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Boston Harbor Islands

Outdoor $$Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Boston, MA
URL: Boston Harbor Islands  Phone: 617-223-8666

Activity Overview

34 small islands make up the cluster of islands situated in Boston Harbor. The Boston Harbor Islands offer countless opportunities for visitors to tour historical sites, observe wildlife, and participate in recreational activities. Take a short ferry ride to one of Boston's many harbor islands. Enjoy hiking trails, fishing and picnic areas, and lots more.

Things to See & Do

  • The Boston Harbor Islands offer countless opportunities for visitors to tour historical sites, observe wildlife, and participate in recreational activities such as hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing or perhaps to enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch amid the spectacular scenery. Guided and self-guided tours are available.
  • The most popular, George's Island, is home to Fort Warren, a Civil War Landmark that housed Confederate prisoners. Visitors can walk through the fort and tours are available.
  • Visitors can also explore tide pools, climb a lighthouse, hike lush trails, camp, fish, picnic or swim.
  • Getting there is half the fun. Most visitors arrive at the Boston Harbor Islands via a short Ferry Ride from Long Wharf-North in Boston. The ferry gets you to the islands (and home again) quickly and easily and really adds to the adventure of it all. Purchase tickets & View Ferry Schedule
  • Boston Harbor Islands include: Dear Island, Spectacle Island, Thompson Island, Peddocks Island, Georges Island, Lovells Island, Great Brewster Island, Little Brewster Island, Bumpkin Island and Grape Island.

Boston Harbor Islands Insider Tips

  • The Gateway Pavilion on the Rose Kennedy Greenway is a newer resource where you buy ferry tickets, consult with park rangers, learn about the park’s natural and historic resources and wander a 2,000-square-foot granite topographical map of the harbor’s islands.
  • Spectacle, Georges and Peddocks Islands are all serviced from Long Wharf in Boston.
  • If you are heading to Lovells, Grape, or Bumpkin Island, simply transfer at Georges, or leave the mainland from the South Shore. Thompson Island is served by its own ferry, from Spectacle Island or South Boston/Quincy.
  • Boaters and outdoor enthusiasts can also choose arrive at several of these islands via their own boats, including motorboats, sailboats, and sea kayaks.
  • You can bring your own provisions for a picnic (better option) or buy sandwiches cookies, etc. at the Visitor Center Mess Hall. Food and drink is available but a little pricey and just ok....
  • During the late summer you may be able to find some blackberry bushes full of fruit on Spectacle Island
  • Plan ahead for your return trip - lines get long and you will have to wait if the island is crowded. Ask the rangers in advance about advice on return trip strategy.
  • Wear shoes you don't care about. You may encounter goose droppings during the warmer months.

Raksha P.
I would suggest you take your own picnic. Grab some great eats from Quincy Market. The food on George's Island is not great and they run out of food so the choices are meager.
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