15 Best Things to Do in Winthrop (MA)

This coastal suburb of Boston sits on a narrow, winding peninsula that zigzags into Boston Harbor. A recurring theme for visitors to Winthrop is the waterfront landscape, with stunning views of the Boston Harbor Islands, the Boston skyline, and Logan Airport from several locations along the peninsula. The strangest but also the most special of all these places is Deer Island. This outcrop was built by a huge wastewater treatment plant and offers stunning views with explanatory panels related to the site’s fascinating history. Facing the sea to the east are two sandy beaches at Winthrop Beach, managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the quieter Yirrell Beach to the south.   1. Fort Heath Park This small park is in a beautiful location atop Grovers Cliff, north of Winthrop. Fort Heath Park is located on the site of the military facility of the same name, part of the East Coast Defense Network from 1899 to 1965. Originally there were three 12-inch cannons on hydraulic lifts, with a range of 16 miles, and after World War II there was a radar station here for the NIKE AJAX anti-aircraft missile system. You can read a historical landmark that tells this story and take in views of the ocean, north of Nahant and the stretch of Revere Beach.  2. Belle Isle Seafood Visiting a city with water on all sides, you will almost certainly enjoy local seafood. This can be done at a number of restaurants, and one of them is Belle Isle Seafood. It is in a beautiful location, right on Belle Isle Bay, next to a strip of salt marshes, and offers unobstructed views of downtown Boston and Logan Airport. Come here for New England seafood specialties like lobster rolls, fried clams, crab cakes, grilled, baked, or fried swordfish, and blackened cod. For many, this is one of the best lobster rolls in the Boston area, and you have to order the fried onion rings on the side. Pick up a table by the window and part of the experience is watching planes land for a short period of time.  3. Winthrop Shore Drive Whether you’re walking or driving, one of the best and most convenient ways to appreciate Winthrop’s east coast is along this historic boardwalk built in the early 20th century. Completed in 1900, Winthrop Shore Drive was only the second of many ocean roads built in Greater Boston at the time and stretched a mile from Grovers Ave in the north to Beacon St in the south. There’s a slightly elevated view of Winthrop Beach and the Winthrop Coast Reserve from the boardwalk, to some of the islands in Boston Harbor to the southeast. There’s plenty of room to sit and early risers will be rewarded with beautiful sunrises.   4. Ingleside Park An easy walk north of downtown Winthrop’s shops and restaurants is Ingleside Park, the town’s main community recreation area. A pleasant stretch of greenery with lovely homes, Fireside Park has facilities for baseball, tennis, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and soccer. There’s also a skate park here, and just across the street are the basketball courts at Walden St. Paved paths meander around all of the park’s amenities and also extend southwest, past the narrow Brook Field to the waterfront of Little Donovan Beach.   5. Belle Isle Marsh Reservation Winthrop’s northern end is bordered by the largest extant patch of mangrove swamps in the Boston area, providing a glimpse of what the Boston Harbor coastline looked like before development. In the summer, the marsh is home to snow herons, great blue herons, and many species of ducks and geese. Much of the Belle Isle Swamp is protected by a 350-acre reserve, and you can experience this lush habitat on a small network of trails. One of them leads to a wooden observation tower on a small peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides. From the top, there are great views of the Boston Logan, the Boston skyline, Winthrop, and parts of Revere. It’s a great place to watch planes, with planes flying overhead every minute or so.   6. Winthrop Golf Club On the eastern side of the peninsula, near the coast, is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1917. Set on sloping, open ground with ponds and streams, this medium-difficulty nine-hole course is surrounded by residential areas and 3,097 yards from the summit. Winthrop Golf Club is members-only but is open to the public all day on Mondays and weekends after 2 pm. On other days you can play here if you come with a member.   7. Pico Beach and Park At the same time, Pico Beach is located south of downtown Winthrop in the beautiful residential area known as the Maze. Facing south across Winthrop Harbour, the beach offers a full panorama, including Snake Island, Winthrop Head with its water tower atop, part of Logan Airport, and dozens of harbor islands in the distance. Dozens of sailboats are moored in the waters ahead, while the park’s breakwater protects a peaceful little green space with a children’s playground. To the east of Pico Park is an area of ​​mangrove swamps at Fisherman’s Bend, crossed by an informal trail and attracting a rich variety of birds.  8. Donovan’s Beach Facing west, a short walk from Ingleside Park, this little stretch of shoreline is more of a place to enjoy the view than for typical beach activities like swimming or lounging in the sand. The scenery is delightful, whether you want to see arrivals and departures at Logan Airport or see the Boston skyline to the southwest. At low tide, you can walk a long distance with caution, and the best time to come is late in the day for some of the best sunsets.  9. Coughlin Park Few public parks can be more scenic than Coughlin Park, which occupies a small headland west of Yirrell Beach next to Winthrop Harbour. This is probably the best place to go if you