Beautiful Winthrop By the Sea <br/>

Beautiful Winthrop By the Sea

© David Burton 2022

The Town of Winthrop, Massachusetts
     Winthrop, Massachusetts is a family-friendly place surrounded by beach and seaside views. Winthrop is home to the Winthrop Shore Reservation. It is a family-friendly town known for a great selection of restaurants. If you're looking for things to do in the area, you can visit all the great sites in Eastern Massachusetts, including greater Boston. For sports fans, nearby is TD Garden - the home of the Boston Celtics and the Boston Bruins. Also readily accessible is Fenway Park, the oldest and most beloved Major League baseball park and home of the Boston Red Sox.

     There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of places to see and visit in the vicinity of Winthrop. All are easily reached via car or public transportation.

     Winthrop is located in Suffolk County in Massachusetts with a population hovering around 20,000. It is an ocean-side suburban community, situated at the northern entrance to Boston Harbor, close to Logan International Airport. It is located on a peninsula, 1.6 square miles in area. It is connected to the city of Revere by a narrow isthmus and to East Boston by a very short bridge over the harbor inlet to the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation.
     Settled in 1630, Winthrop is one of the oldest communities in the entire United States. It is also one of the smallest and most densely populated municipalities in Massachusetts. It is one of the four cities that compose Suffolk County (the others are Boston, Revere, and Chelsea). It is the southernmost part of the “North Shore”, with a 7-mile shoreline that provides views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and of the Boston skyline to the west.[1]

     Winthrop has one of the oldest histories of any city or town in the United States, being settled in 1630 by English Puritan colonists as Pulling Point, so named because the tides made hard pulling for boatmen. The present town is named after John Winthrop (1587–1649), second governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and an English Puritan leader. On April 8, 1630, Winthrop departed from the Isle of Wight, England on the ship Arbella, arriving in Salem in June of that year, where he was met by John Endecott, the first governor of the colony. John Winthrop served as governor for twelve of the colony's first twenty years of existence. It was he who decided to base the colony at the Shawmut Peninsula, where he and other colonists founded what is now the City of Boston.
     Originally part of an area called Winnisimmet by the native American Massachusett tribe, Pullen Poynt was annexed by the Town of Boston in 1632 and was used as a grazing area. In 1637, it was divided into fifteen parcels of land that were given by Governor Winthrop to prominent men in Boston with the stipulation that each must erect a building on his land within two years. Few, if any, of these men ever lived on these parcels of land, but their farms prospered. One of these early houses, the Deane Winthrop House, was the home of the Governor Winthrop's youngest son, Deane Winthrop, who lived there until his death in 1704. This house is still standing and is also the oldest continually occupied home in the United States. Although occupied, it is open to the public in Winthrop at select times. The house is maintained by the Winthrop Improvement and Historical Association.
     In 1739, what is now Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, withdrew from Boston due to governmental control disputes and became the Town of Chelsea. In 1775, residents of the Town of Chelsea played a key role in the Battle of Chelsea Creek during the American Revolutionary War.
     Later, in 1846, the desire for more local control resulted in Revere and Winthrop seceding from Chelsea to become North Chelsea.
     Shortly thereafter, in 1852, Winthrop was incorporated as a town in its own right with a Board of Selectmen and Open Town Meeting form of government. In 1920, Winthrop was the second town in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to apply for and receive a Charter for a Representative Town Meeting, which continued to 2006.
     Winthrop adopted a home rule charter in 2005 with a council-manager form of government and is no longer governed by a representative town meeting. It is now legally a city, but chooses to be known as a town that has a city form of government.[1]

     The Town of Winthrop is more or less surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean with only two roads into the town – one from the west over a very short bridge from East Boston and the other from the north along a short beach separating it from the city of Revere. Both roads border the Belle Isle Marsh that separates Winthrop from East Boston and Revere.

