United States

Boston, MA

A guide to running in Boston. See also our guides to Boston's North Shore and South Shore

Boston is among the world’s great running cities. In addition to its bucolic setting, Boston is host to the famed Boston Marathon, headquarters of numerous running shoe companies, and home to 150,000 college students. Some of the most famous city runs in the world are located in Boston, from the Charles River Paths to the greenery and majesty of the Olmsted-designed Emerald Necklace. There are also some spectacular runs along the much-improved Boston Harbor, and some great waterfront runs in South Boston and East Boston. Our guide to running in Boston also includes several tours featuring Boston’s history: the Freedom Trail, Bunker Hill, and the Battle Road (Lexington to Concord). As homage to Boston’s famed universities, enjoy our running tour of Harvard and MIT, as well as the bucolic Wellesley College, located west of Boston. We’ve also included a guide to the Boston Marathon course. We’ve recently added recommendations for the best residential running spots near downtown, and in the immediate western suburbs of Brookline, Newton, and Wellesley. For destination runs, take a ferry to the Harbor Islands in summer, and in fall, enjoy or ‘foliage’ routes in Carlisle and orchard country west of Boston. For more fantastic runs in the Boston area, see our guides to Boston’s North Shore and South Shore.

Boston is quite compact. Staying downtown in Back Bay or the financial district, or on the other side of the river in Cambridge will provide good access to running on the Charles River paths and some of the historic sections of Boston. The burgeoning Seaport area, which is the Convention Center is located, has some great running along the water.

Boston’s transportation system, called “The T” is good but a little old and creaky. The downtown area is well served by subway lines, while commuter rail heads out to suburbs north, south, and west.

Running Boston North Shore Running Boston South Shore

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Some of our favorite runs in Boston, MA

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  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Boston’s climate is influenced by the ocean. Summers are warm to hot, and it can be humid. Autumn is gorgeous. Winter can be harsh, with 45 inches average snowfall — but many storms in the winter change from snow to rain due to the ocean effect. You have to be careful in spring, as northeast winds can keep the weather cool and damp.

Where to Stay

If you want to be within a mile of the Charles River paths, the best place to stay is in Back Bay or on the Cambridge side of the path. If you want to be near the waterfront paths, you can stay in the Financial District, near North Station and Charlestown (which also place you near the river paths) or some of the newer hotels in the Seaport area.

  

Running Stores

Here is a guide to independent running stores in the Boston area, within proximity to the iconic routes. The ‘gran daddy’ of Boston running stores is Marathon Sports, which has a location right near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, plus seven other stores in the area.

Group Runs:

If you’d like to connect with some group runs in Boston, here are some good options.

  • Marathon Sports has a free group run Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. that leaves from their Boylston St. store

  • Nike Boston has various group runs throughout the week. Details here.

  • South End Athletic Company has group runs at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and longer ones Saturday at 10:00 am.

  • City Running Tours Boston has a huge number of group runs, with various touristy and fun themes, for a fee. They can also be booked for customized individual and small group runs.

CommunityIf you’d like to connect with some group runs in Boston, here are some good options.

  • Marathon Sports has a free group run Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. that leaves from their Boylston St. store
  • Nike Boston has various group runs throughout the week. Details here.
  • South End Athletic Company has group runs at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and longer ones Saturday at 10:00 am.
  • City Running Tours Boston has a huge number of group runs, with various touristy and fun themes, for a fee. They can also be booked for customized individual and small group runs.

Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

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Community

If you’d like to connect with some group runs in Boston, here are some good options.

  • Marathon Sports has a free group run Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. that leaves from their Boylston St. store
  • Nike Boston has various group runs throughout the week. Details here.
  • South End Athletic Company has group runs at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and longer ones Saturday at 10:00 am.
  • City Running Tours Boston has a huge number of group runs, with various touristy and fun themes, for a fee. They can also be booked for customized individual and small group runs.