I’d like to make this “Cheap Day Out” idea a regular occurrence on the blog.  I go out, discover new places, have some fun, take some pictures, and come back to share it with all…five of you that read this so you can go out and do the same. Yay!

Today’s destination: Castle Island in South Boston

Why Castle Island? Having spent two weeks earlier this summer on the New Hampshire coast, I’m still craving some beach time.  And of all the summers I’ve spent in Boston, I’ve never actually gone to any local beaches.  I started doing some research last night and quickly found that getting to the beaches on the North or South Shore without a car would be quite a trek and not exactly cheap (with Commuter Rail fares, transportation to the beach itself in some cases, and walk-on fees which are just foreign to me.)  I was beginning to lose hope, but then came across reviews on Yelp for Castle Island Beach.

Island? But Molly, didn’t you almost cry on the ferry boat to Provincetown last year? Yes. I don’t want to talk about it.  Thing is, Castle Island is no longer an island.  There is now a causeway connecting it to the “mainland”. I quickly realized that I in fact live ridiculously close to this beach and that it would only take a few minutes on a bus to get there. Sweet! I really lucked out on weather today too – mid 80s with a really nice breeze and low humidity.

How to get there? For Castle Island directions, there are a couple MBTA bus routes that will get you there: 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11.  The number 9 leaves from Copley Square and the 7 leaves from South Station so its really accessible.  Once you get to City Point (the last stop), its about a 10 minute walk to the beach itself.

What can you do there?

  • Lounge on the small, sandy beaches
  • Swim in the calm (though cold, this is New England after all) water – there are lifeguards on duty
  • Have a picnic – there’s plenty of benches, picnic tables and large grassy areas with great views.  Either bring your own snacks or buy some at Sullivan’s.  They offer hamburgers, hot dogs, fried seafood, etc. at a reasonable price.
  • Walk the Healthy Heart Trail
  • Go to the bathroom.  Because they have them there. Also, rinsing showers.
  • Take a tour of Fort Independence.  Check out the schedule here. The guided tours only take place on the weekends and are the only way you can into and on top of the fort itself.  I’ll definitely be back in August to do that.
  • Watch airplanes arrive and depart from Logan Airport, a short distance across the water.

Here’s some photos of my morning there (click any photo for full size):

Castle Island Parking in South Boston
Welcome to Castle Island! And a parking lot! That building in the background is Sullivan’s

Castle Island Hearth Healthy Trail

Walk this trail, eat some Cheerios, your heart will be all set.

Castle Island Beach

Castle Island Beach South Boston

Facing back towards Boston.  See the airplane??


Castle Island Pleasure Bay Path

Boston Harbor Islands from Castle Island

The Boston Harbor Islands that you actually have to take a boat to.

Korean War Memorial at Castle Island

Fort Independence at Castle Island
Castle Island Fort Independence
The fort has grass on top of it. I don’t know why, but I bet I’ll learn when I go on the tour!

Fort Independence
You can read more about the history of the island here.

Free Muscle Milk
There were some brand ambassadors handing out Muscle Milk (you have to say that as if impersonating Hulk Hogan, by the way). Let me just say, I love brand ambassadors. Whatever they’re handing out, I’ll take some. This is how I ended up with a bottle of orange juice energy drink. Which was disgusting. This Chocolate Malt Muscle Milk is…interesting. It tastes really good at first but has a bizarre aftertaste. There’s my review.

Overall, Castle Island gets a good review from me.  Easy to get to, good place to go with the kids, nice sites and even some history!