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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 Esplanade is a LONG stretch of bike ways and walk ways along the charles river in Boston, it is about 4 miles long from Boston Harbor to Brookline. great place to bike and jog and se...  more »
  • My favorite walk is on the Esplanade on the Cambridge side of the Charles River, rather than off Storrow Drive. Much quieter, and one can walk the length of the Esplanade as far as the Longfellow Brid...  more »
  • One can see the Boston skyline. It is worth visiting during any time of the day. The view is just amazing  more »