Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Touring Boston - How to Welcome Spring with a Trip to Sullivan's

Boston, unfortunately, has long and awful winters.  Winters that just seem to drag on and on and on, and being stuck indoors for long periods of time with young ones can be enough to drive you mad.

In an attempt to get out of the apartment we've been having Stellar Saturdays, where we go exploring. This week my husband took the initiative and planned a trip to Fort Independence, on Castle Island... mostly because he discovered there is a little burger/hotdog joint there, and the locals all go on opening day to welcome in spring, and Saturday, opening day, was suppose to be warm.

Touring Boston - How to Welcome Spring with a Trip to Sullivan's

We looked up the trip and we could take the Red Line to within two miles of the place and then taken a bus the rest of the way there... but buses are really stressful with a stroller and the day was warm.  So we decided we could walk it. It was a longer walk than I expected and we kept going up and down hill after hill until finally we saw the simmering blue of the ocean.

Touring Boston - How to Welcome Spring with a Trip to Sullivan's
I must admit this is the first time I've been to a beach half covered in snow.  Lame. We walked along the ocean around Pleasure Bay (ha) until we came to Sullivan's.  Holy crap there was a million people there.  The line was out of the build, across the parking lot and nearly to the ocean.  We had a short debate about if we should wait, but we decided we had just walked two miles we get there, we should just make it happen.  So my husband waited in line while I took our toddler to explore the fort.

There is a great path that goes around the fort with an amazing view of the ocean, but it was breezy and too cold for me to sit and enjoy it.  Also the days have been warming up which means the snow has been melting so there were soggy snow puddles everywhere... which is not the best environment for a toddler to crawl through.  As we rounded the fort we also saw that they having some picnic areas and a great playground.  I think we'll have to try adventuring here again come summer when we can use more of the great beach.

Touring Boston - How to Welcome Spring with a Trip to Sullivan's
Eventually we met back up with my husband as he got into the building, ordered, and our food came quickly, but there was no seating inside, it was too cold to sit around and eat outside, and our boy made it very clear he was done with our adventure.  Oh to have a car.  This is one of those times when a vehicle would have been magical. *Sigh*  Instead, I enjoyed my burger while pushing the stroller and my husband snacked on a few fries while carrying, warming and shielding the baby.

Things to Note:

1) Transportation
There is a big, free parking lot here.  If you have a car, drive.  If you don't the Red Line will take you within two miles and there are buses from there.  We walked after the Red Line, but if we go back I think it would be worth our time to figure out the buses.

2) Opening Day
First day of spring.

Touring Boston - How to Welcome Spring with a Trip to Sullivan's
3) Food
Totally fast food.  Burgers, fries, milk shakes and the like.  Greasy, fresh, artery clogging and delicious. My fries were hot and crispy, my burger was amazing!  Ten out of ten for fast food.

4) Seating
There is none.  You order your food, then wait by the side while it's prepared then go on your way.  There are few benches out front near the parking lot (none indoors) and if you're willing to walk a little bit there are even more tables near the playground

5) Beach
In early spring it's still freezing and the sand is covered in snow.  There is also a good chance the wind will be blowing up from the water and you're going to want some good protection from it.

6) Sullivan's First Day of Spring Line
The line is forever long, but they move surprisingly fast.  If you get there late morning I would expect to wait about 1/2 and hour... maybe less, but still a decent wait especially if you're going with kids.

Summary and Rating:  ★★★★☆

Four Stars.  I thought the food was amazing and Castle Island was really pretty.  Going the first day of spring might not have been the best call because there were so many people there, the line for food was super long, and it was too cold and wet for our toddler to enjoy the outdoors.  However, since our first visit we've been back (during the summer) and the food was still amazing, the line was much more manageable, and being able to walk around the fort, play at the playground and splash in the ocean made it wonderful!

Have you been here before?  If so I'd love to know more about your experience and any tips or tricks you have in the comments section below. 

Sullivan's, Castle Island
Castle Island, next to Fort Independence, Pleasure Bay
2080 Day Boulevard, South Boston, Massachusetts

Open 7 Days a Week: August hours are 8:30-9:00 p.m. every day weather permitting. Closed if there are more seagulls than cars in the parking lot. Call ahead before heading out if the weather is bad: 617.268.5685

Phone: 617.268.5685

Seasonal Opening: Late February - Sunday after Thanksgiving