visitors on island dock

Visit Islands in the Park

WELCOME to the Boston Harbor Islands - a unique National and State park. We have 12 diverse islands and peninsulas ready for exploring and 22 more that form an island wilderness. In all, there are 1,600 acres and 35 miles of undeveloped ocean shoreline on the islands. With so many places to choose from, it’s easy to visit an island that's right for you—and what you like to do.

You can explore Boston Harbor Islands national park area by yourself, without any guidance, and have a great visit. But we also offer programs and tours for visitors with specific interests, as well as targeted groups of visitors, such as young adults.

As a friendly reminder, the Boston Harbor Islands is a Carry-On-Carry-Off park and No Pets are allowed on the Islands. We thank you for your understanding and we hope to see you at our beautiful park!

Ranger Recommended Half-Day Excursions

  • Morning 5K on Spectacle Island: The closest island to Boston, Spectacle has a geography that lends itself perfectly to a morning run or brisk hike.
  • Saturday Morning Hike on Grape Island: Grab your coffee and bagel and hope on the morning commuter ferry. Stroll through tree lined trails, explore the shoreline and relax at one of several vista points.
  • Afternoon Exploration of Thompson Island: Take some time on Saturday or Sunday afternoon to visit Thompson Island. Head straight to the salt marsh for incredible bird watching.
  • Afternoon Picnic and Concert on Georges Island: There is always something going on at Georges Island during the summer. Make your way to the picnic areas, grab a table and then make your way to an afternoon concert.
  • Beat the Cape Traffic Beach Day: Instead of packing the car, head to Spectacle Island. Head over to the lifeguarded beach to swim and soak up the sun for several hours.
  • Catch the Sunset at Worlds End: Accessible year-round via car, bike or foot, Worlds End is the perfect place to conclude a busy day with incredible sunset views.

Boston Harbor Islands provide critical nesting and feeding grounds for coastal birds. Visitors should avoid certain areas during the breeding season, generally March through July. Bird breeding sites include rocky bluffs and adjacent grass and scrub habitats, and the upper areas of beaches. Some nests are well hidden, so stay away from possible nesting areas to avoid disturbing them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the water temperature for swimming?

Water temperaure in mid summer is in the high 60s, a little warmer than Nantasket Beach and equal to or slightly warmer than other ocean beaches of New England.      

Park Map

Boston Harbor Island Map

Ferry Schedule

Ferry Schedule

Ferry Tickets

Purchase Ferry Tickets

Park Videos

Boston Harbor Islands videos