Hingham, Massachusetts

Hingham Shipyard Village pays homage to the men and women who built over 200 Navy vessels here during World War II. Photo Tom Richardson

Hingham Harbor, on the South Shore of Massachusetts, is ideally situated for boaters seeking fast, convenient access to Boston Harbor, the beautiful 251-acre World’s End reservation and the many islands of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. However, the town itself contains plenty to do and see (Eleanor Roosevelt once described Hingham’s Main Street as the most beautiful she’d ever seen). There are many good restaurants and shops near the waterfront, and the quaint downtown area is just a short walk from the harbor. A bit farther west, near the Weymouth border, you’ll find a sprawling mixed-use complex at the Hingham Shipyard Marinas and Village on Hewitts Cove.

Hingham Harbor East Chart

On the east end of Hingham is World’s End, a wonderful place to explore via kayak or skiff (as well as on foot or by bike). Forming the protective eastern arm of the harbor, the wooded peninsula is owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations. The small cove on the east side of World’s End once served features several town-managed moorings (available for $35 per night). However, there are numerous places to beach a dinghy or kayak and go ashore for a stroll or picnic on the peninsula.

Hingham Shipyard Marinas maintains over 500 slips, and can easily accommodate transient boaters.

For a truly unique boating experience, consider camping on Grape or Bumpkin Islands (and in 2013 Lovells Island), part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. Boaters can arrange for a mooring or anchor just offshore, then access the wooded interior and hiking trails via the Park’s complementary dinghy. You can also beach a dinghy or kayak along the shore. Both Grape and Bumpkin have campsites with picnic tables and are staffed by rangers from Memorial Day to Labor Day. With planes roaring overhead on their approach to Logan Airport and phenomenal views of the Boston skyline, harbor camping is pretty surreal, but it’s an adventure you won’t forget! You can make campsite reservations and get more information online through the Boston Harbor Islands website. By the way, most of the islands in the Harbor Islands Park—including Slate, Button, Ragged and Langlee off Hingham—are open to the public. There is excellent inshore fishing throughout the islands as well.

Anglers can target winter flounder in and around Hingham. Photo Tom Richardson

Other good daytrip options out of Hingham include a visit to Fort Warren on Georges Island, or the Harbor Islands Education Center and marina on Spectacle Island.

Hingham has a large boating community, and the local waters can be quite busy in season. Transients can generally find a mooring in the harbor, except on busy weekends, by contacting the harbormaster. (Anchoring room is virtually non-existent except for shallow-draft vessels.)

Hingham West Chart

West of Hingham Harbor, but still within the town of Hingham, is Hewitts Cove, home to the aforementioned Hingham Shipyard Marinas and Village. The Marina Village is a 27-acre complex of apartments, condos, and townhouses set among restaurants, a marina, a movie theater, shops, a grocery store, miles of walking and bike paths, and an outdoor amphitheater. Hingham Shipyard Marinas offers 500 slips and 100 moorings, slips, service, fuel, and transient dockage for almost any size vessel. Hourly dockage is available at the marina for day-trippers who want to visit the Village.

Small-boaters and paddlers can also venture south to explore the protected Back River, which begins just west of Hewitts Cove and Stodders Neck (a nature preserve and park) and forms the border between Hingham and Weymouth. Pass under the Route 3A span and you’ll see Bare Cove Park to port. On the right is Weymouth’s Great Esker Park, featuring trails and a nature center.

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