Could you please tell me the easiest way to get to the Esplanade area in Boston around the 4th of July from the Bourne area?
The easiest way to get to Boston from Bourne, the "gateway" to Cape Cod" on or around July 4th is by Commuter Rail. The Kingston/Route 3 station will probably be the closest for you, and it will bring you to South Station. You can find a map as well as schedules on the MBTA Commuter Rail page at www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail.
To get to the Esplanade from South Station, take the Red Line of the T (Boston's subway) to the Charles St/MGH station. Exit the station on the left, cross Cambridge Street, Charles St, and another small street (Mugar Way, but I don't think there's a sign) and head past the John Jeffries House on your left toward to concrete stairs that you'll see more or less straight ahead. That's a footbridge over Storrow Drive, and it takes you to the Esplanade. If you want to go toward the Hatch Shell area to the vicinity of the Boston Pops concert and fireworks, walk left down the path past Community Boating, and the Hatch Shell is not far beyond that. Expect huge crowds.
Alternately, you can also easily walk to the Esplanade from South Station - it's perhaps a 15-minute walk, but again, there will be big crowds plus lots of Harborfest events going on, so the walk will probably take longer but will be interesting.
If you do plan to spend one or more nights in the city, you can park overnight (up to 7 nights, I think, but do double-check this) at the Braintree or Quincy T stations on the Red Line, which you can then take straight up to the Charles St/MGH stop. You can find additional information on the MBTA website (url is above).
You are wise to not plan to drive into Boston on or around the Fourth, as the city (which is compact) becomes filled to capacity with visitors. Getting around by car will be very difficult and time-consuming, and parking, if you can find it, is sure to be quite expensive.
Have a wonderful time! July 4th in Boston is lots of fun!
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