Boston Public Gardens
If you know what a coxswain is and if the term “stroke pair” means something to you, then you’re either a rower (or at least familiar with the sport of rowing) and your tickets are probably booked for the biggest rowing event of the year. If you haven’t a clue what we just said, head to Boston for the Head of the Charles.
Since its inception in 1965, the Head of the Charles is one of Boston’s most treasured weekend rituals. The 49th Head of the Charles Regatta takes place Oct. 18-20, 2013, and welcomes hundreds of thousands of spectators to the 3-mile stretch along the Charles River. Cheer on rowers from around the world, grab your favorite team flags and navigate the sporting weekend like a pro with these tips:
Down by the River: Choose your spot along the river and get ready for some amazing racing. Any spot between the Anderson and Weeks bridges is where you’ll find the most action. The Head of the Charles is free to watch, but if you want to enjoy any of the exhibitions or the Reunion Village (see below), tickets are required. One tip: dress in layers. Boston weather is finicky in the fall and the Regatta is a rain or shine event.
Weekend Exhibitions: On the Cambridge side of the river is where you’ll find Harvard’s Weld Boathouse and the Weld Exhibition tent. It’s here where all your official Head of the Charles sponsors are lined up. You’ll find everything from eats and drinks (don’t miss a bowl of Boston’s legendary clam chowda while you’re here) and you can even purchase official Regatta merchandise (play it safe by rooting for a Boston crew in crimson or blue).
Reunion Weekend: Reunion Village is located on the Boston side of the Charles River and where everyone who once rowed, studied or worked in Boston reunites for a fun-filled weekend on the banks. It’s like you know someone who knows someone who did something in Boston, so you’re more than welcome here, too. You will need a ticket and if you don’t have one in advance, you can buy them at the door. There’s a dining tent, merchandise vendors, private meeting rooms and plenty of reunion parties.
What to do: If you just want to take in the beauty that happens on the banks, then find a spot along the Charles and take it all in. You’ll meet plenty of people, walk away with new friends, and be able to boast that you saw what happens when the basin gives you glass. (No clue what we’re talking about? You have plenty of time on your flight to research it and find out.)