Walk in Boston # 8, the trendy Seaport Fort point District, is a 2.5 miles self-guided tour to explore an up and coming area at the western tip of South Boston.
It will take you 2 to 5 hours to complete depending what you decide to do.
On the menu, an art gallery, three museums, a chapel, old red brick industrial buildings, luxury apartments, and views of the Financial District skyscrapers.
Highlights: South Station, Fort Point galleries, the Boston Children Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Moakley courthouse, the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage, the Fire Museum.
T-stop: South Station, red and silver lines (start and end).
Car: never a good idea in Boston but if you insist, use a parking app to reserve a spot at Necco St. parking or, besides, at Channelside Lot. You’ll then be between points A and B of this tour.
Good to know: you’ll find restrooms at South station, in the galleries, the museums and the courthouse. Benches will mainly be along the Harborwalk. Food options are numerous, as all this area is known for its fine restaurants with great chefs. If it’s not what you are after, South Station will offer a decent alternative.
A: Your walk starts at South Station and on the 1st floor, on top of the usual animation of a railway station, you’ll find plenty of food options.
The Amtrack trains behind the glass doors will also remind you there are many destinations to explore once you’re done with Boston!
In the meantime, don’t forget to go to the pharmacy on the 2nd floor and have an unusual view of the waiting room. Then go out to admire the architecture of the building.
You should now be on Summer Street. Walk toward South Boston and if you see a bridge in the distance, you are in the right direction.
At the end of the bridge, take the stair on your right; follow the Harborwalk for a few yards, until you see Necco Ct. on your left, after the outdoor terrace of a restaurant.
You are now in the quintessential old wharf area, but renovations are under way: the red brick buildings will become luxury apartments; the one already renovated host some of the best restaurants in town.
At Necco Street, go on your left until Melcher Street, with more renovated industrial buildings and more restaurants. Then turn right.
B: At A street, go on your left again. You’ll see a staircase toward Summer Street; take it, turn left and once you see a crosswalk, your destination will be on the other side.
It’s the Fort Point Artists Community Gallery at 300 Summer Street. If it is closed (on week-ends and after 3pm), there is a patio at ground level with a café open until 4pm. It will give you the opportunity to go down and still have a look at the art on the walls.
C: After that, turn left on Summer St. and take the staircase on the other side of the bridge. It will bring you back to A Street.
Keep going until Congress Street. Take it on your left.
The Fire Museum is at number 344. It will allow you to admire old fire engines and feel the atmosphere of a fire department, real firefighters included.
Next, turn right on Farnsworth Street, another neighborhood with old warehouses, this time mixed with some of the new buildings that radically transformed the area a few years ago.
At Seaport Blvd, turn right or take the pedestrian walkway in front of you if you want to browse some of the trendy shops in the area; you’ll turn right later.
At District Hall, on your left, there was once the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage.
Built in 1952 to house a congregation of sailors and dockworkers living in the area, it had many miniature sailing boats inside; next to them, there were thank you notes for safe returns. At the beginning of the 21st century, the building was in need of serious repairs; the developers tore it down to get the land; in exchange, they built a new chapel a few hundreds yards away (at point F). It has not kept the charm of the old one, but is a nice structure anyway, and you’ll have a chance to see it later on your trek.
D: Not far from there, you’ll find another kind of chapel, the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Even if you don’t visit it, go and see its interesting architecture facing the ocean. To reach it, take, for example, the pathway on the right of District Hall.
E: After that, take the Harborwalk toward the ocean.
Once you reach the waterfront, you’ll have wonderful views of downtown Boston and the Financial district.
The Moakley Federal Courthouse where famous cases have been trialed will be in front of Fan pier.
To visit its first two floors, be ready to leave your camera and your phone at the entrance; once through the metal detector, three areas with rotating art exhibitions await you; you can also check the cafeteria with good food, according to the critics, and unique views of the harbor.
F: Once your visit is over, keep going along the Harborwalk. If the cafeteria didn’t appeal to you, you’ll find there other kinds of food options.
At Seaport Blvd, the new chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage will be on your left. You can go and see it or simply keep going straight under a bridge.
G: If you went to the chapel, cross a playground more of less in front of it to go back to the Harborwalk.
In both case, you’ll soon be at the Children Museum.
As its name implies, it is a museum for children. It means adults have to play with them if they are their children, or wear an “Unaccompanied adult” tag if they are not.
H: Finally, to go back to your starting point, take the Congress Street bridge on your right just after the Hood bottle.
There’ll be some public art on the water; then some more at the end of the bridge, along the Federal Reserve Plaza Park if you don’t cross Sumner St yet (even though the map tells you to do it!).
If you now want to keep walking, South Station is also the start of the Walk in Boston # 9, the Chinatown, Downtown and Financial District. It’ll show you from the inside what you saw from a distance.
You can also go and see other photos of Boston (and New York) on Citywalks.space.
Before you go, don’t forget your guide and see how to thank him at the bottom of the page. Then enjoy the rest of your day!