When planning your trip, you should allow a half-day per island. Only a few of the islands are accessible by public ferries, with Georges and Spectacle Islands being the most popular.
Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion
The new Visitors Pavilion is the connection from the Rose Kennedy Greenway to the islands; it’s open during the summer, right through Labor Day. Operated by The National Park Service, the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion is open seven days a week and staffed by Park Rangers ready to answer your questions. Rangers are on hand from 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with free maps and machines to purchase tickets. The Pavilion is located on the Greenway near the corner of State Street, right at Aquarium MBTA station on the Blue Line.
Taking The Ferry
Ferries for Georges and Spectacle Islands run hourly during the summer, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday-Sunday until 6 p.m.
Adult fare is $14 round trip, children $8, and children under 3 ride free. A family four pack is $39.
There are also ferry schedules from Hingham and Quincy and smaller ferries serve Lovells, Grape, Bumpkin, Peddocks, and Thompson Islands.
Check: Full Ferry Schedule
What To Do
Each of the Boston Harbor Islands has its own unique character: from the wildflower-lined walking trails of Bumpkin Island to the sunset clambakes on Spectacle Island. You can explore what each has to offer on the Boston Harbor Island website.
Among the activities that island visitors enjoy:
Special Daily programs
Something to consider if you’re traveling with children – only Georges and Spectacle Islands have food, fresh water and restrooms. Other islands have composting toilets.
Camping is available only on Bumpkin, Grape and Lovells Islands through Labor Day. Reservations must be made in advance. Weekend sites are pretty well spoken for; the reservation fee is $9 and camping costs $6 per person, per night.
Summer Shack Clambake & Sunset Cruise on Thursdays, Spectacle Island; Reservations required
Island Yoga, Saturdays on Spectacle Island; Free
150th Anniversary of the Civil War, Walking tours at Fort Warren on Georges Island
Go fly a Kite, Saturdays at 1:30 p.m on Spectacle Island
Toddler Tuesdays on various islands
Plus all sorts of daily events – check their website.
A jacket or sweater
Plenty of water
Bob Weiss’ All Things Travel reports can be heard on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.