     I’ve now lived in ”Beautiful Winthrop by the Sea” for more than half a century. To some, Winthrop is a hidden gem adjacent to Boston. I would heartily agree with this description.

     An oceanside community, Winthrop boasts one of the most spectacular views on the East Coast. On one side there's a panoramic view of the outer harbor and on the other is the Boston Skyline and the inner harbor silhouetted against the sky. Winthrop is a quaint and friendly New England town with shops, parks, marinas, inns and miles of beaches.
     Winthrop is just 20 minutes from Boston via public transportation and about 10 minutes from Boston Logan International Airport. Winthrop is also just a short boat ride away from many communities on both the North and South Shores. We like to think of Winthrop as the gateway to the North Shore. [2]

Getting in and out of Winthrop: Winthrop is readily accessible by public transportation – bus service that connects with Greater Boston’s subway system - by highway and most of the year by ferry.

     The Winthrop Ferry - the Valkyrie - provides ferry service across Boston Harbor. It operates weekdays and provides water transportation from the Town of Winthrop to the city of Quincy, to the Boston Seaport, the New England Aquarium and the Boston Financial District. It is a great alternative to driving from Winthrop into Boston or to using other public transit. The ferry operates from early Spring through late Autumn.

     The ferry is a popular option for commuting to work and for scenic routes into and out of Boston. The ferry ride offers a fantastic view of Boston and the Boston Harbor Islands.

Winthrop Restaurants: For a small community, the Town of Winthrop is blessed with several excellent eating establishments. A few of my personal favorites are: the Winthrop Arms, the Antique Table, Cafe Rossetti’s, Nick’s Place, Belle Isle Seafood Restaurant, Adriana’s Cafe, the Hi-Tide, and La Siesta Retaurante.

     The Winthrop Arms is both a small hotel and restaurant. The restaurant itself is rich in history, having been built in built in 1916. Excellent prime rib is featured on Friday and Saturday nights. My wife’s favorites are the lamb chops which are also excellent. The Arm’s Menu also has seafood dishes and the restaurant is well known for its outstanding Chicken Pot Pie, Macaroni and Cheese and Steak Tips. The service is a throw-back to excellence from a forgotten time. Martinis are served in real martini glasses with ice on the side and there is always a no-pressure atmosphere to hurry up and leave.

     The Winthrop Arms is set in a quiet residential area with access to Winthrop Beach just 1 block away. Weather permitting, outdoor porch seating is available. The restaurant interior is extremely nice with leather and wood panel accents. The food is consistently outstanding and the service is above average. There is also a cozy bar area inside.

     The Antique Table is a bit up-scale – similar to the Winthrop Arms. It is a favorite of all members of my family and of many of my friends.

     Established in 2008, the Antique Table Restaurants “offer a culinary tour of Italian food and culture.” When you walk into the restaurant, you may feel as if you are having a meal in an authentic Trattoria style restaurant in Italy. Their menu features favorites from the whole of Italy and are cooked from scratch. My daughter and I always end our meal at the restaurant with a latte or cappuccino – the best!

     This is a great place for an easy night out. They serve solid excellent Italian food in a kitschy, warm and fun atmosphere. The waitstaff is always pleasant, there is a nice bar, and there are loads of wines by the glass (and very reasonably priced bottles, too).

     Another excellent Italian restaurant in Winthrop is Café Rossetti’s, a very small eatery located on Shore Drive, right across the street from Winthrop Beach. They offer outside seating from Spring through Fall. The portions are large and always delicious. Prices are very reasonable and the restaurant is BYOB. The location is beautiful. Because it has limited seating, reservations well in advance are a must.

     Another of my favorite informal dining places in Winthrop is Nick’s Place. Nick’s Place has been a fixture in Winthrop for as long as I can remember. It provides customers with a large selection of good dishes made from fresh ingredients, combined with fast, courteous service at very reasonable prices.

