The South End neighborhood of Back Bay in Boston is where you will find the famous Victorian row houses. It is northwest of South Boston, north of Dorchester, northeast of Roxbury and southwest of Bay Village.
Bow-front row houses are the star of South End. These are aesthetically uniform rows of buildings that date back to the 19th century and are typically five-story red-brick residential and commercial structures that showcase various styles of architecture including Renaissance Revival, Italianate and French Second Empire, Queen Anne Gothic Revival, Greek Revival and Egyptian Revival. Although there are varying styles, these row houses maintain their uniformity through the use of similar materials—red brick, slate, granite or limestone trim and cast iron railings.
Bay Village is one of the highlights of the South End section of Boston. It encompasses about six blocks around Piedmont Street and is the hub for Boston’s gay community. Art lovers should check out the Boston Center for the Arts, while those looking for shopping will be delighted with South Ends increasing number of retail shops. The neighborhood’s commercial space is full of unique stores, including a few dedicated to items for dog owners.
South End has seen a surge in restaurants wanting to open in the neighborhood, especially on Washington and Tremont Streets. Tremont is often called “Restaurant Row” and includes a variety of ethnic influences. Look for French, Ethiopian, Indian, Italian, Peruvian and Brazilian cuisines, among others. Although many restaurants in South End can be on the pricey side, it’s definitely worth exploring the best eats. Consider a South End food and walking tour to learn about the history and diverse cultures that have helped shape South End’s current culinary scene.
As with the entire Back Bay area, is it recommended you don’t drive in the neighborhood. Heavy traffic and gridlock can make travel by car very frustrating. Instead, take the subway (either the Green or Orange Lines), take a city bus or catch a cab.