Everything You Need to Know About Traveling to Boston Harbor

The Boston Harbor, an estuary of the Massachusetts Bay, could be considered the original stronghold of American pride and rebellion. This pivotal port was the scene of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, an act that fueled the flames between the American colonists and their homeland of Britain. Talk about spilling the tea!

Boston Harbor Cribbage Board

Boston Harbor is a 494-acre estuary sheltered from the Massachusetts Bay and the Atlantic Ocean by peninsulas, islands, and points. Each plays their part to create the inner harbor and the outer harbor you’ll see etched in detail on a wood map.

The basin originated as a glacier, and the depths were carved over time. The development of deeper channels propelled Boston Harbor to prominence in a booming shipping industry.

The inner harbor has served as the main port of Boston Harbor. It is bordered by port facilities and the Boston Waterfront, developed for recreational and residential uses. The mouths of the Charles and Mystic Rivers merge to create the beginning of the inner harbor, flowing to Castle Island, where the inner harbor melts into the outer harbor. Castle Island is beautifully detailed on a wood map, wrapped around Pleasure Bay which blends into Dorchester Bay and glides into the outer harbor.

The outer harbor is made up of three small bays: Dorchester Bay, Quincy Bay, and Hingham Bay. In the details of a wood map, you will see President Roads and Nantasket Roads, which are not driving roads but deep-water anchorages separated by Long Island. The harbor is fed by several rivers, including: 

Rivers of the Outer Harbor

  • Neponset River
  • Weymouth Fore River
  • Weir River
Boston Harbor

The melting glacier raised the water levels in the basin, creating thirty-four islands and peninsulas and 47 miles of shoreline. Boston Harborwalk is a public waterfront Boston Harbor walkway that stretches along 40 miles of shoreline, weaving among piers, wharves, and beaches. This Boston Harbor walkway meanders through some of Boston’s waterfront neighborhoods, including: 

Waterfront Neighborhoods on Boston Harbor

  • Chelsea Creek
  • East Boston
  • Charlestown
  • North End
  • Downtown
  • Fort Point
  • South Boston
  • Dorchester
Boston Harbor Wood Chart

The Harborwalk offers a unique perspective of the harbor, following the shoreline as outlined on a Boston Harbor wood map. Glimpses of islands and the peninsulas that jut into the harbor from the mainline can be seen at the surface. Still, the channels, shelves, and roads submerged in the depths can only be appreciated in the details of a high-quality wood map.

The Boston Harborwalk and tony waterfront neighborhoods are only the beginning of the Boston Harbor experience. The historical significance of the port combined with the nautical vibe of the harbor city make this travel experience magical. So put some water on to boil and steep your favorite leaves; the tea on Boston Harbor will have you wicked excited to start planning your trip to Beantown.

What to do Around Boston Harbor

Sailing in Boston Harbor

Boston Harbor offers an impressive array of recreational activities that revolve around the harbor and its prominent islands. Due to water temperatures, swimming is only popular in July and August, but water activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and lounging at the beach are in season longer. Check off a bucket list adventure and support youth development by sailing with Courageous Sailing!

Boston Harbor Island National and State Park is a top destination for locals and tourists and an important ecological habitat for wildlife. In addition, the islands serve as a recreational and educational paradise for those interested in area wildlife, abandoned hospital sites, and historic military forts. Looking for the first lighthouse built in America? Boston Light has guarded the entrance to New England’s busiest port since 1716. 

Sightseeing around the Boston Harbor

The islands offer a variety of historic buildings, including abandoned quarantine stations, prisons, almshouses, and hospitals. Peddock’s Island is featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Shutter Island and serves as the backdrop for the fictitious mental asylum. Scour a wood map of Boston Harbor, and you will not be surprised to find the long, narrow, seemingly forlorn island isolated near Nantasket Roads.

Boston Harbor Serving Tray

Many of the Boston Harbor islands have well-marked historical ruins and considerably wilder locations that technically aren’t abandoned as part of a national park system; however, you may find the original purpose of the ruins is enough to creep you out a bit.

Cemeteries, glue factories for horses, and legendary dumping grounds are just the beginning. But if you are looking for an abandoned fort to get the shivers running up your spine, search out Georges Island on your wood map.

Georges Island is slightly more “touristy” than the other islands and is home to the impressively intact remains of Fort Warren. Rangers will give you a free tour of the base once used by the Confederate Army as a prison, training ground, and patrol point for the Massachusetts regiment of the Union Army. Feeling brave? Ask for extra time in the old hospital and let them regale you with stories of escaped prisoners and hidden crawl spaces.

Other Islands to Explore in Boston Harbor

  • Bumpkin Island
  • Grape Island
  • Little Brewster Island
  • Spectacle Island
  • The Graves

Boston Museums

Activity at Boston Children's Museum

Looking to get away from the water? You can spend days wandering through the museums of Boston. No museum tour is complete without a walk through the Hero of the War of 1812, the USS Constitution, located in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The Boston Children’s Museum and The Institute of Contemporary Art will satisfy your hunger for learning and pique your interest for more!

Still not done sipping the Boston Harbor tea? There’s a museum for that! The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum encourages you to relive the night the tea hit the water, exploring three traditional ships modeled after those that were overrun that fateful night. If you are done with tea, there is a tavern. Cheers! 

Keep Exploring Boston Harbor at These Attractions

With so much to see and do in and around Boston Harbor, you will already be thinking about your next trip to The Hub. Will you put more time for island exploring on the itinerary next visit? Looking at your wood map, you will see there are many more islands to explore. One thing is for sure, the incredible number of eateries, patisseries, and fine dining restaurants require another trip that focuses solely on eating.

Where To Eat When Enjoying the Boston Harbor Area

You may be thinking Beantown’s most significant moment was Boston Baked Beans. You are not entirely wrong, but with enviable access to fresh seafood and a creative spirit that just will not quit, Bostonians continued to make their mark in the culinary world. Perhaps you have heard of a little thing called Boston Cream Pie? Boston Harbor is ready to wow you with its gastronomic artistry. 

Best Places to Eat Around Boston Harbor

  1. Woods Hill Pier 4
  2. Lolita Fort Point
  3. Chickadee
  4. Committee

Woods Hill Pier 4 Has That Memorable Magic

    Seafood in Boston

    Dress wicked smart and make your way to the Seaport District. Woods Hill Pier 4 is a fine dining establishment that provides farm-to-table meats and produce as fresh as the seafood coming straight from the harbor. Your view of the inner harbor near the Fort Point Channel will be etched in your memory, just as it is detailed in the wood map you have chosen to guide and commemorate your trip. 

    Lolita Fort Point for a Strong Margarita; Chips and Salsa Optional

      Another culinary treat in the Seaport District is Lolita Fort Point, a Mexican cantina with a deliciously split personality. The inside is as deviously macabre as the outside is fresh and delightful. Moderately priced and expertly prepared dishes are paired with cocktails as brisk as the wind blowing off the inner harbor.

      Chickadee is Off-the-Beaten-Path and in a Class by Itself

        Take time to veer off the main path and fly by the incomparable Chickadee. Unique snacks, small plates, and main dishes will have you happily stuffed, but you always have room for the best fried chicken in Boston. The sleek interior will be a change from the nautical, hand-crafted vibe of some of the seafood establishments you have seen, creating a pleasant surprise to see the abundance of seafood on the menu.

        Committee Keeps the Greek Food Game on Point

          Boston Harbor, Massachusetts 3-D Nautical Chart, 13"x17"

          Committee offers a fashionably tantalizing and industrial-cool interior while plating up melt-in-your-mouth classic Greek dishes with a boozy sidekick. The glitzy Mediterranean décor and inventive presentations will have you coming back for several meals. The brunch menu is tempting enough to get out of bed early, even on vacation.

          Whether it is seafood with a side of comfort or a classic Greek gyro with a chaser of ouzo, you will find the perfect match for your taste buds in the Seaport District and beyond. A wood map of Boston Harbor shows the streets and landmarks, solidifying your resolve to find your favorites again the next day and for years to come!

          Where to Stay in the Boston Harbor Area

          With beautiful views of Boston Harbor at every turn, finding waterfront accommodations is not a difficult task. Evaluating prices at certain times of the year is an extra consideration, but plan wisely to get the best deals while treating yourself to the best views! The hardest decision you want to make when it comes to finding your perfect hideaway is deciding between a serene water view and a vibrant city view.

          Top Places to Stay Around Boston Harbor

          1. Battery Wharf Hotel
          2. Boston Harbor Hotel
          3. The Godfrey Hotel Boston
          4. Bed & Breakfast Afloat at Constitution Marina

          The Battery Wharf Hotel is Worth the Trip

            The Battery Wharf Hotel sets the standard for luxury accommodations with harbor views. Steps from restaurants, museums, and local attractions, the Battery Wharf Hotel will keep you in the action while enjoying the relaxing ambiance and adult beverages on the balcony. Incomparable elegance will meet you at the end of every day and re-energize you for your next day of exploration.

            Check Your Wood Map – Boston Harbor Hotel Has Views of Rowes Wharf

              Boston Harbor Hotel Logo

              As you explore the points of interest on your wood map, few hotel accommodations will be as close as the Boston Harbor Hotel. Located in the Financial District, the hotel is steps away from popular restaurants, shops, and the famed Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

              If You are Thinking Boutique, Stay at The Godfrey Hotel

                Immediately upon entering The Godfrey Hotel, you will wonder how you can feel so laid-back in such a sophisticated setting. Never has a 1908 Gothic Revival façade felt so modern and comfortable. You will feel the Boston energy from the lobby yet have the freedom to escape to the tranquility of your room. Check your wood map – 1908 has never been closer to everything you want to see near the Boston Harbor!

                Float into Your Historic Vacation at Bed & Breakfast Afloat

                  An experience for the history books – houseboats in the Constitution Marina of Boston Harbor! Drift off to dream as you float in the very waters that once felt the fury of American colonists, the harbor embracing the boxes of tea that symbolized rebellion and independence. Start your morning pinkie up with a cup of tea and explore the streets of Boston just steps from the dock.

                  Boston Harbor cork map

                  Boston Harbor is more than just a destination. It is a journey. The iconic waters represent the foundation of our country, founded on resistance, freedom, and more than a little tenacity. Our journey as a country started in the deep channels and roads etched in detail on a high-quality wood map.

                  Explore the incredible precision of the shorelines and islands on the wood map of Boston Harbor. See each island you visited and recall feeling a little creeped out near the abandoned asylum, but very nostalgic near Fort Warren on Georges Island. Trace the streets to the Seaport District, and you can almost smell the delicacies of each eatery. 

                  Your wood map is a roadmap back to the sights, smells, and feelings of your Boston Harbor journey. Your Boston Harbor wood map will remind you that it was more than just a destination—it was the journey that started your personal revolution of travel!

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