Boston Harbor Islands State Park

Boston Harbor Islands State Park

Boston Harbor Islands State Park
4.5
Write a review
About
This National Park consists of 34 small islands just off shore in Boston Harbor. The most popular, George's Island, is home to Fort Warren, a Civil War Landmark that housed Confederate prisoners. Visitors to the 12 islands open for exploration can camp, kayak, tour lighthouses, ride harbor ferries, hike and swim.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Boston Harbor Islands State Park and nearby attractions

The area
Address
How to get there
  • Aquarium • 2 min walk
  • State • 6 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
574 reviews
Excellent
426
Very good
122
Average
21
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Discover825519
5 contributions
Sep 2022
Who knew there was such a large and interesting Fort in Boston Harbor? The welcome Center is great with a 7 minute informative film and also many artifacts from long ago. You can self tour the fort and explore the very interesting spaces. Great views of Boston and the lighthouse. It's a short ride from Hingham, about 15 minutes.
Written 1 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John T
1 contribution
Aug 2022
Two parts proved worthwhile. First, while traveling to the four lighthouses, the crew gave us an oral history of the islands and lighthouses. Next was the actual visit to the lighthouses. The ship paused by the major ones but not long enough to enjoy the view. Overall, a worthwhile trip.
Written 21 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rachelle P
Taunton, MA23 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
Purchased tickets online. Boarding was easy, nice scenic view of Logan and city skyline. Things that could be improved. Tickets should have were to board your ferry since there is more than one. Also, you can't island hop any more which was my whole plan and no where could I find that on their website. Also the cafe was closed, also not on their website so wasn't able to get bottled wayer or lunch. Still had a great time on Spectacle island looking for sea glass and pottery, would have stayed longer if we had enough water or snacks.
Written 16 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jpgina53
Boston, MA452 contributions
Jul 2022
Well worth the cost for the spectacular photos you can take and the exhilarating salt spray you will experience! We booked online and showed up at their visitor's center on the Greenway. The park rangers were pleasant and one even found me a postcard when I asked if the booth sold postcards (it did not). A short walk to the pier might be challenging for the handicapped. The boat had inside and outdoor seats and there were two levels. No food or water is sold, so bring your own. The boat was not at capacity so everyone had seats. The narration was excellent once the volume was adjusted. It was a presentation of informative facts about each island and lighthouse with no ridiculous humorous banter. It is a long enough trip at 2 hours but the setting of the sun and the lighthouses were wonderful. I highly recommend this tour to acquaint you with Boston Harbor.
Written 31 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

y2000k
Boston, MA292 contributions
Jul 2022
We took the Boston Lighthouse Sunset Cruise recently. Everything about the cruise is great; there is a park ranger on board who gave us narration of the various islands and of course the light houses. It was very informative. We went on a beautiful afternoon with calm seas and clear blue sky.

However, the name of the cruise is a misnomer: the cruise is 5:30-7:30pm, and in July, sunset isn't until after 8pm. The boat reaches the turnaround point (Graves Light) at 6:30pm, which is nowhere near sunset. Even when we return to the pier, it is still pretty light out. So when you take the cruise, just be aware of sunset times and don't expect to see the sun setting behind the lighthouses during the cruise!
Written 18 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kyle
Wareham, MA1 contribution
Jun 2022 • Couples
Spectacle Island

The good:
-your local library grants a coupon for buy one get one free ferry ride for up to 4 people.
-a pleasant boat ride to and from with scenic views and vantage points you would not otherwise see unless you had a boat.

The bad:
Parking garage : $42 for day, ferry $25 pp, -if you didn’t have any other beach options and wanted to pay $70 for parking and ferry then by all means enjoy your day

Catch the ferry: with parking and other high visit items going on in dock area (aquarium, Faneuil hall, etc) I would try to get there 20-30 min before your ferry.

Food/ drink; beers $8 and lack luster taco bar where minimal meat options on tacos and they run out quickly. Best pack a cooler because this place will run you dry.

Beach: periwinkle rocks everywhere and a place where you would want to enter the water and keep your crocs on the whole time for comfort.

Swimming Length of beach was probably 2 school buses long.
Water was cold, I enjoyed the ice bath by floating.

Hiking: ever want to walk a gravel road for 15min 3/4 mile trail to get to the highest point on the north end. (closest side to city)? Save yourself some time, money and see similar views from ft revere park in Hull.

SavingGrace for Harbor Islands: bring back the island hopper ferry so folks can experience more than 1 island on same day. We had plans for George’s island, but instead of waiting 2 hrs for next ferry and no beach/missed event we went to Spectacle. Would’ve easily took hopper to see more out there.

On way back in to city disappointed; at least take a walk down Faneuil hall to see some shops and street performers. Lifted our spirits

Was interested in camping on an island but after this experience the ride to hingham seems just as lackluster.

Saturday in the books!
Written 26 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

David S
1 contribution
Sep 2021
Lighthouse Cruise was fantastic. Captain put boat in perfect position to capture some great shots. Crew was friendly and went out of their way to make everything perfect. Timing of cruise allowed for some nice sunset shots.
Written 11 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cam
1 contribution
Sep 2019
The whole experience was amazing with not one second of boredom! The guides had so much knowledge of the geography and history and provided us with binoculars to aid in our adventuring! Ending the tour we stopped alongside the airport and were able to see three planes approaching landing as they passed directly over us. Priceless!
Written 25 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Pauline B
6 contributions
Sep 2019
The weather was good & we had a lovely tour around the harbour visiting several lighthouses. The guide was informative :)
Written 24 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The3ofus60614
Raleigh, NC187 contributions
Sep 2019
This tour is done by the National Park Service. Thus credible information and none of jokes and funnies that are so typical of commercial tours. Our group was fascinated by the history of and the islands and lighthouses in this storied harbor. Of course, cruising on a beautiful sunny afternoon just can't be matched. This is so noncommercial that there is no food or drink sold on board. We stayed below deck which gave us room to move from side to side to follow the commentary. There are tables and chairs making it very comfortable. We did forsake the top deck panaromic views. How nice that there were these options.
Written 23 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 511
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

BOSTON HARBOR ISLANDS STATE PARK - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Boston Harbor Islands State Park

We recommend booking Boston Harbor Islands State Park tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 5 Boston Harbor Islands State Park tours on Tripadvisor