Take a Wintertime Visit to Georges Island

For most of us, the Boston Harbor Islands are a summertime destination, a place to escape the heat of the sweltering city. Well, this Saturday you’ll get a special opportunity to check out the islands in winter.

Boston Best Cruises will be running a special boat trip to Georges Island this Saturday (Feb. 26). The boat departs from the Quincy Shipyard at 10:15 a.m. and from Long Wharf in Boston at 11:00 a.m. The boat returns to Boston at 2:00 p.m. and to Quincy at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 and include a complimentary hot drink.

In addition to wandering around Fort Warren, visitors will get a chance to warm up and check out the island’s brand-new visitor center. I got a chance to see the visitor center right after it opened this past summer, and it’s fantastic. The museum’s exhibits focus not just on Fort Warren, but more broadly on the history of Boston’s coastal defenses from the birth of the Massachusetts Bay Colony through the Cold War. A number of the museum exhibits focus on a day in the life of the Union soldiers stationed at Fort Warren during the Civil War along with the Confederate prisoners who were held captive there. (Perhaps I missed it, but one subject I didn’t see covered was the fort’s infamous ghost—the Lady in Black.)

One of the most interesting items on display is a dinner table featuring six plates of food representing typical meals for the Confederate prisoners of war and the Union soldiers, varying by rank. Contrary to our modern-day concept of POWs, some of the Confederate prisoners dined much more sumptuously than their Union captors.

It appears that Friday’s storm will bring rain, which may deprive visitors of a unique chance to see the islands tucked under a white blanket of snow, but it may make for easier traversing around Georges Island. Click here to purchase tickets.

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