Charles River Esplanade
Charles River Esplanade
4.5
About
A popular path for walkers, joggers, bladers and bicyclists, the Esplanade is also home to the Hatch Shell, where the Boston Pops holds its annual summer concerts.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: West End
How to get there
  • Science Park • 1 min walk
  • North Station • 7 min walk
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See what travelers are saying
  • 363cymru123
    Cardiff, United Kingdom127 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A place to enjoy a laid back sunny afternoon
    We had a very relaxing afternoon visiting the Charles River Esplanade. We started our walk at the Hatch Shell which is a area for outdoor concerts. As you walk along there are areas to sunbathe on boardwalks over the river. There are plenty of benches both in the sun and shade to stop and enjoy watching the boats out on the river itself. Also plenty of trees with low branches to shade under during the summer too. On the other side of the esplanade there is the lagoon which has lots of ducks and geese going by and from time to time some people enjoying a paddleboat or canoe ride, its all very laid back and we enjoyed a little picnic lunch while we we watching the world go by on a sunny day. There are public restrooms here which is very welcome but not very common in Boston.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 6, 2023
  • Mmmmmllllllll
    26 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hatch Shell concerts with Landmark Orchestra
    We have been enjoying the 2023 season of Landmark Orchestra concerts on Wednesday nights at the Hatch Shell. It's been excellent programing with an amazing range of conductors, performers, and programming. We have been especially enjoying the incredibly expressive ASL interpreters (even though we don't need the interpretation -- we are loving it as an aspect of the performance!) Picnicking on the lawn in front of the Hatch Shell at the Esplanade on gorgeous summer evenings while listening to exquisite live music is not something I will ever take for granted again (after missing it during the pandemic). We haven't missed a single Wed. night for the 2023 season.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 23, 2023
  • SwonQonDoi
    Boston, Massachusetts405 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cherry Blossoms in Boston @ Charles River Esplanade
    When spring arrives, there are many things we are truly excited about, and Cherry Blossoms are among them. The beauty of Cherry Blossoms is undeniable; they seem to cast a spell on us. For those of us living in Boston, the Charles River Esplanade is one of the most beautiful spots to enjoy this natural art every year. Many people come to this place to make the most of Boston's spring, engaging in activities such as running, picnicking, playing with their kids, and enjoying outdoor activities after a long winter, which is almost over, and welcoming the warm weather that is beginning to arrive. The pink hues of the Cherry Blossoms blanket the entire park against the backdrop of the Charles River. We spend hours strolling around and cherish every minute spent in this amazing place, the Charles River Esplanade.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 20, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles754 reviews
Excellent
475
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241
Average
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Adventure Diva
Manchester, CT2,621 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Solo
The esplanade attracts anyone looking to take a stroll whether you are a runner, cyclist or walker. This public park is a perfect place to also catch some rays. Along the way there are park benches that you can seek shade if it gets too hot and check out the local scenery.
Written June 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary Helen Hull
Augusta, GA29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
I visit Boston frequently, and every time I am there I run and/or walk on the Esplanade. The river is beautiful, and the path is always full of people especially when the weather is nice. In the summer, there are always lots boats on the river and crew teams rowing. A must do when in Boston!
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

363cymru123
Cardiff, UK127 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
We had a very relaxing afternoon visiting the Charles River Esplanade. We started our walk at the Hatch Shell which is a area for outdoor concerts. As you walk along there are areas to sunbathe on boardwalks over the river. There are plenty of benches both in the sun and shade to stop and enjoy watching the boats out on the river itself. Also plenty of trees with low branches to shade under during the summer too. On the other side of the esplanade there is the lagoon which has lots of ducks and geese going by and from time to time some people enjoying a paddleboat or canoe ride, its all very laid back and we enjoyed a little picnic lunch while we we watching the world go by on a sunny day. There are public restrooms here which is very welcome but not very common in Boston.
Written August 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jaskel08
California325 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
The Esplanade has a green space along the banks of the Charles River. It extends from the Museum of Science to Boston University. We stayed in the Back Bay. I spent my morning running the Esplanade’s paved paths. It’s really close to Newberry Street. Beautiful views of nature, as well as the city. Runners, walkers, and bicyclists all share the path and the green space with plenty of space for everyone.
Written July 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EcoBean
Kennington, UK260 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Very easy access to walk along the Charles River, away from the cars and hustle and bustle of the city. Plenty of sculptures and art work to enjoy en route. Thoroughly recommend.
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rita V
Hudson, MA762 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Mask on, and start your walk. Lot to take in - back drop of a city, the scent of the Atlantic, the beauty of nature. People watching. Dog walking. Just a great way to unwind. And then find a cafe and ponder!
Written November 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathleen R
Midlothian, VA111 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
My daughter & I were visiting BU and really enjoyed the Esplanade. Walking along it, we got great views of the river, Cambridge and the BU campus. It was easy exit an find out lodgings. Plenty of benches and trash cans. Very chilly in April.
Written April 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Piotr H.
Lodz, Poland3,877 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
Really amazing place. You can see the river and the skyline of the city of Boston. Really great area for walking or jogging
Written October 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scottcabal
Folkestone, UK314 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a nice walk along the banks of the Charles River. It is probably the best place to see the river without going on one of the Boston Duck Tours. However it is also a scenic route back into the city centre from the Museum of Science departure point of the Boston Duck Tours.

The best way to get to the walk is to get the subway to the stop that's next to the Museum of Science (on the south bank of the river). Then head along the south bank of the river in a westerly direction and you'll go through some nice gardens and along a walk next to the river.

When I walked the route there were some Canada geese that had recently hatched some young and they were so cute. There were also some other birds in the area as well as plenty of plants... and trees to escape the sub from.

In addition to a nice walk it's a nice place to just chill or soak up the atmosphere. I saw lots of people sitting and relaxing as well as people walking, cycling, roller blading and also skating - a good place for everybody it seems.

When you get to the hatch shell you can cross a bridge across the road which will send you in the direction of the Boston Common, which is only a few minutes from this point.
Written May 21, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael M
Boston, MA31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
What Central Park is to New York, the Esplanade is to Boston. Running along the Charles River, with 10 miles or more of paved walkways, the Esplanade attracts runners, walkers, families, couples, skaters, bikers and thinkers. On a nice day, there is no finer place to enjoy a nice walk and a view of the city. The Esplanade begins at the Science Museum at the harbor entrance, then runs up river. MIT and Harvard are across the river from the Esplanade, BU is on the Esplanade itself. There are walking paths on the Cambridge side of the river also, so you can cross back and forth over the river and see the city from a variety of angles. Mother Nature still thinks the Charles River belongs to her, so watch for herons, muskrats and other wildlife -- I once saw an enormous cod swimming up river! Twilight and early mornings are my favorite times to walk along the river, but you'll find the walk enjoyable to matter when you go.
Written November 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Charles River Esplanade - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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