Head of the Charles Regatta
The Head of the Charles Regatta, held every October, is the biggest rowing festival in the US, and marks the end of the rowing season for most people.
It's an unusual event, since you can see everyone from club rowers to recent Olympians (including medal-winners) on the water. Sunday is the big day, with most of the championship races.
Almost everyone seems to congregate on the Cambridge side of the water, as well as on the many bridges over the Charles. Races go upriver, so the end-points are especially crowded, with lots of potential for boat-crashes.
The races are all timed, with boats released every few seconds, so it's nearly impossible to tell who's actually winning. Even the rowers don't know.
There are all kinds of stalls selling sporting paraphernalia and food, and there's a very festive atmosphere - as well as thousands upon thousands of people wearing 'crew' shirts, often from their college days decades before!
Head of the Charles!
The Head of the Charles Regatta is the world's largest rowing event. Competitors, and fans, come from all over the world to compete in rowing. The regatta is held every October, and the shores of the Charles are packed with spectators the weekend of the competition.
The photo shows folks rowing on the river, training for the competition later that year. (It's probably hard to make them out...they're right under the left span of the bridge.)
- Water Sports
Go rowing on the Charles River
Rowing is huge here. Several boat clubs offer lessons. Rowing the Charles gives you amazing views of Boston and Cambridge. Not into rowing? then just walk along the Charles and watch the rowers. It's a wonderful sight.
Equipment: There are several boat clubs in Cambridge and Boston where you can rent and take lessons. Most people I know go to the Cambridge Boat Club
Shoeshowing in Minute Man National Park
While living in Boston, I always enjoyed snowshoeing on the Battle Road in Minute Man National Park (obivously during the winter months). The Battle Road is the path retreating British soldiers took back to Boston on April 19, 1775 after the initial shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired at the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts.
Although you are close to nearby towns, Minute Man National Park can make you feel like you are way out in the countryside, especially along the Battle Road. So, if the Boston area gets a good snow, Minute Man National Park is a great place to go and enjoy the wintery scene as only cross-country skiers and a few people on snowshoes will be there. It's a great way to get exercise, see some great winter scenes and some American history all at the same time.
Equipment: If you don't own a pair of snowshoes (like most people), then you can rent some at one of REI's Massachusetts locations in Reading (279 Salem Street or call (781) 944-5103) or Framingham (375 Cochituate Rd. or call (508) 270-6325). Be sure to call ahead, especially on weekends, they rent fast.
Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park
Red Sox baseball game at historic Fenway Park. Fenway is one of the few old baseball parks left in America and has not changed much since it opened in 1912. With such an incredible history, a game at Fenway takes one back to early days of baseball and great players like Ted Williams, Cy Young and Babe Ruth.
In 1947, the legendary “Green Monster” was created when the all the advertisements on the left field wall was painted over with green paint. The official Red Sox website has a great narrative on the history of Fenway. Over the past few years there has been a lot of talk around Boston about replacing Fenway Park with a new ballpark as so many other cities have done. So, Fenway’s time may be limited as well as your chance to experience this truly great old ballpark.
If possible, try to catch a Red Sox - Yankees game. The heckling the Boston crowd gives their New York counterparts is an experience in and of itself and one that demonstrates just how old the rivalry is between the Boston and New York baseball clubs.
Equipment: Bring your liver and some cash for beers and italian sauages.
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