It's Marathon day for the brave runners who are taking the plunge and running the 26.2 miles through Massachusetts. For those who are spectating rather than taking part (we don't blame you), there's plenty to keep you occupied when you're not cheering everyone on. Here's a selection of top Boston attractions to get you started, plus our beginner's guide to the Boston marathon...

The Boston Marathon

The Boston Athletic Association’s Marathon is traditionally run on Patriots’ Day each year, or Marathon Monday, as it is known to locals. This year, the 123rd Boston Marathon will be held on April 15. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest marathon and is one of the most prestigious competitive races in the world. Each year, the most talented runners and dozens of charity teams come together to the run 26.2 miles through the state of Massachusetts. The course begins in the nearby suburb of Hopkinton and stretches 26 glorious miles into the heart of Boston, ending just near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square. Locals and visitors turn Marathon Monday into a real holiday, with massive spectator events and a general celebratory atmosphere. The BAA website posts updated spectator information just before the race, including advice on the best places to watch, where to get good pictures, and where to greet your runner at the end.

Boston Marathon Boston at night
And then there’s the question of what to do before the race. Because of the Boston Marathon’s elite status, the majority of the runners are not locals. A large number of runners and their support teams will be coming into the city the weekend before to celebrate and will stay after the race. For those of you from out of town who aren’t familiar with the Boston area, it might be a good idea to check out some of the popular things to do in Boston before race day. With only a few days to spend touring the city, you’ll want to be sure to take in the best Boston has to offer. To save your runner’s legs from unnecessary stress, we recommend one of the Boston Trolley Tours to start. They’ll give you a great overview of the historical and contemporary highlights of Boston, as well as providing a convenient way to hop on and off at your desired destination along the route. Or, if you are looking to keep limber, take a stroll on the Freedom Trail, a red line that stretches out through the city of Boston, past most of the historical landmarks. Take a guided tour or walk yourself along and explore the city.
Boston Marathon Boston Harbor The beautiful Boston Harbor
You can also opt to see Boston by water. Several cruises or boat tours, like the popular USS Constitution Cruise, give you an excellent view of the city’s skyline from the Boston Harbor. A spin in the harbor is an excellent photo opportunity, and a peaceful way to spend the day before the big run. So as you get ready to run, or cheer on your runner, check out some of these popular Boston attractions to make the most of your weekend in Beantown.