Set Sail Along the Esplanade!

“Set sail for adventure on the Charles!”

Along the banks of the Charles River, in the shadow of the tallest buildings in Boston, just a stone’s throw from the subway and Storrow Drive, is the Charles River Esplanade, or just The Esplanade for short.  This lengthy public park is one of the most beautiful places in Boston, and is an ideal place for walking, cycling, sailing, or just sitting back and enjoying the sight of sailboats drifting along the river.

“Ahoy, Beantown!”

The Esplanade was originally known as the Boston Embankment; it was created along with the construction of the Charles River Dam in 1910 (now the Museum of Science).  Today, you’ll find hundreds of sailboats along the Esplanade’s riverbank.  In fact, it is hard to miss these, as the Esplanade is popular location to raise your anchor!  If you don’t own any boats, you can rent some from the many boathouses along the riverbank.  But sailboats aren’t the only watercrafts.  Almost everyday, you’ll see hundreds of crew rowers practicing their long strokes on the Charles.  Rowing is an important sport in Boston; almost every college nearby has a rowing team, and teams take pride in who can row the fastest.  You can tell which boat belongs to which college by the colors of the oars and boat.  Stop by Boston during October to catch a glimpse of the great rowing race known as The Head of the Charles.

“Ah, Beantown in November!”

“The most beautiful scene in Boston!”

I love this place because of how peaceful it is.  Far away from the sports-fueled cacophony of Fenway Park, and a few miles from the bustling shoppers on Newbury Street, is an oasis from the city, that is in the city nonetheless.  Getting here is too easy.  I just get off at Charles MGH station, walk down to Storrow Drive, then I climb the overpass to reach the Esplanade.  The skylines of both Boston and Cambridge make for some dynamite photo ops.  From Boston, you can get a shot of the dome at MIT.  From Cambridge, you can snap a photo of Boston’s skyscraper skyline which includes the Prudential Center and the John Hancock.

For the music fan, the Esplanade is home to the Hatch Memorial Shell, also known as the Hatchshell, which is one of the music venue icons of Boston.  Stop by on Independence Day for a concert featuring the Boston Pops and a fireworks, the Hatchshell is not to be missed!

“Beach, Blanket, Boston!”

But I love this place for another reason.  One day in August, on the waterfront, I saw dozens of crew boats paddling up the Charles.  There were so many, that it looked like a small armada sailing into Boston!  The amount of boats paddling were creating a wake so great, that the rental boats moored along piers were bobbing up and down like crazy!  After the boats sailed out of sight, all I could hear was the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and the cars speeding along Storrow Drive.  I stood still and stared out towards the Longfellow bridge where the red line subway was; two trains were going in opposites directions.  Lastly, I saw a small group of people sunbathing on a dock.  It wasn’t the beach, but they had on nothing but bathing suits and flip-flops!  A group of kayakers paddled by them; I was surprised that no one decided to jump in, but then again, can you recall a time when you saw people taking a leisurely dip in the Charles?  I admit, I was very tempted.  Call it a cheesy tableau, but those images, in my opinion, sum up a perfect summer afternoon in Boston.  Of course, I then heard the angry wail of a fire truck and ambulance near the road, and my moment of tranquility vanished.  Still, whenever I’m in Boston, I can’t think of anything I love more than cracking open a can Moxie, sitting down near the Hatchshell, and taking in the sights of Boston and Cambridge from my favorite park in Beantown.

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
This entry was posted in Boston, Massachusetts, North America, United States of America, What to see in Boston and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Set Sail Along the Esplanade!

  1. Jeanna says:

    As a Boston-area resident, it is so easy to forget, when you are speeding down Storrow Drive, what a peaceful, beautiful sight the Charles is. Too bad I can’t enjoy looking at it as I drive – my Boston driving is bad enough as it is!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *