Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Touring Boston - What to Know About Kayaking the Charles River

My husband and I recently celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary, and per my request, we headed off to the Cambridge docks so we could go kayaking as part of our anniversary date.

I have been wanting to go forever, but it's super hard to make it happen with a toddler and I figured it would be even harder with both a toddler and a new baby.  Since I'm well into my 8th month of pregnancy I pretty much just sat in the front of the kayak, calling commands to my husband who paddled us around the river.  Perfect... and pretty good representation of where we are after 7 years.  :) To my surprise, my husband, who hates all things dirty and outdoors, loved the activity too.  We had so much fun being able to chat while we floated around our city.

Touring Boston - What to Know About Kayaking the Charles River

Things to Note:

1) Price
We rented our kayaks through the Charles River Canoe and Kayak Company.  A double Kayak, like we're riding in is $20/hour or $80/day.  They also have lots of different options including single Kayaks, Canoes & Paddle Boats.

2) Reservations
You don't need one.  Just show up.  Chances are high that they'll have something you can check out.  If you're worried about it I'm sure you can call in advance to reserve one.

3) Process to Rent
I thought this would be a little more difficult than it was.  Pretty much we showed up, filled out a few forms, signed a whole bunch of wavers stating that we understood that death could be an outcome of this activity and that is just part of the sport... and took a quick mini quiz outlining the rules of the river.  The whole process took less than ten minutes, I don't think they even looked at our waivers or checked that we actually understood the rules of the river before we were ushered off to get a life jacket and boat.  (You'll need an ID and cash to pay for your rental)

4) Ages Allowed to Participate
I always assumed that this would have to be a couples only activity for us, but turns out you can invite the whole family.  They would have been fine having my toddler come along and we could have strapped him in to share a seat with one of us... but then you run the risk of a toddler getting bored and trying to go swimming in the nasty Charles River water...  In any case, know that young children are allowed to come.

Summary and Rating ★★★★★

Five Stars.  We had a fantastic time getting to see the city from this vantage point and it was so much fun being able to talk while be out on the water together.  We went on a fairly windy day and were still able to paddle around without a problem, and on some days you can even rent a Kayak at the top of the river and paddle down to around Harvard and drop it off there, giving you a greater chance to experience the river.   This is one my favorite activities we've done to date and I would highly recommend it.

Have you been here before?  If so I'd love to know more about your experience and any tips or tricks you have in the comments section below. 

Charles River Canoe and Kayak Company
15 Broad Canal Way,
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142

Phone: (617) 965-5110
Hours: Vary by date and season, check the website for specifics