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Charles River
Charles River

Charles River

Boston, Massachusetts

The Basics

The Esplanade, a 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) green path that runs along the Boston side of the river, is the best option for a relaxing 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. Alternatively, join a guided bike tour of Boston or Cambridge, which includes a ride across and along the river.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Cambridge

star-5
Duck Tour With Grandson
Denice_G, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Took my grandson on Duck tour he had an amazing time. I was expecting him to drive the boat. But I guess because of Covid they may have change some of the rules. But the it was a fun experience over all.
star-5
Great narrator and...
Brian_B, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Great narrator and overall experience. Tour operator left on time and arrived back at the starting point at expected time.
star-5
Informative and fun
dana_p, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
The tour guide was very knowledgeable! Enjoyed learning about the various buildings and how they relate back to notable people throughout history.
star-5
Wonderful tour.
William_D, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Loved our narrator. Made the trip so enjoyable. Very informative. Just a real fun day! Learned so much about Boston.
star-5
Vacation
Andy_J, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Entertaining, educational punctual and professional We had fun and loved the city Good weather Nice driver
star-5
Duck tours rock
Matthew_m, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Love the sights and all the history. It would be impossible to obtain so much local knowledge without taking this tour. It was just what I was looking for. I will be taking another duck tour anytime I'm visiting a new city.
star-5
Boston from the Charles!
Kailey_M, May 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
The views from the Charles River were amazing. I’vi have been to Boston many times throughout my 34 years living in the area but was happy to see the city from a different side. It was beautiful and great weather! Had so much fun!
star-5
Quack Quack Quack
Mandie_M, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
I’m glad we did this tour. It felt a little corny at times but nothing I couldn’t overlook. I would recommend to a friend… yes.
star-5
A once in a lifetime experience.
wayne_w, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
I love history. The experience was wonderful. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the experience. It was cool to drive the boat. The narrator was great.
star-5
The whole trip was a...
Jennifer_D, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
The whole trip was a great experience! Loved learning , the tour guide was so friendly and helpful thank you!
star-5
A fun and informative experience!
Ryan_S, Jun 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
A great experience and a great tour guide! Fun for the whole family! Around downtown and on the water! Would highly recommend!
star-5
Awesome trip
sunit_p, May 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Great.we love the trip.it was a great fun with family.we loved the downtown tour and the charles river tour too
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Charles River is a must for all first-time visitors to Boston and Cambridge, as well as families with small kids and outdoor and exercise enthusiasts.

  • Stand-up paddleboard, canoe, and kayak rentals are available on the Boston and Cambridge sides of the river.

  • Concerts, movies, and performances take place at the Hatch Shell, located by Massachusetts Avenue near the Esplanade.

  • There are pedestrian bridges that cross Storrow Drive in order to reach the river and Esplanade.

  • Public bathrooms are located behind the Hatch Shell and at the Dartmouth Street facility.

  • The Arthur Fiedler footbridge at Arlington Street, located near the Hatch Shell, is accessible to wheelchair users, as is the Esplanade.

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How to Get There

The Charles River runs through a sizable portion of Boston and Cambridge. Via the T, take the green line to the Arlington stop or the red line to the Charles/MGH stop. If driving, free and paid metered parking options are available along the river; there is limited parking along Storrow Drive.

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When to Get There

The Charles River area is lovely year-round, but may be at its best for the city’s annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. This is the defining Fourth of July event in New England, drawing more than half a million people to the riverbanks each year. The event is headlined with a performance by the world-famous Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.

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Harvard University

Located in Cambridge, just north of Boston, this Ivy League university boasts a campus filled with historical buildings, monuments, classic architecture, scenic green spaces, and plenty of museums. Free guided tours, as well as a self-guided option, are available. Plus, many guided city tours of Boston include a stop at the school.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Charles River?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Cambridge?
A:
As well as visiting the Charles River, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: