Download GPX file for this article
42.33596-71.04773Map mag.png

South Boston

From Wikivoyage
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with the South End.

Honor. Tradition. Loyalty. If you're familiar with South Boston as presented on the silver screen, these values might spring foremost to your mind. You wouldn't be wrong, but a lot has changed since mob boss Whitey Bulger controlled his criminal underworld from here during the 1970s. The identity of "Southie", as it's known to locals, is being reshaped.

Understand[edit]

Going up?

Originally, South Boston was known as "Dorchester Neck", a small isthmus in northern Dorchester. Once all but disconnected from downtown, acres of land were created throughout the 19th century physically bringing the two towns together. This was a burgeoning area for maritime industries, and was first annexed by Boston in 1804, and then again in 1870. Southie really distinguished itself with the arrival of the Irish after the Great Famine in the mid 19th century.

The quintessential triple decker homes and their occupants of Irish decent remain. Neighbors still greet one another on the street as they go about their daily routines. But things are different now. Money abounds in this area so close to downtown Boston. Real estate developers make million dollar offers to long time residents, sight unseen. What does it matter what the insides look like when you'll be tearing the whole thing down anyway.

These trends will continue into the foreseeable future, as more of Southie has been rezoned to resemble the Seaport. In spite of these challenges, pockets of the old-time community spirit persist. Some shops and restaurants have remained popular with new residents. The St. Patrick's Day Parade continues each year. The Neighborhood character evolves as ideas from newcomers mix with the best from the old guard.

Neighborhoods[edit]

  • The Seaport: No other neighborhood in Boston (and few in America) have undergone so much change in so little time. Back in 2004, the area was nothing more than acres of windswept parking lots. By 2014 those lots had been replaced by a convention center, an art gallery, scores of office and residential towers, and a mass transit system. Over a trillion dollars (yes with a t!) of new real estate washed onto the market during that decade, and continues to do so. Debate continues about whether the redevelopment of the Seaport is succeeding in turning the area into a real community. There are no grocery stores or public schools here yet, but the area and the idea is still new. Give it time to see what Boston's newest incarnation develops.
  • Fort Point: Nuzzled in below the Seaport, think of Fort Point as its older, smaller brother. When the manufacturing industry collapsed, many beautiful brick factories along the channel were simply too big and expensive to tear down. What was bad news at the time has turned out great for today's Bostonians, as many large industrial spaces were preserved and live on today as fantastic hotels and restaurants. Just check out the cluster of interesting points around Congress and A streets.

Get in[edit]

General Washington wouldn't recognize Dorchester Heights today

By public transit[edit]

Red Line stations in the area are Broadway and Andrew. JFK/UMass station is in neighboring Dorchester, but is very close as well. Silver Line bus routes SL1 and SL2 run rapid transit service run between South Station and through the seaport district. The Courthouse, World Trade Center, and Silver Line Way stations are served by both routes. The SL2 route continues its loop through South Boston stopping at Harbor St, Tide St, 23 Dry Dock Ave, 88 Black Falcon Ave, and Design Center. While the SL1 branch veers off and heads away to Logan airport.

For those trying to get deeper into South Boston, you'll need to ride the bus. Routes #5, #7, #9, #10, and #11 all start near City Point and connect to Red Line stops: South Station, Broadway, and Andrew. It's hard to overstate the impact of all the construction, and the neighborhood has been welcoming scores of new residents every month for years. While the number of commuters increases, the number of busses has not been able to keep pace with the demand. Beyond normal rush hour traffic, it can be quite difficult to board busses headed downtown in the morning, and leaving the city at night. The MBTA is working on addressing this issue, but for now plan on riding late, crowded busses.

By boat[edit]

Shortened container cranes are great for avoiding landing airplanes

There are actually quite a few services available along the waterfront in Southie. One of the most popular and frequent are Water Taxis. These little boats run all year round and service points of interest like The Children's Museum, the ICA, World Trade Center, and more. You'll have to call ahead in less popular locations and times. Hop aboard a real ship and take the Bay State Cruise Company's Provincetown Fast Ferry, running from the pier with the Seaport Hotel during the summer months.

