George's Island
George's Island
4.5
About
Georges Island is home to historic Fort Warren, a Civil War-era fort known for its graceful granite archways and reputed ghost, the Lady in Black. The fort and its grassy parade ground are a popular place for a scenic, low-stress walk. Take a ranger-guided tour or visit the new museum with exhibits about the history of the fort. Enjoy a picnic under the shade of a tree. Get exceptional views of the surrounding islands and Boston Light from the ramparts and east sea wall. Georges Island is a frequent stop for the island ferries and provides a jumping-off point for other islands. Georges Island opens upon the first ferry arrival in May and closes in October each year.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles181 reviews
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FrequentFlier12269
Nashua, NH1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
When I went to George's Island I didn't even know it existed. I went with my Dad, my Uncle, and my Cousin. That week I had a lot of stress on my shoulders, and when we went to the island, it all just seemed to slip away. It was sooo much fun. My cousin and I went running through the fort at full speed trying to find any hidden spaces that maybe no one had discovered before. We found one... It's location...I won't reveal. You'll just have to find it on your own... HAPPY HUNTING! It'll be fun.
Written 19 February 2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

m LG
Boston, MA87 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Family
Of the Boston Harbor Islands, George's Island is my favorite. I've gone here with a big group of friends as well as my soon-to-be boyfriend (now husband!), mostly during the summer, and it's a pleaser either way. There are picnic benches and a small beach, so we brought lunch to enjoy.

What's most notable about the island, though, is Fort Warren, a Civil-war era fort that has been maintained and yet not restored -- meaning that it's made safe for exploring but isn't museum-ified or set up to look like it did in the 1800s. This makes the fort an excellent place to wander around, creeping into nooks and crannies and wondering what it might have looked like filled with soldiers and ammunition. There are definitely some dark places, and areas where you need to watch your step, so a flashlight and some sturdy-ish shoes are helpful.

Once you're done with exploring, there are plenty of wide grassy places to sit and admire the skyline of Boston, seemingly a world away.
Written 17 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SH627
Plainville, MA42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Friends
Boston is full of surprises and the Harbor islands I have to say is one of the great ones. I went with a few friends to on a Saturday. To get to the island you take the ferry from Long wharf in the North end. The boat to the island was quick, only about 15-20 minutes. You get amazing views of the city along the way. The Fort Warren entrance is right at the dock. You are welcome to explore the old fortress, go inside the buildings, walk along the roof/gun batteries. If you are at all interested in history, this place is packed with it. The views of the surrounding islands in the harbor are amazing as is the view of the city in the distance. Bring a picnic lunch and find a spot to hang out for the day. Saw lots of people(families/college kids/couples/you name it) If you are looking for something to do in Boston and the weather is nice I highly recommend a day on George's island.
Written 14 August 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NekoCat
Franklin, MA680 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2011 • Couples
I was immediately impressed by the island surrounds and the condition of Fort Warren. Beautiful old shade trees and the parade grounds are pristine. I have been to many forts and this has to be one of the larger ones still in great condition. There didn't seem to be any limitations with roaming in and around the fort itself. Huge gun emplacements with no guard rails, so be careful with small children. Pitch black powder magazine to explore. It would have been an impressive sight seeing this place in its day.

Tourist or local, I would definitely recommend a visit. Added bonus is the view of Boston and a nice ferry ride out to the island. There is also a nice snack shop and visitor center / museum, so be sure to leave enough time to see everything.

You have to select your departure time when you purchase your ferry tickets. I believe you can go stand-by to leave earlier if there is room. Otherwise, plan accordingly.
Written 30 June 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WendyJG
Arlington, MA46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
It's embarrassing that for as long as I've lived in the Boston area, I'd never been to the Boston Harbor Islands before this past week. I've flown over them when leaving from Logan, always thinking "Hey, I need to visit one or two of these islands" and I'll bet that a lot of area residents say the same thing.

We finally went to Georges Island today to ride the ferry and get on the water. It's a half-hour ferry trip from Long Wharf (near the Aquarium) and stops at Spectacle Island along the way. (Spectacle Island has a swimming beach with a lifeguard, so many people got off the ferry at this point.) A word of caution here - the ferries had gotten off schedule today. I don't know if this is a regular occurrence, but plan ahead! And lines form quickly, so there's always the chance that you might have to wait until the next ferry before boarding (yes, ferry crew members do a head count).

Georges Island is home to Fort Warren, a huge military fort built during the Civil War and used up through WW2. When we visited today, it was "Civil War Encampment Weekend," so there were people roaming through the fort in period costume and doing military drills. Walking through the maze-like structure and on the ramparts takes some time, and you'll certainly want to sit and enjoy the views of other islands, boats, and the lighthouse. There are plenty of benches and tables near the shore for picnicking, and a small snack bar and restrooms...you just need to pack out whatever you pack in. (Bring your own water!)

I'd heard about the Lady in Black (ghost of an imprisoned soldier's widow) at Fort Warren, but did not spot her. The closest I came was a couple of women in Civil War-era dress sewing, but they were human volunteers :)

There's no swimming permitted at Georges Island. If you don't mind that, you can easily spend at least three hours roaming through the fort and grounds. The ferry prices are a bit steep ($12 per adult, but inter-island ferries are free), but worth being out on the water on a hot July day.
Written 21 July 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

redeco
Warren, MA9,288 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The trip to Georges Island departs from Long Wharf and takes a little less than a half hour, yet transports passengers to a world apart. Once on the island, Fort Warren immediately dominates. The granite structure rises three and four stories high and encompasses much of the the 40-acre island.

There is a newly finished visitor center with clean bathrooms and a very good food concession, a film about Fort Warren, and various artifacts in a museum setting. Tours of the site are free. The fort was named after Dr. Joseph Warren who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The largely granite structure is huge and was built to house up to 2,500 soldiers. It is here that the "Lady in Black" walks in circles on the parade ground at night. She is the widow of a Confederate soldier who she came to rescue and inadvertently shot to death. She was executed and still haunts the fort. Sad story.

The fort is pretty much open. You can explore many of the rooms, the immense parade ground, the bastions, outer defenses, and sallyport. You can climb the ramparts and observation tower. And you can still see the emplacements where rows of cannon once stood. Visitors could easily spend a couple of hours checking out the fort and the expansive views from the ramparts.

I highly recommend a visit here. Take your time; enjoy the fort and grounds; and savor the experience.
Written 5 August 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jacob'smom
Massachusetts187 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Family
The kids 9, 15 1/2 and I did a weekend of "vacation in your own backyard" with the focus on going to the Boston Harbor Islands. We intended to do more than George's Island but we found enough to do on George's to keep us entertained for the day.

1st took the 10am ferry out of Long Wharf. Amazing ride and beautiful views of the city from the ferry. Approximately a 50 minute ride from North Long Wharf. Food on board is pricey and consists of sandwiches, pretzels, chips and the like.

Landed at George's and combed the rocky beach for sea glass and shells (which, you shouldn't take with you) and dipped our feet in the water while waiting for our tours. 15 yo took adult tour of Fort Warren, which dominates the island, while the 9 yo and I did the "Storming the Fort" Tour of the Fort--where we got to literally "storm" this Civil War Era Fort. Both tours were amazing and FREE!

Walked around the Island and on the escarpment which gave us an amazing view of the rest of the Harbor. Then we played Civil War Games on the lawn with the Park Staff. There was also a ghost story/tour offered and other activities, all for FREE! And a playground "fort" for kids. The Park staff were friendly, knowledgeable, approachable, and FUN!

The only criticisms I have are that the schedule is confusing to read--trying to understand how to get to the other islands from Georges without going all the way back to Boston.

Also, the Islands cafe was s-l-o-w as molasses. They have a sign to make sure you order 15 minutes before your ferry. It should say 30-45 minutes! And we ordered at 1:45, not exactly what you'd call prime lunch time. It's also expensive and heavy on seafood. They have a caesar and hot dogs, chicken fingers, grilled cheese and hamburgers, but they deal mostly in classic New England fare. The food was better than average for this type of concession. However, considering the price and the indeterminable wait you may be better off getting picnic food at a Star Market in town and having a picnic on the parade grounds or at the picnic tables surrounding the Fort.

Bathrooms were flush toilets and relatively clean. They also have picnic tables, a tiny gift shop, a small museum/film in the visitor center.

On the trip back, we were allowed to watch the crew throw and knot the rope to the dock. The ferry crew were very nice and were great with the kids, answering all kinds of questions they had.
Written 1 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Toshi J
9 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Friends
We went to this island from Boston Harbour where we parked our car. And then took a Ferry from there. As soon as we reached there there was a long line for food. We had to wait for more than half an hour. I did not like this place a lot however we could take any ferry from there to any other nearby islands for free which we did for Spectacle island. We liked it much better than previous on, we went to the highest point and had a beautiful view from there.
Written 13 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ginny M
Wayland, Massachusetts21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2011
Great old Fort surrounded by tons of water. Easy cruise from Boston by ferry. Try and go during the civil war reenactment, usually early August, lots of historical fun for everyone!
Written 12 April 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dave D
Norton, MA2,145 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
We took the ferry out here on a Sunday morning for a picnic and tour of the grounds. There are a number of picnic tables where you can have lunch (and a couple of charcoal grills) located a short walk from the ferry dock. It is important to know that Georges Island does not have garbage cans, so you have to carry off what you carry on. Pack light!

After lunch, we wandered around the Visitor Center for a bit before our tour. There is a lot to see in the Visitor Center, so take your time!

Our tour and tour guide was ok. We were told that each tour guide brings their own theme to their tour of Georges Island, and ours was about the time the island was a prison and a hospital during the Civil War. My only criticism is that it would be nice if Georges Island posted what the theme of each tour was going to be, that way, if you are more interested in one tour guide's topic over another, you know which tour and time you want to go on.

Other than that, the staff on the island did a great job of announcing the incoming ferries and what islands they were going to or when the ferry back to Boston was. We had a great time and want to go visit more islands soon!

If you go in the summer, make sure you put on sunscreen and drink a lot of water. There was one refillable water bottle station behind the bathrooms, but it was broken. The visitor stand (where the tour starts) had 3 large water containers (like what you see at sports games), and a lot of people were refilling from there.
Written 24 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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