A 2 miles, 2 to 5 hours indoor and outdoor trek depending what you decide to do, to explore an up and coming area at the western tip of South Boston.

On the menu, art galleries, museums, a chapel, old red brick industrial buildings, luxury apartments, and views of the Financial District skyscrapers (details and photos under the map).

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.

 

A: Your trek starts at South Station and even though the building seems nicer from the outside than the inside, go to the pharmacy on the 2nd floor to have a unusual view of the waiting room.

On the 1st floor, on top of the usual animation of a railway station, you’ll find plenty of food options, and the Amtrack trains behind the glass doors will remind you there are many destinations to explore once you’re done with Boston.

Next, step outside on Summer Street and take it on the left toward South Boston. From the bridge crossing the Fort Point channel, you’ll see some temporary art displays in the water, and the Boston USPS bulk mail center in case you need to send some postcards.

At the end of the bridge, take the stair on your right and follow the Harborwalk for a few yards, until you see Necco Ct. on your left. You’ll be in the quintessential old wharf area with red brick buildings, some renovated, some not.

B: When you reach Necco Street, take it on your left until Melcher Street. Turn right to go to Gallery Factory 63, a small gallery in the basement of a warehouse building, interesting both for the art and the décor.

C: Once out, keep going until A street and take it on your left. Go under a bridge and take a staircase that will lead you to Summer Street. Your destination is a few yards away, the Fort Point Artists Community Gallery at 300 Summer Street. If it is closed, you can still go down the staircase to have a look at the art on the walls and/or have a drink at the coffee place you’ll find there.

D: Retrace then your steps until A Street, and keep going until Congress Street. Take it on your left to go and see if the Fire Museum is open, at number 344. If it is, you’ll be able to admire old fire engines and feel the atmosphere of a fire department, real firefighters included (even though they just guard the museum). If I’s not, turn right on Farnsworth Street and find your way to Seaport Blvd. You’ll perhaps have to wander a little as it’s also an old warehouses neighborhood, this time mixed with some of the new buildings that radically transformed the area a few years ago.

E: There is next a place you should check out before it disappears to make room to new apartment buildings, the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage, situated on the left of District Hall, a civic center on Boston Wharf Road.

Built in 1952 to house a congregation of sailors and dockworkers that lived in the area, it has many miniature sailing boats inside, along with thanks for safe returns. If you think the building is in need of serious repairs, don’t worry, the new chapel is just a few hundreds yards away and will open in 2018. Will it keep the charm of this one, it remains to be seen.

F: 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 have a look, it’s an interesting structure facing the ocean. To go there, find a pathway on the right in front of the chapel, then go right along the wharf . You will also find that it’s a pleasant area to walk or sit.

G: Whether you ‘ve visited the ICA or not, take the Harborwalk toward the ocean. You’ll first pass sailing boats, then find wonderful views of downtown Boston and the Financial district once you reach the waterfront.

Once you reach the Fan Pier Park, you’ll face the Moakley Courthouse. To visit it, you’ll have to be ready to leave your camera and your phone at the entrance, and go through a metal detector. Once inside, you’ll find three areas with rotating art exhibitions, and a cafeteria with unique view of the harbor and its animation. You’ll also be able to tour and admire the first two floors.

H: If a cafeteria is not your style, keep walking along the Harborwalk, and you’ll find other kinds of food options along your way.

Once you reach Seaport Blvd, on your left, you’ll see the new chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage. Then, you’ll soon be at the Children Museum with the famous Hood bottle in front of it.

The Boston Children Museum, as its name implies, is for children. They love all there’s to do and see inside. For you adults, you’ll have to play with them if they are your children, or wear an “Unaccompanied adult” tag if you do not have any children but still want to go inside.

I: To go back to your starting point, take the Congress Street bridge on your right just after the Hood bottle, and have a look at the public art on the water. Then go left at the end of the bridge, and take Summer Street again on your right. On this side of the street, you’ll go through the Federal Reserve Plaza Park and see some additional public art.

If you want to walk more, you can now start the Chinatown, Downtown and Financial District trek and see from the inside what you saw from a distance.

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.

T-stop: South Station (start and end)

 

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