Restaurants and Night Life, Running and Waterfront

Restaurants and Night Life

July 4th fireworks over the Charles

Boston is a world-renowned center for ideas and learning with some 65 colleges, universities and other institutions of higher education that attract more than 200,000 students. No other major city has such a high proportion of students. Their youthful energy invigorates the city’s restaurants and nightlife, from club hopping on Lansdowne Street to the live music scene in the cafes and coffeehouses. Live music includes Latin, jazz, blues, gospel, folk and classical. Boston is a great restaurant town. There are many outstanding restaurants and enormous variety. The restaurant reviews in the Boston Globe are particularly useful.


Boston is among the world’s great running cities. In addition to the Boston Marathon, some of the most famous city runs in the world are located in Boston, from the paths on both sides of the scenic Charles River to the greenery and majesty of the Olmsted-designed Emerald Necklace of parks inside the city. These include the bucolic Arnold Arboretum and spacious Franklin Park. There are also some spectacular runs along the much-improved Boston Harbor. These and many other runs in the Boston area are detailed in the outstanding Great Runs website, which also includes even more runs in the Boston North Shore and South Shore

Map of the Emerald Necklace


Community Boating on the Charles River

Downtown Boston is a peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides: the harbor on the east and north, and the Charles River on the west. Unlike many cities, much of the waterfront is recreational space. The harbor offers boating of all kinds, fishing, and a number of community beaches. There is a Harborwalk with many parks and other venues. The Harbor Islands are part of the National Park system and are accessible by ferry for day trips and picnicking.

The Charles River side is even more scenic, with a 17 mile Esplanade along the shore, the Hatch Shell for summer concerts, the famous Duck Boat Tours and a Community Boating Program that allows individuals or families to sail any of a fleet of 113 boats (or kayaks or wind surfers) in the Charles River Basin and that provides children with instruction and all-summer boating. Every July 4th, the Esplanade is packed with crowds for a spectacular Boston Pops concert and fireworks show. The Charles River is also known for its rowing and sculling. The famous Head of the Charles regatta, the world’s largest 2-day rowing event, is held every year in October.

Boston side of the Charles River Esplanade