretty historic spot.