South Boston, or “Southie” as it’s commonly referred (and not to be confused with the South End!), spreads across the majority of a peninsula that juts into Boston Harbor, immediately adjacent to the Seaport District and just east of the South End and Dorchester. Much like the Seaport, South Boston has incredible water views; but unlike other waterfront neighborhoods, South Boston offers some of the city’s best local parks and beaches. Among these parks is Castle Island, one of the city’s most well-known landmarks, which is easily recognized by the large Revolutionary Fort that still exists there today. Castle Island draws residents from across Boston, many of whom are drawn to outdoor activities like swimming, jogging, roller blading and playing fetch with their dogs, and others who simply want to take in the magnificent water views. Carson Beach, L Street Beach and Pleasure Bay are other local favorites.
The traditionally blue collar, Irish Catholic community was once best known for its organized crime, industrial activity and overall “ruggedness”. Hollywood has been drawn to this neighborhood’s history, and a number of blockbusters including Good Will Hunting, The Departed and Mystic River have been filmed in Southie. The neighborhood has evolved rapidly in recently years, fueled by a wave of young professionals seeking more affordable housing and close proximity to downtown. The majority of the neighborhood’s housing stock consists of “triple deckers,” or three-family homes—many of which have since been renovated and converted into condominiums. New luxury housing developments are popping up left and right to accommodate increased demand, with many providing full-service amenities like pools, gyms and concierge services. Indeed, the Macallen Building on Dorchester Avenue, the city’s first “green building”, is reflective of the younger, more environmentally-conscious demographic planting roots in this neighborhood.
Despite the neighborhood’s recent transformation, Southie remains a tight-knit, family friendly community. Irish pubs are plentiful, but coexist with an emerging restaurant and nightlife scene that gives homage to the neighborhood’s history through kicked-up comfort foods and modern-day taverns. Just plan ahead for parking, as Southie is also well-known for its limited parking availability. Access to the MBTA Red Line, Silver Line and buses offer reliable alternatives.