Taking the MBTA commuter boat from Hingham is one of our favorite ways to get into Boston in the summer. It’s not too expensive, parking is cheap (currently $2), and the boat in itself is part of the adventure. The ride to Boston is roughly 30 minutes, and the route provides views of Webb State Park, World’s End, Hull, the Boston Harbor Islands, Logan Airport, the Seaport, and the Boston skyline. Plus, the boat serves booze (not that we enjoyed any)! You can take the boat to either Long Wharf or Rowes Wharf in Boston, depending on the schedule, but either destination provides a convenient location for exploring the Greenway, Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, and the North End.
HOW TO GET THERE
Hingham Shipyard Commuter Boat Parking
Hingham, MA 02043
Enter the Shipyard from Route 3A and follow the signs to the Commuter Boat Parking. Park in the designated lot and pay from your phone. Instructions are posted around the lot. The current price is $2 per day. Commuter boat schedule is here.
TRAIL DESCRIPTION & MAP:
Obviously, you can do many things once you take the boat to Boston. But here’s what we do at least once a year. We take the boat to Rowes Wharf and cross the street to the Rose Kennedy Greenway. We take our time exploring the gardens and the art installations. The Trillium Beer Garden is here if you time your visit right. There is also a part of the greenway that is a mister that our kids like to run through to cool down. We walk to the Custom House (tall building with the clock) and then head to the left towards Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market. We head to the Chipyard and buy a dozen chocolate chip cookies (or more…) and eat them all. 😉 Then we walk to Columbus Park and hit the playground for a bit. From there, we walk to the North End, get a few slices of pizza to go (any of them will be good, but this time we tried Ernesto’s. It was delicious!), and then order cannolis and green leaf cookies for dessert from Modern Pastry or Mike’s Pastry. (Jim likes Modern, Amy likes Mike’s!) We take our pizza to the splash pad area right across the street from the North End. There are tons of tables and swing benches near the splash pad fountains. Bring a towel and change of clothing and have your kids wear bathing suits! Finding a place to change clothes is impossible…while they are young we basically hide them in the bushes and put up towels around them, but that won’t work much longer… Once we are done with the splash pad, we walk along the Harbor Walk past the New England Aquarium. We check out the seals in the tank (free!) and follow the Harbor Walk back to Rowes Wharf.
Rated on a scale of 1 (difficult/not good) to 5 (easy/awesome!)
P – Parking & Access – 5 (The Shipyard has a huge lot with hundreds of spaces. Even on a work day the parking lot was not full. Parking is $2, and you pay on your phone.)https://youtu.be/3pdKIOu31BE
I – Interest Level – 5 (Our kids love this trip, and it’s relatively inexpensive. The boat ride was the highlight for our kids.)
N – Navigation – 4 (Boston is second-nature to us because we have spent so much time there. But even if you’re not familiar with the area, grab a free map at the commuter boat terminal. Because you can use the harbor and the buildings as landmarks, it’s hard to get lost!)
T – Terrain – 5 (Everywhere we went today was stroller friendly and wheelchair accessible.)
The P.I.N.T. Score represents our opinions on this trail. It reflects our experience, perception, and physical health. Therefore, the scores are not intended to be expert advice, nor will they be accurate for everyone: we cannot judge what may or may not be appropriate for each individual’s different abilities. Consult a physician or medical expert before attempting any new physical activity. Hiking contains inherent hazards, so hike at your own risk. You should always make your own decisions about what level of physical activity is appropriate for you and your family. Weather and other factors may affect trail conditions. Remember, trail conditions may change suddenly and drastically at any time.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- The boat ride. Check out the Harbor Islands, including George’s Island and Castle Island as well was views of planes taking off and landing from Logan Airport.
2. Rowes Wharf Rotunda
3. The Rose Kennedy Greenway
4. The site of the Boston Massacre and Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market
5. Greenway Splash pad near the North End
6. The New England Aquarium seal tanks.