The Charles River is a meandering waterway that runs through 80 miles of eastern Massachusetts, including Boston and Cambridge, before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. “The Charles”, as it’s often called, plays a role in the lives of many Bostonians. Walkers, joggers, cyclists, kayakers and anyone who loves to quietly relax by the water can be found along its banks every day. It is a picture-perfect snapshot of the pulse and pace of both cities.
The Esplanade, a green, three-mile path that meanders along the Boston side of the river, is the best option for visitors looking for a relaxing river stroll. Simply start near the Museum of Science and continue west to the Boston University Bridge. Along the way, you’ll pass plenty of joggers, wild geese, lemonade stands, and boat rental opportunities.
Without question, the best time to visit is for the city’s annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. This is the defining Fourth of July event in all of New England and draws more than half a million people to the banks of the Charles River each year. The event is headlined with an exclusive performance by the world famous Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.
The Charles River runs through a sizable portion of both Boston and Cambridge. Free and paid/metered parking options are available along the way. Numerous public transportation options are available as well.