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OpSail is an excuse to explore the new Boston waterfront

David L. Ryan / Globe Staff

There’s a new neighborhood in Boston, in case you haven’t heard. She doesn’t have the brownstones of Back Bay, the parks and ponds of Jamaica Plain, the restaurants of the South End, the college feel of Allston, the urban flavors of Roxbury, or the pubs of Southie. But she has water, water, everywhere, a slew of new restaurants, and a new strip of green space that’s going to be this summer’s go-to spot.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The bustling Waterfront district is a good place to check out the tall ships.

If you haven’t checked out the Waterfront yet, consider this your introduction, a cheat sheet in no particular order of dates to mark down, highlights to visit, and restaurants and cafes to hit. Clip it. Save it.

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End to end, walking the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway should take you about 30 minutes. But what’s your hurry? There’s a wonderful fountain to splash in, a carousel for the kids (and the adults, too, since you’re never too old to ride a carousel), benches and swatches of soft grass to sit and read, good eats galore thanks to an array of food trucks and new restaurants overlooking the water, and a whole lot more. You’d never know there’s a highway right beneath your feet. Plus, if you’re into biking rather than walking, just rent a bicycle from New Balance Hubway at any of the waterfront locations (we recommend bringing your own helmet) and get around as a pedaler rather than a pedestrian.

At the no-longer new Institute of Contemporary Art, all summer long there will be a buffet of talks, courses, exhibits, and sounds. A few to remember include Talking Taste on Friday, July 13, with Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, Harborwalk Sounds with the Hamish Napier Band on Thursday, Aug. 2, and the Summer Teen Night on Wednesday, Aug. 8. Go to www.icaboston.org/calendar for more details. There might not be a better place to wind down the summer than on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the ICA, where you can celebrate the sea with family games, sketchbooks for drawing, and strolls along the harborway.

For a city where public open-air markets used to be few and far between, now there are too many to keep track of. This summer be sure and check out the Boston Public Market in Dewey Square Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays (that's at Congress and Summer streets near Atlantic Avenue) and the Greenway Open Market on Saturdays, where you’ll find arts and crafts and more.

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