A Boston 4th of July: Tips for Celebrating on the Esplanade

All people want to spend the Fourth of July in special fashion. If you’ve never been to Boston, heading there in the beginning of July is as good a time as any. Below, you’ll find tips regarding how to spend it right during the Esplanade celebration.



New England weather is fickle, and natives know weather patterns change on a dime. In July, temperatures can range from the 60s and get up into the 90s, not to mention thunderstorms may inspire a downpour in the blink of an eye. To be certain you’re spending the celebration in hospitable conditions, check the weathercast at WBZ Accuweather, or, use your smartphone to check the CBS Boston Weather App.


There’s no dress code to enjoy the festivities, but if you’re concerned about your level of comfort, you’ll want to bring a light jacket or sweater; it can get mighty chilly during the evening hours. During the day, you’ll want to bring along sunscreen if you burn easily or a hat to keep the sun off of your face. As mentioned, weather conditions change quickly; it is a good idea to bring along an umbrella or rain coat just in case.


Regardless of how you get to the center of festivities, walking will be on the itinerary. Therefore, ensure you wear a good pair of comfortable shoes. This is especially a concern if you’re driving to the event; you’re more likely to win the Boston Marathon than find a great parking spot during the celebration. Event organizers encourage goers to take public transportation to be more green and to alleviate traffic coming into the city. Alternatively, if you’re coming out of town, peruse the web to find hotels in Boston residing by the festivities.

Public Transportation:

The closest trains (on the Boston side) are Charles-MGH (on the red line) and Arlington Street (green line). The trains are open late on the Fourth and expected to offer free rides home after 10 pm.


Handicap Parking:

All are encouraged to attend the festivities, and handicapped parking is offered at the Charles Circle LAZ Parking Lot (adjacent to the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Hospital). Of course, the police will be vigilant to ensure that no one without handicap plates take advantage of limited parking spots. The lot will close once full or after 6 pm (whichever comes first).

Leave at Home:

Though convenient, backpacks are not allowed in addition to shopping bags. Additionally, coolers (on wheels), fireworks, grills, propane tanks (BBQ equipment), and firearms are to be left behind since none of those items are permitted inside the festivity grounds. Sorry, Boston loves animals but they are not allowed inside! Of course, you can attempt to ‘sneak’ something in, but it’s not a good idea; security checkpoints are in effect, and items not allowed inside will be confiscated.

Vantage Points:

There are multiple areas to enjoy the events taking place. The Oval is considered the ‘best seat in the house,’ with the right side optimal for watching the fireworks exhibition. However, lines to get in this area start early and the space fills quickly. Don’t assume you can send one friend to reserve space for more people; such tactics are not allowed! The Island Lagoon is also a good area, but will be considered a secure area too; you’ll need a bracelet to get back inside once you get in. Speakers are aligned along the Charles River; you won’t be able to see what’s going on, yet you’ll be able to hear the music and festivities from there. It’s not ideal to see the fireworks due to a number of trees from there, though you may be able to maneuver yourself around the crowd and get a good position.

Some attempt to see the sights from the Mass. Ave Bridge but it’s off limits to the public, and depending on police and civil officials, the Longfellow Bridge may also be closed to the public. Memorial Drive will have speaker towers and food vendors. Alternatively, if you know someone with a boat, you can park in the Charles River for a truly exceptional view of the celebrations.

Jane Sandoval is a travel consultant. She loves to write about her experiences online. Her articles can be found on many travel and vacation sites.