Additionally, over 20 cruise lines dock their mega ships at Black Falcon Pier. During the warmer months they may arrive from ports as far as Europe and the Caribbean. Local taxis know these schedules, so you should have no problem transporting yourself and your luggage to the hotel. Smaller boats can be found at the EDIC Pier and provide service to and from the Boston Harbor Islands. Keep your eyes peeled, because this pier can easily be overlooked. It's right next to the bridge, don't walk too far down towards the enormous Black Falcon area.

By car[edit]

Many parking lots have been replaced by luxury condos, so think before you drive, especially in the seaport. There is some on street parking in the remaining industrial-feeling areas towards the center of the neighborhood, but much of it isn't any more convenient than walking from a T station. Some two way roads were converted to one way during the "snowpocalypse" events of 2015, so know your GPS directions may be incorrect. Watch for cars coming to a stop in the middle of the road, as some residents feel entitled to double park wherever they please, especially on Broadway. Don't bother trying to find parking out at Castle Island during the summer, but you might luck out if you go at odd times. In wintertime you may find "space savers" placed in shoveled out parking spots. You are legally allowed to move these items and park, but by doing so you place your vehicle at risk of being vandalized. Exit 25 of Interstate 90 and Exit 16 of Interstate 93 serve the area and are found at the extreme western edge.

Get around[edit]

Map of Boston/South Boston

See[edit]

The Seaport rises around the Institute of Contemporary Art
  • 1 Boston Children's Museum, 308 Congress St (T: South Station), +1 617 426-6500. Sa-Th 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-9PM. Look for the iconic milk bottle out front. The Children's Museum is the best place in the city to go with kids ranging from newborn to about 9. Featuring many interactive exhibits designed for kids, as well as the Kyoto House—a real traditional Japanese home moved from Japan to Boston. Kids love the three story climbing structure, it allows them to move around without using the boring elevator or stairs. The museum also supports fitness and environmental sustainability programs, and they even have a green roof! Definitely worthwhile if you're bringing the kids with you to Boston. $16. Boston Children's Museum on Wikipedia Boston Children's Museum (Q901463) on Wikidata
  • 2 Boston Fire Museum, 344 Congress St (T: South Station), +1 617 338-9700, e-mail: . Sa 11AM-5PM. The history of firefighting in Boston on display. Mostly artifacts from the 20th century, but a few items are much older. Only open on Saturdays, this museum is often overlooked, so you're likely to receive more of a personal tour from the staff. They're not burned out from saying the same thing over and over. Free, donations appreciated. Congress Street Fire Station on Wikipedia
  • 3 Dorchester Heights, 95 G St (T: Andrew), +1 617 242-5601. Sunrise-sunset daily. This is the spot from where George Washington and Henry Knox aimed their guns at the British ships occupying Boston harbor, forcing them to leave and breaking the siege. Today you will find a quiet park space with some signage, a little tower, and locals walking their dogs. Free. Dorchester Heights on Wikipedia Dorchester Heights (Q5297608) on Wikidata
  • 4 [dead link]Fort Independence (Castle Island). Th 7PM-dusk, Sa Su noon-3:30PM. A star fort built around 1850 to provide defenses for Boston harbor. Today, the guns are long gone, and it's a great place to go exploring. Fantastic views are rewarded to those who scale its granite walls. Even if the fort is closed, the grounds are always open. It's a great place to see families picnicking, going for a stroll around Pleasure Bay, or out flying kites in the brisk wind blowing in from the water. Kids love seeing (and hearing!) the planes up close, as they make their final approach to Logan Airport. Free. Fort Independence (Massachusetts) on Wikipedia Fort Independence (Q1438579) on Wikidata
  • 5 Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), 25 Harbor Shore Drive (T: Courthouse), +1 617 478-3100. Tu W Sa Su 10AM-5PM, Th Fr 10AM-9PM. Formerly located in a cramped and tiny building next to a firehouse in the Back Bay, the ICA moved to its new home in 2006. The modernist building is the first new art museum to be built in Boston in over 100 years, and allowed the ICA to launch its first permanent collection. The permanent collection is small, but there are always temporary exhibitions taking place with works from up-and-coming artists. The Water Cafe in the building features food by Wolfgang Puck Catering. $15 general, $13 seniors, $10 students, under 17 free. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston on Wikipedia Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (Q3152226) on Wikidata

Itineraries[edit]

  • Boston Harborwalk — A public walkway that follows the edge of piers, wharves, beaches, and shoreline around Boston Harbor.

