The Boston Fort point & Seaport trek, a 2 miles free self-guided tour to explore an up and coming area at the western tip of South Boston,  will take you 2 to 5 hours to complete depending what you decide to do.

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; the building seems nicer from the outside than the inside, but 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; 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; 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; the Boston USPS bulk mail center is also close-by in case you need to send some postcards.

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. You’ll be in the quintessential old wharf area: 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; it’s 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; it 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; you can also have a drink at the coffee place you’ll find there.

D: Retrace your steps until A Street; keep going until Congress Street. Take it on your left;  go and see if the Fire Museum is open, at number 344. If it is,  admire old fire engines and feel the atmosphere of a fire department, real firefighters included (even though they just guard the museum). If not, turn right on Farnsworth Street and find your way to Seaport Blvd. You’ll perhaps have to wander a little; 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.

At point E, there was the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage, on the left of District Hall.

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, 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 place, however; in exchange, they built a new chapel a few hundreds yards away. It has not kept the charm of this one, but is a nice one anyway. You’ll see it further on this trek.

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 see its interesting structure facing the ocean. Take the pathway in front of District Hall (a community Center), then go right along the wharf . It’s a very pleasant area to walk or sit.

G: Next, take the Harborwalk toward the ocean. You’ll see sailing boats (in season); and once you reach the waterfront, wonderful views of downtown Boston and the Financial district.

At the Fan Pier Park, you’ll face the Moakley Federal Courthouse. To visit its first two flors, be ready to leave your camera and your phone at the entrance; once passed the metal detector, three areas with rotating art exhibitions await you; check also the cafeteria with good food and unique view of the harbor.

H: Once out, keep walking along the Harborwalk; you’ll find other kinds of food options along your way.

At Seaport Blvd, on your left, here is the new chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage. Then, you’ll 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. Adults  have to play with them if they are their children, or wear an “Unaccompanied adult” tag if they are not.

I: finally, to go back to your starting point, take the Congress Street bridge on your right just after the Hood bottle; have a look at some other 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; you’ll 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)

Tips for the guide: they are welcome but as we live in a virtual world, it will be easier to follow the suggestions at the bottom of the page. Thanks in advance!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *