As soon as you get into this neighborhood, you know why it’s different than every other in Boston. The streets are lined with 19th century Victorian style housing and you can find parks seemingly at every corner. In fact, there are 11 residential parks in this one single neighborhood. Everything from the sidewalks to the trees are well maintained, clean, and the crime is low in most of the neighborhood. Streets are lined with some of the best restaurants in Boston that will satisfy even the toughest taste buds. While the neighborhood exudes “high class” (due to its close proximity to downtown) the people are refreshingly down-to-earth and accepting of all lifestyles.
The population of the neighborhood is very diverse and contains a large LGBT community as well as immigrants from around the world. The average age of the neighborhood is also only 36, so you can see it is a haven for young professionals. This means that no matter what job, career, or lifestyle you have you will be welcomed in with open arms from the community. The diversity also leads to an abundance of different restaurants and shopping options to meet the tastes of the many cultures and lifestyles that reside here.
With this neighborhood, officials in Boston felt it would be a nice inner-city residential area to help with the crowding in Downtown and Beacon Hill. It worked for a while as middle class individuals flooded into the new development. It was actually considered a wealthy neighborhood for a while, until a large number of the wealthy individuals left in the 1880s after numerous financial crises. As a result, the neighborhood became more poor and began to attract recent immigrants. The neighborhood held on to this poor and somewhat dangerous reputation until it gentrified and more wealthy individuals and families began to return.
The neighborhood follows the trend of Boston rental prices with it being one of the more expensive places to live in the city. The overall cost of living is also very high thanks to the numerous high end boutiques and stores in the area.
Unfortunately, the MBTA subway doesn’t run directly through the South End, which can be frustrating. However, it does make a few stops that are within walking distance of the neighborhood which helps ease the pain. Your best bet for public transit in the South End would be the bus, as the bus line makes several different stops throughout the South End. Like most of Boston, driving isn’t recommended as parking can be a bit of a nightmare. Other than public transit or taxis, walking is probably the best alternative. A bonus with walking is that you get to see and experience the beautiful architecture and cool shops in the neighborhood.
- Northeastern University
- Boston University
- Berklee College of Music
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Check out “Restaurant Row” on Tremont Street. The South End is home to a wide range of restaurants including Italian, Indian, Brazilian, Thai, French, Ethiopian, and many more.
- Counter-Productions Theatre Company is a collection of individuals passionate about theatre. These people put on some great shows throughout New England. Their home is at the Factory Theatre, where you can see some of the best live performances in all of Boston.
- The South End is home to the Boston Center for the Arts. This is a hub for artistic activity that includes numerous performance/rehearsal spaces, art galleries and several different arts organizations call this place home. If art is your thing, you’ll have a lot of fun spending time here.
- Check out the parks in the area. They are scattered throughout the South End and most include a fountain and are bordered by a fence. These offer a lot of green space to have picnics, play sports or just lay out in the sun.
- The Beehive is a bar/restaurant that should be on your list of places to see. It offers world class dining, as well as live music every night. If that’s not your style, the South End is home to a number of other great bars so just take your pick!
- If you are in the neighborhood between May and October, definitely check out the South End Open Market. This market occurs every Sunday of those months and features a wide selection of different vendors.