Castle Island and Fort Independence
Other Ideas: The Charles River Esplanade; Massachusetts DCR State Parks; Garden In The Woods: New England Wild Flower Society; Purgatory Chasm State Reservation; Arnold Arboretum
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Often missed by tourists, Castle Island is a great place to walk or scooter, along Boston Harbor. This 22 acre land-bound island (it's the site of an old armory), features a number of interesting and entertaining sites including:
- Terrific walkways (great for rollerblading)
- Views of Boston Harbor and Logan Airport - watch the planes take off & land!;
- A shoreline string of parks and beaches with a large playground;
- Snack bar that includes burgers, fries, clam strips, drinks & ice cream;
- Harry McDonough Sailing Program, and of course:
- Fort Independence: the oldest continually fortified granite site on British North America, having played a variety of roles in colonial and revolutionary times.
View our Photo Guide of Castle Island
Free tours of the Fort run every Saturday & Sunday from 12:00 noon to 3:30pm. Tours last approximately 30 minutes, but can be longer depending on your guide. Strollers can not be accomodated on the tour.
Castle Island is a great destination to just stop by to walk around and enjoy the sea breezes, or you can plan ahead and bring picnic supplies and make a day of it. Don't forget that Sullivan's is right there with delicious seaside eats lobster rolls, fried foods, ice creams and cold drinks. They also serve breakfast for the early bird walkers and visitors.
Another nice feature of this location is that you can actually walk an entire loop around the Carson Beach area. It's probably a couple of miles full circle with a paved walkway along the rocks. Strollers work well, and little ones can bring a small bike or a scooter, rollerbladers are welcome as well as runners and walkers.
You can find metered parking along the entire stretch as well as back a few streets in the surrounding neighborhoods.
For more ideas about Free Things to do in Boston, visit our handy guide to low cost adventures in Boston.
Looking for more great places to enjoy the outdoors in Boston? Check out our guide to outdoor fun for families in the Greater Boston area.
Day Boulevard, South Boston, MA map
Phone: (617) 727-5290
Take I-93 to Exit 15. Make a left at the light to rotary, and onto Day Boulevard, follow the water to Castle Island. You'll find free beach parking along the street the entire way, and a free lot for Castle Island at the end of the road.
MBTA bus service to Marine Park via the #9 from Broadway or the #5 from Andrew Red Line stations.
- You'll pass through one of Boston's great historic neighborhoods to get there. Take Broadway east until it ends at the water. You can stop at your choice of Irish pubs along the way.
Great place for FamiliesIt is a great place for famiies, has a playground and a fort which you can tour for a nominal donation. It is also a one of the best places to fly a kite. My family and I have been going here for over 30+ years and it is always a favorite. Let me not forget Sullivans where you can get great food at family friendly prices. You can also walk all the way around the Castle and the lagoon with great views of Boston.
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