Lifestyle

Need a shuttle? A beer? A break? A few tips for navigating Sail Boston.

Legal Harborside is just one place to duck into for a beer during the 2017 Tall Ships festivities. (File Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)

(File Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)

Legal Harborside is just one place to duck into for a beer during the 2017 Tall Ships festivities.

As you surely know by now, the largest tall ship regatta in the world is making a six-day stop in Boston. The festivities kick-off on Saturday as the ships parade through Boston Harbor from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meanwhile, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. there will be various events happening all around the harbor. It’s going to be nuts — more than 2 million people are expected to make their way to the water. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the seas of people.

Where to watch with kids…

If your little one wants to be the first to spot the tall ships, find a bit of turf to stretch out on at Castle Island. Besides being the beginning of the nautical route, there’ll be plenty of vendors to keep you occupied. If your kids are more hands-on, skip the Saturday morning parade and line up to board the tall ships at Fish Pier, Charlestown Navy Yard, World Trade Center, or Fan Pier. The ships open to the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. but specific ships’ schedules are at the discretion of the captain. Admission is free.

If you (or your friend) has a boat...

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For the best view of the parade on Saturday morning — literally right on the water — dock your boat (or find a friend with a boat) in one of the designated anchoring areas. Space is limited so be sure to anchor eaaarly. Some locations allow you to claim your spot during the day on Friday.

Where it’s a little less crowded...

Let’s be real: There will likely be a ton of people no matter where you set up to watch the ships on Saturday. But there are a few places that could be a little less overrun if you’re looking for a calmer Sail Boston experience.

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The ships will be docking in the harbor, so that’s naturally where the biggest crowds will be. But the parade route starts farther out, with the staging area in the waters just south of Nahant. That means that Bailey’s Point and Henry Cabot Lodge Park could be prime places to see the ships head off. Spectacle Island will undoubtedly offer some prime views too, as the parade cruises right on by before heading into the harbor. There’s a downside, though: limited space means you’ll need to buy tickets if you want to hunker down on Spectacle for the day. You can find tickets here.

Where to grab a beer...

Since bringing your own alcoholic beverages isn’t allowed, stop by one of Sail Boston’s host restaurants for a quick drink. There are over 30 Sail Boston restaurants participating in the festivities, which are all listed on their website. A few stops for a little pick-me-up are right in the thick of the festivities — Atlantic Beer Garden and Whiskey Priest near the World Trade Center; Tia’s near Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park; Temazcal Tequila Cantina, Legal Harborside, and Tony C’s Sports Bar and Grill, all on Northern Avenue; and Pier 6 located at 1 8th St. in Charlestown.

Think about taking a shuttle bus to the Seaport…

If the idea of finding a parking spot at an event that’s expecting a bigger turnout than the Marathon makes you want to pull your hair out, leave those worries at home — and hop on a shuttle bus. If you live outside the city (Quincy, Plymouth, New Bedford, Worcester -- the list is long,so check it out) Sail Boston Express buses will be serving various communities and drive you straight to the Seaport District; just be sure to buy your tickets in advance. If you’re close enough to take public transportation, the MBTA will be running as it would during peak rush hours, and special passes will be available to help you get around the city for Sail Boston.

Where to watch the sunset...

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On Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., head over to Charlestown Navy Yard or Fan Pier to watch the sun dip below the horizon. As the sun sets those days, there will be live music and military entertainment near where the majestic tall ships are docked.

Lexi Peery can be reached at lexi.peery@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @LexiFP.
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