     Nick’s Place offers a large menu that is sure to please everyone in your group. This place has just about anything anyone could want. Some popular dishes are: the chicken kabob salad, the steak tip dinner with salad and the cheeseburger club with fries. But there are all kinds of dinners from lobster to lamb. and they have daily specials such as the Monday Pizza Special that starts at 4:00 pm - the time you call is the price you pay for your pizza!! The Wednesday Special is pasta. Any pasta dish you order is half price!!

     The Belle Isle Seafood Restaurant and Adriana’s Cafe are located at the entrance to the Belle Isle Marsh immediately as you enter Winthrop from East Boston.

     The Belle Isle Seafood restaurant is a very popular and award winning seafood restaurant celebrating nearly 50 years in business. They specialize in fresh New England seafood as well as a full-service retail seafood market. The restaurant picks up its fish daily from the Boston Fish Pier and serves it as fresh and as simply as possible in a no-frills environment with indoor and outdoor seating and a great view of Boston Harbor and Boston’s Logan Airport.

     Adriana’s Café is family owned and operated by the Schettino family in the same location as the Belle Isle Seafood restaurant. I frequent the café because of its views of Boston Harbor, the Boston skyline and Logan Airport in addition to the hot lattes and Adriana’s light, not overly sweet pastries. More Importantly, I can spend an unhurried hour or more inside or outside reading and writing at one of the tables in its spacious interior or exterior. Services is always prompt and friendly. The coffee is good and the pastries are filling.

     When my wife and I want to eat breakfast out, we usually end up at the Hi-Tide. This place consistently serves a good breakfast at a modest price. The staff is fun, especially the cook. It’s enjoyable sitting at the counter watching him making your breakfast. The service is consistently excellent and the staff very friendly. The HI-Tide isn’t fancy and it won’t wow you but it’s consistently good.

     For those of us who periodically get an urging for Latin-American cuisine, Winthrop provides the La Siesta Restaurante. This restaurant is located in the town center.

     La Siesta is an authentic Mexican Restaurant using recipes from a small town north of Mexico City. Everything is made fresh daily. The restaurant also serves nightly specials featuring the talents of its Chefs and seasonal items. On their menu is a famous Tamarind Margarita and a Thursday night Chicken Special - it is their most popular item.

     The La Siesta Restaurante opened in December 2006 with only 30 seats, and bring your own beer and wine. The restaurant was almost immediately welcomed by the people of Winthrop, with lines out the door. The restaurant expanded on Cinco de Mayo 2008. It now has 99 seats and a full liquor License. La Siesta Restaurante is family owned and run. The husband and wife owners work at the restaurant most days, helped by their 3 sons.

Deer Island; Deer Island is today connected to the southern end of Winthrop by a short causeway. Since 1996, it has been part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.

     Although still an island by name, Deer Island has been connected to the mainland, i.e., to Winthrop, since the former Shirley Gut channel, which once separated the island from the town of Winthrop, was filled in by the 1938 New England hurricane. Today, Deer Island is the location of the Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant, whose 150-foot-tall (egg-like sludge digesters are major harbor landmarks.
     The island has a permanent size of 185 acres, plus an intertidal zone of a further 80 acres. Two-thirds of the island's area is taken up with the wastewater plant, which treats sewage from 43 nearby cities and towns, and is the second-largest such plant in the United States. The remainder of the island is park land surrounding the treatment plant, and offers outstanding walking, jogging, biking, sightseeing, picnicking, and fishing.
     Over the years, Deer Island has had several different uses. During King Philip's War in the 1670s, it was used as a place of internment. Christian "Praying Indians" were moved there in spite of the efforts of John Eliot, the minister of Roxbury, to prevent it.
     During the winter of 1675–76, between 500 and 1,100 American Indians were held on the island, and without adequate food or shelter and because of exposure to harsh winter weather, many died on Deer island.
     In the middle of the 19th century, the island was the landing point for thousands of refugees from the Great Famine of Ireland. In 1847, a hospital was established to treat incoming immigrants, and during the following two years, about 4,800 men, women, and children were admitted. Many recovered and went on to new lives, but more than 800 died there. In 1850, an almshouse was built to house paupers. Opened in 1853, it was administered by the City of Boston. Today, a Celtic Cross is erected not far from the old site of the Almshouse, honoring the 850 who died during the Famine Era.
     In 1896, the almshouse facility became one of the short-term prisons for Suffolk County. The Deer Island House of Correction existed until 1991.[3]

