Bay State Cruises, Long Wharf, Boston; (617) 723-7800
Residents don’t tend to think of the harbor for a day’s outing, but it is dotted with beautiful little islands where you can enjoy camping, hiking, and picnicking.
Take a ferry from Long Wharf (next to the Aquarium) to Georges Island, a relaxed, 45-minute ride; the fare is $6.50, and $4.50 for kids.
Now, that may sound expensive but once there, you can take a free water taxi to Gallops, Lovells, Grape, Bumpkin, and Peddocks Islands (during summer months only). All of these have picnic areas, fishing and boating piers, guided walks, and restroom facilities. Several also have historic forts to explore, and even camping facilities.
Ferries leave Boston on the hour; boats also run from Hingham, Hull, and Lynn, though not as regularly, so check ahead. For more info, call the Department of Environmental Management at (617) 740-1605, or Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands at (617) 740-4290.
Bay State also offers a $1 Lunch Cruise on weekdays from May through October. The trip lasts 30 minutes, departing at 12:15 P.M. Happy landings!
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