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The Esplanade (Charles River)

The famous Independence Day concert takes place here on the Fourth of July, but the park’s lively atmosphere lasts a whole summer long.

Take a pedestrian bridge across hectic Storrow Drive and find yourself immersed in the  Esplanade, an oasis of green, a bountiful strip of waterways and trees that runs along the southern bank of the Charles River. In a city renowned for its masterful use of public green space, the Charles River Esplanade ranks among Boston’s finest. For joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers, casual boaters, sunbathers and picnickers, the Esplanade is a haven on the edge of the city.

The beautifully landscaped green space is much adored by locals and tourists alike. As Boston emerges from its long and chilling winter, the city springs to life along the banks of the Charles with sprawling picnics, free fitness classes, community sailing lessons, Frisbee games and children at play all finding a home on the grass of the Esplanade. As you stroll along the shore, watch for the giant bust of Arthur Fiedler, a legendary conductor for the Boston Pops. 

Meanwhile, the Esplanade remains a fabulous place for relaxing, reading in the shade, and watching people go by. Enjoy the magnificent views of the glorious sun-kissed Charles River, of college rowers plying their trade, of gliding sailboats and noisy geese and of the elegant city skyline. Stop into one of the small cafés or playgrounds popular for children.

Pack a picnic and catch a free film on a summer Friday night at the Hatch Shell, a great outdoor bandstand in art deco style. The Hatch Shell hosts a variety of free events throughout the summer, culminating in the famous Boston Pops’ July Fourth concert each year. Don’t miss the U.S. Army cannon, which is used in the climax of the “1812 Overture” that finishes off the Boston Pops’ Independence Day concert. 

The Charles River Esplanade is located near the Museum of Science and stretches along the river to Boston University Bridge. It is easily accessible by subway and a short walk away from the lively Back Bay area. Just make sure to cross Storrow Drive with a pedestrian bridge rather than chancing the traffic.


Guide to Exploring around Charles River Esplanade


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Lodging Near Charles River Esplanade

See all 1,048 Hotels near Charles River Esplanade
$132
Revere Hotel Boston Common

Revere Hotel Boston Common

200 Stuart St, Boston
4.4
of 5, from 4,265 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

The Revere Hotel is at the edge of the Theatre District, 1 block from the Arlington "T" Station and 2 blocks from Boston Common and the Public Garden.

$115
Boston Omni Parker House Hotel

Boston Omni Parker House Hotel

60 School St, Boston
4.3
of 5, from 4,549 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located on Freedom Trail in downtown Boston, this hotel is 3 blocks from Quincy Market, 2 from the State House and Boston Common, and adjacent to the Financial District. The hotel is 10 minutes from Logan International Airport by car and 20 minutes by train for only USD 2 each way.

$129
Boston Park Plaza

Boston Park Plaza

50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street, Boston
4.1
of 5, from 2,150 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in historic Back Bay, this hotel just completed a $100 million dollar renovation, and is 3 miles from Logan International Airport and 200 yards from the Boston Common and Public Garden. The hotel is easily accessible to Newbury Street shopping.

$161
Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill

Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill

5 Blossom Street, Boston
3.9
of 5, from 1,650 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This hotel in Boston's historic Beacon Hill is 2 blocks from Massachusetts General Hospital and a half-mile from Faneuil Hall marketplace.

$153
Copley Square Hotel

Copley Square Hotel

47 Huntington Ave, Boston
4.2
of 5, from 2,018 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Boston's fashionable and historic Back Bay is the setting for this fully renovated boutique hotel on Copley Square. Newbury Street shops are 2 blocks away, and both Boston Common and Fenway Park are within 1 mile. Hynes Convention Center is also nearby.

$99
Sheraton Boston Hotel

Sheraton Boston Hotel

39 Dalton St, Boston
4.2
of 5, from 3,468 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This hotel in Boston's historic Back Bay provides indoor access to the Hynes Convention Center, the Prudential Center, Copley Place malls, numerous shops and restaurants, as well as a subway station.

$178
Royal Sonesta Boston

Royal Sonesta Boston

40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard, Cambridge
4.4
of 5, from 2,267 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Set on the banks of the Charles River, across from the 100 shops of CambridgeSide Galleria, Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston offers sweeping views of the city's skyline.

$164
The Godfrey Hotel Boston

The Godfrey Hotel Boston

505 Washington Street, Boston
4.6
of 5, from 1,117 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Downtown Boston, this boutique hotel is steps from Boston Opera House and Orpheum Theater. Boston Common and Boston Public Garden are also within 10 minutes.