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Boston waterfront parks: The 11 best ones, mapped

Including large swaths of national parkland and quiet alcoves amid the urban bustle

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Given its geography, it’s probably no surprise that Boston has some fantastic waterfront parkland. Here is a map of the 11 best such swards.

These include large swaths of national parkland, quiet(ish) alcoves amid the urban bustle, and expanses chock-a-block full of sports facilities.

A lot of these parks, too, are easily accessible, either a convenient distance from densely populated commercial and residential hubs or right off mass transit.

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Paul Revere Park

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This Charlestown park includes a playground and a dog run, and offers great views of the Zakim Bridge. 

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Langone Park

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Famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed this North End expanse, which includes a Little League baseball diamond, a playground, and three bocce courts.

Together with Prince Street Park and the Puopolo athletic area, Langone forms one long, angling expanse of green on the Harbor.

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Piers Park Sailing Center

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This barely decade-old park and the sailing hub within offer fabulous views of the Boston skyline as well as the marine activity between that and East Boston.

There is plenty of greenspace; and the nonprofit community sailing center based there (hence the name) means plenty of opportunity for sailing.

In the foreground is a pier at Piers Park in Boston. There are boats on the water. In the background is the city skyline of Boston with many tall buildings. Shutterstock

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

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This large park with a playground, spray springs for the kids, and public art is one of the more important greenspaces in the city’s history.

Its 1970s development and design—by Sasaki Associates—represented a reclamation of part of the waterfront, a reuse that inspired similar efforts in Boston and beyond. 

Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock

Fan Pier Park

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This expanse in the fast-changing area puts visitors smack-dab amid the activity of Boston’s waterside life, whether it’s office workers catching a break or water taxis sluicing by.

There are plenty of chairs and tables and a lookout terrace.

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Deer Island

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The peninsula is partly in Boston, partly in Winthrop, and is entirely a piece of a national park covering the Harbor Islands.

There is a 2.6-mile pathway along the waterfront and a further 2 miles of trails on the hills farther inland.

Deer Island also hosts a curiously fascinating wastewater treatment facility, which is open for tours. 

In the foreground is a lawn with green grass. In the distance is a large white building. Micha Weber/Shutterstock

South Boston Maritime Park

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This park was part of the state’s redevelopment of the Southie waterfront and is meant to evoke the area’s maritime past.

More utilitarian is the lawn, the three-season cafe with outdoor seating, and the pair of pergolas. The expanse is also right across D Street from Eastport Park. 

Photo via Halvorson Design

Castle Island

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The five bastions of the old Fort Independence dominate this 22-acre state park. Explore it.

There is also plenty of greenspace as well as a long run of the HarborWalk.

Plus, Castle Island connects easily with the JFK library area via Marine Park and Carson Beach.

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Marine Park

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This expanse includes lawns, a playground, and athletic fields; and is right next to the beachfront of Pleasure Bay.

Get a photo with its famous bandstand. 

HarborWalk

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The HarborWalk isn’t so much a park as one big string of parkland and boardwalk—about 43 miles total, making it one of the longest linear parks in urban America.

Pick it up pretty much anywhere the city touches the coastline outside of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and parts of Charlestown and East Boston.

A walkway next to Boston Harbor with the city’s skyscrapers lighting up at dusk. Shutterstock

Joe Moakley Park

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This expansive park in the Southie-Dot borderlands—Boston’s largest waterfront park at 60 acres—is chock-a-block full of sports facilities, including batting cages, baseball and softball diamonds, and tennis and basketball courts.

It’s also right next to Carson Beach

Interestingly, the city is undertaking a major review of the park, in part to see how to improve it but also to see how to protect it from the effects of climate change.

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Paul Revere Park

Shutterstock

This Charlestown park includes a playground and a dog run, and offers great views of the Zakim Bridge. 

Shutterstock

Langone Park

Page Light Studios/Shutterstock

Famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed this North End expanse, which includes a Little League baseball diamond, a playground, and three bocce courts.

Together with Prince Street Park and the Puopolo athletic area, Langone forms one long, angling expanse of green on the Harbor.

Page Light Studios/Shutterstock

Piers Park Sailing Center

In the foreground is a pier at Piers Park in Boston. There are boats on the water. In the background is the city skyline of Boston with many tall buildings. Shutterstock

This barely decade-old park and the sailing hub within offer fabulous views of the Boston skyline as well as the marine activity between that and East Boston.

There is plenty of greenspace; and the nonprofit community sailing center based there (hence the name) means plenty of opportunity for sailing.

In the foreground is a pier at Piers Park in Boston. There are boats on the water. In the background is the city skyline of Boston with many tall buildings. Shutterstock

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock

This large park with a playground, spray springs for the kids, and public art is one of the more important greenspaces in the city’s history.

Its 1970s development and design—by Sasaki Associates—represented a reclamation of part of the waterfront, a reuse that inspired similar efforts in Boston and beyond. 

Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock

Fan Pier Park

Shutterstock

This expanse in the fast-changing area puts visitors smack-dab amid the activity of Boston’s waterside life, whether it’s office workers catching a break or water taxis sluicing by.

There are plenty of chairs and tables and a lookout terrace.

Shutterstock

Deer Island

In the foreground is a lawn with green grass. In the distance is a large white building. Micha Weber/Shutterstock

The peninsula is partly in Boston, partly in Winthrop, and is entirely a piece of a national park covering the Harbor Islands.

There is a 2.6-mile pathway along the waterfront and a further 2 miles of trails on the hills farther inland.

Deer Island also hosts a curiously fascinating wastewater treatment facility, which is open for tours. 

In the foreground is a lawn with green grass. In the distance is a large white building. Micha Weber/Shutterstock

South Boston Maritime Park

Photo via Halvorson Design

This park was part of the state’s redevelopment of the Southie waterfront and is meant to evoke the area’s maritime past.

More utilitarian is the lawn, the three-season cafe with outdoor seating, and the pair of pergolas. The expanse is also right across D Street from Eastport Park. 

Photo via Halvorson Design

Castle Island

Shutterstock

The five bastions of the old Fort Independence dominate this 22-acre state park. Explore it.

There is also plenty of greenspace as well as a long run of the HarborWalk.

Plus, Castle Island connects easily with the JFK library area via Marine Park and Carson Beach.

Shutterstock

Marine Park

This expanse includes lawns, a playground, and athletic fields; and is right next to the beachfront of Pleasure Bay.

Get a photo with its famous bandstand. 

HarborWalk

A walkway next to Boston Harbor with the city’s skyscrapers lighting up at dusk. Shutterstock

The HarborWalk isn’t so much a park as one big string of parkland and boardwalk—about 43 miles total, making it one of the longest linear parks in urban America.

Pick it up pretty much anywhere the city touches the coastline outside of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and parts of Charlestown and East Boston.

A walkway next to Boston Harbor with the city’s skyscrapers lighting up at dusk. Shutterstock

Joe Moakley Park

Shutterstock

This expansive park in the Southie-Dot borderlands—Boston’s largest waterfront park at 60 acres—is chock-a-block full of sports facilities, including batting cages, baseball and softball diamonds, and tennis and basketball courts.

It’s also right next to Carson Beach

Interestingly, the city is undertaking a major review of the park, in part to see how to improve it but also to see how to protect it from the effects of climate change.

Shutterstock