     Although technically part of the City of Boston, to many, Deer Island is considered part of the Town of Winthrop.

     A great natural trail has emerged from the development of Deer Island. The path around the island is about 2.6 miles of sea breeze and ocean views, coupled with amazing views of Boston, especially brilliant at sunset. If you happen to be in town, make sure to traverse Deer Island on foot or on bike. You will want to come back for more.

Yacht Clubs: Surrounded as it is on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean, It should not be surprising that Winthrop is home to yacht clubs or marinas. These Winthrop marinas are: theWinthrop Yacht Club, the Pleasant Park Yacht Club and the Cottage Park Yacht Club. Besides the opportunity to sail and motor on the Atlantic Ocean, these boating clubs offer family functions and numerous other activities such as bowling leagues, social functions and youth sailing programs. All three Winthrop yacht clubs are well over a hundred years old and do much more than just providing docking services for the many boats tied up at their facilities. In many respects, the Winthrop Yacht clubs have served as a focus of social activities in the Town of Winthrop ever since these organizations came into being.

     Incorporated in Incorporated 1884, the Winthrop Yacht Club (WYC) is one of the oldest and largest continually operating yacht clubs on Boston Harbor.

     The Winthrop Yacht Club is located toward the southern end of Winthrop, approaching Deer Island, and is adjacent to the town boat landing. The WYC has slips for its 168 members, along with a lounge and grill. The WYC facilities are available for its members, their guests and visitors from other clubs.

     Another of Winthrop’s yacht clubs, the Pleasant Park Yacht Club (PPYC) was granted its charter on November 1, 1910. On that day, the Pleasant Park Yacht Club, consisted simply of a pier and a float near the entrance to Winthrop from East Boston.

     Today, in addition to approximately 100 berthing slips, the PPYC facility contains: an office, a TV and reading room, card room, check room, modern galley, ladies and men lounges, a large main hall capable of seating 350 persons for dinner, an inlaid wooden dance floor, a band stand and a beautiful main locker with a storage room adjacent to it. Its upper deck has a Commodore’s Locker, a lounge, and a sun deck.

     The third yacht club in Winthrop is the Cottage Park Yacht Club (CPYC) which was founded in 1902. The CPYC has hosted the Snipe North American Championships in 1999, 2008 and 2014, and the Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship in 2021.

     The Cottage Park Yacht Club lists the following as being available: its marina (Like the other two Winthrop yacht clubs,there is currently a waiting list for slips.); active one design sailing fleets (Rhodes 19, Star, Snipe, Opti, Laser, N-10, 420); large mooring area serviced through the CPYC launch; dock kayak storage; a youth sailing program; year-round operations; winter frostbite sailing; private bar with food service; a large function hall; bowling alleys; pool tables; dart boards’ Women’s and Men’s Bowling leagues; newly renovated exercise room; Wednesday night PHRF sailing; adult Sailing; and numerous social events.

     If you are in the area, a visit to Beautiful Winthrop By the Sea would be an excellent way to spend a bit of time in historic New England. You won't regret coming here!
  1. Winthrop, Massachusetts, Wikipedia, Accessed 25 November 2022.
  2. Winthrop,, Accessed 7 December 2022.
  3. Deer Island (Massachusetts), Wikipedia, Accessed 30 November 2022.


15 December 2022 {ARTCLE_557; MY STATE_31}    
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