Do[edit]

  • 1 Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave (T: Silver Line Way), +1 617 728-1600. The acoustics aren't perfect at this live event venue that seats 5000, but the location more than makes up for it. Feel the cool breeze rolling in off the ocean and smell the salt air while the band plays on. Speaking of cool breezes, avoid this place during the colder months, it's a big glorified tent after all.
  • 2 Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St (T: World Trade Center), +1 617 954-2000. Fantastically enormous indoor space holding showcases, expos, and other conventions all year long. Hosts everything from mega productions like PAX East, Boston Tattoo Convention, and Anime Boston. To smaller, quirkier events like Berklee Jazz Festival and the Harvard Model UN opening ceremonies.
Replica merchant ship Eleanor floats in Fort Point Channel
  • 3 Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, 306 Congress St (T: South Station), +1 617 338-1773. 10AM-5PM daily. Listen to colonial music while you climb aboard 18th century ships afloat in Boston Harbor. Once aboard historical re-enactors teach you about the original tea party, and let you "toss the tea into the sea". These interactive participatory tours last about an hour. Be prepared to wait to get into this very popular and widely regarded tourist attraction. $26 adult, $16 child.
  • 4 Lawn on D, 420 D St (T: World Trade Center), +1 617 393-3393. Su-Th 7AM-10PM, Fr Sa 7AM-11PM. A fun outdoor space with food trucks, adult beverages, musicians and other performances. Originally dreamed up as a temporary event spot to "build community" while awaiting the necessary permitting to build another luxury condo. The Lawn on D has proven popular enough that it has become a permanent fixture in the neighborhood. Free entrance, food $8-10, drinks $6-10.
  • 5 South Boston Bowlarama, 543 E Broadway (T: Andrew), +1 617 464-4858. M-F 3PM-10PM, Sa noon-11PM, Su noon-8PM. One of the last remaining old school places for candlepin bowling in the city. Original wooden ball returns function through the magic of gravity. No fancy TV to display your scores, just write it down on the paper provided. No food either, but they do have what's important, beer. $25 per hour.

Events[edit]

  • 6 Polar Bear Plunge (L Street Bathouse/Curley Community Center), 1163 Columbia Rd (T: Andrew), +1 617 635-5104. M-F 6:30AM-8:30PM, Sa Su 8AM-3:30PM. Take the "plunge" with the L Street Brownies and 1000 of your closest friends. Splash around in the freezing cold harbor around 8AM January 1st. You could also just jump in a block down the street if you don't feel like dealing with the news crews. It kind of goes without saying, but make sure you have a way to get warm after. A towel will not be sufficient. Free.
Sailors march in the 111th annual St. Patrick's Day parade
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade (T: Broadway or Andrew), +1 844 478-7287. The St. Patrick's Day parade in Southie is a longstanding Bostonian tradition. First celebrated in 1737, its current incarnation has been running every year since 1901. Held on the Sunday closest to Evacuation Day, or March 17th, the parade celebrates Irish history, veterans, and the expulsion of the British from the city of Boston in 1776. Attendance at the parade is very high due to so many Bostonians claiming Irish ancestry, combined with the fact that it's an official city holiday. Often, close to one million people will all cram into Southie to attend the event. Check ahead for the starting time, and plan to arrive hours in advance if you want to stake out a spot. Parking is a nightmare: taking the T is strongly recommended. There has been some controversy in recent years around the inclusion of LGBTQ groups in the parade, and attendance has suffered a bit as a result. Be aware that in America "St. Patrick's Day" is synonymous with "Legal Public Drinking". Expect to encounter incapacitated revelers not only along the route but throughout the city as well. This goes double if it's a nice day. The organizers plead with people to take it easy, and police try to keep order, but your best bet is to keep your wits about you. Remember to wear green and enjoy the spectacle, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day! Free.

Buy[edit]

Southie is not the city's premiere shopping destination. No matter what changes it has undergone, at its heart, the neighborhood exists to serve its residents. The missing tourist shops and places to find goofy t-shirts speak volumes about the character of this locale.

