Q. What does the word “Esplanade” mean?

A. In French, an esplanade is a flat open stretch of pavement or grass, especially one designed as a promenade along a shore.

Q. Where is the Esplanade in Boston?

A. The Esplanade stretches for 3 miles along the Charles River on the Boston side, between the Museum of Science and the Boston University bridge.

Q. How long has the Esplanade been around?

A. The Esplanade has existed for over a century. It is completely man-made, and was  inspired by Charles Eliot and designed by Arthur Shurcliff.

Q. How many people visit the Esplanade every year and why do they come?

A. Millions of people visit the Esplanade every year. They come to attend events, such as the Fourth of July Pops Concert and firework display, to walk, run and bike on the park’s pathways, to play on its sports fields and playgrounds, to fish off its banks, or to simply enjoy a green oasis in the heart of the city.

Q. What hours is the park open?

A. The park is open from dawn until dusk. Except for walk-through traffic and permitted events.

Q. Is barbecuing allowed at the park?

A. No. Barbecuing and open fires of any kind are not allowed at the park.

Q. Are alcoholic beverages allowed at the park?

A. No. Alcoholic beverages of any kind are not allowed at the park.

Q. Is camping allowed at the park?

A. No. Camping is not allowed at the park.

Q. May my dog run off-leash at the park?

A. No. Dogs must be leashed and owners must clean up after their dog.

Q. Are vendors allowed at the park?

A. No. Vendors are prohibited at the park.

Q. May I drive my motorized vehicle in the park?

A. No. Motorized vehicles of any kind are not allowed at the park.

Q. Are there rules for bicyclists at the park?

A. Yes. Bicyclists must follow Massachusetts Bike Rules:

  • The bike path is a shared route with pedestrians.
  • Bicyclists must yield to pedestrians.
  • Bicyclists must keep right and share the path.
  • Bicyclists must pass on the left only and give audible warning.
  • Bicyclists are required to use headlights when riding at night.
  • Bicyclists must walk their bikes over pedestrian footbridges.
  • Helmets are required for children 16 years old and younger.

Report any accidents involving personal injury or property damage to the Mass State Police (617-727-6780)


  • Healthy, Fit & Fun

    Healthy, Fit & Fun classes will begin July 7th and will be held every week, Monday through Thursday, until mid-September.

  • July 4th Update!

    We are seeking volunteers to help out at our Esplanade Summer Dock Party on Thursday, July 17th.

  • A Special Gift for Dad

    This Father’s Day surprise your dad by having flowers planted on the Charles River Esplanade in his honor.

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