South Boston, also known as “Southie,” has the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach in the Boston area. These beaches include Carson, L Street, M Street and Pleasure Bay; all are owned and maintained by the Commonwealth’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Recently I read the article in the Boston Globe An unexpected hot spot: ‘Southie Beach’ by Billy Baker that these beaches have become a hot spot for young people north of the Cape Cod Canal and remind some of South Beach in Miami.
Even though Monday was a cloudy day, Ric, Amanda and I traveled to South Boston to see how wheelchair accessible these “Southie” beaches are. WOW! These beaches are the most wheelchair accessible beaches I’ve seen and I will definitely come back with my beach wheelchair on a warm sunny day.
In 2006 DCR added a new sea wall, new sand, new walkways, benches, lighting, shade shelters and beautiful landscaping which has made these “Southie” beaches a popular destination that are fully accessible to all! The Harborwalk located in front of this stretch of beaches is a great place to take a jog, wheel or walk.
There are plenty of handicap parking spaces located right in front of each beach. The bathhouse at L Street Beach and Carson Beach has loaner beach wheelchairs you can use. The first beach we stopped at was Carson Beach. The boardwalk along Carson Beach is constructed of maintenance free materials that will last a long time. This boardwalk provides full & equal access to all facilities.
The restrooms are spacious, wheelchair accessible and fully ADA compliant. The accessible sink is a large round sink that is of an accessible height; the faucets are easy to reach; the soap and hand blower are placed at an accessible height. The outdoor shower is wheelchair accessible and the control is a push button that is easy to reach; the handicap accessible changing room stall has plenty of room for my chair; the restroom mirror is lowered and of a perfect wheelchair accessible height.
A recreational area has some tables for playing games such as checker’s and chess; all tables are of perfect height for wheelchair users. The café for dining was closed when we were here. Yet we could see it is fully accessible as are the tables. The counter to order and pay for your food is of an accessible height; and the tables are wheelchair accessible with room for your chair to comfortably fit.
The water fountain has two heights and one is pefect for me to reach. The wheelchair accessible ramp leading from the boardwalk to the beach is easy to wheel along for the slope is perfect and meets evenly with the soft sand of the beach. We’ve seen accessible ramps at some beaches that have a large gap at the end of the ramp because the sand was washed out by the tides; this makes wheelchair access very difficult; check out the picture of the ramp at Plymouth Long Beach. This is not a problem here as we were told the new sea wall prevents the sand from being washed away.
The beaches of “Southie” deserve FIVE STARS for wheelchair accessibility! I look foward to coming back on a warm sunny day!