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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
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-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-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
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-4
Needs better seating!
Kathleen_T, Oct 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Trip was great, we had Dr. Fabulous but the seating is TERRIBLE. Seat would be comfortable for 1 person and they squeeze two people in each…then there is a metal shield under each seat so your legs can’t move AT ALL for over an hour. I could barely stand up when it was over.
star-4
A Quazy Quality Duck Experience
William_P, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
I liked the humor of our guide. Very clear and interesting descriptions of each site. The boat part down the Charles River was the best part. I didn’t like being seated directly behind the driver. It would have been better to pick our own seats.
star-4
Efficient way to see Boston with good service
Ben_A, Oct 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
It was very organized and easy tour. Well worth doing if you visit Boston. I do think it should be a little cheaper per person for what you get. But highly recommend to anyone thinking of doing it.
star-5
This was so much fun!...
Brianna_M, Oct 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
This was so much fun! Learned a lot of information to Boston history. Our guide was full of little random facts from every area we went!
star-5
Unique Boston experience! Must do!
Robbi_C, Sep 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Art , our guide, was great!! We learned so much! Unique experience seeing the city and then cruising on the beautiful Charles River.
star-5
My trip
Eugene_S, Oct 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Charlie was very informative and entertaining. He had everyone laughing while learning interesting facts about this great city. Would recommend
star-5
So fun!
Bailey_H, Oct 2021
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Great tour! Did this trip on a recommendation from a local bostonian and loved the boat ride! Great if youre looking for a ride around the city to figure out places you'd like to stop at later!

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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