  • 1 American Provisions, 613 E Broadway (Telegraph Hill), +1 617 269-6100. M-F 9AM-8PM, Sa Su 9AM-6PM. Farm to table grocer, selling only very high quality ingredients. Local and handcrafted preferred. Known for their cheese, meat and charcuterie plates. They also stock a wide selection of beer and wine for pairings. Market price, sandwiches $10.
  • 2 Baltic Deli & Cafe, 632 Dorchester Ave (T: Andrew), +1 617 268-2435. M Tu 9AM-8PM, W-F 8:30AM-8PM, Sa 8AM-8PM, Su 8AM-4PM. Freshly baked goods, smoked meats, and a variety of imported items for sale. Patrons from around the metro area shop here to find extremely authentic Polish and eastern european delicacies. Owned by the same family that runs Cafe Polonia across the street. The very same pierogies can be found for sale here, sealed in hand labeled freezer bags. Gets a bit crowded on Sundays after church.
  • 3 Market Stalls (Boston Design Center), 1 Design Center Pl; Suite #203 (T: Design Center), +1 617 449-5514. M-F 9AM-5PM. The Boston Design Center is at the center of Boston's glossy new Innovation District. Similar to Merchandise Mart in Chicago, picture a variety of cavernous showrooms focused on every imaginable design discipline. For visitors, make sure to check out the Market Stalls area on the second floor. This eclectic 10,000 square foot marketplace features furniture, lighting, and art from the 17th to 20th centuries. Plan a little extra time for your visit, as there may be an event going on featuring prominent architects, chefs, interior or furniture designers. Free to look.
  • 4 Trillium Brewing Company, 369 Congress St (T: South Station), +1 617 453-8745. M-Sa 11AM-7:30PM. The lines are out the door at this tiny brewery, considered one of Boston's best. In 2017, RateBeer listed them as the #3 brewer (out of 22,500) in the world. Growler fills, bombers and six packs to go. They offer a range of beers, but seem to prefer higher alcohol content IPAs. Many are unfiltered/unpasteurized and could be called New England IPAs if you believe in that. Absolutely no samples! It's a Puritan thing. 4 pack $15-20, growler fills $7-10 and up.

Eat[edit]

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $20
Mid-range $20 - $40
Splurge Over $40

