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Get Glued to the Beaches of Greater Boston's Spectacle Island

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Better Know an Island is a Curbed Boston Outdoors Week 2014 special feature detailing the many islands accessible from our mainland. Next up, Spectacle Island!


The 105-acre Spectacle Island has a varied history. At one time it was used to quarantine people with communicable diseases; another time it was the site of a glue factory; still another it was a garbage dump; and very recently it was a receiving ground for excavated material form the Big Dig. Now it's a mix of hotels, marinas and honest-to-god sandy beaches, some of only a handful on all of the Boston Harbor islands.

Owned by the state and the City of Boston, Spectacle Island is open to the public from May to Columbus Day in October. It's accessible by ferry and is about 15 minutes from downtown Boston. Lifeguards staff the beaches the whole summer, too, and there are places to nosh. As for that garbage dump, according to the National Parks Service, it "is being returned to the public for recreation as a park is constructed over the landfill." This way to a map of other Greater Boston parks in the meantime.
· Website: Spectacle Island [Harbor Islands Partnership]
· 25 of the Best Off-the-Beaten-Path Parks in Greater Boston [Curbed Boston]
· Our Better Know an Island archive [Curbed Boston]
· Our Outdoors Week 2014 archive [Curbed Boston]