Best Bodies Of Water To Visit Near Boston

April 23, 2016 6:00 AM

There are some amazing bodies of water to visit in the Boston area which range from a quiet pond in the middle of the city to Boston Harbor. Some of the best beaches in the area offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether the activity of the day is taking a cool swim, navigating a sailboat around the shores or fishing for the catch of the day, Boston has many bodies of water to fulfill the need.

(Photo Credit: Jamaica Pond)

(Photo Credit: Jamaica Pond)

Jamaica Pond
The Jamaicaway and Perkins St.
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 635-4505

Jamaica Pond was formed by a glacier and is fed by natural springs. The pond’s pure and clear water is a wonderful source of recreation located in Boston’s Emerald Necklace of parks. The relaxing tranquility of Jamaica Pond offers a 1.5-mile path around its circumference for walking and jogging. Rowboats, sailboats and kayaks are available for rent and sailing lessons are offered by Courageous Sailing Center. The pond is stocked with fish each year for those who want to try their hand at shoreline fishing. No swimming is allowed in Jamaica Pond. There are also engaging community events held on the property surrounding this magnificent body of water.

The Charles River. (Credit:  William B. Plowman/Getty Images)

The Charles River. (Credit: William B. Plowman/Getty Images)

Charles River
Echo Lake in Hopkinton, MA to the Atlantic Ocean
Department of Conservation and Recreation
(617) 626-1250

The Charles River is 80 miles long and runs through Boston and several surrounding towns. The beauty of the river and its shoreline is breathtaking as each season changes. The major activities associated with the Charles River are centered around recreational and competitive boating. Some of the popular boating choices include rowing, sculling, sailing and kayaking. There is a 23-mile bike and walking/running path along the banks of the river. Swimming returned to the Charles River in 2013 after a half-century hiatus. The Hatch Shell sits on the banks of the Charles and offers world-renowned entertainment options, including Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops.

Castle Island. (Photo Credit:

Castle Island. (Photo Credit:

Boston Harbor At Castle Island/Carson Beach

2010 Day Blvd.
South Boston, MA 02127
(617) 727-5290

Carson Beach is located in the South Boston neighborhood of the city. The beach has a walkway that provides a place for visitors to walk, run or bike along the shore from Castle Island to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The view from the beach offers a picturesque Boston skyline and Boston Logan International Airport. After a day at the beach in the bright sunshine, Sullivan’s is a popular stop for a bite to eat, especially for one of their famous hot dogs.

Related:  Best Public Beaches On The South Shore And Cape Cod

Quabbin Reservoir. (Photo Credit:

Quabbin Reservoir. (Photo Credit:

Quabbin Reservoir
485 Ware Road (Rte. 9)
Belchertown, MA 01007
(413) 323-7221

The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts at 412 billion gallons and 38.6 square miles with 181 miles of shoreline. It provides drinking water for many surrounding towns and cities. For this reason, swimming is not allowed in the Quabbin Reservoir. There are many activities that take place around the reservoir including shoreline fishing, hiking, walking, jogging, snowshoeing, hunting, picnicking and scenic viewing opportunities.

Cape Cod Canal. (Photo Credit: Cape Cod Canal Visitors Center)

Cape Cod Canal. (Photo Credit: Cape Cod Canal Visitors Center)

Cape Cod Canal
Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay
60 Ed Moffatt Drive
Sandwich, MA 02563
(508) 833-9678

The Cape Cod Canal is a seven-mile-long artificial waterway, which is used by recreational and commercial vessels and connects Cape Cod to the Massachusetts mainland. There is a bordering pathway along both sides of the canal that provides access to fishing and relaxing as the world floats by. Designated areas for swimming along the canal include Scusset Beach State Reservation and several campsites that pepper the area. Interestingly, the canal is spanned by the Cape Cod Railroad Bridge and two highway bridges, the Sagamore and the Bourne.

Related: Best Places To Go Fishing Near Boston

Nancy is a native Bostonian. She enjoys the sights, sounds and tastes of Boston while exploring the city by day or night. Nancy is also a school nurse at an independent middle/high school. Her work can be found on a variety of websites, including