Due to the current state of gentrification, the amount and variety of price points in South Boston is immense. You will find the more expensive, trendier bistros in the seaport district to the north. As you get away from the T stations and further into the center of the neighborhood, prices begin to decrease.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Doughboy Donuts and Deli, 220 Dorchester Ave (T: Broadway), +1 617 269-7560. 24 hours daily. Longtime freestanding neighborhood doughnut shop offering a variety of basic morning pastries. Classic. They also sell sandwiches and pizza, but why would you get those? Offers a little glimpse into Southie's past, before the money rolled in. $2-6.
  • 2 Molly Moo's, 687 E 2nd St (City Point), +1 774 225-1003. M-F 6AM-10PM, Sa Su 7:30AM-10PM. Found on the ground floor of a newly developed block of condos, this acclaimed spot serves homemade ice cream in both scooped and sandwich formats. Also serving fresh coffee, cannoli and breakfast starters, with small sandwiches on offer as well. Ice cream $3-5, various treats $3-7.
  • 3 Flour Bakery, 12 Farnsworth St (T: South Station), +1 617 338-4333. M-F 7AM-8PM, Sa 8AM-6PM, Su 8AM-5PM. One of four locations, this small Boston chain focuses on French style pastries and sweets. But they also sell a wide assortment of lunch staples like quiche, pizza, and stuffed breads. $6-10.
  • 4 Shake Shack, 77 Seaport Blvd (T: Courthouse), +1 617 337-4699. 11AM-10PM daily. Everybody loves Shake Shack. Modern fast casual burger joint taking the world by storm. Expect lines. $6-12.
  • 5 Galley Diner, 11 P St (City Point), +1 617 464-1024. 7AM-2PM daily. A traditional American diner endures. Go here for breakfast, because that's when it's open! Anthony Bourdain liked the corned beef hash with eggs. $8-12.
  • 6 Sullivan's Castle Island, 2080 William J Day Blvd (Castle Island), +1 617 268-5685. 8:30AM-6PM daily. Not to be missed South Boston dining experience. No frills beachside shack in business since the 1950's. No indoor seating. Lines are long during summer hours, but they move fast. If the weather is bad, you'll have the place to yourself. Lobster roll $13.
  • 7 Teriyaki House, 32 W Broadway (T: Broadway), +1 617 269-2000. 10:30AM-1AM daily. Traditional Japanese Teppanyaki cooking, fresh Sushi, and bubble Tea. $15.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 8 Cafe Polonia, 611 Dorchester Ave (T: Andrew), +1 617 269-0110. M-Th 11AM-9PM, F 11AM-10PM, Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-9PM. Quite possibly the only Polish restaurant in Boston, but one of the better restaurants by any standard. Authentic Polish food at very reasonable prices, although it may be too authentic for some (e.g. the lard with bacon bits that's provided as a spread for bread). The place is very small, so reservations are recommended. Mains $15-22.
  • 9 Coppersmith, 40 W 3rd St (T: Broadway), +1 617 658-3452. M-F 7AM-1AM Sa Su 8AM-1AM. Interesting spot in a gigantic converted warehouse with an industrial vibe. Two indoor food trucks serve everything from breakfast to late night munchies. Drinks furnished from a renovated vintage Airstream trailer on the roof deck. Occasionally closed for private events. Kid friendly. Varies by meal $5-20, drinks $6-12.
  • 10 Barlow's Restaurant, 241 A St (T: Broadway), +1 617-338-2142. M-Th 11AM-11PM, F 11AM-2AM, Sa 10AM-2AM, Su 10AM-midnight. Extensive menu of traditional fare with a gourmet twist, offering brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as homemade desserts and specialty cocktails. The menus feature fresh seafood, meat, pizza and pasta dishes. Housed in a renovated old mill with an outdoor patio. Starters $12, mains $14-18.
  • 11 Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant, 425 W Broadway (T: Broadway), +1 617 765-8636. M-F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa Su 10AM-2AM. New American gastropub. One of the first restaurants on this stretch trying to cater to the burgeoning number of young professionals in the area. Starters $11, mains $15-20.
  • 12 Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, 412 W Broadway (T: Broadway), +1 617 917-5626. M-F 5PM-1AM, Sa Su 10AM-1AM. Mexican inspired fare with a New England twist. Fun, lively, and sometimes crowded environment. Around $20-30 per person, more with drinks.
  • 13 Salvatore's, 225 Northern Ave (T: Silver Line Way), +1 617 737-5454. M-F 11AM-midnight, Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-10PM. Upscale Italian food and great pizza. Small plates $10-14, mains $18-24.
  • 14 Yankee Lobster, 300 Northern Ave (T: Silver Line Way), +1 617 345-9799. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Starters $8-16, mains $10-20.

Splurge[edit]

