Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park Tours

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Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park is comprised of 34 islands sprinkled throughout the city harbor. Just 45 minutes by ferry from downtown, the park is a picturesque escape, where visitors can explore a Civil War–era fort, visit the oldest lighthouse in the United States, head out for a hike, and spend a night camping. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.”
Location
Address: Boston, Massachusetts 02110, USA
ticket-star
Admission: Multi-Island Ferry Ticket - Adults: US$19.95, Children (3–12yrs): Free
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5 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Boston Historic Sightseeing Cruise

See some of the top attractions in Boston from the waterfront on this narrated 90-minute sightseeing cruise. Explore Boston Harbor and see the city’s historic sites.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$31.44 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$31.44 USD

Boston Odyssey Dinner Cruise

Try a unique alternative to a typical night out in downtown Boston with an exciting dinner cruise along the city’s waterfront. This 3-hour expedition on Boston Harbor features a three-course meal with live entertainment and dancing. Watch the sun set, then take a stroll under the stars and enjoy the view of the illuminated Boston skyline at night or head to the dance floor for music and fun in the ship’s nightclub. Bring that special someone or a whole group of friends for a night to remember.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$111.22 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$111.22 USD

Boston Harbor Brunch Cruise

Enjoy a three-course gourmet brunch on this scenic cruise of the Boston Harbor. Set sail aboard the Northern Lights at Rowes Wharf and settle in for a buffet filled with quiche, waffles, bacon, fresh fruit, and more. View popular Boston highlights such as Bunker Hill Monument, the USS Constitution, Old North Church, and Sea Castle Island. This brunch cruise offers a great overview of Boston and a lovely morning on the water.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$73.50 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$73.50 USD

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Boston Sunset Cocktail Cruise

See the sunset over Boston from the best possible vantage point—the deck of a boat—on this 1.5-hour cocktail cruise. Sip cocktails and snap photos with your family friends as you take in the sunset over the Boston skyline, watching it light up for the night. Booking this tour in advance guarantees your spot for this popular cruise.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$47.04 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
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$47.04 USD

Boston Odyssey Brunch Cruise

Cruise Boston Harbor aboard a luxury yacht, complete with superb city views and a buffet brunch featuring both breakfast and lunch offerings. For 2-hours you'll explore the waters from Rowes Wharf to the Charlestown Naval Yard and back, sailing past sights such as Castle Island and Boston Light. Spend some time enjoying the yacht's three climate-controlled decks or dancing to the sounds of a live DJ mix. There's even a glass of complimentary champagne following castoff.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$86.33 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$86.33 USD


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