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10 Best Things to Do in East Boston

East Boston is an eclectic neighborhood located just across the harbor from downtown Boston, which is often overshadowed by the larger metropolitan area. However, for those willing to explore off the beaten path – as it is affectionately known by locals and offers a smorgasbord of delights, from harbor-front parks to some of the most authentic Italian cuisine outside of the North End. Whether you are a traveler looking for a unique Boston adventure or a local eager to discover more of your city, these hidden gems will guide you through the best things to do in East Boston.

Constitution Beach

Nestled along the northern edge of East Boston, Constitution Beach is a local favorite that provides an enticing oasis from the urban hustle. This sandy stretch features calm waters, making it an excellent spot for families with children or anyone looking to dip. With amenities such as a playground, a baseball diamond, and picnic areas, it is the perfect place to spend a sunny day, rounded off with a stroll down the freshly renovated shore-side promenade. For the health-conscious, the transformation of the beach also brought in an impressive new bathhouse with outdoor showers and exercise equipment, adding an extra element to your day of relaxation.

Piers Park

No itinerary in East Boston is complete without a visit to Piers Park, a jewel in the neighborhood's crown. With unparalleled views of the Boston skyline and the harbor, this sprawling oasis is lined with walking paths, manicured gardens, and a large play area for children. Piers Park is not just a beautiful place to unwind – it's also a community hub with a busy calendar of events, from fitness classes to concerts. During the summer, the 'Piers Park Sails' installation, with its colorful masts inspired by the sails of a tall ship, is a spectacular sight against the city's skyscrapers.

Belle Isle Marsh Reservation

Nature enthusiasts will be charmed by the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, a short walk from the Orient Heights MBTA station. This 152-acre sanctuary is a birder's paradise, featuring a wide variety of bird species and several miles of walking trails that wind through salt marshes and over Belle Isle Inlet. It is a peaceful escape from the city and a chance to observe fascinating wildlife in an unexpected urban setting. Do not forget your binoculars.

Madonna Shrine

Venturing further through the neighborhood, history buffs will be intrigued by the Madonna Shrine atop the hill of Orient Heights. This serene spot, also known as Our Lady of the Airways, was dedicated to aviators and travelers and is a testament to East Boston's rich Italian heritage. The Shrine's stunning mosaic and peaceful garden offer a retreat and a moment of reflection. The Shrine holds an annual feast that celebrates both the religious and community aspects that make East Boston such a unique and vibrant locale.

Revere Beach (America's oldest public beach)

A stone's throw from East Boston, Revere Beach is a mere three miles from the neighborhood and holds the title of America's first public beach. The two miles of stunning coastline boast a vibrant boardwalk that comes alive with food vendors and entertainers during the annual Sand Sculpting Festival. Even without the festival, Revere Beach is a year-round spectacle, its expansive sands peppered with sunbathers and swimmers, its skies filled with kites in the summer, and its waves crashing against the giant Freddie Flintstone statue that surveys the scene.

Winthrop Beach

For a quieter coastal experience, visitors can hop on the Cottage Park Yacht Club Ferry and find tranquility on the shores of Winthrop Beach – a serene coastal stretch that's perfect for a leisurely stroll. Craggy rocks punctuate the shore, providing an interesting landscape, while the tranquil waters make it a lovely spot for surfing or simply catching a breath of fresh sea air. The beach is a haven for those seeking a moment of respite or a chance to observe local marine life.

Deer Island

One of the most unusual highlights of East Boston is Deer Island, accessible by car or the 712 bus. While it's commonly known for its wastewater treatment plant, the island offers breathtaking views of the harbor as well as walking trails that grant access to the remains of Fort Warren, which once served as a Civil War prison and a coastal defense of Boston. Wildlife abounds here, and the expanses of open space are perfect for picnics and perhaps a meditation on the intriguing history of this tiny island.

East Boston Memorial Park

For those interested in the local East Boston community and its commitment to honoring veterans, the East Boston Memorial Park is a must-see. This beautifully landscaped park contains the East Boston War Memorial. It's an impressive structure symbolizing the sacrifices made by neighborhood residents in various wars. The park also features a football field, baseball diamond, and a statue of World War I flying ace Charles D. Bailey, a local hero celebrated for his aviation exploits.

Bremen Street Community Park

If you have children or are simply a kid at heart, Bremen Street Community Park is an ideal destination. A bright and well-maintained playground, complete with splash fountains, provides hours of entertainment, while adults can relax in the surrounding grassy area or take a walk along the nearby East Boston Greenway. The park often hosts community events and is a favorite spot for local families to gather.

Mass Port Harbor walk

Wrap up your East Boston adventure with a scenic walk along the Mass Port Harbor walk. This path runs along the shoreline, offering vistas of the harbor, innovative art installations, and a peaceful trek away from the city's crowds. You may also catch sight of the planes as they ascend from and descend into Logan Airport, adding a unique and thrilling twist to this coastal stroll.

East Boston may be geographically connected to the heart of the city. But its unique identity and charm set it apart as a hidden gem for the intrepid explorer. This vibrant hub of culture, history, and natural beauty ensures there is always something to discover. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, with its rich tapestry of offerings, East Boston invites you to cast off preconceived notions and immerse yourself in its diverse and lively community. Your East Boston experience awaits – and with it, a treasure trove of memories and delights.

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