Charles River Esplanade

Charles River Esplanade, Boston, MA, USA

Borrow a bike and get down by the Charles River to explore this popular linear park, which runs along the river through the Back Bay and the Beacon Hill neighborhood (albeit separated from both by the Storrow Drive expressway). A paved, 18-mile multiuse path popular with cyclists, runners, and in-line skaters helps connect the Esplanade to the parklands of Boston’s Emerald Necklace and provides easy access to landmarks like the Hatch Memorial Shell (the summer stage for the Boston Pops and other performers) and Harvard Bridge (aka the Smoot Bridge). The landmark Community Boating boathouse has kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and sailboats for rent when you want to get out on the river.

More Recommendations

Of Cherry Blossoms and Fishing

When people bring out their folding adirondack chairs and fishing rods to the Charles River Esplanade, you know it’s spring, finally. And then you see rows and rows of cherry blossom trees that line up the river, and wish it was always springtime in Boston. The Charles River Esplanade is undoubtedly the finest walking / jogging track in Boston.

Boston's Riverfront Promenade

Stretching for three miles, from the Boston University Bridge to the Museum of Science, Boston’s Charles River Esplanade is an iconic park that affords stunning views of Cambridge and Boston. Multiple path systems accommodate walkers, joggers, and cyclists, and a series of newly renovated docks are the perfect place to lounge in the sun on a summer’s day. There are three playgrounds for the kids (including one with a spray pool), and a casual cafe. Contiguous to Beacon Hill and the Back Bay, the park is home to the Hatch Shell where the Boston Pops play on the Fourth of July, and a series of free outdoor concerts are held there during the summer months.

Sailing Boston's Charles River

Sometimes I take Boston for granted. I become annoyed with the traffic, crowded sidewalks, or the million and one other things that make city living challenging. On these types of days, I have a simple remedy. I walk down to the Charles River, jump on a sail boat and voila, I remember why I love Boston so much. The sunny sky, the steady wind, the towering skyline, and the glimmering water - all while sailing the Charles River. After an afternoon like this, who could possibly take such a splendid city for granted? Not me.

More From AFAR