  • 15 Amrheins Restaurant, 80 W Broadway (T: Broadway), +1 617 925-6709. M-Sa 11:30AM-1AM, Su 10AM-1AM. Welcoming atmosphere, delicious American and Italian dishes, served on the oldest hand-carved bar in America. Starters $8-12, mains $18-26.
  • 16 Barking Crab, 88 Sleeper St (T: South Station), +1 617 426-2722, e-mail: . Su-Th 11:30AM-9PM, F Sa 11:30AM-10PM. Excellent seafood and American cuisine. Outdoor dining in a clam shack atmosphere, overlooks Boston Harbor and view of downtown. Kid friendly. Live music daily. Starters $10-16, mains $22-market price.
  • 17 Row 34, 383 Congress St (T: South Station), +1 617 553-5900. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 10:30AM-10PM. Known for their beer and oysters, but offer a wide assortment of oceanic dishes. Dramatic raw bar. Gets pretty spendy at suppertime, but there are some affordable options offered earlier in the day. Starters $10-14, mains $20-28.
  • 18 Worden Hall, 22 W Broadway (T: Broadway), +1 617 752-4206. M-W 11:30AM-1AM, Th F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa Su 10:30AM-2AM. For fans of horse racing in upstate New York, this spot is can't miss. A refined seasonal menu is supported by a selection of over 40 draught beers and 100 whiskeys to choose from. A cosy environment in which to suffer from the paradox of choice. Starters $10-14, mains $20-26, drinks $8-12.
  • 19 Legal Harborside, 270 Northern Ave (T: Silver Line Way), +1 617 477-2900. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F 11AM-1-AM, Sa 11AM-midnight. Waterfront dining experience at the flagship location of a Boston seafood institution. Each of the three floors has a different menu and is styled after a different concept. Informal on the first floor, formal on the second. Fireside drinks and small plates on the third floor, an enclosable roof deck. Around $20-80 per person without drinks. Drinks $8-16.
  • 20 Menton, 354 Congress St (T: South Station), +1 617 737-0099. M-F 11:30AM-2:00PM, 5:30PM-10PM, Sa 5:30PM-10PM, Su 5:30PM-9PM. Modern fine dining by chef Barbara Lynch. Yeah it's expensive, but the French/Italian fusion cuisine served at Menton has won almost every food award, nomination, or accolade there is to give. Barbara has been here since 2010, and oversees 6 other fine dining restaurants in Boston. Lunch $25-40. Tasting menus $120-165. Drinks $15.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Drink, 348 Congress St (T: South Station), +1 617 695-1806. 4PM-1AM daily. Get in line to be served one of the most renowned cocktails in the city. You won't find a menu inside, so have a drink in mind to order. If it's not busy let the mixologist know your preferences and they will come up with a delightfully boozy idea on the spot. Try to get here before 9 to avoid the crowds. $8-12.
  • 2 GrandTen Distilling, 383 Dorchester Ave (T: Andrew). Th 4PM-11PM, F 4PM-midnight, Sa 1PM-midnight, Su 1PM-8PM. Take a distillery tour or sample some of the wares on premises. $10 a drink.
  • 3 Harpoon Brewery and Beer Hall, 306 Northern Avenue (T: Harbor St), toll-free: +1 617 456-2322. Su-W 11AM-7PM, Th-Sa 11AM-11PM. Massive beer hall with all major Harpoon varieties on tap, plus several styles only available at this location. No real food, but soft pub pretzels with dipping sauces are available to help sop up the alcohol. $5 tours available on the hour. Pints $6.
  • 4 L Street Tavern, 658 E 8th St, +1 617 268-4335. noon-1AM daily. A fixture in the neighborhood from a different era, this old school watering hole has charm for days. Famous today after being featured in "Good Will Hunting", it has undergone renovations so don't expect it to look the same. Pints $5.
  • 5 Lucky's Lounge, 355 Congress St (T: South Station), +1 617 357-5825. M-F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa Su 10AM-2AM. Join the crowd of office workers and locals knocking back an after work drink in this basement lounge. Atmosphere, decorations, drinks and music all inspired by the 1950's and Frank Sinatra. Food $8-15, drinks $6-12.
  • 6 Telegraph Hill, 289 Dorchester St (T: Andrew), +1 617 269-5200. M-F 11:30AM-1:30AM Sa Su 10AM-1:30AM. Laid back tavern serving up craft beers in an intimate space. Located in a less visited part of the neighborhood, this is a great place to catch up with friends or watch the game on TV. Food $8-12, beer $5-7.

Coffee[edit]

  • 7 Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, 346 Congress St (T: South Station), +1 617 277-1914. M-F 6:30AM-7PM Sa Su 8AM-7PM. Grab a cup from this consistently top rated company. One of only two locations. Barrington sells beans that have been roasted in their factory located in the Berkshires. $3-8.
  • 8 Brew (District Hall), 75 Northern Ave (T: Courthouse), +1 617 982-7230. M-F 8AM-5PM. More then just fresh brewed coffee is available in this modern and innovative space. They also serve salads, sandwiches, and even have a few beers on tap. $2-8, drinks $6-10.
  • 9 Broadway’s Pastry & Coffee, 258 W Broadway (T: Broadway), +1 617 268-2253. M-Th 7AM-7PM, F 7AM-8PM, Sa Su 8AM-8PM. Delectable european style pastries sold alongside lighter local fare. Top notch coffee and tea offered in a casual environment. $2-6.
  • 10 P.S. Gourmet Coffee, 106 Dorchester St (T: Broadway or Andrew), +1 617 269-4020. M-Sa 6AM-10PM, Su 6AM-8PM. Old school establishment for fresh brewed coffee, order by the cup or by the "bucket". Serves raspberry lime rickeys too if you haven't found one yet. One other location in Dorchester. $2-4.

