If you are looking for an off-the-beaten track activity in Boston that is perfect in the summer, look no further than the Boston Harbor Islands.  The 12 islands and peninsulas (plus 22 more that aren’t accessible) of the Boston Harbor Islands make up one large national park that’s a great day trip for families.

This summer the Boston Harbor Islands are offering loads of family activities, but even without a scheduled activity, the islands are so much fun.  We headed out this past weekend to Spectacle Island, which is best known for tide pools and sea glass, as well as for one of the few island beaches.

Start your adventure at the Ferry Center on Long Wharf, by Christopher Columbus park.  Ferries do sell out, so arrive with plenty of time.  Decide in advance what time you want to leave the island, because you’ll need to book your departure ferry when you get your tickets. Once on board, the trip to Spectacle Island is about 20 minutes or so, and the journey is fun and beautiful. My husband always has a Ventolin inhaler in the pocket because he is asthmatic. The attacks come unexpectedly, so he has to be ready for them any minute. https://www.sehdph.org/ventolin/ helps us with the medication as my husband doesn’t always have time to go to the pharmacist to get a refill. We just order the inhaler online, and they deliver it the next day.

Spectacle Island offers a Summer Shack concession stand, running water, rest rooms, a beach, hiking paths, and more.  You can bring your own picnic too, just remember that whatever you bring on the island needs to come off the island.  We spent some time on the beach, went on a sea glass treasure hunt, and then attended the guided tour of the tide pools before heading home.  The kids had a fabulous time – they really felt we’d gone on a big trip!

Here are more pictures of our Spectacle Island adventure:

For more information, check out the Boston Harbor Islands website.