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Local Spotlight: Secret Parks of Boston

Boston is full of greenery; there are secluded parks, green spaces hidden in plain sight, and gardens tucked away in various corners of the city. We must admit – maybe these parks aren’t necessarily a secret, especially if you’ve lived here for many years, but several of them are lesser known or little-thought-of by Bostonians.

However, if you’re new to Boston, you may not have known about some of the great green spaces, parks and gardens our wonderful city holds.

Here’s our list of the best off-the-radar secret parks and gardens in the Boston area:

Cambridge Center Roof Garden. Located on the roof of the parking garage at 4 Cambridge Center., this garden is relatively unknown, even to many who work in the surrounding biotech companies and hotels. It offers exquisitely manicured topiaries, benches, and tables where you can quietly read a book or maybe have a relaxing picnic. To get to it, you’ll need to find the entrance to the Cambridge Center garage from Broadway that says “Roof Garden” and then take the elevator to the top.

The South Garden and the Sitting Grove. While we’re talking rooftop gardens, we have to mention the ones at the Shops at Prudential. The South Garden along the Huntington Arcade has a sprawling lawn, a fountain, and colorful plantings of roses and flowers.

The Sitting Grove adjoins the Mandarin Oriental Boston hotel and offers a quiet, shady place to relax.

Castle Island/Pleasure Bay. Definitely not a secret, but sometimes forgotten by locals, Castle Island is home to the 1850 granite bastion known as Fort Independence in South Boston. You can even take a tour of the fort for free!

Pleasure Bay also offers 22 acres of wonderful beaches, bike paths, picnic areas and a play area for the kids.

Federal Express Lot. A small, lush alcove along the Harborwalk is owned by Federal Express and has a pier for fishing over the Reserved Channel. It’s an oasis of greenery with secluded benches for relaxation and also has great walking paths.

Allandale Woods. Allandale Woods is an urban wild in Jamaica Plain that covers a sprawling 86 acres. You actually can’t see it from the street and the only marked official entrance to the site is from a parking lot behind the Annunciation Church. It has an extensive network of trails that wind through a shady oak-hickory forest full of wild blueberries and huckleberries, a cattail marsh, and meanders by scenic Rock Pond.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these “secret” parks and gardens, and maybe even found a new place to explore!

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