Dorchester is one of Boston’s oldest and most diverse neighborhoods. PHOTO COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Boston is an amazing place to go to college. Thousands of students from every corner of the world come here to experience all the city has to offer every year. BU students especially love to frequent Boston’s famous North End, Newbury Street and Boston Common, but there are many parts of the city that go unseen by the vast majority of students and visitors. In this series, we’re writing about the Boston neighborhoods outside of the BU bubble that are just as worthy of exploration as downtown and the Back Bay.

Dorchester is Boston’s largest neighborhood. Like many parts of Boston, Dorchester is currently undergoing a significant transformation. It is an incredibly diverse neighborhood with people from all walks of life bringing their own experiences and cultures to one, vibrant place. Because of its size, different parts of Dorchester have different feels to them. Luckily, the Red Line runs right through Dorchester, making it easy for you to see it all.

Dorchester has lots of fun things to see and do throughout the large neighborhood. The Franklin Park Zoo is one of the largest zoos in New England and offers the opportunity to see zebras, gorillas, giraffes and many more. The zoo is open year-round, making it a great opportunity to get outside, even in the winter, and see some exotic animals.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is also located in Dorchester. The library holds a huge selection of interesting books and papers, mostly pertaining to the JFK administration, but also spanning other subjects. The library offers a look into JFK’s life, as well as the life of Ernest Hemingway. Many of Hemingway’s papers, artifacts and original handwritten manuscripts can be found in the JFK Library. The library is open almost every day of the year, and offers a special reduced student ticket price of $12. This year marks what would be JFK’s 100th birthday, so special events are running all year long.

Dorchester is home to an extremely diverse group of residents, and as a result it has become a hub for ethnic cuisines of all kinds in Boston. There is a large population of Cape Verdean people in Dorchester, and Restaurante Cesaria will give you a taste of their delicious cuisine. Cape Verdean food is a unique combination of Portuguese and West African. Try the Katchupada, a delicious pork stew.

These are just some of the awesome places Dorchester has to offer. So get out and explore for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.