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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
Recommend tour for visitors
Paula_N, Nov 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Charles River drive Boston history Friendly environment Careful driver and good talk from the instructor Great trip and thank the driver and instructor.
star-5
Ducktective
FJ_F, 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
A Cold and Memorable Ride for sure!
Allison_D, Nov 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
It was just really cold! I think that is what we will talk about in days to come! I am very glad we got to see the highlights of the city! I don’t think we could have achieved that on our own! So thank you!
star-4
Duck boats and Dad jokes
James_J, Nov 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Fun overview of Boston and some interesting history. The guide was good but a bit too focused on telling corny jokes than relating interesting info. Still enjoyable.
star-5
Super Fun!!!
Kristine_D, Nov 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Great experience. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, funny, and engaging. He gave excellent suggestions on books and locally owned places to visit in Boston. Well done!!!
star-5
The Boston duck tour is a excellent tour
Larry_S, Oct 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Our tour guide Ben was knowledgeable and entertaining. This was the best way to see the history of Boston in the cold rainy weather. Seeing the city from being on the Charles river, and please don’t call it a lake, made the tour even better.
star-5
First trip to Boston
Daniel_R, Nov 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
The moderator was very knowledgeable and funny. The tour took you all around Boston and gave us ideas on where to go and things to do.
star-5
Fantastic tour guide!...
marlene_j, Nov 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Fantastic tour guide! Funny and friendly. Brought history of the city to life. The tour covered major points of the city that otherwise we go on noticed. Rebecca riveter was great!
star-5
It was a learning...
Tracy_V, Nov 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
It was a learning experience for me and my girlfriend, we enjoyed Robin humor and here knowledge about the history of Boston
star-5
A Must-See activity in Boston!
Eric_S, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
The tour guide Professor Quackenstein did an outstanding job and really engaged all the customers. He offered to take photos of the beautiful day on the Charles River! Lots of fun!
star-5
50th Celebration!✨
Tacy_P, Nov 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Extremely informative with a hint of humor. He kept us all engaged! Loved learning about your beautiful city. Quack, quack!!!!

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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