Boston’s Best Nighttime Strolls

September 8, 2016 6:00 AM

Boston. (Credit: iStockphoto)

File image (Credit: iStockphoto)

File image (Credit: iStockphoto)

When walking in Boston at night, it is easy to see that the city changes a lot as the sun sets. Lights twinkle on the harbor, and the streets quiet down. Depending on the season, the parks may get more festive or cooler. Either way, the night has merit. Thankfully, some of the most impressive places to walk are accessible to the night owls. And in case we need to say it – it’s best to bring someone along when walking at night.

Charles River Esplanade
Boston, MA
www.esplanadeassociation.org

The Charles River Esplanade is a park along the banks of the Charles River. The embankment’s transformation into a park began roughly 100 years ago and was backed by some of the most important men in the city at that time. Today, people can take a stroll along its paths, finding plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view of and across the river. It is home to the Memorial Hatch Shell, which will occasionally host performances in the evening. Those who prefer a quiet stroll should avoid this park around July 4th, when it is part of the city’s annual celebration.

Related: Boston’s Best Art Walks

Christian Science Plaza
250 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(800) 288-7090
www.christianscience.com

The Mother Church of Christian Science is in Boston at the center of the gorgeous Christian Science Plaza. Well-lit and beautifully landscaped, this plaza is perfect for taking a quick walk in the evening. Lights from the surrounding buildings reflect off a long pool at the center of stone walkways, making it almost more visually appealing at night than it is during the day. The plaza also has views of nearby skyscrapers that offer wonderful photo ops.

Boston Harborwalk
Boston Wharf Road
Boston, MA 02210
www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org

Boston’s Harborwalk follows the harbor along the shore, effectively connecting neighborhoods to the harbor and to each other. While it is still under construction, plenty of the envisioned path is complete. Walk between the city and the shore as the glow of the lights sparkle on the water. See the lights of boats as they make their way through the famous harbor. This stroll can be as long or as short as needed, so it’s good for people of all ages and abilities.

Boston Common & Public Garden
Boston, MA 02115
www.cityofboston.gov

It is important that night walks be public and lit well for safety reasons. Few places are better suited for that than the Boston Common and Public Garden. Located directly across the street from each other, they both have paths that wander through grassy areas dotted with statues, trees, plants and water features. While quite public, it is possible to sneak a kiss beneath a willow or on a side path on a romantic walk, and it’s hard to find a place more romantic than the Public Garden–a popular wedding spot.

Harvard Bridge
Mass Ave.
Boston, MA 02115

Harvard Bridge is a stretch of Mass Ave. that crosses the Charles River into Cambridge. It provides a brief nighttime walk and a great way to get to Cambridge on foot. The draw isn’t so much the length of the walk but the view. Because it’s out over the river, it has views of Cambridge and Boston, as well as the Charles in both directions. There is still a lot of traffic during the evening, but there are fewer cars and a more peaceful walk later in the night.

Related: Boston’s Best Parks For A Winter Nature Walk

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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