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Get Out and About in Quincy, MA

There are big ways to explore the outdoors in the small town of Quincy. 

By Cary Estes on October 4, 2022

People gather along the patio at Safe Harbor Marina in Quincy, MA.
Nicole Loeb

When it comes to outdoor recreation, Quincy packs plenty of options in a compact area.

Within its 16.57 square miles, Quincy offers more than 50 public parks, 27 miles of shoreline, hundreds of miles of trails, and scenic views in nearly every direction. And it is all so easily accessible.

“It’s like having a really, really big backyard,” says Dagny Ashley, tourism director for the City of Quincy. “There’s so much to do that it would take you several months to explore everything that the city has to offer for outdoor recreation.”

Boats docked in the water at Safe Harbor Marina in Quincy, MA.
Nicole Loeb

Indeed, you can have fun if by land or if by sea. Quincy Bay is the largest of the three bays that form the southern part of Boston Harbor. Additionally, there are a dozen beaches managed by the city (along with several private and neighborhood beaches).

One of the most popular sandy sites is the 2.3-mile Wollaston Beach, part of the Quincy Shore Reservation. It includes a walking/jogging/biking trail connecting the Moswetuset Hummock National Historic Site on the northern end with a 15-acre Caddy Park to the south.

“You have the city environment without all the hustle and bustle. The outdoor recreation in Quincy gives people an opportunity to get out into the fresh air and open spaces.”

Will O’Connell, Marina Bay Management

Locals also enjoy Mound Street Beach in Quincy Point. The beach features has 180 yards of beachfront with adjoining soccer fields and playgrounds. Fire Station Beach on the Fore River and Rock Island Cove is one of Quincy’s hidden jewels for a quieter getaway. 

Quincy gives you numerous ways to get out onto the water for boating and fishing. And when it is time to take a break? Dock your boat at places like Bay Pointe Marina or Safe Harbor Marina Bay and choose from numerous dining and entertainment options in the area.

People dine on the patio at Reel House, which is located at the Safe Harbor Marina in Quincy, MA.
Nicole Loeb

“When you talk about the complete enjoyment of Quincy in the summer months, you can find it at Marina Bay,” says Will O’Connell, senior vice president of Marina Bay Management. “You have a residential component, a work environment and the retail and restaurant industries are thriving.

There are about a dozen restaurants and bars with patios overlooking the Boston skyline and incredible sunset views. There is plenty of parking and a public dock with a 600-slip marina. So, boaters will come here from other cities and stay for the day. It’s just a beautiful, charming place.”

Lifeguard on duty at Wollaston Beach in Quincy, MA.
City of Quincy/Discover Quincy

Birds and Birdies

Farther inland, wildlife enthusiasts flock to Blue Hills Reservation, a sprawling 7,000-acre green space that stretches nearly 10 miles from Quincy to Dedham. The hilly terrain has 125 miles of trails; many offer elevated scenic views. In addition, Mass Audubon provides birding programs.

“It’s a green oasis in an urban environment,” Ashley says. “Because of the hilly terrain, they have skiing there during the winter, and there are quite a few historic structures there as well.”

People rock climbing at the Quincy Quarry Reservation in Quincy, MA.
City of Quincy/Discover Quincy

Other natural areas in the region include Blacks Creek (on the site where Quincy was founded), 3,526-acre Wompatuck State Park (with a 250-site campground and 40 miles of trails) and Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area (more than 2,000 acres of ponds and swamps with excellent bird-watching opportunities). And if you are up for a day trip, Cape Cod National Seashore is barely 90 minutes away.

Golfers, meanwhile, can test their skills at Presidents Golf Course, Furnace Brook Golf Club and the 27-hole Granite Links Golf Course, which has been named one of the Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in America by Golf Digest.

A family plays soccer in Quincy, MA.
City of Quincy/Discover Quincy

“What’s so great about Granite Links is you can enjoy it without being a golfer because it’s also an entertainment destination,” O’Connell says. “It has multiple restaurants and great 360-degree panoramic views of the water and the Boston skyline.”

Add it all together, and there’s no question that Quincy is the place for outdoor recreation.

“You have the city environment without all the hustle and bustle,” O’Connell says. “The outdoor recreation in Quincy gives people an opportunity to get out into the fresh air and open spaces and just enjoy life.”

If you’d like to learn more about Quincy, MA, check out the latest edition of the Livability: Quincy, MA magazine.

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