Dorchester is in Boston. This article also includes Mattapan, which was historically a part of Dorchester.


Dorchester (Dot) is the largest geographic and most populated neighborhood in the city of Boston. Home to Dot Ave., it is also Boston's most diverse neighborhood, with large pockets of African Americans, Irish, Vietnamese, Caribbean, and South and Central American residents. In recent years, the neighborhood has seen an influx of young working professionals, working artists (in areas like Lower Mills, Peabody Square, and Savin Hill), and a growing GLBT community along Dorchester Avenue, while it's still predominantly a working-class neighborhood and a thriving center of immigration.

Although the JFK Presidential Library is in the neighborhood, Dorchester is generally not seen as a tourist destination. But if you are adventurous and would like to see a truly authentic neighborhood of Boston, it is the place. Generally the areas along Dorchester Ave. (serviced by the Ashmont branch of the red line subway) are your best bet to experience Dorchester's multi-cultural communities. Enjoy food at one of the many Vietnamese Restaurants in Fields Corner or many of the other Haitian, Jamaican, Central American, or Soul Food eateries along Dot Ave. Later, grab a drink at Dbar, Blarney Stone, Tavola Pizza, Ashmont Grill, or C.F. Donovan's or watch your favorite Gaelic football team over a few beers at The Banshee.

Mattapan is also included in this article. Historically a section of neighboring Dorchester, Mattapan became a part of Boston when Dorchester was annexed in 1870. Predominantly residential, Mattapan is a mix of public housing, small apartment buildings, single-family houses, and two- and three-family houses (known locally as "Three-Deckers" or "Triple-Deckers"). Blue Hill Avenue and Mattapan Square, where Blue Hill Avenue, River Street, and Cummins Highway meet, are the commercial heart of the neighborhood, home to banks, law offices, restaurants, and retail shops. Mattapan now has the largest Haitian community in Massachusetts, and is also largely made up of African Americans and immigrants from other Caribbean countries.

Get in

To Mattapan: The Mattapan-Ashmont trolley line (a branch off the Red Line) of the MBTA serves Mattapan as well as several bus routes. The Fairmount Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail also serves Mattapan at Morton Street, providing service to downtown Boston and the suburbs.

By subway

Red Line: The JFK/UMass, Savin Hill, Fields Corner, Shawmut, and Ashmont stations serve Dorchester, as well as the entirety of the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line (a tramway that connects Ashmont station with other parts of the neighborhood). The Red Line splits into 2 branches south of the JFK/UMass station, so make sure you are on an Ashmount-bound train if you want to stop in Dorchester.

By train

The Uphams Corner and Morton Street stations on the Fairmount Line of the MBTA commuter rail are located in Dorchester.

By car

Interstate 93 runs through the neighborhood: Exits 11, 13, 14, and 15 serve Dorchester.

Dorchester Ave can be found by coming up Route 28 / Randolph Ave, south from Milton. Massachusetts Ave. also connects with Columbia Ave., which is a major road within Dorchester and connects with Dorchester Ave.






Stay safe

Although the neighborhood has improved considerably in recent years, it still has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Boston. Tourists should not venture in after dark unless they're completely sure of their destination, or are with a native.

Dorchester Ave. north of Ashmont and south of Columbia Ave is regularly in the news for crime, while Blue Hill Ave and Talbot Ave are even more regulars in the news. Blue Hill Ave is one of the more dangerous streets in the city. That being said,people who have been to cities before should be fine. Just be careful after dark. Most violence comes from gangs shooting or stabbing each other, and tourists are not a major target.

Pickpockets and muggings have been reported at night near JFK / U Mass T station, robbing people of iPods and phones. Be wary at night and keep valuables out of sight.

Go next

Routes through Dorchester

Downtown South Boston  N  S  Quincy Braintree
END (Mattapan)  SW  NE  Milton Dorchester → Transfer to Red Line
END Hyde Park  SW  NE  Downtown END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, January 18, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.