Heading to Beantown and want to experience some of the region’s most culturally rich experiences? Carve out time to explore East Boston on your itinerary. Nicknamed ‘Eastie,’ this vibrant and diverse Boston neighborhood is located just across the harbor from downtown and is home to one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the city.
Once a center for shipbuilding, East Boston has long been a neighborhood of immigrants, giving the area a wonderfully diverse and eclectic vibe. From the bustling streets lined with colorful homes to the tranquil parks and green spaces, you’ll find plenty to love in this charming district.
Foodies will delight in the smörgåsbord of ethnic restaurants in East Boston, where you can tuck into everything from classic lobster rolls to mole poblano. Relax in its lovely parks and even on a crescent-shaped beach where you can swim while plane spotting! The neighborhood is also home to Boston Logan International Airport, offering quick and easy access in and out of the city.
Not sure where to start on your adventure? Check out this complete East Boston guide to figure out what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay in one of the city’s up-and-coming neighborhoods.
What to see & do in East Boston
East Boston Memorial Park
Enjoy some fresh air and sunshine at the East Boston Memorial Park. Spanning 10 acres in the heart of East Boston, the park offers many amenities, from top-notch sporting facilities to kid’s playgrounds and shady picnic areas.
You can practice your swings on the baseball or softball fields, improve your tennis skills, or shoot hoops on the basketball courts. A walking path around the East Boston Memorial Park is an ideal way to exercise while taking in some fresh air.
Let the kids burn off energy at the playground or enjoy a family picnic in one of the many designated areas with tables and grills. You can also catch the East Boston High School Jets football team in action at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in East Boston Memorial Park.
Looking for a picturesque place to spend your day in East Boston? Head to the pretty green oasis of LoPresti Park. Set right on the water’s edge of Boston Bay, this charming waterfront park boasts breathtaking views of the Boston harbor and city.
With its pretty promenade and grassy areas, LoPresti Park is the perfect place to unwind. Stroll through a unique sculpture garden and admire various art installations and murals created by local artists around the park. Numerous community events, such as concerts, festivals, and outdoor movie nights, are also held throughout the year.
When you want to burn a few calories, two basketball courts and a large soccer field can double up for other games. Work out on the exercise equipment while the kids go wild at a modern playground. If you prefer more gentle pursuits, take a quiet stroll along the waterfront walking paths and soak up the spectacular views.
Nestled in a quieter part of East Boston, Piers Park is a beautifully landscaped space with some of the finest views of the Boston Harbor and Downtown Boston skyline. Follow the pedestrian promenade along the water’s edge to two pavilions, one of which honors master shipbuilder Donald McKay.
If you have kids, they’ll love playing at the large playground and splash pad in Piers Park. Towering trees shade plenty of grassy areas and many picnic tables for a relaxing lunch. An outdoor fitness system is perfect for breathing fresh air while exercising.
Several paved trails lead you to the waterfront, where a pier lined with benches extends to the water. It’s an excellent spot for fishing or morning coffee while you soak up the views.
You can also access a community sailing center area from the park and enjoy various outdoor events throughout the year at the Piers Park amphitheater.
If you love watching planes land and take off, head over to Constitution Beach, where you can relax and watch the action at Boston Logan International Airport. Situated in the Harborview area, Constitution Beach is a lovely crescent-shaped stretch of sand where you can spend the day sunbathing and swimming.
Set against a backdrop of spectacular city skyline views, Constitution Beach has soft sand, perfect for playing beach volleyball, building sandcastles, or just lounging around with a good book. Just off the beach is a grassy area with picnic tables for laid-back lunches and a pavilion for larger gatherings.
Basketball, handball, and tennis courts are perfectly located for enjoying a game with friends, and a kid’s playground offers plenty of entertainment for the little ones.
If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the water on your own. The East Boston Greenway Trailhead runs along the back of the beach and is a lovely spot for a quiet stroll in the evening.
Madonna Queen of the Universe Shrine
The impressive Madonna Queen of the Universe Shrine is a must-see (although you can’t really miss it!) in East Boston. Perched high on a hill in Orient Heights, the shrine is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is a peaceful oasis where visitors go to reflect and find solace.
Erected in 1954, the 35-foot Madonna Queen of the Universe Shrine replicates the original Madonna statue in Rome. It was created by an Italian-Jewish sculptor who escaped the Nazi German invasion of Italy in 1940 and shipped to East Boston in three pieces!
Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the shrine is a wonderful place to escape the buzz of the city. It’s also a place of great spiritual significance, and if you’re religious, you can attend one of the masses regularly held at the shrine.
A fun festival to join is the annual Feast of the Madonna Queen of the Universe, which takes place every August. The feast features a procession through the streets of East Boston, with a statue of the Virgin Mary carried by devotees, as well as music, food, and lots of festivities.
Belle Isle Marsh Reservation
Take a break from exploring Boston’s top attractions and enjoy some quiet time in nature at the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation. The 241-acre reservation is one of the last remaining salt marshes in Boston. This hidden gem in the heart of the city is a unique and essential ecological site home to all sorts of wildlife, from migratory birds to marine life.
Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, which offers beautiful marsh views and Boston Harbor. If you prefer a more challenging hike, venture out on one of several hiking trails around the reservation to explore the different ecosystems that make up the marsh.
If you’re a history buff, you’ll love learning about the diverse cultures that have called this area home over the centuries. From Native American tribes to European settlers, the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation has a rich and fascinating history waiting to be explored.
All that walking worked up an appetite? Grab a bite at the cafeteria, which serves a selection of good food.
Where to eat & drink
As one of the city’s most diverse and densely packed areas, East Boston is packed with a fantastic array of eateries serving globally inspired fare from perogies to pizza. You’ll be hard-pressed to decide where to start first!
For delicious and authentic Peruvian cuisine, Rincon Limeño is the neighborhood’s go-to. Laid-back and friendly, the bustling restaurant has a warm and welcoming vibe—and the food is even better! Tuck into plates of fresh ceviche, lomo saltado, and arroz con mariscos to start, followed by tallarines verdes, chupe de camarones, and pollo a la brasa.
Rino’s Place is a classic family-owned Italian restaurant that’s been serving delicious Italian dishes for over 30 years. This beloved institution has a cozy and warm ambiance and a menu packed with classic dishes, from homemade pasta to fresh seafood and everything in between. And the portions are generous—be sure to go hungry!
Olé! When it’s time for top-notch Mexican food, go to Angela’s Cafe Orient Heights and enjoy heaving plates of enchiladas, fajitas, carnitas tacos, and mouthwatering churros. Friendly service, delicious food, and a cozy atmosphere—what more do you need?
Meet the locals over New England craft beers at Renegade’s Pub. This friendly neighborhood bar serves a variety of beers on tap, cocktails, and spirits. Snack on classic pub-style food, including burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers like nachos and wings, and enjoy regular live music performances featuring local musicians and bands.
Another great spot for watching the game over drinks is Kelley Square Pub on Bennington Street. Boasting an old-school feel with an original jukebox, this classic local bar serves beer on tap, cocktails, and spirits.
Drawing inspiration from the rich nautical history of the East Boston Shipyard, Cunard Tavern is a casual gastropub with beautiful waterfront views and a cozy atmosphere. This is a super spot for brunch where you can feast on classic dishes like eggs benedict and pancakes against a backdrop of harbor vistas.
Where to stay
Although it’s not one of the most popular areas to stay in Boston, spending your nights in Eastie isn’t a bad idea either. If you’ve got an early morning flight, a hotel in East Boston will put you within quicker reach of Logan International Airport and help you save precious time on the airport commute.
Conveniently located within five miles of the Boston Logan International Airport, the Holiday Inn Express – Boston Logan Airport – Revere, an IHG Hotel, offers unfussy rooms with flat-screen TVs, minifridges, and microwaves. Unwind in a heated indoor pool, enjoy drinks at a lobby bar, and stay connected with free Wi-Fi.
Just a short walk from Constitution Beach, Hilton Garden Inn Boston Logan Airport has a swimming pool and gym. Unwind in modern rooms with standard amenities like coffeemakers, minifridges, and microwaves. Stay connected with free Wi-Fi and dine in the hotel’s relaxed restaurant. Make use of the complimentary 24-hour airport shuttle to get your flights in good order.
Relax at this casual all-suite hotel in comfortable rooms with spacious living rooms, flat-screen televisions, and free Wi-Fi. The Embassy Suites Boston at Logan Airport has a 24-hour fitness center, hot tub, and indoor pool. Enjoy made-to-order breakfast every morning and evening, appetizers, and drinks.