I was working in Boston for a few days and enjoyed exploring the city each afternoon. I had a great time in the Public Gardens and think it was one of the highlights. However, I can’t deny the wonderful time I had visiting and taking pictures of the Boston Harbor and Long Wharf Pier on my first afternoon in town.
The Long Wharf is a historic pier that once extended from State Street nearly a half-mile into Boston Harbor. Due to landfills on the city end, this wharf is much shorter today. However, it still functions as a dock for passenger ferries and tourist sightseeing boats.
There were many boats and ferries still selling tickets. I thought the Duck Tour might be interesting but I wanted to see more of the harbor area and Furneil Hall. While walking around I decided to take the Charlestown Ferry which goes from Long Wharf to the Charleston Navy Yard. It costs $3.50 each way but was very nice. Not too bad for a nice view of the harbor and the city. Even saw the Tobin Bridge. It was pretty cool to see since I love bridges.
For those who do not know, the Maurice J. Tobin Memorial Bridge, also known as the Mystic River Bridge or less often the Mystic/Tobin Bridge) is a truss bridge that spans more than two miles from Boston to Chelsea over the Mystic River in Massachusetts.
It was built between 1948 and 1950 and opened to traffic on February 2, 1950, replacing the former Chelsea Street Bridge. The 36-foot wide roadway has three lanes of traffic on each of the two levels with Northbound traffic on the lower level and Southbound traffic on the upper level. It was great to see but I wish I had been able to see it a little closer. Maybe on a future trip we can actually drive over it and get a great view of the harbor.
Here is a list of some of the marine services which operate from the Long Wharf:
- MBTA Boat (north side)
- Ferries to the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (north side)
- Ferry to Salem, Massachusetts(north side)
- Ferry to Provincetown, Massachusetts
- Water taxi
- New England Aquarium harbor tours (south side) – Aquarium itself is on Central Wharf to the immediate south
- Various harbor cruises
- Docks for private vessels
The views were amazing and the weather that afternoon was perfect. I had a nice time chatting with some folks from the UK. They were here on a two-week holiday exploring the northeast. Seeing the city from the water was very interesting. Until I started planning my trip, I didn’t realize how close Boston Logan Airport is to the marina. It was enjoyable watching planes take off and land.
According to the National Park Service, in addition to its economic importance, Long Wharf also played a part in the military history of Boston. Victors from the Battle of Louisbourg landed here to gun salutes and cheering citizens in 1758. English troops landed here in 1770 to enforce the King’s rights (which ultimately ended in the Boston Massacre). Wounded from the Battle of Bunker Hill — English and American — were brought back across the harbor to Long Wharf in June of 1775. The British evacuated Boston from Long Wharf in March 1776.
In July 1776 the ship that brought word of the Declaration of Independence from Philadelphia landed at Long Wharf. John Adams sailed from it to secure European financial and military support for the Revolutionary War. During the Revolution privateers and blockade runners sailed from Long Wharf and military stores were kept in its warehouses. During the War of 1812, Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) docked at Long Wharf.
Today, Long Wharf is adjacent to the New England Aquarium, the Marriott at Long Wharf, as well as several restaurants and shops. I did notice the Chart House while walking around. Having dinner there sounded nice, but I had my mindset on Cheers, lol.
The Boston Harbor and Long Wharf Pier were both amazing and pretty peaceful while I was there late on a Monday afternoon in mid-September. There we table around where people could sit and read, eat lunch, etc. I wish I had more time to explore, but I know I will be back the next time I am in Boston.
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