Pleasure Bay and Castle Island

Here’s where Frederick Law Olmsted’s suggested plan for a continuous parkway route from Franklin Park to the proposed Marine Park, in 1897, resulted in one of Boston’s great (and certainly its least recognized) urban wonders: a grand promenade, beach, and tide basin within sight of the region’s largest container shipping facility.

Olmsted’s plan shaped a semi-circular bay with boardwalks and bridges; later projects joined Castle Island to the mainland and completed the basin with stone causeways and mechanical tide gates. An hour-long walk around the Strandway is a contrast-filled experience: raucous beachgoers, runners, and deal-makers, family barbeques, local war memorials, and ice cream and fried clam lovers at Sullivan’s. This is the space where Southie’s cacophonous melting pot proudly struts.

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