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Spectacle Island, Boston

(4.1/5 based on 80 reviews on the web)
Spectacle Island is a 105-acre island in Boston Harbor, 4mi offshore of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is part of the city of Boston. The island has a varied history, and today is a public park with a marina, visitor center, cafe, lifeguarded swimming beach, and five miles of walking trails, forming part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. It is served all year by ferries from Boston, and on weekends and summer weekdays by a shuttle boat to and from nearby islands.TopographyThe island was initially composed of two small drumlins connected by a spit, with an approximate size of 49acre. The name is believed to derive from its then-resemblance to a pair of spectacles. However, dumping of trash and dirt, together with subsequent landscaping, have resulted in a significantly larger island with a permanent size of 85acre, plus an intertidal zone of a further 28acre.The island is now composed of two artificial earth mounds, terraced with retaining walls, roads and newly planted vegetation. With a height above sea level of 157ft, Spectacle Island is now one of the highest points on Boston Harbor. The island's inner harbor acreage is 114, with 85.5 upland acres and 28.4 intertidal acres.HistoryStarting in the early 19th century, the island was used exclusively for its relative remoteness from Boston. Two hotels were built in 1847, only to be closed by police ten years later when it was discovered they were used for gambling and other illicit activities.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We thoroughly enjoyed our half day trip to Spectacle Island - leaving on the 10:30 BHC ferry and returning at 3:30. On the outgoing trip a guide explained the sights in the Boston Harbor and talked ab...  more »
  • We had no idea that there were so many islands to see in the Boston Harbor. The boat trip offered incredible views of the city. While on the island we were able to take a swim, hike all over the islan...  more »
  • Part of visiting Boston consisted of navigating the River, so we decided to do a walk in boat and for the short time that we had decided to go to Spectacle Island. The tour is impressive views and from Boston and the rest of the Islands that cross along the way. To the reach us surprised the island that has a beach beautiful where when makes much heat the people enjoy of it. The island has very wild vegetation. It has a care or managed by Park Rangers, reception centre where there are drinks, bathrooms, costumes and information about the island. I recommend the experience and views in the evening returning to Boston from the boat.
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