25 Harbor Shore Dr., South Boston
Originally an incubator for MoMA, the establishment officially became the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1948. It’s dedicated to identifying new artists and showing contemporary works in all mediums—including performance, film, and literature. What’s little known yet fascinating about the ICA is that the museum has introduced many of the most influential twentieth century artists, like Georges Braque and Edvard Munch, to US audiences. Aside from the stellar permanent collection, what keeps locals coming back is provocative exhibits in line with the cultural and political landscape. Currently on show are Caitlin Keogh’s investigation into gender and representation through large-scale paintings and Kenyan-born artist Wangechi Mutu’s A Promise to Communicate, an installation of the grey rescue blankets used in humanitarian relief efforts around the world.
2080 Day Blvd., South Boston
Open from the end of February to the end of November, Sullivan's on Castle Island is a Boston institution. It first opened in 1951—when hot dogs cost 15 cents—in an aluminum shack with pull-down shutters. In the late '80s it moved to its current brick building, which is a replica of the officer's quarters that were situated bayside in the early 1800s. A concession-stand-like operation, Sullivan's draws big crowds, but the line does move relatively quickly. The food menu is a mix of New England classics (lobster rolls, fried clam strips), breakfast sandwiches, burgers, dogs, and fries. And far from an afterthought, the ice cream menu has its own devoted following. The soft-serve is standout, and the specialty, called the Razzle, is a whipped soft-serve with your choice of Oreos, M&Ms, Reese’s, Snickers, or chocolate chip cookie dough. They also have Hood ice cream and Richie's Italian ice on stock.