visitors on top deck of park ferry

Getting Here

Most people arrive at the Boston Harbor Islands via a brief ferry ride from Long Wharf-North in Boston. The ferry system gets you to the islands (and home again) quickly and easily. Watch the Boston skyline fade into the background as you approach Georges or Spectacle Islands.

Going to PeddocksLovells, or Bumpkin Islands? Transfer at Georges, or leave the mainland from Hingham or Hull. Take the commuter ferry from Hingham and request a stop at Grape Island (select runs only). On weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Thompson Island is served by its own ferry, from the EDIC Pier in South Boston.

Boaters and outdoor enthusiasts arrive at several of these islands via their own boats, including motorboats, sailboats, and sea kayaks.

And there are also four peninsula areas accessible by automobile. Take your car if you are visiting Deer Island, Nut Island, Worlds End, or Webb Memorial. Travel Smart—use public transportation on the mainland when ever you can.

No matter how you arrive, you’ll find that the islands are closer than you think, and more diverse and interesting than you imagined.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I hold a group outing on the islands?

Yes, groups are welcomed in the Harbor Islands.  Georges and Spectacle Islands are the most common for group outings.  If you will be bringing more than 25 people to the islands, you may be eligible for group ferry rates if you reserve ticket in advance.  You must then fill out the DCR’s Recreational Use Permit

Where are the bathrooms?

Passenger ferries running from Boston to Georges and Spectacle and from Quincy to Georges are equipped with bathrooms.  There are toilet facilities at each of the islands served by ferry or shuttle service (Georges, Spectacle, Grape, Bumpkin, Peddocks, Lovells, and Thompson Islands).  Bathrooms are not available on Little Brewster Island or on the Inter-Island Shuttles.

Are there rain shelters on the islands?

Georges Island offers covered picnic areas and covered areas within Fort Warren.  There are also a few shelters and a tent on Spectacle Island.  Peddocks island has inside space at the visitor center.  Other islands have minimal, or in some cases no, structures with adequate rain protection, so be sure to check the weather.

How long is the ferry ride?

During the summer season, it takes approximately 20 minutes to travel from Long Wharf North in Boston to Spectacle Island and 40 minutes from Long Wharf North to Georges Island.  During our spring and fall season, it takes either 20 or 45 minutes to arrive at Spectacle depending upon the order of stops at the two islands; check the schedule carefully.  Please consult the schedule for specific times between islands and mainland piers on the Island Connectors serving Hingham, Grape, Bumpkin, Peddocks, Hull, Georges, and Lovells.

Can we bring our car to the islands?

There are four peninsulas, which are part of the national park area accessible by car and with onsite parking (a parking fee may apply): Deer Island, Nut Island, Worlds End, and Webb Memorial.

How do I get to the Boston Harbor Islands?

Park passenger ferries and shuttle boats bring visitors to the islands from May to October.  Go to By Passenger Ferry for more information.

Where do I park near Long Wharf North in Boston?

There are many private lots available, with separate weekend and weekday rates.  

For Weekends:  International Place Parking (1 International Place) has discount parking:  $9.00, then pick up a $2.00 discount voucher at the Pavilion or Ferry Center.  From this location, take a left onto the Greenway and walk 3-4 minutes to the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion.  International Place is a secure facility, so expect to show your ID.  Other private lots offer weekend discounted rates of $10 to $15.

For Weekdays:  We recommend public transit.  Most private lots are over $25.  Lewis Wharf at 28 Atlantic Ave. in the North End is a 5 minute walk.  It has limited space, but at $15 is very inexpensive.

How can I take public transit to the Boston Harbor Islands?

Long Wharf North in Boston is close to many subway stops on the "T".  The Aquarium stop on the Blue Line is a one minute walk to the Ferry Center.  For those not wishing for subway transfers to go one stop, State on the Orange Line and Haymarket on the Green and Orange Line are a 5-7 minute walk away as well.

The othher Gateways can all be accessed via MBTA Bus routes:  Quincy (#220, 221, or 222); Hingham (#220); Hull (#714), and South Boston EDIC Pier (#SL2)..  Three of the four peninsula areas are near MBTA bus route stops:  Webb Memorial Park (#221); Nut Island (#216); and Deer Island (#712).  Please refer to the MBTA for more details.

Park Map

Boston Harbor Island Map

Ferry Schedule

Ferry Schedule

Ferry Tickets

Purchase Ferry Tickets