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)


  • Give 5% for Earth Day

    Join us for the 5% for Earth Day campaign on Saturday, April 26th. Your purchase from a select list of retailers will benefit our work to make life better on the Esplanade..

  • Welcome Kate Fichter!

    The Esplanade Association is pleased to welcome Kate Fichter as our new Executive Director. We are very excited to have Kate join us and know that she will help us to continue our mission to make life better on the Esplanade.

  • Happening Now on the Esplanade

    It may seem quiet on the Charles River Esplanade but The Esplanade Association has been busier than ever caring for the park and we wanted to highlight some of the important work that we are doing right now.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest YouTube Flickr