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Boston’s Historic Harbor

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Other American cities have numerous and significant historic sites, but Boston, Mass., has earned the moniker “Cradle of Liberty” for plenty of good reasons. The first major battle of the American Revolution took place in the Boston area, and the region is teeming with historical sites that played crucial roles in forming our nation. Therefore, traveling history buffs should allow plenty of time to explore Boston, being sure to visit Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and Boston National Historic Park. RVers who are not history buffs can at least enjoy the views and the outdoor activities the area affords.

Most visitors reach the islands of the recreation area via a ferry that departs from and returns to Long Wharf-North in Boston. However, four-wheeled travelers can drive onto the peninsulas that lead to Nut Island, Deer Island, World’s End and Webb Memorial. And, of course, should boaters feel so inclined, they can arrive by water and then pitch a tent on many of the 34 islands that exist within the recreation area.

Choosing which of those islands to visit could prove difficult for visitors, though most everyone will appreciate Spectacle Island. Once used as a dumping ground for the city, Spectacle Island is now a shining example of revitalization, today featuring a green visitor center, more than five miles of hiking trails and pristine sandy beaches, only a handful of which exist on these islands. Lifeguards preside over the swimming areas in summertime.

Visitors to the islands can check out a Civil War fort and view historic lighthouses. While they are in the region, they should also be certain to visit the numerous historical sites that fall within Boston National Historic Park, on the mainland.

National Park rangers conduct daily 90-minute walking tours of Boston’s Freedom Trail, from mid-April through November. Bunker Hill Monument and Faneuil Hall offer historic talks year round, and the U.S. Navy conducts tours of the U.S.S. Constitution. The Paul Revere House and Old North Church are both privately administered, but both are nearby and played pivotal roles in America’s history.  

Boston National Historic Park
617-242-5642, nps.gov/bost


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