boston waterfront summer

Bostonians are all about summer. After our New England winters, we take every opportunity to get back outside. And now, it’s time to get back to one of the city’s most beloved attractions: its waterfront.

From excursions out on The Charles River, to cultural institutions located on the city’s shores, these are the best ways to explore the waterfront in Boston.

Sailing on the Charles River

The majestic Charles River draws a line between the high-rises of Downtown Boston and the culture and college campuses across the way in Cambridge. Just a short, beautiful stroll from The Boxer Boston Hotel, the Charles River Esplanade is a gateway to many of the city’s best waterfront attractions. One of our favorite things to do there when the weather is warm is to take a sailing trip out onto the historic river.

Community Boating is the nation’s oldest, continuously running public sailing center, and it’s located right on the Esplanade along the Charles River. Experienced sailors can rent small boats to take out on the water on a given afternoon. You can also rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards here. For more information, check out the Community Boating website here.

Biking along the Charles River

If you want to get by the water, but stay on land, then we recommend taking a nice bike ride along the Charles River during your next trip to Boston. Guests of The Boxer Boston Hotel can borrow one of our stylish bikes designed by Republic Bikes during their stay. We are a short jaunt away from city staples like the Boston Common, Freedom trail, and The Esplanade.

Once you get over to The Charles River on one of our Boxer Boston bicycles, you can ride the bike path along the water, and take one of the bridges across the water over to Cambridge, where you’ll find other waterside parks and hangouts. Going deeper into Cambridge, you can explore popular neighborhoods and attractions like Harvard Square, Central Square, and more.

Visit Boston Harbor Islands

There is a series of small islands, part of the National Parks system, located just offshore from the city in Boston Harbor. They’re beautiful, and each one is well worth exploring. Two of the most popular are Georges Island, home to a Civil War-era fort, and Spectacle Island, where rolling hills offer one of the best views of the Boston skyline. On Georges Island, the (haunted?) Fort Warren is the main attraction: its partially-restored ramparts are open for clambering, with signs and guides on hand to tell the fort and former prison’s fascinating history. Spectacle Island, whose height comes from dirt dug up during the Big Dig, is a great place for picnics and strolls along its hills and shoreline.

In addition to these two Boston Harbor islands, smaller islands also beckon, including Grape Island, Peddocks Island, Lovell Island, and Bumpkin Island. Head there for more hiking trails, and beach hangouts to enjoy during the sunny and humid summer months. You can learn more at the Boston Harbor Island website.

Concerts By The Water

Every spring and summer, there are a number of concerts that music lovers can enjoy along the waterfront in Boston. One of our favorite venues is the famous Hatch Shell, in the Charles River Esplanade. This historic amphitheatre hosts the city’s central 4th of July celebration every year, and the famous Boston Pops orchestra performs alongside the grandiose fireworks display.

Another awesome music venue along the waterfront in Boston is The Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion. Rockland draws some of the biggest names in music every spring and summer. Some of this season’s most anticipated concerts include Tash Sultana, Billie Eilish, and George Clinton with Parliament Funkadelic.

Waterfront Museums

Throughout the year, Boston’s diverse and acclaimed collection of museums and cultural institutions combine provide a haven for interested travelers. Many of these institutions are located along Boston’s many waterfronts, making them extra-special draws during the warm-weather months. Some waterfront hubs for culture in and around Boston include the USS Constitution Museum at the Charlestown Navy Yard, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and the world-famous Boston Children’s Museum.


Planning a visit to Boston? Experience it like a local with our insider’s guide at the Boxer Boston blog!