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Where to Watch the Boston Marathon (and Other Visitor Tips)

Updated: October 12, 2021

where to watch Boston Marathon April is a great time to visit Boston to watch the Boston Marathon (or run it, if you're so included) and enjoy the other Patriot's Day events in Boston. Patriot's Day is an official holiday in Massachusetts (and Maine) and that weekend is full of celebrations and events. It recognizes the first battle of the American Revolution in Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, the morning after Paul Revere's Midnight Ride.

where to watch Boston Marathon

This year, the Boston Marathon is April 16, 2018.  The race actually starts in Hopkinton, Mass so its only the last leg that is in Boston.

Where is the best place to watch the Boston Marathon?

There are a lot of great places to watch along the more then 25 miles of the race. If you have the means to get out of the city, Heartbreak Hill between Miles 20 and 21 in Newton is the notoriously difficult part of the race or you can head to Wellesley to join in with the students at the Scream Tunnel.

By the time the runners get to Boston they are on the last part of the course, meaning you can get some actitivites in in the morning, like our Freedom Trail Walking Tour, before you need to head down to grab a spot - unless you want to see the winners. They are fast.

If you want to stay in Boston, two of the favorite spots are:

  • Kenmore Square
  • Boylston Street

Kenmore Square:If you can find a spot ... this is one of the most energetic places to watch. The Red Sox game will be letting out as some of the later  runners come by so it turns into a big party. You'll see runners come by from 10am-5pm so if you want to avoid the doubleheader of crowds, get there after the Red Sox game has started (11:05am) and leave before it ends!

Boylston Street

Just across from the Boston Public Library is the Boston Marathon finish line. You can see it year round painted on the Boylston Street. You'll find this is the most crowded place to watch so only go if you don't mind crowds. Take note that the Copley Green Station is closed on Race Day, so you'll need to arrive another way. The Hynes Convention Center Stop on the B, C, D lines will be the closest stop and just follow the crowds. You should start to see the first runners around 10am and then it's all day long from there.

If you want to see the racers cross in a more relaxed manner (for you, at least) grab a drink at Solas, an Irish pub near by with a second floor. You won't be the only one with this idea so get there early.

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About The Author

Brian Burgess

Brian was born in Cambridge and has been living in the Boston area all his life. He is a graduate of Boston's Emerson College with a degree in communications with a journalism/history focus. He has been leading tours for Free Tours By Foot Boston since it was started in the city of Boston in 2012, and enjoys sharing his knowledge of Boston's rich history with not only the guests on his tours, but with everyone he meets.
Updated: October 12th, 2021
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