Bosun's Marine in Hingham, MA

Daytripping in Hingham

With an ideal location, scenic coastline and beautiful downtown with plenty of restaurants and attractions, Hingham, Massachusetts squeezes a state’s worth of boating value into its 21 miles of coastline.

Located just 15 miles south of Boston, Hingham gives boaters fast, easy access to Boston Harbor. Hingham Harbor itself is worth exploring, as it offers wonderful opportunities for boating, fishing and kayaking. In fact, four of the islands in Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area are located in Hingham Harbor, while another six are located in Hingham Bay.

At the east end of Hingham is the 251-acre World’s End Reservation, a beautiful wooded peninsula owned by the Trustees of Reservations. Town moorings are available north of the peninsula, but there are also a number of places to beach a small boat and go ashore. And if that isn’t enough natural beauty to enjoy, there is Hewitts Cove Conservation Area, which features hiking trails and views of the harbor. Also, Stodders Neck Park and Bare Cove Park are wildlife and conservation sanctuaries on the Back River.

When you come ashore and explore Hingham’s interior, you’ll find the town itself is just as beautiful as its coastline. Hingham has six historic districts and many immaculately kept antique houses. In fact, Eleanor Roosevelt once described Hingham’s Main Street as the most beautiful she’d ever seen. One place you’ll want to visit is the Old Ship Church (781-749-1679), which dates to 1681 and is considered the oldest continuous religious meetinghouse in the nation. The interior suggests an inverted ship hull. While you’re walking Hingham’s scenic streets, you’ll also find plenty of excellent restaurants and shops to enjoy. Stars (www.starshingham.com; 781-749-3200) is a popular restaurant near the harbor serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, The Snug (www.snugpub.com; 781-749-9774) is a classic Irish pub with live music.

Because it’s such an attractive area, Hingham is very popular among boaters, and the local waters can be quite busy. The inner harbor is subject to shoaling, but it is routinely dredged. If you’re looking for a place to tie-up, near the Weymouth border you’ll find Hingham Shipyard Marinas (www.hinghamshipyardmarinas.com; 781-749-6647), a full-service facility with more than 500 slips and 100 moorings along with services such as fuel, engine repair, electric, WiFi and more. You can contact them on VHF 9. Hingham Town Landing (781-741-1450; VHF 16) offers short-term dockage and moorings ($35 per night) in the inner harbor and off World’s End. Near the town landing is Bare Cove Marina (781-733-0068; VHF 10), which has transient slips and moorings.

There’s almost no place to anchor in the harbor except for shallow-draft vessels. A small anchorage is available along Eastern Neck in the Weymouth Back River, opposite Stodder Neck, and just east of the Route 3A bridge. You can contact the harbormaster at 781-741-1450, or visit the harbormaster website at http://www.hingham-ma.com/harbormaster/index.html