Sleep[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under $175
Mid-range $175 - $250
Splurge Over $250

Get your wallet out! South Boston is a desirable location to spend the night due to its closeness to downtown and the convention center located here. If an event is in town, hotel prices will be correspondingly astronomical. The city is aware of this issue and they are trying to reduce costs by increasing supply. There are a few hotels currently under construction with more on the drawing boards, but unfortunately for you they are not available yet. The best way of mitigating the damage is to book far in advance, and to coordinate your calendar with the convention center's. You can also look at hotels in other areas of the city or try booking online with popular room-rental services.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 1 Aloft Boston Seaport, 401-403 D St (T: World Trade Center), +1 617 530-1600, toll-free: +1 866 716-8143. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Owned by the same company as Element next door, with a similar aesthetic. The lobby sells food & booze, and it's also located directly in front of Lawn on D, so expect more of a social atmosphere downstairs. Dog friendly, "keyless" access, free Wi-Fi and fitness center. From $200.
  • 2 Element Boston Seaport, 391-395 D St (T: World Trade Center), +1 617 530-1700, toll-free: +1 877 782-0151. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Contemporary, apartment-esque design, many with full kitchens. Built with a "green" or environmentally friendly feel. Fast Wi-Fi, fitness center, and bikes available for borrowing. From $200.
  • 3 The Envoy Hotel (Marriott), 70 Sleeper St (T: South Station), +1 617 338-3030. New in 2015, this sleek, tech friendly hotel offers some stunning city views from some of its rooms. Stocked with fancy toiletries, and also free cookies on the way in! If you don't want to pay for the view, the same sights are always available from the roof deck. From $200.
  • 4 Residence Inn Boston Downtown/Seaport, 370 Congress St (T: Courthouse), +1 617 478-0840. It's a chain without feeling like one. This hotel sits in an extensively repurposed old warehouse building in Southie's Fort Point district. All rooms come with a fully equipped kitchen, free breakfast, and are pet friendly. From $230.

Splurge[edit]

  • 5 Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, 606 Congress St (T: World Trade Center), +1 617 338-4111, toll-free: +1 888 796-4664. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Perfectly located if arriving by air, and you want to hit up a brewery! Everything is accessible, and they also have an indoor lap pool and a jacuzzi to compliment the free Wi-Fi. Some rooms overlook the harbor. From $260.
  • 6 The Westin Boston Waterfront, 425 Summer Street (T: World Trade Center), +1 617-532-4600. This AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel is located in Boston’s new waterfront district and is connected to the largest convention center in New England, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The Westin Boston Waterfront also features 80,000 square feet of meeting space on-property and 793 guest rooms and 31 suites over looking Boston Harbor. From $270.
  • 7 Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, 1 Seaport Ln (T: World Trade Center), +1 617 385-4000, toll-free: +1 877 732-7678. One of the new deluxe hotels that's sprung up around the South Boston waterfront area in the past couple years. From $320.

Connect[edit]

There are several chain coffee shops in Southie that offer free wi-fi facilities, they may restrict access during peak hours however.

  • 1 South Boston Branch (Boston Public Library), 646 E Broadway (City Point), +1 617 268-0180. M Th noon-8PM, Tu W 10AM-6PM, F Sa 9AM-5PM.

Go next[edit]

  • Most visitors will be able to simply walk back across the Fort Point Channel and return Downtown.
  • Stretch your legs and walk to the South End from here, but that gets a little tricky because of the interstate highway that cuts off most pedestrian access points.
  • Ride the Red Line to the People's Republic of Cambridge and explore Harvard Square.
  • Get off the tourist trail entirely and head south to Dorchester, with a comparatively more suburban feel.
  • Unless you're a great swimmer, you won't be going much further east. But boats are available to ferry you to the Boston Harbor Islands seasonally.
  • If you have 100 bucks and 90 minutes, climb aboard the fast ferry to Provincetown.
  • With a little advance planning and a love of ocean liners, you could depart for Quebec City, Montreal, or even as far as Bermuda.
Routes through South Boston
CambridgeDowntown  N MBTA Red Line.png S  DorchesterBraintree


This district travel guide to South Boston has guide status. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions and arrival info. Please contribute and help us make it a star!