If your summer plans include camping, then this Massachusetts National Park might need to be on your radar.

Recently called "The Best Camping in Massachusetts" by Conde Nast Traveler, Boston Harbor Islands National Park might be the hidden gem you're looking for this camping season.

Just be prepared to rough it.

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Honestly, these islands look lovely and traveling to them takes just a short ferry ride from Boston Harbor.

The National Park includes 13 islands, though only four are accessible on public ferry. Of those four, only one is open for camping for the 2024 season.

READ MORE: Massachusetts Has A New National Park

This summer, Peddocks Island will be the lone camping island, offering tent sites and large yurts for those brave enough to stay the night.

Why do you need to be brave? Well, on Peddocks Island there are no showers, no supplies and you need to bring your own fresh drinking water.

It's a unique, rustic camping experience that happens to offer amazing views of the Boston skyline, a rare combination indeed.


Luckily, it also happens to be an inexpensive camping experience. Massachusetts residents can camp overnight for just $8 per tent site and $55 per large yurt.

READ MORE: Massachusetts' Myles Standish State Forest Has Yurts For Rent

Plus there's plenty to explore.

Peddocks Island features Fort Andrews, a World War II-era chapel, historic lighthouses, hiking trails, tidal pools, fishing, swimming and picnic spots.

Perfect day on the hiking trail on Spectacle Island in Boston.
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If you bring your boat along for the adventure, you can check out nearby islands such as Spectacle, Georges, Grape, Bumpkin, Lovells and Thompson, each with beaches to enjoy, hiking trails to trek and historic sites to visit.

A Sunset view of The Boston Skyline as seen from the pier of Spectacle Island.

Even if you don't brave the islands overnight, this hidden gem National Park is a great place to explore this spring and summer, especially if you have a boat.

However, if the ferry is your ride to these islands, there's a free ferry weekend coming in May.

It's a first come, first serve event on May 18 and 19 that lets you ride from Boston’s Long Wharf North to Georges Island absolutely free. It could be the perfect way to explore these islands for the first time.

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Gallery Credit: Nancy Hall

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