Andy and I often talk about how lucky we are to be New Englanders. There's something here for everyone: beaches, mountains, forests...adventurey stuff, chill stuff, artsy stuff...great seafood, craft breweries, Ben & Jerry's. Hey, if talk of food made you hungry, check out this Buzzfeed post of foods New England does better than anywhere else - Andy has very strong opinions about #8, while I'm a connoisseur of #17. One of the more touristy things to do here is to visit the Boston Harbor Islands. It took me a good 10 years of living here before I went. I always figured it was a right of passage for locals, so I was shocked to learn that Andy, a born and raised Bostonian, had never been. We set a day and hoped for good weather.
There are over 30 islands in Boston Harbor, but only 8 of them are accessible by ferry. If you have your own boat, or hire one, you can access another 19 islands. The rest are closed to the public, which would seem like a challenge to me if I owned a boat. On this particular day, we stuck to just one island: Georges Island. Why? FORT!
During the Civil War, Fort Warren was essentially a prison for Confederate soldiers and political prisoners. It was also active during World War I and II. In 1961, it was opened to the general public. If you're into ghost-hunting, The Lady in Black story happened at this very fort. The crib notes version of the story goes like this: confederate soldier is held as prisoner, wife of confederate soldier travels up from South Carolina to rescue husband, wife gets caught by guards and tries to shoot them, gun explodes in her hand, shrapnel hits husband in the head, husband dies, wife is tried and hung wearing a black robe at Fort Warren.
Jeez, what a way to go out. Some of the tunnels and rooms are SO DARK. Bring a flashlight to explore - or use your iphone flash like I did. It can be the sunniest day ever outside, but much of the interior remains pitch black.
My favorite place at Fort Warren has got to be the artillery storage building. I would convert this into the most epic studio apartment, you guys. We spent a long time in this one-room building just hanging out. For being a place where instruments of death and carnage were stored, this room had great energy.
You can stroll around the entire perimeter of the the five-sided fort. The path changes from fields of grass to seawalls to lightly worn sandy roads.
On a clear summer day like the one we lucked out having, you can see for miles. In the distance, you can make out the city of Boston. Tons of lighthouses and other islands dot the horizon too.
Here's Andy following directions during a water break.
Pro Travel Tip: Be a tourist in your own town! Visit websites like Roadside America and Only In Your State to get some ideas on where to day-trip from your own home base. I bet there's more than you think. If you open yourself up to the experience and don't act like the jaded local you might want to be (me), spots like Georges Islands are a total gem. NEXT