Spotlight on Boston’s South End
Are you looking for a great neighborhood to spend some time in? You should consider hanging out in the South End! There’s so much to do here, you might need to head that way more than once just to see it all. Here are some things you should know next time you’re in the area.
History of South Boston
The construction of the South End began in 1849. The neighborhood was built on tidal marshes. Prior to the 1840s the area only included a few mansions. In the 1850s architect Charles Bulfinch created a plan for the area to include brick bow-front townhouses with tiny gardens and iron railings as well as numerous small parks with a fountain in the middle.
The area has had its ups and downs and during the 1960s experienced crime, poverty, and lack of care for buildings and gardens. In 1983 South Boston was named as a Boston District Landmark. The 1990s brought an end to rent control, which led to the area evolving into an upper-middle-class community. The neighborhood remains diverse, drawing in people of all ethnicities and economic statuses.
Where to Grab a Bite
Barcelona Wine Bar is the place to go if you’re looking for Barcelona-inspired food that is also vegetarian-friendly. The selection of tapas, over 400 different wines, and beautiful ambiance makes it worth checking out. If you’re looking for good Asian food, including sushi, you’ll want to try Oishii Boston. They offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free meals. Mike’s City Diner at 1714 Washington Street boasts a wide selection of American-type meals including: pancakes, waffles, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and a variety of soups, stews, and chili.
Where to Shop
The South End offers a wide selection of places to shop. If you love boutiques, you’ll want to pop into Viola Lovely, a fashion-forward clothing boutique located at 1409 Washington Street. At Flock, you’ll also find women’s clothing whose style is more boho-chic. You can also shop for children’s clothing at CouCou (24 Union Park Street). If you’d rather browse for wine, you’ll feel at home at BRIX Wine Shop, which also features a tasting room. South End Buttery is a coffee shop and cafe where you’ll find treats (cupcakes, bagels, cookies) to take home or enjoy inside or on the patio.
Where to Relax and Explore
Highland Park is a hilly 3.63-acre green space in the South End. The space is home to the 1869 Cochituate Standpipe. Franklin Square (opened in 1849) is a nice spot to sit and relax as it offers several benches, big trees, and a fountain. If you’re looking for a spot to read a book on a nice day, this is it. Blackstone Square (opened in 1855) is a nice spot for picnicking. The park also features a historic fountain. On a historical note: Charles Bulfinch intended for Franklin Square and Blackstone Square to be one, calling it Columbia Square. You may also be interested in exploring the Granary Burying Ground, which is a cemetery dating back to 1660. The South End of Boston is a great place to relax or walk and explore, especially if you’re a history buff.
The South End is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. You can’t go wrong with any these activities.