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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
Fun on the ducks
Brian_K, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Professor Quackenstein and Lori on the Red Sox Nation duck were awesome. Loved the puns...very entertaining and educational.
star-5
We enjoyed our narrator’s...
CHANDRANIE_D, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
We enjoyed our narrator’s stories. Also best part of the entire trip was cruise along Charles River.
star-5
Great tour
Sam_T, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
The tour around the city was fantastic. Our tour guide was unmatched he was very very good. Very safe on the river as well. My wife and I had a fantastic time
star-5
Awesome intro to Boston
Wendy_H, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
The narrators was great and even taught a Massachusetts girl some cool insights :) Definitely recommend
star-5
Good job!
Flor_C, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Captain Empty Buckets was great! Very informative and entertaining, he kept us engaged throughout the tour. Our driver, Laura, also made us feel safe while navigating the wild streets and waters of Boston.
star-5
Fantastic
Christie_J, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
It was a fun way to get a lot of fascinating historical information about our country and Boston Saw many historical sites
star-5
Learning some history of...
Patricia_H, Jul 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Learning some history of Boston and driving the duck boat in the Charles River. It was an excellent trip.
star-5
Great time
Elaine_S, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
We all had a great time. The kids loved getting the chance to drive the boat. There should not be a minimum length for comments
star-4
Great tour!
Hannah_F, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
We loved the tour and experience. Unfortunately it started to rain and storm and there was lightening spotted so river closed and we did not get to go on the water.
star-5
Fun Day
Polly_A, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Our tour guide Super Hero was the best. You are a well oiled machine. Great job and keep up your good work!
star-5
Great experience
Augusto_A, Aug 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
I learned a lot about the history of Boston and its architecture and going from the road to the water was a really good feeling specially on that hot day
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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: