Boating in Boston drops oars in six locations—including local lakes, ponds, the Charles River, and Boston Harbor—sending visitors on watery adventures with a fleet of canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pedal boats, paddleboards, and festive and essential lifejackets. Whether navigating the peaceful waters of Hopkinton State Park's Hopkinton Reservoir—the place that, in 2002, started it all—or campus-adjacent eddies of UMass Boston's Fox Point Landing, visitors can hit the water untrained or sharpen skills with solo or group lessons. The crew of instructors also instills a love of boating in the littlest landlubbers with youth summer camps that teach basic skills and safety.
In the early ’70s, Boston-area resident Mike Farny dreamed of creating affordable outdoor recreational activities for his community to enjoy. Today, on-staff guides lead tours of the Charles River and Boston Harbor to educate participants in ecosystem conservation, view the skyline and sunset, or explore historic structures.
To prepare customers entering the water for the first time, instructors coach riders of all levels in private or group lessons at the paddling school, which draws on more than 30 years of instructional tradition. Staffers can also equip boaters in the shop—where P&H kayaks hang alongside paddleboards and Wenonah canoes, dreaming of one day being the inspiration for a traditional sea chantey. Crew members help clients choose their ride and accessories from these selections and others through free daily demonstrations.
Since its inception as a nonprofit organization in 1985, Community Rowing Inc. has guided more than 15,000 students in invigorating rowing sessions held on the Charles River. Their experienced staff of Olympians and coaches helps students to become familiar with industry-standard boats and rowing machines through comprehensive introductory lessons and extended handshakes with the rowing arms. After gleaning the skills necessary to properly use equipment, students gain access to locker rooms, training areas, and any additional courses on the Charles River. The full-body, calorie-burning workouts are available throughout the week, allowing students to learn essential techniques such as sweeping, sculling, and dealing peacefully with the water road rage of aggressive gondoliers. Classes are offered on select Saturday or Sunday afternoons.
Sports fans flock to Boston's Youth Enrichment Services for a fun day away.
Brush up on your parallel parking skills — the club's Massachusetts Avenue location offers nearby street parking.
Hop on public transit if driving's not your speed; accessible stops include Massachusetts Ave. Station (Orange), Symphony Station (Green), and Prudential Station (Green).
Take a relaxing outing on the waters when you rent a vessel from Belle Isle Kayak Adventures in Winthrop.
Looking for a bite to eat? This center also has an awesome restaurant.
Let the kids come too! Little ones love the activities at this center just as much as their parents do.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Sports fans know to plan their weekend around Nashoba Paddler in Groton.
Whether you're looking for a quick snack or a full meal, the restaurant at this club is sure to dish out something delicious.
Take the kids along too — this club is a great spot for families with activities that even little ones will love.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.