Previous Region:
Cape Cod Massachusetts

Massachusetts Lighthouses:
Boston Harbor
and South Shore Region

Boston Harbor light in morning

Scituate, Cohaset, Duxbury, and Boston

Photo Gallery Boston Area and South Shore Lighthouses

With so much shipping traffic coming in and out of Boston Harbor, as Boston was a major commercial shipping port for whaling, shipping, and commercial fishing traffic in the 18th and 19th centuries, the need for lighthouses was obvious as far back as during the Revolution. With this increase in traffic there came many shipwrecks occurring from New England’s many violent storms and foggy days, on the many treacherous shoals, and around the 34 islands that surround Boston Harbor.

Lighthouses were built to guide mariners and the increasing shipping traffic into the Boston and surrounding harbors, and around the dangerous shoals and islands surrounding the harbor. South of Boston were stretches of sand and rock peninsulas jutting out from the mainland around Duxbury and Plymouth where lighthouses were also built.

Massachusetts South Shore Area Lighthouse
You Can Drive or Hike To

Click the lighthouse image or link below to find out information about Scituate lighthouse including historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.



Boston and South Shore Area Lighthouses:
Best Viewed By Boat

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.


Places to Visit in the Boston Area and
Massachusetts South Shore Region

Coming out of Cape Cod and heading north up the Massachusetts South Shore towards Boston, stop over at Plymouth. It is New England’s oldest town with its many fine beaches, specialty shops, or parks. Visit where the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth has many attractions like its museums for visitors to learn about America's beginnings, and you can walk up to the National Monument to the Forefathers, which is the largest solid granite monument in the US.

The Pilgrim Hall Museum provides exhibits and documents of the story of the Pilgrims. Visitors will find plenty of historic narrated tours at the Plimouth Plantation Museum (correct pronunciation Plimouth of the period), which provides a recreation of life in a 17th century outdoor English village, a Wampanoag Tribe home site, rare animals, and a Grist Mill used to grind corn.

plymouth mayflower replica Visitors will also find an authentic replica of the Mayflower, the recently restored Mayflower II to visit.

Visitors can use the Plymouth Rock Trolley for a different touring experience. There are many fine beaches, specialty shops, and all kinds of recreational activities to enjoy here. There are even ghost tours in Plymouth that include Plymouth’s oldest cemetery on Burial Hill.

You can take the Provincetown Ferry from Plymouth to Provincetown and back to go deep-sea fishing, or visit the many galleries, museums, and nightlife Provincetown has to offer.

The tourboat Capt John Boats passes by Duxbury Pier lighthouse as part of their Plymouth Harbor tours in a Mississippi style paddlewheel boat.

Duxbury Beach Park is one of the most scenic beaches in Massachusetts.

Scituate is mid-sized seacoast town with specialty shops and restaurants, plenty of artist galleries visitors can enjoy.

Scituate Lighthouse and grounds are easily accessible for the public with a jetty to climb, a beach behind the light, and the keeper's cottage. scituate beach in MA

In Hull, The Hull Lifesaving Museum, provides maritime exhibits, educational workshops and tours, and open water rowing competitions for young adults. The museum is housed in the former Point Allerton US Lifesaving Station, which was built in 1889, and, under the leadership of Joshua James who, with his lifesaving crews under the Massachusetts Humane Society, saved over 540 lives during his 13 year tenure there.

The Boston Harbor Island Park Service in coordination with the National Park Service and the Coast Guard, have developed an exciting 3-hour narrated tour that not only provides a rich maritime history of Boston Harbor along with views of Graves Light and Long Island Head Light, but docks on Little Brewster Island and allows you to climb the tower of Boston Light. You can meet the lighthouse keeper there, Sally Snowman, and great a spectacular view of the Boston Harbor from the tower. You can get close views of Boston Harbor Lighthouse and possibly others in the harbor on some of the cruises offered by the Boston Harbor Cruises.

Boston has plenty of rich history; like the Nation’s oldest Naval ship, the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), and you can take guided walking tours to Boston’s historic places, like the Freedom Trail, or explore the Bunker Hill Monument, which sparked the beginning of the American Revolution.

