Boston Area Parks + Recreation

Boston Area Parks + Recreation

The Parks and Recreation department of Boston is responsible for creating and maintaining accessible, clean, green, and safe open space in over 2,300 acres of parkland throughout Boston. The department is in charge of the following:

  • 217 athletic fields, city parks, and playgrounds
  • 75 game courts
  • 65 squares
  • 16 historic and three active cemeteries
  • 17 fountains
  • Two golf courses

If you are planning on going for a walk to ease your mind or for your daily exercise, here is a list of seven places that you can visit:

  1. Public garden

Interested in taking a leisure stroll across beautiful scenery? Visit the Public Garden as the landscape is filled with all sorts of flowering trees and flowers. The iconic Swan Boats of Boston is always on the move, going around the lagoon. The public garden is a botanical garden that is curated.

  1. Boston Common

Known as America’s oldest park, the 50-acre park was used as a ground for public hanging and for pasture in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, the grassy ground of Boston Common is a popular meeting spot for friends meeting to have a meal or any other activity. It has a large Tadpole playground and a splash pool for kids, and a bandstand, and a carousel for hosting theatrical and live music performances. As the park is naturally exquisite, it is a stopping point for numerous city walking tours.

  1. Emerald Necklace

Designed by Fedrick Law Olmsted over 100 years ago, the historic Emerald Necklace park is a popular destination for over one million annual visitors and city residents. Stretching over 1000 acres, the green space helps people connect with nature. Whether you want to have some quiet time under a bench or indulge in recreational activities such as golf, hiking, softball or sailing, the park offers a variety of experiences. With a zoo and an arboretum, the attractions of the park are diverse.

  1. Arnold Arboretum

Arnold Arboretum is a part of Harvard University and the Emerald Necklace park system. It was designed by the city architect Fedrick Law Olmsted. If you are a nature lover or someone looking for peace of mind, Arnold Arboretum is the place to be. Situated in Jamaica Plain neighborhood, you can easily escape life in the city by visiting this 281 shady acres. It is one of the best-documented parks in the world for its collection of shrubs, trees, and woody vines. There are over 1.3 million specimens, making it a research hotspot for scientists and scholars.

  1. Castle Island

The 22-acre urban park houses Fort Independence, a pentagonal structure that was built between 1834 and 1851. The island offers beautiful views of the surroundings and it is a popular spot for city dwellers to either run or walk their dogs in the two-mile-long Pleasure Bay loop. It is also a hotspot for picnics as you can spread a sheet on the lawn and eat while watching ships pass by.

  1. Rose Kennedy Greenway

The financial district in Boston looks better than ever due to Rose Kennedy Greenway which replaced a highway in 2008. A refuge for city professionals and residents in every season, people come here to relax. With a wide variety of live music every Thursday night, splash fountains and food trucks, there are always things to do in this park.

  1. Charles River Esplanade

Charles River Esplanade is a beautiful oasis with green banks along the Charles River. It is Boston’s most popular running paths because of its astounding water views. People who want some quiet time like to sit on the dock and read a book while their feet dangles over the water. Some like to rent kayaks or sailboats and go around the river for a spin while others listen to live music on the Hatch Shell.

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