The spectacular Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston's newest park, stretches from TD Garden and the North End to Chinatown.
Just over a mile long, the Greenway packs in a huge variety of attractions.
Gardens, festivals, sculptures, memorials to Boston's neighborhoods, and a great selection of Boston's popular food trucks draw crowds throughout the week and weekends.
A carousel, recreational fields used for frisbee matches and lying in the sun, and a splash fountain provide a lot of fun for kids.
It's become hard to remember that an ugly elevated highway called the Central Artery once dominated this space, slashing through the heart of the city for almost 50 years.
Now, after a 16-year project dubbed the Big Dig sank the Central Artery underground between the Zakim Bridge near TD Garden and South Station across from Chinatown, the Rose Kennedy Greenway has reunited the waterfront and the North End with the rest of the city.
If you're visiting Boston with children, the Greenway may become your favorite spot to play in the city.
First, you'll find plenty of wide-open spaces for kids to run - bring a frisbee! Despite being bordered by streets on both sides, the Greenway's plantings and elevation provide a surprising amount of separation from traffic.
However, the biggest attraction for children is the fabulous new custom Carousel, sporting a Boston theme and local animals (whales, barn owls, fish, deer - even a couple of butterflies), located near the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel.
The carousel is only seasonal - so be sure to check the Boston Event Calendar for May to find the date for Opening Day.
Want to take a self-guided tour of the Greenway's 5 parks and perhaps make a few detours along the way?
The Greenway is made for walking!
Pack your camera, perhaps a frisbee, and get ready to explore all the attractions along this mile-long park. More about the Greenway walking tour
. . . about WiFi availability on the Greenway?
Great news! The Greenway is one of the largest free public WiFi hotspots in the state. Look for the "Greenway" network on your internet-enabled device. Newer devices will connect to the Greenway automatically but if you need to do an manual configuration, here's what you need to know:
Network name/SSID: greenway
Wireless mode/network type: Access Point or Infrastructure (not "ad hoc")
Network properties: Use DHCP to get an IP address automatically
WEP or WPA Encryption: Off
Boston's gourmet food trucks are a top Greenway attraction, especially around midday. You'll typically see these mobile restaurants in the Wharf District section, across from the New England Aquarium on the waterfront, and in the Dewey Square section.
The food trucks rotate on a daily basis, so you can sample different cuisine every day. More about Boston's Food Trucks
Fortunately, the Greenway has plenty of tables, chairs, and other seating. Thanks to treats from the food trucks, as well as the North End and Faneuil Marketplace, some stretches of the Greenway are turning into destination dining areas.
Another terrific option for outdoor dining can be found a bit farther south by the Dewey Square section of the Greenway. Tucked between the InterContinental Hotel Boston and the Federal Reserve building is James Hook (15 Atlantic Ave), sort of a hybrid between a clam shack and a lobster pound - a "hidden gem" in Downtown Boston.
Actually, what most people come here for are the lobster rolls, brimming with fresh, perfectly prepared lobster - and at $14 and $17, depending on the size, they're the best bargain in the city. Enjoy your treat in the tiny seating area you see in the photo, or carry it across to the Greenway - the stretch of trees just beyond the green umbrellas. More about James Hook
Maximize your time to enjoy the Greenway by staying at these nearby hotels - especially good choices if you're traveling with children and want them to have plenty of space to run and play.
Marriott Long Wharf
A long-time favorite with families as well as business travelers, the Marriott Long Wharf's Boston Harbor location means great water views plus easy access to the Freedom Trail, TD Garden, and the North End. Walk across the Greenway to Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
Boston Financial District Hilton
Because this Hilton is located in the Financial District, it usually gets lots of business travelers during the week. Leisure travelers love the lower weekend rates, plus the great location near the Greenway, Boston Harbor, and Boston Common.
The Millennium Bostonian Hotel is just steps from the Rose Kennedy Greenway - as well as from Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the Downtown Waterfront, the Freedom Trail, sports / entertainment arena TD Garden, and Italian restaurants and cafes in the North End.
This small hotel just a block from the Downtown Waterfront is one of Boston's best kept secrets. Rates are usually much cheaper than hotels right on the Harbor. You can easily walk to the Greenway, Freedom Trail, and several of the city's best Irish pubs.
InterContinental Hotel Boston
The elegant InterContinental overlooks the Greenway and Boston skyline on one side, and gorgeous views of Boston Harbor on the other. You can easily walk to the South Boston Waterfront area, Chinatown, and Boston's lively Theatre District. Or, just stay in the hotel and enjoy the luxurious spa.
Open: At all times
Location: Starts at Old Sudbury Street to the north, and ends at the Chinatown Gate at Essex Street to the south. The Greenway runs north/south along Cross Street /Atlantic Ave / Surface Artery North.
Closest Boston subway stations: Blue Line/Aquarium or Orange and Green Lines/Haymarket at the northern end, Red Line/South Station at the southern end
Boston Sightseeing Tours - See the best of Boston
South Boston Waterfront - At the southern end of the Greenway, cross Atlantic Ave to Harborwalk, walk across the Moakley Footbridge, and enjoy gorgeous waterfront views
Boston's Secret Gardens - Explore and enjoy!
Greenway Walking Tour - Take this self-guided stroll from Boston's North End to Chinatown
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