Charles River Esplanade, Boston

4.7
#5 of 38 in Parks in Boston
The Charles River Esplanade of Boston, Massachusetts, is a state-owned park situated in the Back Bay area of the city, on the south bank of the Charles River Basin.
The limited-access parkway Storrow Drive forms the southern boundary of the park, with the Charles River marking the northern edge. In the park are walkways, statuary, the Hatch Memorial Shell performance stage, playgrounds, ballfields, and Community Boating. The Esplanade comprises part of the Charles River Reservation state park. The Esplanade was designated as a Boston Landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission in 2009.
The Esplanade was originally dedicated as the Boston Embankment in 1910. The Embankment was created as part of the construction of the 1910 Charles River Dam Bridge (today the site of the Museum of Science). The parkland was criticized for its lack of shade trees, refreshment stands, recreation facilities, transportation utility, and visitors. It extended to Charlesgate (upstream of the Harvard Bridge) and connected with Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace system of parks and open spaces. To address criticism, trees, a refreshment pavilion, and concerts were brought to the park.
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Charles River Esplanade Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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4.8
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  • Enjoy the pace of the Esplanade and its surroundings! The fresh air, the water the whole experience is the great balance of the city life in Boston. Great views for photos too!  more »
  • It's a great place to relax, run, meditate, chat with a friend or just watch a great panorama
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  • Centrally located, Charles River Esplanade is a 50 acre public park dated back to 1634. It is the oldest public park in the United States. It is a popular place for walking, biking, skateboarding and strolling with the kiddies. There is a beautiful lake with ducks and ducklings. Please don't feed them bread, it's not good for them! There are some activities and boats for a little cruise. It is beautifully maintained and a wonderful refresher from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Biking along the Charles River Esplanade. This is a wonderful bike/walk/run trail that goes along the Charles River. Great views off Boston skyline from the Harvard bridge. Trail can be busy with runners after 9 am. Playground for kids along the path. Restrooms also available but open only during late spring to early fall. On weekends you can get to see college teams practicing rowing and surfing.

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