Since the days of the pilgrims, Boston’s harbor has shaped its unique history. John Smith discovered Boston Harbor just before Pocahontas discovered John Smith. The convenient port made Boston an early commerce hub, importing most of the goods required by colonial Americans. The most notable of these, of course, was tea, leading to the infamous Boston Tea Party and then the American Revolution.
The seafaring character of Boston’s port continues to the modern day. History buffs and ship enthusiasts alike can take a peek into the past at the harbor’s Tea Party Ships and Museum. Be sure to check out the jewel of the museum’s colonial artifacts, a tea chest that is thought to have been upended during the tea party in 1773.
Boston is still an active port, and the destination for both historic and modern ships. In mid-July, the Sail Boston event gathers historic tall ships from the world to dock in the harbor—some even host tours! This gala is a must-see for native Bostonians and tourists alike. And the wealth of cruise deals weighing anchor from Boston’s port allow would-be sailors to seek out their own slice of adventure on the high seas.
Boston Harbor’s historical significance is just one reason to visit. There are a host of islands in the harbor, and thirty-four of them have been designated part the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Bring your hiking shoes and your camera—the wide New England beaches are open to the public, as well as trails, lighthouses, and even the Civil War outpost Fort Warren.
But after a long day of sightseeing, you’ll be happy to discover that Boston Harbor has plenty of modern comforts as well. You can stop for some outstanding seafood and an amazing view at Anthony’s Pier 4, or enjoy the baked goods at Flour Bakery and Café.