Where to go to watch (or avoid) the Boston Marathon

Published On April 15, 2013 | By Hung Vong

It’s the third Monday of April in Boston, meaning that thousands will be making a 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boylston Street as they take part in the 117th annual Boston marathon. The annual event will gather about half a million spectators along the route. Here are some ways you can catch the 117th Boston Marathon, or avoid it altogether.

Where to go to watch

  • Cactus Club Restaurant and Bar is located at the heart of the finish line on Boylston St. The standard nachos and jalapeno snake bites will go a long way with a cold beer as you watch friends and families of the marathon runners celebrate post-race with the club’s Tex-Mex cuisine.
  • Eastern Standard provides a cozy atmosphere with wide selections of cocktails and entrees. Located at Kenmore Square, it is an attraction after Red Sox games. The outdoor patio offers a great view of the marathon’s finishing sprint.
  • Cityside in Cleveland Circle opens at 9 a.m. on Marathon Monday. This means you can reserve a table on the rooftop patio, which offers a wide view of runners streaking by. The restaurant also offers anything from salads to sandwiches to burgers to tequila margaritas.
  • Forum restaurant is hosting a marathon watch party in collaboration with the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. Tickets start at $25. There will be drinks, food, and afternoon host of RadioBDC Adam 12 will be broadcasting live at the restaurant on Boylston Street as spectators cheer on the runners down the stretch.
  • Top of the Hub is the place to be if you want to dine at a restaurant that’s 50 floors above Back Bay. The hub’s observatory provides an eagle-eye view of the city, and progress of the marathon as noon approaches. The beginning of the marathon in Hopkinton 26 miles away can even be spotted when you’re 459 feet above ground.

Ways to avoid the marathon

  • Boston Public Garden offers a complementary niche in the middle of the city. The garden’s attraction includes the Zen-like atmosphere of a swan boat ride across the lake as you hear the cheers from the crowd echoing through the willow trees.
  • Institute of Contemporary Art provides a curious viewing if you must avoid the marathon coverage for a couple of hours. The ICA currently features the works of Barry McGee, who had been a graffiti artist, and a collaborative site-specific installation between South Korea-born artist Haegue Yang and Manuel Raeder titled, “Multiple Mourning Room: Mirrored.”
  • Mary Baker Eddy Library offers to take you on an adventure to the past using state-of-the-art digital equipment. The library’s famous Mapparium is a three-story, stained-glass globe that uses LED lights to illustrate the flow of ideas and changes in geography over time. In certain spots on the glass bridge, you can even hear whispers at the other end. Locating on Massachusetts Avenue, the finish line is just a couple of blocks away.


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