South Boston, or "Southie," has long been the fabled, blue-collar hub of Irish-American culture, depicted in popular films such as Good Will Hunting, Mystic River, Boondock Saints, and The Departed. Today, it is known as the "up and coming" section of Boston with a unique character and atmosphere. As the rest of Boston is growing into a fast-paced, cosmopolitan city, Southie retains its distinctive culture of fierce local pride.
Southie's rich history harks back to the birth of the nation. It was here where George Washington placed his cannon and forced British soldiers to evacuate Boston. The British fort, now known as Fort Independence, stands as a national historic landmark on Southie's Castle Island, which also provides the opportunity to enjoy lively Boston Harbor and Sullivan's, a popular seasonal burger joint. The first Vietnam War Memorial was erected in Southie at the M Street Park in 1981. A visitor can sense a strong cultural heritage while wandering through these historical landmarks as well as Southie's wide offerings of Irish-themed bars like Boston Beer Garden, The Junction, Shenanigan's, and L Street Tavern where scenes from Good Will Hunting were filmed. Even with increasing gentrification, Irish-American culture is still as strongly woven into the fabric of the Southie community as Red Sox pride is in the city of Boston. Boston's famous St. Patrick's Day Parade marches through South Boston where its exuberance is hard to rival.
If you're looking to enjoy more than just Irish-themed sports bars and historical landmarks, several scenic locations offer opportunities to take a walk, jog, play, or simply relax and enjoy Boston's nature, which is plentiful for a major city. The M Street Beach, just one section of South Boston's three mile beach area, is popular among Southie's growing population of young professionals and families. The two-mile walkway that stretches along the shoreline by Castle Island is a great place to jog or walk. The view of Boston's bay and city skyline can be seen throughout most of South Boston, particularly in its several parks, such as Thomas Park and the M Street Park where historical memorials have been dedicated.
Although Southie is increasing in gentrification and status, its working-class roots and cultural heritage are still strongly embedded in the community. Southie is not the traditional tourist stop for Boston visitors, yet its atmosphere and offerings make it a distinct neighborhood which has long shaped Boston's heritage.