Chelsea boasts 40 beautiful parks across our two square miles of land. 17 playgrounds range from neighborhood “tot lots” to larger parks with jungle gyms, rock climbing structures, and swings.
Mary O'Malley State Park: Offers spectacular views of the Boston skyline and the Tobin Bridge. Bordered by Island End River on one side, and the Mystic River on another, its acres of green lawns and shade trees are perfect for a wide variety of activities. Amenities include a well-appointed playground, tennis courts, walking/jogging paths, and picnic pavilions. This area combined with Admiral's Hill that overlooks the park is a popular place for runners with a combination of flat and hilly paths.
PORT Park: The PORT (Publicly Organized Recreation Territory) is the conversion of a 13 million gallon oil tank farm into a shared-use waterfront road-salt terminal, public recreation area, and wildlife habitat landscape. The designers, Landing Studio, garnered national design awards for the innovative design that balanced on the working waterfront the needs of both active industry and public access. Find here a lush garden oasis overlooking the Chelsea Creek with East Boston on the opposite shore. The framework of a gas tank and the shell of a tub boat are enticing design elements you can enter. There's a place for recreational fishing, a spray play feature, and a seasonal basketball court.
Chelsea Square: For many, Chelsea Square is the heart of Chelsea. Sometimes called Winnisimmet Park because it is at the junction of Broadway and Winnisimmet Street, these were the two primary roads in Chelsea connecting the waterfront and communities north of Boston. The Great Fire of 1908 stopped on the edge of the square, sparing the graceful nineteenth century buildings that overlook the park. Among them is the converted Post Office that is the home of the Chelsea Theatre Works with its resident Apollinaire Theatre Company and Independence Hall (157 Winnisimmet St.) where Abraham Lincoln once spoke. It's anchored by the 1897 Stebbins Fountain with several monuments and pieces of public art, including the work Chelsea Conversation by the acclaimed sculptor Penelope Jencks. A number of favorite neighborhood restaurants line Broadway, several offering outdoor dining.
Mystic Overlook Park: This municipal park is tucked beneath the Tobin Bridge as it rises to its full height over the river at one entrance to Mary O'Malley State Park. The city's only off-leash dog park is here, as well as a grassy park with adult exercise equipment. Immediately abutting the park is a house at 28 Broadway. This house, built in 1790, it was constructed as the toll stop for the original Chelsea Bridge. The dramatic setting attracts film production companies.
Chelsea Community Garden: An oasis in the city, this former lot at 130 Ellsworth Street is maintained by 45 families. In individual plots they grow vegetables, flowers and fruit. Occasional events bring out the group's creativity with unique scarecrows, drumming circles and homemade canned goods.
Island End Park: At the end of the shoreline path of Mary O'Malley State park, past the Admiral's Hill Marina is a board walk that leads to the jewel of Island End Park. It's a quiet park with picnic benches, a gazebo and views of the waterfront and downtown Boston.
Bellingham Hill Park: This neighborhood pocket park with a tot lot and benches has spectacular views of downtown Boston. Information signs here detail the fine mansions that were destroyed when the Great Fire of 1908 wiped out the entire hillside.
Mill Creek River Walk: A walking path follows the edge of Mill Creek and connects to Chelsea Creek. It's most easily accessed at Creekside Commons Park on Cabot Street. The waterway and shore are important habitats for both marine life and shorebirds. They are a spawning ground and nursery for smelt, American eel, Atlantic cod, mackerel, and sea herring, pollock, red hake, and at least four types of flounder. Many birds who feed on the fish hatchling, such as egrets, herons, and cormorants, are attracted to these estuaries to feed and breed. The tidal powered Slade Mill, constructed in the 1730s, predates the establishment of Chelsea. It was in these tidal flats that colonists in the Battle of Chelsea Creek disabled and took the British schooner The Diana in what proved to be the first offensive and first naval battle of the American Revolution.