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Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park
Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

191W Atlantic Ave, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110

The Basics

Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park is an ideal day trip from the city, with both natural and man-made attractions. Head to Spectacle Island for five miles (eight kilometers) of trails and scenic views of Boston Harbor; visit Georges Island to explore historic Fort Warren; or admire Little Brewster Island’s Boston Light lighthouse. Peddocks Island is a popular wilderness destination, while Lovells, Grape, and Bumpkin islands offer rustic camping spots.

To see the park from the water, head out on a Boston Harbor Islands sightseeing cruise and listen as a tour guide describes the area’s history. Views of the islands’ highlights also feature on many brunch and dinner cruises.

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Sightseeing Day Sail around Boston Harbor
Sightseeing Day Sail around Boston Harbor
star-4.5
US$55.47 per adult
Traveller Favourite
Awesome
The whole experience. Sitting next to the sails. Watching the sails go up & down. Sitting on the edge of your seat. Watching other people also have fun.
Daniel_H, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Boston

star-5
I would do this tour again
Frances_B, Dec 2020
Boston Harbor Sightseeing Cruise
The narration was wonderful and they explained where we were going and the history of the sites that we were seeing and it was a beautiful day. We definitely social distance and I would do it again
star-4
Lots of Fun
Ann_N, Aug 2020
Boston Harbor Sightseeing Cruise
Lot s of fun, particularly on a hot day. Did a great job of distancing the benches, and was very clean. I live in the area, but if you were a tourist you would not learn anything about what you were seeing. A little more narrative would be very helpful.
star-5
Excellent
alfred_s, Jul 2020
Boston Harbor Sightseeing Cruise
Excellent time to enjoy a beautiful time on the water.The crew was excellent very friendly and helpful... don’t let the Covid scare u away excellent time to enjoy not being crowded.... the ship is by far the cleanest ship shape well kept tourist ship I’ve ever been on ... 10!! Top notch
star-5
Totally wanna go again!
Sophia_T, Sep 2020
Boston Harbor Sightseeing Cruise
Captain was so nice and allowed us to join him in his forte and the boat ride was amazing along with great service at the bar!
star-5
Excellent
alfred_s, Jul 2020
Boston Harbor Sightseeing Cruise
Excellent way to spead a couple hours enjoying the beautiful views of Boston harbor with a team of wonderful helpful staff...

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Only Georges and Spectacle islands have places to buy food and water, so pack a picnic lunch if you plan to visit other islands.

  • A full day will enable you to enjoy two or three islands; more than that and you’ll end up spending more time aboard the inter-island water shuttle.

  • The main ferries serving the islands are wheelchair accessible, but the smaller shuttles are not. Only a few islands have paved, level trails suitable for wheelchair users.

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How to Get There

To reach Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, take the seasonal ferry service from Long Wharf to Georges, Spectacle, Grape, Bumpkin, Peddocks, Lovells, or Thompson Island. Inter-island water shuttles service the smaller islands.

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When to Get There

Facilities on the islands are open from May to October; passenger ferries and shuttle boats only operate during this time. Summer is the most popular time to visit, when it’s best to make an early start or opt for a weekday visit to avoid crowds.

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Harbor Island History

This national and Massachusetts state park is rich with history. Native Americans and colonists used some of the islands to cultivate crops, while Grape Island got its name from colonists who discovered the wild fruit growing there. Fort Warren, built in 1845, was used as a prison during the American Civil War and is also known for its ghost legend of “The Lady in Black.”

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