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Charles River
Charles River

Charles River

star-5
6,616 Reviews
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
Excellent
MANAL_D, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
It was a great tour with a fun tour guide who made it los of fun . It is a perfect way to explore Boston and see the most highlight historical areas! The river cruising was amazing through the Charles River where u can see great scenery and perfect for pictures
star-5
Ducktective
FJF, Aug 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Great experience. Very entertaining and informative. Our narrator “Ducktective” was great. He made the experience enjoyable. The duck boats were very clean and well maintained. Enjoyable for all ages.
star-4
Quack
Rene_D, Jun 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Narrator very informative enjoyable and the history of Boston was interesting! The boat/vehicle was fun to ride in and very clean
star-4
Fun way to see Boston
FrancineM_J, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
This was a spur of the moment tour for us, but we were not disappointed. Everything about the Duck Tour was great and a lot of fun. This wasn’t our first visit to Boston, but we enjoyed seeing some new things. Our favorite was once we got on the Charles River!
star-4
Fun way to see and learn about Boston!
Ben_D, Apr 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Tour guide was great, safety measures were taken and we felt very safe. Also, it was a Perfect amount of time on the tour.
star-5
Wonderful family activity!!
Leila_A, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
It was amazing!! The narrator and the driver make a great team! Great information and so much fun!! What a blast!! Thank you so much. 🙌🏻🙏
star-4
Boston in a crunch
John_P, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Taking the bus into the water was pretty cool and exciting for our kids! I enjoyed the captain. Great way to see the highlights in a short amount of time
star-5
Duck Fun!
Robert_W, Aug 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Going into the Charles River and the knowledge of Boston history by our tour guide. Booked through Viator and needed to change time and they and the duck tour folks were wonderful.
star-5
Great tour of Boston
Michael_L, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Great fun tour of the city. Very informative and entertaining narrator. Would recommend this tour to all.
star-5
Love the Duck Boats!!
charles_w, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Tour guide was excellent!! If ever in Boston you must take a duck boat tour!! Informative and very fun!!
star-4
Knowledge tour guide
Michael_W, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Tour guide was very knowledgeable of the city and very funny but the seating is crammed and VERY uncomfortable for a 2 hour tour!
star-4
Fun time & learned somethings
Loretta_O, Aug 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Going into the Charles River and all the little things that I didn’t know that the tour guide talked about

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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