Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands

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Published by: Union Park Press
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Pages: 224
ISBN13: 978-1934598061



Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands is an indispensable resource for those who want to uncover the best kept secret in the Northeast.

Part history, part travel guide, this book is the most compelling invitation to explore the Boston Harbor Islands National Park area to date. Complete with resource listings of recreational activities on and around the harbor islands and richly illustrated with over 150 full-color photographs, Christopher Klein’s comprehensive coverage and keen wit are sure to inspire thousands of landlubbers and mariners to leave port for many summers to come.

Explore the military installations that protected Boston during wartime including Fort Warren, home of Confederate prisoners during the Civil War. Visit Boston Light on Little Brewster, site of the nation’s oldest lighthouse. Kayak into the coves where pirates and bootleggers once hid. Wander the meadows that were the camps of Native Americans and the sites of Revolutionary skirmishes. Sail to the outer islands, a spectacular ocean wilderness. Find the best year-round fishing spots and discover why the islands are a birders paradise. Dive amid century-old shipwrecks or climb to the top of Spectacle Island for an altogether different view of the Boston skyline. Take in a jazz concert, an antique baseball game, or simply hop from one island to the next to experience the stunning natural beauty of this most storied national park area.

Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands is sure to resonate with new and veteran islanders. Whether its hiking, camping, a trip through history, or a simple getaway to spend a day at the beach, a visit to the harbor islands offers an outdoor experience wholly unique to the geography and heritage of Boston. Don’t leave port without it!


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“A wonderful companion piece to the hidden island treasures off Boston’s coast.”
—Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island

Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands is not your average guidebook. It is an exceptional example of its genre… Don’t visit the islands without it, and, by all means, visit!”
—Points East Magazine

Additional Press Coverage


Portrait of the Harbor: An Introduction

As the crowd boards the ferry at Boston’s Long Wharf, a sense of anticipation mingles with the smells of salt water and suntan lotion filling the air. Young children tote their sand pails. Their parents carry coolers with picnic supplies. Intrepid campers haul their gear and tents. The women of the Red Hat Society scour the itinerary for their afternoon outing. It’s a diverse crowd, to be sure, but they all have one thing in common: they’re embarking on an island adventure.

Within moments, the ferry is underway, passing the burgeoning South Boston Waterfront and gliding underneath the bellies of jumbo jets landing at Logan International Airport. Seagoing vessels of all varieties crowd the harbor. The spire of the Old North Church, the tower of the Custom House, and the rest of the city skyline dissolve in the mist, and a cool sea breeze tempers the sultry summer heat.

In no time at all the passengers arrive at their destination: Spectacle Island. It’s a completely different world from the one they just left. The canyon walls of Boston’s skyscrapers have been replaced by open skies. The chaos of the city streets has been supplanted by the tranquility of island life.

Read the full excerpt