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Charles River Esplanade, Boston
(4.7/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
The Charles River Esplanade of Boston, Massachusetts, is a state-owned park situated in the Back Bay area of the city, on the banks of the Charles River. Storrow Drive runs alongside it. In the park are walkways, statuary, the Hatch Memorial Shell performance stage, playgrounds, ballfields, and Community Boating. The Esplanade comprises part of the Charles River Reservation state park. Pedestrian access to the park exists at Charles Circle, Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, and Beacon Street.HistoryThe Esplanade was dedicated as the Boston Embankment in 1910. The Embankment was created as part of the construction of the 1910 Charles River Dam (today the site of the Museum of Science). The parkland was criticized for its lack of shade trees, refreshment stands, recreation facilities, transportation utility, and visitors. It extended to Charlesgate (upstream of the Harvard Bridge) and connected with Olmsted's Emerald Necklace. To address criticism, trees, a refreshment pavilion, and concerts were brought to the park.The Esplanade went through a major expansion from 1928 to 1936, widening and lengthening the park land. These improvements were aided by a $1 million donation from Helen Osborne Storrow, in memory of her husband James. The Storrow Memorial Embankment, designed by Arthur Shurcliff added the first lagoon, boat landings, plazas, playgrounds, and the Music Oval, where a temporary bandshell was placed. The summer of 1929 was the first year Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops performed on the Esplanade.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Charles River is absolutely beautiful! My husband and I took a bike ride using the Hubway bikes. The views are just gorgeous. There's lots of places to stop and take in the view. The path is direc...  more »
  • Easy stroll along the Charles. Good for a continuous loop run on fairly level surfaces. Keep on eye on the schedule and join one of the free Summer concerts at the Hatch shell (Yes, the Beach Boys and...  more »
  • Right on the water and wonderful to the want to go for a walk and jog or do also always get there.
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