Each year, the third Monday in April is a city-wide holiday in Boston. Though the rest of the world may also be watching, the excitement is nothing compared to being in Boston on Marathon Monday! The city is simply buzzing with energy and the streets teem with thousands of spectators.
Being able to participate is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but for those of us who are more jazzed at the thought of watching, well, that’s something spectacular as well.
Planning a Boston Marathon Trip? Here Are Our Tips
There are plenty of trips one can embark on last minute, but heading to Boston to watch the marathon is not one of them. With over 30,000 people running in the race and many times more than that planning on viewing the race, you’ll need to plan your trip in advance. It may only be February, but we advise to start planning immediately! Here are some of the most useful tips for planning on watching the Boston Marathon:
1. Book a Nearby Accommodation, First Thing
The race begins in Hopkinton and finishes in the heart of Boston, Copley Square. It’s much more fun to stay near where the race ends since that is the most exciting part of the race. Not to mention, Copley Square is an enthralling neighborhood to stay in. You’ll be treated to rows of Boston brownstones, the upscale shops along Newbury Street, the nearby Boston Common, and much more. You won’t need any mode of transportation aside from your feet!
Nearly all of the Boston hotels get booked in advance, but those hotels closest to the finish line will definitely be sold out, and soon. Book your accommodation first thing, then finish planning afterward.
2. Don’t Plan on Having a Car
If you’re following our first piece of advice, this is a moot point. Otherwise, listen closely! Driving is not only a headache during the marathon, but many of the roads are blocked near the race. Do yourself a favor and plan on not having a car to deal with. If you aren’t staying within walking distance of the race, then take public transportation!
3. Be Prepared to Work Around Traffic Closures
It’s always wise to be aware of which roads are closed, where, and for how long. Even if you aren’t driving, maneuvering around the city can be tricky! The most up to date information regarding road closures can be found here.
4. Use Your Hotel Team as a Resource!
Correspond with your hotel to get as much insight and advice as possible. No one knows how to manage the Marathon better than Bostonians! Call, email, or use social media to ask them any of your questions ahead of time. Additionally, once you arrive in Boston, take advantage of the Intuition Experts that hotels such as Copley Square Hotel feature!
5. Where Should You Watch the Marathon?
Ahhh, the most important question! There are 26.2 miles to choose from. No matter where you stand, you will have a wonderful time watching and cheering, but there are some special spots we recommend:
- Boylston Street: As mentioned, this is the stretch near the end and is an exciting spot to view from! You’ll already be near all of the action when the race finishes.
- Heartbreak Hill: If the name is any indication, this is a point in the race where the runners need every cheer they can get. Heartbreak Hill is the final hill in the race and its located between miles 20-21.
- Kenmore Square: Also near the finish line, this stretch is just past the corner from Fenway Park and is a scenic and energetic spot to view from as well.
If you love baseball and want to enjoy the marathon, do it the Bostonian way at the Red Sox game which happens on the same day. You’ll get to hang out at the classic Fenway Park alongside thousands of other incredibly enthusiastic fans, all of whom generally flock to Kenmore Square afterward to continue the fun.
6. Be Mindful of What You Bring While Watching
Security is very intense at the Boston Marathon these days, and it’s important to be aware of which items are a no-go to bring.
- Weapons, obviously
- Fireworks, flammable liquids, fuels or explosives
- Bags, backpacks, handbags…
- Suitcases or rolling bags of any kind
- Bulky items
- Props, sporting equipment, flagpoles, military gear
- Costumes, bulky outfits, basically don’t dress up in any way!
- Glass, cans, container carrying more than 1 liter of liquid
So, as you can see, many of these items are normal items spectators would bring, such as a bag or a cooler. This is why it’s important to know ahead, so you can plan on how to bring the necessary items and what to leave behind. If you want more information on this topic, visit here.
7. If You’d Like To, Plan on Giving Back!
Perhaps one of the best parts of the marathon is the many ways it provides to give back. There are numerous organizations that have teams running in the race on behalf of a charity, many of which you can donate to. Additionally, there are organizations who support the individuals and families who were injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. You can find out more about donating here.
8. Last But Not Least, Plan on Enjoying!
Viewing the Boston Marathon does take a little advance planning, but we recommend leaving as much time open for the unknown as possible! The city is abuzz with excitement and events; it’ll be super fun to have plenty of free time in your schedule to wander and discover. Plan to savor every moment, enjoy as many festivities as possible, and experience the best Boston has to offer.
For the ultimate combination of luxury, history, and convenience, book a stay at Copley Square Hotel for your Boston Marathon trip. Copley Square Hotel is located within the historic Copley Square, where the race culminates. From the hotel, you’ll be able to walk anywhere and everywhere, and take in even more marathon excitement!
For the official Marathon website, visit here.