Boston offers plenty of cultural and diverse events inside the city or along the waterfront at the New England Aquarium, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Visit some of Boston’s 40 museums, or enjoy its cultural and varied events and nightlife.

boston duck boats

Boston Duck Boat Tours

The unique Boston Duck Tours are a lot of fun for a combination land and water experience.

Boston's North End, and Boston's South End provides plenty of ethnic cuisine, with lots of festivals and events year round.


Boat Tours: Lighthouses in Boston Area

Boat cruises offer many types of cruises. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, some will pass by specific lighthouses as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, ferrying passengers, whale watching, fishing tours and other types of excursions. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trips to the Boston area. Enjoy!


Boston Harbor Islands Park Service
Escorted trips by the park rangers are provided to Little Brewster Island, and sometimes visitors can climb Boston light. Boat trips run every weekend during the summer out to Little Brewster Island where you can see and climb up the tower of Boston Harbor Light. Boston Light Tours begin in June and run through October.  
191W Atlantic Ave
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 223-8666

Lighthouses: Boston Harbor Light, Long Island Head Light, Graves Light



Boston Harbor Cruises
While providing many types of cruises around Boston Harbor, they pass by some of the lighthouses in the harbor area.
One Long Wharf
Boston, Mass. 02110
(617) 223-8666
(877) 733-925


Friends Of Boston Harbor Islands
Involved in preservation of islands in the harbor, and occasionally provide tours around to the harbor lighthouses.

349 Lincoln Street
Hingham MA 02043
Phone: (781) 740 4290

Lighthouses: Boston Harbor Light, Long Island Head Light, Graves Light



Capt. John Boats
Plymouth to Provincetown ferry, or whale watching cruises may pass by the lighthouse. They also provide cruises in Plymouth Harbor aboard the Pilgrim Belle, a Mississippi-style paddle wheeler that operates in the summer season, and goes out to Duxbury Pier light.
Town Wharf
77 Water St.
Plymouth, Massachusetts
(508) 927-5587

Lighthouse: Duxbury Pier Lighthouse



Boston's Waterfront Directions

Directions to Boston's Rowes Wharf for Harbor Cruises:

Directions to Boston's Long Wharf for Harbor Cruises


Other Types of Tours or Travel


Heliops LLC
Offers helicopter cruises over Boston, and offer North Shore and South Shore tours where visitors can get aerial views of many of the lighthouses.
Base 781-934-7079
Cell 617-571-6117


Cape Air Travel
A year-round scheduled plane service to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport from Boston, Hyannis, Nantucket, New Bedford, and Providence.


Additional Resources
For All You Massachusetts Visitors

Massachusetts Beaches

Massachusetts State Parks

Whale Watching and Boat Tours

Boston Tours Around City and New England

Boston Historic Attractions

Massachusetts Historical Societies


My new book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, published by Schiffer Publishing, provides lots of special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of additional indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours in the area, with contact info to plan your trip.

In the book, with stories from each lighthouse, you'll find a few local special stories from the Boston area region, including various rescues during one of the worst gale storms in New England, named as the "Portland Gale" for the sinking of the Steamer Portland, and the storm of the century called the "Lighthouse Storm" that sent Minot's Ledge Light toppling into the sea.

You'll find many more attractions listed as well.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local coastal atttractions in southern New England





You can order these books through any pages on this website, and I'll be happy to personally sign and ship them to you anywhere inside the United States. You can also order from the publisher, Schiffer Books, who can ship anywhere globally.



Price is lower at $24.95 if purchased here.


Table of Contents

Over 50 famous stories with lots of details in my book New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues, and Other Tales

There are detailed accounts about the "Perfect Storm" and it's destruction along Boston Harbor, that destroyed Minot's Ledge Lighthouse, and hauntings of the two keepers that perished in the storm, along with many more stories.

The book also contains, along with my photographs, paintings by six famous artists for the Coast Guard, and vintage images from the Coast Guard, museums, and special collectors.



Back to Top