Boston is filled with some pretty amazing spots, each unique and special in their own way. One of the best spots in the city in my opinion is the Charles River Esplanade because it makes you feel like you’re not even in a city at all, but rather on your own little island overlooking the city. Here are some of the reasons why the Esplanade is so great!
1. The Spectacular Views
The Esplanade has views of the Boston skyline to the right and across the Charles, you have a clear view of Cambridge. On a sunny day, you have a crisp view with a beautiful blue backdrop and at sunset, the city seems to melt into red and orange filled skies. If you stand in the right spot you can even capture both angles in a picture. So take out your phones and snap a picture of a view that your friends won’t believe is true until they see it themselves!
When you step foot onto the Esplanade, you are greeted typically by large flocks of geese. While sometimes in too high frequency, one of the sights you have have to see are the babies. If you’re lucky to be able to spend a few weeks in the area you might just be able to watch the babies grow into full birds like I have seen. Not only can you see these birds, but also ducks, bunnies, cormorants, herons, and turtles. So go ahead and soak in all the nature!
3. The Walk
While the city streets of Boston are certainly beautiful, it’s nice to be able to go the scenic route ever once and a while. The Esplanade is seventeen miles long, providing you plenty of space to be able to stretch your legs and get where you want to go at the same time. So if you find yourself in Back Bay and want to take a breather from the city, escape for a stroll onto the Esplanade. Just beware of passing cyclists and joggers while on your walk!
4. The Docks
At many spots along the Esplanade, you’ll find dock area which is connected to the rest of the path. These docks vary in length, but they allow you to get the best views of the city without the trees blocking your view. They are a great spot to get some sun and get some reading done. If you layout on one of these docks, and shut your eyes, it truly does feel like you’re floating on the Charles!
5. Great Shady Spots
The summer can be quite hot in Boston, especially right in the middle of the city surrounded by asphalt and concrete. So if you’re looking to escape the summer heat in Beantown, look no further than the Esplanade. Lined with lush trees and shrubbery, the space provides plenty of shade to avoid getting a nasty burn in the humid heat. Also, there are plenty of benches along the way to so a lack of seating is no problem!
6. Perfect Place For Running
Love to run, but hate doing so on crowded city streets? Your answer is the Esplanade! The three-mile path allows plenty of room to get out that daily jog, and do so in a safe environment. You also are greeted by the cool breeze off the Charles and plenty of shade from all the trees. There are also the beautiful views of Boston and Cambridge that you can look to every once and a while as a little added motivation. Just beware of cyclists while you are running as they tend to sneak up on you pretty quickly when you’re not paying attention.
7. Fourth of July Fireworks
On America’s birthday in Boston, the spot to be is along the Charles River Esplanade at the Hatch Memorial Shell. If you do decide to spend your Fourth here, you’ll be lucky enough to see the Boston Pops perform, other various entertainers, and of course, watch one of the world’s best firework displays in the country. So celebrate this Fourth the right way along the Charles!
8. A Great Cycling Spot
While I’m not a fan of biking myself, every time I walk the Esplanade I am greeted by plenty of cyclists. The spot provides them a safe track to bike on without the worry of the crazy nature of city traffic, as well as beautiful sights and sounds in the process. Just a PSA to all cyclists everywhere is beware that the path is also made for pedestrians, so be sure to avoid them as safely as possible and alert them to your presence if you can.
9. Plenty of Green Space
While living in the city it’s hard to find a large space filled with grass, so when you do it’s important you hold on to it! The Esplanade fills this need as it’s three miles of green space does the trick for anyone missing the serenity of nature. And if you want to get back to the city it’s not a problem! Just hop back on the path and hop off at one of the closest bridges to the area you’re looking to get to.
10. The Lively But Calming Atmosphere
Whenever I am standing on the Esplanade, I feel alive, and it’s a different kind of liveliness from being in the actual city of Boston. It’s the feeling of seeing all these people, enjoying the day and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the streets. If you’re feeling foggy headed, make your way down to the space and as soon as you see the Charles I guarantee you’ll feel better!